Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Price ISN'T Right When He Refers To Tigers As "We"

I like Jim Price -- the Tigers radio analyst -- enough; he's a decent sort. He's a Tiger thru and thru, and anyone from the '68 world champs is okay by me. Denny McLain excluded.

But Jimbo -- you gotta stop saying "we" when referring to the Tigers on the air!

"We have someone warming up in the bullpen."

"We got a run to get within one of the Red Sox."

"We haven't pitched real well lately."

And on and on.

Call me an oldtimer, but the use of "we" and "us" and "our" is unseemly to me from a team's announcer -- radio or TV. There should be at least some propriety of impartiality. It's okay to get excited when the good guys do well, and bemoan perhaps something negative -- like an Alex Cintron three-run homer to beat you -- but do it by saying "the Tigers", not "we."

What was, do you think, the most famous radio call in the history of sports -- let alone baseball?

Russ Hodges' excitations when Bobby Thomson's homerun captured the 1951 pennant for the New York Giants have been burned into the brains of sports fans for over 50 years. "The shot heard 'round the world," they called it. And here's Hodges' words:

"The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

Hodges didn't scream, "WE win the pennant! WE win the pennant!"

That's because "we" didn't win -- the players won.

Even when I talk to people about the teams around town, I refrain from using possessive pronouns -- and that's just in private conversation.

"The Red Wings just couldn't get it going," I might say. Or, "I don't know what happened to the Pistons after Game 2 of the Cleveland series."

Not, "We couldn't get it going," or, "I don't know what happened to us after Game 2 of the Cleveland series."

I don't know -- maybe I'm anal about this, but using the team names will suffice, thank you.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

You can use "we" in that instance, in case you were wondering.

7 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

In general, I agree that broadcasters should pass on the "we" pronoun. For some strange reason, though, I don't find Price's use of it inappropriate.

Maybe I just view Price as such a total homer that his use of "we" seems natural, if that makes any sense.

I, too, attempt to avoid "we" in as many instances as possible. Of course, I am a fan, so I do slip up.

However, I do think it's acceptable for the majority of people to toss around the "we" description, as long as they know where the line is drawn.

Without such a sense of connection to the team, I think most would be relegated to observers or reporters, not fans.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Greg Eno said...

Thanks for the comment, Brian!

I certainly wouldn't want to legislate "we" from the fans.

But I still don't think any broadcaster should use it.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Ozz said...

I find myself using 'we' at times (and I even did it when the Tigers sucked), and sometimes think it's odd. It's a habit that wouldn't be a bad one to break.

As far as Price goes, he's a little better than he used to be, which isn't saying much. I think he sucks. I listen to as many games online as I can.

Hey Jim, we know you played for the '68 Tigers. Quit reminding us. You were a backup catcher that hit .174 in 64 games. You weren't exactly a vital part of the team. They would've won it without you.

Hey Jim, we know Al Kaline and Willie Horton were your teammates. Quit dropping their names every chance you get. You're not impressing us. For all you know, maybe neither of those guys likes you that much and are only nice to you because they're probably legitimate nice guys.

Hey Jim, we know you were a catcher when you played. We know you think the catcher is the smartest player on the field and can usually do know wrong. Get over it. It's not like you were that good. A .214 career average isn't impressive.

How did this guy get a job anyway?!?

10:29 PM  
Blogger Greg Eno said...

That's one thing that bothers me about you, Ozz: you're so wishy-washy!

:-)

10:33 PM  
Blogger Ian C. said...

I used to be very guilty of using "we" when talking about "my" teams, but have checked that strictly over the years.

As far as Price using it, I've always kind of looked at him like the guy who returns for homecoming trying to squeeze his older, flabbier body into his old fraternity sweater and tries to be "one of the guys" that weekend.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Ozz said...

Good comment about Price, Ian. Isn't Price one of those guys who is actively involved in the fantasy camps every year? I'm a huge fan and love the history of the team, but playing alongside a hack like that guy isn't exactly a fantasy of mine!

12:49 AM  
Blogger Jim Price Sucks said...

Not only does he refer to the Tigers as "we" but at least once I have heard him refer to the Illitch ownership group as "we." One afternoon during spring training he commented "When we took over the team in '92...."

And his play-by-play is HORRIBLE. When Price is calling the shots, it's hard to tell what the score is and the action becomes jumbled.

2:40 PM  

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