Before we continue to shamelessly dismiss sportscasters, can we just realize..
...How fickle their profession is? I'm really getting tired of all these faceless people calling out sportswriters. While I encourage light hearted debate, it's another thing to be dismissive and downright insulting.
Lets be honest here, what they do isn't easy by any stretch. It's not hard in the sense that they're not surgeons trying to save lives, but same time we should realize that it is extremely difficult to keep coming up with things to say about a game or about anything in general that hasn't been said. Being innovative in this field is not that encouraged. Think about it, given their time constraints, which really is a matter of minutes to hours, they have to think of a topic, come up with points to back it up, and then explain it coherently enough so that it does not look like it was slapped together. Really, at that point, it's about really meeting a deadline than saying something of quality. It's like a machine gun, you're just rapidly firing bullet points and hoping/praying that one or two bullets hits the targets. If they're wrong about their projections or their analysis, oh well it happens. It's not like there are any rules and think about your own predictions and "analysis," really whats your batting average on that? I doubt it's any better. Really, outside of guys like JVG, Hubie, Collins, etc. who can at least break down a play from a coaching standpoint, you really can't ask for too much from them.
I have two friends, who are about as pretentious as the average ISHer (actually they used to post here but now they're too pretentious for the board) who are constantly bitching about the sportscasters on television--which is actually the average ISHer these days. They're always going "I'm more of an expert than they are." I mean, while Mark Jackson, Reggie, Burke, are not among my favorite people to listen to but it's really not that horrible. So yesterday I invited them over and we watched the game on mute and I told them if they feel so strongly about their claims of being better than these guys, then we'll watch the game on mute and the two of them will do the commentary. Even gave them a couple hours before hand to prepare. And you know what? Epic fail on both their parts. They were stumbling on their words, making irrelevant points, going off on even more random tangents that would make listening to Bill Walton sound like listening to Hubie Brown. They tried to be funny and their humor was irreverent, bad taste, or just horrible delivery. Even slipped in some f-bombs or lewd jokes that would get their asses fired on television. Most of all, there were awkward pauses that ran for way too long because you know what? There really isn't much you can say for 2 hours straight.
As for their backgrounds, one of them played and started on a Division 2 basketball team and the other was a journalist (albeit not for sports) for his college paper so it's not like they don't have any knowledge or experience--and I'm sure that's more than can be said for than the average ISHer. Hopefully they learned their lesson from that though they want to try it again in a few weeks.
And before someone comes in and says "well, they're paid to be experts." Lets be honest here, being an expert in this field is being used loosely. It's the same way the medical field looks at being an "expert" in psychology or the academic field looks at being an "expert" in world philosophy. In fact, its probably used even looser than that. Basically to be an expert you need to have an opinion backed up with some experience. Being an expert in this field is nothing like being an expert in science where there are laws and rules to follow/remember. This is just being paid to give a coherent/cogent opinion under a time constraint.
So in the end, can we really stop being so dismissive and critical towards these guys? After all, this is just the entertainment business. No one's lives are on the stake here.