Week 9: Troy Aikman Is Not Biased
It was evident early on in the telecast of the New York Giants' 35-14 victory over the hapless Dallas Cowboys on Sunday that Fox color commentator Troy Aikman was out to prove something.
After Boomer Esiason accused Aikman of having "a legitimate bias" toward Dallas, the former Cowboys quarterback took the high road:
"Well, I'm glad Boomer is watching the NFL on Fox," Aikman told the Dallas Morning News. "I take great pride in not showing a bias towards any team that I am broadcasting and I'm confident the teams that I have covered over the last eight seasons would agree that I've been balanced and fair with my coverage."
Aikman may have seemed unaffected by Boomer's assertion, but it was clear on Sunday that something had changed: Aikman was on a mission to be fair and balanced -- and in the process, he tipped the other side of the scale completely. Anyone without a frame of reference might have wondered, "Is this guy a Giants fan or something?"
Who Are These Guys?
You know exactly who these guys are. They're Fox Sports' lead broadcast crew. Play-by-play man Joe Buck, with Fox since 1994, is the son of late Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck. He's the serious one.
Color commentator Aikman is a Hall of Fame quarterback who played his entire career in Dallas with those lovable Cowboys from 1989 to 2000, helping them rack up three Super Bowl victories. Aikman joined Fox in 2001. He's the other serious one.
Story of the Game - Aikman's Version
Early on in the first quarter, Aikman projected an emphasis on the ground game for the Giants: "There's no secret about it -- the Giants come into this game with the number one rushing offense in the league, and as a defense, if you're gonna be able to hold up against them, you're gonna have to stop the run."
Story of the Game -- Reality
Buck put it succinctly: "Well this is one of the few times, in the NFL in 2008, where what people have expected to see happen in a game has happened. And that is that the Giants have flattened the Dallas Cowboys."
How 'Bout Them ... Giants?
Aikman really wanted to talk -- and talk -- about the Giants' Super Bowl victory last season. After Buck detailed the path New York took from the regular season to the playoffs to a victory over the Patriots, then trailed off to call a play, Aikman wanted more:
"So go back to what you were saying about what the Giants were about to do ..."
It was over, all the way to Disneyland. No need to rehash.
Aikman also professed his admiration for Amani Toomer throughout the game. Perhaps the most laudatory remark:
"Man, Amani Toomer, he just keeps gettin' it done, doesn't he? I mean, last week, on the fourth and six play, Eli Manning had an easier throw to pick up that first down, but he sees Amani pressed out there and he lays it up, much like what he did right there."
Superlatives are the Best
The rest of the league must be just scraping the bottom of the barrel, because the Giants and Cowboys have all the best everything, according to Aikman:
"The Giants are one of the best teams in the league at running the screen play."
"[Jeff Feagles is] one of the best punters in the league."
"Jason Witten is arguably the best tight end in football."
"Amani Toomer one of the most trusted and most dependable players on the field."
Oh, and another best for the Giants, this time from Buck: "This is a running game that is the best in the NFL."
Zoning Out in the Red Zone
Buck kept falling into a monotone rhythm, as if he were on autopilot. As Buck was discussing the Cowboys' tough upcoming schedule, Brandon Jacobs broke free of a tackle and found his way into the end zone.
Buck, very nonchalantly: "...if they're going to make it into the postseason, and here's Brandon Jacobs, touchdown." ... Realizing that his call may have been a bit cavalier, Buck kicks it up a decibel, or 10: "TOUCHDOWN, NEW YORK, BRANDON JACOBS."
Aikman's Not-So-Finest Moment
After Eli Manning was sacked and held on to the ball in the second quarter: "Tom Coughlin, he's not so much interested in going down the field as he is playing smart."
So being productive on offense and playing smart are mutually exclusive? Interesting.
Buck and Aikman Break It Down
During a big run by Jacobs toward the end of the first half, Buck and Aikman got uncharacteristically funky with the play-calling:
Buck: "Makin' moves, breakin' tackles, gettin' blocks and down inside the 30."
Aikman: "The big man's got some moves!"
Best Line of the Day
Not-a-Cowboys-Fan Aikman had the money quote when it began to look bleak for Dallas: "If the Cowboys go on to lose this ballgame, they're going to be in a world of hurt."
But not Aikman. His Giants are looking good.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Russ | November 5, 2008 2:21 PM
Posted by: chris larry | November 5, 2008 4:40 PM
Posted by: Mike D. | November 6, 2008 11:46 AM
Posted by: Carl | November 6, 2008 12:29 PM
Posted by: Alex35332 | November 7, 2008 9:02 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.