Ed McCaffrey's color commentary monochromatic

Veteran radio-and-TV writer Dusty Saunders showered praise on the KOA broadcast team calling the Broncos 12-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals (achieved thanks to a big assist from Jesus Christ) -- particularly retired receiver Ed McCaffrey, who joined longtimer Dave Logan in the booth. But in my view, McCaffrey's contributions weren't all that edifying. During the fourth quarter (the portion of the show I heard), he displayed a strong knowledge of the passing offense, for obvious reasons, but was far weaker when it came to the other side of the ball. At one point, he said the Bengals secondary was using a scheme known as a cover two, prompting Logan to gently correct him -- and his repeated compliments for the Broncos defense in general were way over the top. According to him, Mike Nolan's charges pitched a shutout for most of the game, but if the Bengals hadn't dropped more than half a dozen first-half passes and committed plenty of other unforced errors despite dominating every offensive stat, including time of possession -- if, in other words, they hadn't been the Bengals -- they would have been up by a double-digit margin at halftime.

True, such homerism is typical on a squad's flagship station -- and Gus Johnson and Dan Fouts, who handled the TV broadcast, fell well short of brilliance, too. My favorite moment: Fouts said Bengals QB Carson Palmer had so much time to pass on one play -- actually, he had an eternity whenever the Broncos didn't blitz, a high-risk strategy a better team would have exploited -- that he could have been timed with "a sand dial." (If he meant "a sun dial covered with sand, so no sun could shine on it," that might make sense. But then again....) Still, the color of McCaffrey's commentary was mighty rosy even though the Broncos looked like they would have had a tough time beating the CU Buffaloes for most of the game. If he joins Logan again, as Saunders urges, he'd be well advised to add a few more hues to his palette.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts