"Anybody can do that. You just open your mouth." That's pretty much how most people feel about broadcasting in general, and specifically, sports broadcasting.

You don't get it so much, locally, in Michigan, because of a history of beloved broadcasters, going back to Ernie Harwell and earlier than that, Van Patrick. But so many national games, just throw out a name like Joe Buck and every idiot with a computer is ready to share an opinion yesterday.

What brings this all up is the Fox Sports Detroit and the Detroit Tigers' decision to rethink "Players Only" broadcasts.

According to a story in the Detroit News, this week was supposed to be games with only ex-jocks in the booth, with play by play voice Matt Shepard sitting out the series with the Angels.

This wasn't the first time. The experiment was tried in April. The Hall of Famer Jack Morris even admitted it was rough.

Here's the scoop. If you've been watching professional or major college sports for a while, those broadcasters are not beginners. They been working at it for a while. The color analysts, for most part, too. Yes, every once in a while, you get a Tony Romo, who step into a major job and sounds like he's been doing it for ten years. But for every Romo, there's a Jason Witten, who started out on Monday Night Football last season and, by most accounts, was not great. Ok, awful, might be a good word to use, too. Witten un-retired after the season and is back with the Dallas Cowboys.

It takes some training and experience to make a telecast (or a broadcast) work. Without that, you get what happened the first time the Tigers tried it last month. Stretches of dead air, and other times, talking over each other. Yes, part of the description is "traffic cop", but not everyone can do that.

Right now, everyone and his brother has or wants a podcast. And which ones are the most popular? For the most part, the professional sounding ones. 'Nuff said.

Matt Shepard doesn't need anyone to justify him. But remember, it ain't as easy as it looks.


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