suntimes
ADMIRABLE 
Weather Updates

NFL adds soundtrack for viewers at home

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz reacts after scoring touchdown during second half an NFL football game against

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. | AP

storyidforme: 37883335
tmspicid: 13891853
fileheaderid: 6379995

Updated: November 4, 2012 6:16AM



C ris Collinsworth laughed. Al Michaels pretty much ignored it.

It was the third quarter of the Eagles-Giants game in Philadelphia Sunday night, with the Eagles up 10-3 and the Giants in the Red Zone.

A wingless, non-Pixie Eli Manning took a snap and found Victor Cruz over the middle for a touchdown.

Cruz broke into his trademark salsa celebration dance — and NBC provided the soundtrack music.

“His breakout game here last year, does his dance and the Giants are a point away from tying the game,” said Michaels.

I hit the rewind button the DVR to make sure my ears hadn’t deceived me. Sure enough, a supposedly neutral network had played a celebration ditty to augment the salsa moves of Cruz.

And it wasn’t the first time they’d done it.

Fine, it’s just football and they’re just having fun — but there’s something cheesy about that move. There’s a big difference between the in-house music teams employ to fire up the crowd and NBC kicking the salsa music for Victor Cruz.

During Monday night’s Bears game, shown on ESPN (and simulcast on WGN), the DJ element wasn’t as egregious but it was still goofy. While showing a montage of Jay Cutler doing his “gunslinger” thing, ESPN played Western music. You know, to augment the whole “gunslinger” image.

Ugh.

Before we get off the football field, a question for you.

Erin Andrews: worst voice ever?

I’m sure Ms. Andrews is a lovely person and I know she’s worked hard and she’s overcome some much-publicized adversity, and good on her for taking that big offer from Fox Sports after a fine career at ESPN.

But my goodness, that voice. Flat, nasally, twangy. She sounds like a Tina Fey character from an old “Saturday Night Live” skit.

When I mentioned something about this on Twitter the other day, I heard from about a hundred guys saying stuff like, “Her VOICE? Who cares, she’s hot.” Dozens of other tweeps, both men and women, agreed with me.

Not that I’m James Earl Roeper. On more than one occasion, reviewers commenting on my radio and TV work have referenced my “annoying Chicago accent.” (Accent? What accent? Ahem.) It’s just jarring to hear Andrews.

You’d think somebody would have worked with her on that. Or maybe they have?

Where did the Sox fans go?

When the White Sox won their 68th game, the team surpassed Sports Illustrated’s prediction of a 67-95 record.

When the Sox won their 75th game, they hit the “Over” on the Over/Under line in Vegas for number of wins.

By the time the Sox opened up a three-game lead over the Tigers in September, they were an 80 percent favorite to make the playoffs.

Then came the collapse. No offense, but they lost their offense.

I was at the Cell for the last home game Sunday. An announced crowd of 26,831 turned out to see a team that was still mathematically alive but looked like a Dead Team Walking in those throwback 1972 uniforms. By the time the game was over, there were maybe 10,000 fans left to bid farewell to the 2012 team.

After the Tigers clinched the AL Central Monday night, one of the headlines from the Detroit Free Press was:

Tigers beat White Sox in attendance, too

“While the Tigers became one of nine big-league teams to draw 3 million fans this season, the White Sox missed the 2 million park,” noted the Free Press.

And there’s the salt for your wounds, can I get you anything else?

Why was attendance so low this year? Little advance sales due to low expectations? Prices too high for “premium” games against the Cubs and Yankees? The perennial “There’s so much more to do in Wrigleyville” argument? Tickets+concessions just too expensive?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Also, I don’t know.

This marks the sixth straight year attendance has dropped. Since 2006, when the Sox were defending World Series champions, they’re down nearly a million total clicks at the turnstile.

Where’d you guys go, and why? Hit me up at rroeper@suntimes.com and tell me what I’m missing.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.