Maybe now Scott Howard can quit screaming

The news from ISP Sports that UGA’s interim broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Scott Howard and analyst Eric Zeier have gotten the broadcast booth jobs on a permanent basis was no surprise. The duo are already established in those roles, Howard has been a longtime presence in the booth on Georgia broadcasts, and Zeier was a big-name player for the Dogs.

They were the safe choice for ISP and UGA. Introducing a stranger in the booth, particularly in the play-by-play role, as the broadcast transitions from the Larry Munson era would not have been a popular move in the Bulldog Nation and would have put the newcomer in a very tough position.

Plus Howard and Zeier have, for the most part, done a good job since first having to step into the breach. The familiarity of Howard’s voice has been comforting for fans missing Munson, and Howard has provided more pertinent information about who’s doing what on the field than Munson did in his later years. 

As for Zeier, not my first choice as a color analyst, he knows football, particularly what a quarterback is facing, and has gotten better at translating that knowledge into terms the listening audience can understand. But let’s face it, as a radio personality, he’s kinda dull. He could use a dash of Kevin Butler-style personality.

Howard, of course, isn’t ever going to be another Larry Munson, and as a play-by-play man he’s still a work in progress. He hasn’t yet managed to find a style that he seems completely comfortable with. He’ll probably never come up with the kind of instantly memorable, off-the-wall descriptions that Munson fans loved so much, and he shouldn’t try. 

But at times over the past couple of seasons, Howard has let the excitement of what’s happening on the field turn him into more of a fan than a broadcaster. Screaming uncontrollably like a guy in the stands when Georgia scores a big touchdown, as Howard did during last year’s Kentucky game, isn’t the stuff of which “greatest calls” compilations are made. Even when Munson lapsed into a “yeah, yeah, yeah” rather than telling you that the kick was good, he was imparting information with style. 

That’s something Howard and Zeier still aspire to.

47 comments Add your comment

JaxDawg

June 22nd, 2009
10:56 am

Bill, I agree with you that the familiarity of Howard and Zeier does make the transition easier. Munson is one of those rare once in a lifetime broadcasters that had a unique style that can never be duplicated. I think Howard and Zeier will develop their own style but as in any situation where someone has to follow a legend they will unfortunately have to deal with unfair comparisons for a while.

Also Bill, was this descision more about the terms/length of contract for these two or were there other viable candidates? If so do you know who they were?

Keep up the great job of giving us things to talk about until kickoff, it’s definitely making the time pass by quicker!

GO DAWGS!

Guys, please don't tell my mom I'm blogging and not studying for my Tech exam; she won't cut the crust off my sandwich

June 22nd, 2009
10:56 am

Enter your comments here

Guys, please don't tell my mom I'm blogging and not studying for my Tech exam; she won't cut the crust off my sandwich

June 22nd, 2009
10:59 am

A radio guy’s style is what makes him and nobody will be like Munson, I actually see us Zooking Zeier just because we are going to miss the man so much.

Why did you not try out Bill?

theTruth

June 22nd, 2009
10:59 am

Bill, I will take a ‘homer’ pick such as Howard, Skip, and Larry anyday over a dull broadcaster that isn’t pulling for the dawgs. I’m glad Howard gets excited about the dawgs. Come on boys, hunker down one more time.

theTruth

June 22nd, 2009
11:00 am

And yes, I know Skip was the braves but they pulled him off the air b/c he was too much ‘a homer’. Sad, really sad. RIP Skip.

Tony

June 22nd, 2009
11:08 am

This is a great decision and would have been better if made 3-4 years ago. Munson needed to go many years before and, although I’m thankful for the Munson’s committment to the Dawgs, I am so glad he is forever out of the booth.

Hart co.

June 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

I rember reading where Munson had plenty of complaints when he first started calling games for UGA, glad he was given his chance. These guys should be given their chance. There will be great calls from Scott in the near future I’m sure. GO DAWGS!

The2Davids

June 22nd, 2009
11:24 am

I just hope he doesn’t use that stupid line “there’s a huge dog pile in the end zone”. He is trying to hard to replace Munson. He needs to stop, Munson wan’t really ever that good anyway.

Cuz

June 22nd, 2009
11:39 am

No Scott will not be another Larry. That mold was broke along time ago. Yeah Scott is a fan with a UGA degree to back it up. I expect him to give me info, not Hobnail boot quotes. I can get the picture listening to Scott call a game. To me Zeir got better as the year went on. He should be fine also.

Tom

June 22nd, 2009
11:40 am

Eric Zeier….one of the most intuitive Dawgs ever….

“Georgia fans are passionate, but let’s face it – they’re not the brightest fans. Passionate, but not bright.” – Eric Zeier, Novemeber 21, 2001

AltamahaDawg

June 22nd, 2009
11:41 am

The thing about “great calls” is that they describe great plays.

mr1drfl

June 22nd, 2009
11:45 am

the day’s of listening to the dawgs on the radio while watching tv are over. i quit listening to other sports that scott howard does play by play on. chip caray and ernie johnson jr. are georgia grads aren’t they? was this a case of getting the cheapest guy or what? personally pulling some intoxicated fan from the stands would be better the scott howard

Dorsey Hill

June 22nd, 2009
11:47 am

I just wish they had done what Larry wanted: an open mic audition for his replacement. Reminds me of Dooley’s desire to have Erk to replace himself as coach. Once again not listening the retiring legend’s advice will haunt Georgia.

To “The2Davids”: you should both be shot. To paraphrase Merle Haggard: If you’re runnin’ down Munson, man, you’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.

The2Davids

June 22nd, 2009
11:58 am

From a pure braodcaster was what I was speaking. Yea, Munson was good in his way, but from a technical standpoint he was too old school.The only thing he brought was a gravely voice brought on by years of whiskey and cigars. He had lived live long enough to have some outstanding stories that translated into the game. But to say he was technically savvy as a broadcaster is inaccurate.

defactodawg

June 22nd, 2009
12:20 pm

I said on the Tucker blog and will say here too, I’m very disappointed in the selection of Scott Howard. He tries so hard to be Munsonesque that he has become almost a parody of himself.

This was the opportunity to hire a broadcster who excels at the craft. There are scores of young, talented broadcasters who can do the job well and still bring a homer-style atitude to the work.

And for those wishing for Dantzler, he’s more Howard/munson-ish than the two of them combined. Again, not a skilled broadcaster.

I know many will say “we want a Dawg!” but is that the best thing if the homer can’t accurately describe the action for the screaming and over reaction?

The good ol boy system continues to thrive over in Athens and that’s why this is one fan of 40+ years who will no longer listen while in my seat between the hedges.

dawgstephen

June 22nd, 2009
12:32 pm

Bill, and defactodawg. I love you guys and respect your decision here, but i have to say that you are both wrong. Scott Howard is absolutely the man for the job. Yes Bill, he is screaming, he is excited, and he is definitely a dawg to the core. Eric Zeier is the most knowledgeable as to what defenses are being ran, and can really break down the blitzes and tell us what the QB is facing. I think Eric was a little too excited in the BAMA 2007 game, when they did their first game together, but has calmed down some and I think he fits very well. As far as Kevin Butler goes, I think he WOULD be great in the booth, and would be a great replacement when Loran retires. Either in the booth, with Eric on the sidelines or put him in Loran’s place.

Scott Howard has been beside Munson for years, and considering the possible replacements, (Chip Caray, Buck Belue, Kevin Neal) I will take Scott ANYDAY!!!

Go dawgs

dobearsbare

June 22nd, 2009
12:45 pm

How Jim Powell didn’t get a shot at this, I have no idea, except a guess that he just likes baseball better or the money is way better there. Still, I really enjoy his pbp, and that voice is way more distinctive than Howard’s. Zeier’s good enough. I’d much rather they win on the field than in the broadcast booth. Oh, and the “One and done, baby” call at Alabama in 2007, I thought, was an instant classic.

defactodawg

June 22nd, 2009
12:45 pm

dawgstephen

thanks for the comment but your closing indicates the real issue at hand. Who said the replacement could only come from the pool you list. If we are truly a national program and want to do things in a first-class manner, a national search is warranted.

When the NATS chose a successor for Ciraldo, they didn’t choose only from Jackets. Durham came from Vandy as I recall and, despite his employer, is an excellent broadcster.

I just think we sold ourselves short by choosing SH to be the voice of the Dawgs.

Dawgdays

June 22nd, 2009
12:57 pm

Well, better than having Lauren Smith in the booth compairing chicken soup recipes with other broadcasters. Not that I don’t find these humerous…

Dawgdays

June 22nd, 2009
12:58 pm

Loren that is…

Oledawg

June 22nd, 2009
1:04 pm

Who cares? Courtney Kupet just won the Honda-Broderich Award for best female athlete in the US! That tops any sports award won this year at UGA and places her story and glory to UGA above Stafford and Moreno and the fifth NC she made happen. Great going Courtney! Great going Dawgs!

blue fox

June 22nd, 2009
1:14 pm

Correct, Wes Durham was an “outsider” when he came in to Tech to replace Al Ciraldo, and that experiment has worked out great, so much so that the Falcons also latched onto him!

Big Fat Buck Belue #8

June 22nd, 2009
1:19 pm

Eric Zeier is bald and ugly.

ATLdawg

June 22nd, 2009
1:19 pm

Buck Belue shoud do color…fun guy, knows his stuff, a big-time dawg.

no announcer needed

June 22nd, 2009
1:24 pm

Just let Courtney run around in a halter top and forget the announcers!!!
45-42!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ever heard him?

June 22nd, 2009
1:25 pm

Buck is less exciting than listening to David Johnston call a Bulldog baseball game, and that’s saying something.

Dawgdays

June 22nd, 2009
1:38 pm

I’ll bet we could have gotten Paul Johnson when he is out on his a$$ after getting smacked by the dawgs in ATL this November!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Cuz

June 22nd, 2009
1:43 pm

Slow Monday.

You go Courtney, you are a DGD!

bass stringerfish

June 22nd, 2009
2:11 pm

I am one that was so glad that Munson retired…sadly, he was hard to listen to at the end…I love Scott Howard’s excitement. I don’t think he is trying to copy anyone, bit when you are side by side with someone for that many years and that’s basically all you do…how else are you going to lean? And I have gone back and listened to the archived audio of the Kentucky game and still loved it. Great choice on both in my opinion. Loren is the one I just don’t get…

Bill King

June 22nd, 2009
2:23 pm

I agree that Scott Howard was the right man for the job.

I’m just hoping that he can calm down now and make his touchdown calls a bit more memorable and a bit less frantic.

pcoleman

June 22nd, 2009
2:26 pm

I think both of these guys are a bridge to the next great anouncer(s). Scott Howard is out of control and not in a good way. Zeier is just a bad Heier – not a lot to offer in my opinion

Gen Neyland

June 22nd, 2009
2:34 pm

AltamahaDawg : You are correct…I can lay blame on Dizzy Dean for my affection with beer, as Dizzy would tell his baseball audience back in the day, “It’s time for a Falstaff!” Hot dang, even at 5 years old I wanted that Falstaff…boy, could he call beer.

dawgbone

June 22nd, 2009
2:44 pm

i hear you dorsey, there may be some fightin words printed on here and not by yech or gator bait punks

Tampadawg

June 22nd, 2009
3:02 pm

Why not Neil Williamson? anyone ever thought of giving him a try? great voice and great dawg fan

GW

June 22nd, 2009
3:18 pm

No problem with either but Zeier needs to talk less. Way too much overanalysis of secondary coverages. In reality, less people than ever are listening on radio now due to TV.

Mike Lum

June 22nd, 2009
3:46 pm

Buck has a bunch more personality than Zeier, knows football, and is a good old Georgia boy. He’d be much better!

Ted Striker

June 22nd, 2009
3:57 pm

Tom @ 11:40 a.m.: Zeier was right. What I’ll say — and he didn’t — is that many UGA fans are fair weather fans.

2Davids: Blasphemy. A pox upon you. May your name never be spoken within the legion of the red and black.

DefactoD: You don’t like Scott Howard — and because of that you’ll never listen to the Bulldog network again. Okay. In the words of Fred G. Sanford, “Let the doorknob hit you where the good Lord split you.”

Dorsey Hill: In the name of all that is holy, even if I don’t always agree with you, I always respect you.

DirtyDawg

June 22nd, 2009
4:32 pm

As a guy that started out with Munson on a down note, it’s hard for me so say how the school should go forward. I loved Ed Thelenius – laid-back, cool, calm and collected – and was skeptical of this guy Munson from the beginning. Particularly since I was living outside Nashville at the time where he had a sports-talk radio show along with a TV outdoor show (fishing and stuff). The thing that I remember is that even while he was doing UGA games on Saturday, he would criticize them during the week on his talk-shows. Maybe they were due some criticism but I figured that somebody on the payroll should keep his mouth shut. Over time he got over all that, moved to Georgia to cash in on his new-found notoriety and the rest is history. One of the things we found out about Munson is that he is, and was, a throwback. The guy was like a 20’s or 30’s style radio broadcaster. Absolutely unique and impossible to replace. Just be glad we had him and move on.

Of course one of the things that keeps me from worrying too much about who we use is that since virtually all the games are televised and since I’ve yet to figure out how to properly ’sync’ the radio audio with the video broadcast so that there’s no delay between the two, I don’t bother to try anymore. If WSB and/or the ISP folks have an answer for that I’d be interested in trying it out…plus they’d be able to get more of an audience for the radio broadcast – of course they’d have some ’splanin’ to do to the TV networks.

dawgstephen

June 22nd, 2009
4:44 pm

defacto…i do agree with the pool i listed NOT being the right ones. I was referring to those cause those were the names i was hearing thrown around, and i was sick to think of any of them being the voice of the dawgs. compared to them, Scott Howard is already a legend…

I really like your thoughts…who would you like to have heard???

hop

June 22nd, 2009
5:04 pm

daman evans made the safe pick with howard and zeier,but they have a long way to go to be good announcers.

hopefully, they will improve,but georgia deserves to have first class announcers and for now we have two novice in the booth.

snot bubble

June 22nd, 2009
6:45 pm

It wasn’t because I didn’t like listening to Scott and Eric on the radio while I was watching the game on TV. It was because they were at least 30 sec ahead of the TV……..

Ho hum dawg

June 22nd, 2009
7:21 pm

I think this new brodcast team is vanilla just as in UGA’s offense.

Ho hum dawg

June 22nd, 2009
7:23 pm

That Chuck Dawdle is vanilla too on CMRs coaches show…….

Ty Cobb

June 22nd, 2009
10:30 pm

who gives a crap its UGA! they will lose to florida just like every other year.

COBB IS BASEBALL!

BeachGaBulldog

June 23rd, 2009
2:57 am

I never liked Scott Howard as an analyst. The day Larry Munson did his last game was the day that I wasn’t going to be listening to the games ever again, as long as Scott Howard was announcing.
I have heard a couple of calls on TDs that he did, and they were terrible. He is lousy!
As for Larry, he will always be to me, the GREATEST ANNOUNCER of any sport that I have ever heard.

Kendawg

June 23rd, 2009
10:01 am

There likely will never be another announcer as loved by the fans as Larry Munson. That said, I’m glad that the powers that be settled on Howard and Zeier for now.

Bishopbulldawg

June 25th, 2009
11:53 am

I used to watch the games on TV and listened to Munson on radio at the same time because he was the best and was better than the TV guys. Now that’s he’s gone, that’s another tradition gone too. Now I listen to the TV guys because they’re the better announcers. I guess Obama has truly changed everything.