The pros and cons of Fox Sports Ohio

Feb 11, 2012; Cleveland Cavaliers television announcer Fred McLeod (right) and Austin Carr (center) during a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Philadelphia won 99-84. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports Ohio, more commonly known as FSO, is the official television home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are the one network in the state of Ohio that airs every Cavaliers game, and thus are in the unique position of being able to be the TV station that regularly covers the Cavaliers. With that responsibility comes great power, and while they do some things well, they do leave a lot on the table. So without further adieu, here are three things FSO does well and three things I’d like to see them do better.

Three Up

1. The MGK intro video – The intro video (which also involves the Cavaliers franchise) is my favorite thing about the Cavaliers broadcast. Machine Gun Kelly (real name Richard Baker) is a Shaker Heights native signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy record label. Known for repping the 216 and also having a growing fan base, MGK was a great choice to provide the music for the Cavaliers intro video. Also, the video itself is superb, as keeps keeps to the theme of MGK’s song “Invincible”, which is used in the video, and is a mix of Cavaliers highlights and shots of Cleveland. Plus, MGK, alongside hype man Slim Gudz, appears in the video wearing a custom Cavaliers jersey. I’ve seen it over 100 times now, and it never fails to get me excited. Hopefully this element is kept beyond this season, as I think it really is a winner in every aspect.

2. Campy Russell in studio – The former Cavalier may be a bit of a homer, but I do like the analysis he puts forth before and after games. He keeps a smooth tempo, and never gets out of control when working alongside Jeff Phelps. I wish the Cavaliers used him more, as I think Russell is a natural on air. Plus, he’s way better than game analyst Austin Carr – but more on Mr. Cavalier later on.

3. Fred McLeod – The Cavaliers play-by-play guy is a consummate professional, and provides a nice ying to Carr’s yang. He knows when to dial it back when Carr gets too excited (which is all the time), but also knows when to dial up his calls a notch. He’s no Joe Tait, but he is a huge improvement over Michael Reghi, the former play-by-play guy. Sometimes I wonder if McLeod knows exactly what he is talking about, but from a straight broadcasting standpoint, he is as solid as they come, especially when put next to Carr.

Three Down

1. Sam Amico and his stupid commercial – Amico, the FSO beat reporter, does solid work and seems to be a pretty nice guy. Sans giving Cavalier autographs as gifts, the guy does a solid job for the network. However, the FSO commercial that promotes his weekly web chat (“The Amico Report”) is absolutely awful. He comes across cocky and full of himself in the commercial, and that’s not a light any journalist should be viewed in. Honestly, he probably doesn’t even need a commercial for “The Amico Report.” Cutting that all together makes a lot of sense in my mind.

2. Lack of original content – As the official TV network of the Cleveland Cavaliers, FSO has a golden opportunity to run original programming that no one would be able to compete with. However, on FSO, you are more likely to get a rerun of an old UFC card than Cavs original content, and to me that is a huge issue. Right in front of you is an opportunity to capitalize on a monopoly, and create original content that no one else in Northeast Ohio can compete with. I don’t care what the show is on – behind the scenes, a Cavaliers girl show or a series about Daniel Gibson and Keyshia Cole (even though that has already been done) – just do something.

3. Austin Carr – Besides his catch phrases (‘Throw the Hammer Down” being one), I despise Austin Carr as an on-air personality. He not only struggles to get his sentences out, but sometimes just rambles on with no real meaning. On Twitter, he is not much better, as his Twitter feed is full of misspellings, grammatical mistakes and is really not worth a follow. If they can, FSO should pay for Austin to take a class or two in the offseason at a good journalism school that can help him improve with both his broadcasting skills and his social media skills. As of right now, I’d rather see Russell handle his analyst duties simply because he is a lot clearer when he speaks. He may not be as excitable as Carr, but at least he makes sense.

 

 

 

Topics: Cleveland Cavaliers, Fox Sports Ohio

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