Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lapanta Not Acceptable As PBP


I live in NY. I am dependent on the NHL Center Ice package for 98% of my exposure to the Wild's games. That means that I've suffered through a string of inferior play-by-play guys on the Wild's home broadcast for years. I'm sure Dan Terhaar's a nice guy, but he was a terrible PBP guy. Way too Wild-centric, prone to lobby for/whine about penalties instead of calling the game, actual play-by-play that was behind the play (read: was bad at his job) and would often either call the wrong name or didn't know the numbers/names of players. Not good.

Now Russo's saying the Wild has eschewed strong national interest (read: outside the FSNorth "talent pool") and is zeroing in on Anthony Lapanta as the new PBP guy.

If anything, that's a step backwards from Terhaar.

I've heard Lapanta call Gopher games. Here's how I'd run down Lapanta and Terhaar side-by-side:

Wild-centric (homer)
Terhaar 7 out of 10
Lapanta 9 out of 10

Lobbying for penalties against opposition team/whine about penalties against home team
Terhaar 8 out of 10
Lapanta 8 out of 10

Actual play-by-play behind the play
Terhaar 8 out of 10
Lapanta 9 out of 10

Misidentification of players
Terhaar 6 out of 10
Lapanta 6 out of 10

It absolutely astounds me that the Wild thinks Lapanta is good enough. It smacks of an unwillingness to take a chance, to reach for the golden ring. And that's ridiculous.

This is a franchise that blows a high amount of sunshine up fans' butts. State of hockey and all that. Well treat us like grown ups and endeavor to deliver a first class product, then.

What's really galling is the "strong national interest" part. If that wasn't the case (read: no one else wanted the job) then fine. What are you going to do? But, since there is, I simply find it impossible to believe there wasn't a single candidate who is better than Lapanta - if for no other reason than Lapanta is terrible.

The Wild doesn't have the worst TV team in the league. Terhaar isn't even the worst PBP guy (John Kelly, Ken Daniels, any of the schleps who usually call Canucks games not named Hughson come immediately to mind). But Wild fans deserve better than the tallest midget.


Erin Roundoff said...

On the bright side, maybe with LaPanta gone they'll let Woog and Mazzocco have the Gopher games back. "Whoa, Nellie!"

stp_highlander said...

We are going to need your help proving the point to Maher, Majka and the gang. You have Center Ice and access to the Wild AND road team broadcasts. Could you do apples to apples comparisons throughout October w/LaPanta and superior announcers on other regional/nat'l networks? Video for the same plays? That could help if we are going to really change minds during this 1 year purgatory.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of how peevish and querulous sports fans can be. Give' em access to social media and they think they run the world. The Wild are doing the right things. LaPanta is just like adding a new player. He will take time to adjust. He's got a good work ethic, talent and he cares about doing well. He will be fine. I just don't get people who spend all their time running down the performance of others. Kind of makes you wonder about their organ size...if only for a moment.

Anonymous said...

If "he works hard" is the best you can do, then we're screwed. He's not there so we can watch him work. He's there to call the games, and he's awful, despite working hard at it for some time.