Friday, February 11, 2011

Put Gus Johnson on the Final Four

Hello, friends.

It's time for an intervention with the executives at CBS Sports. We need to back them into Amen Corner and put it to them straight: Replace Jim Nantz with Gus Johnson on the Final Four broadcast.

It would be a tough sell to big wigs. Nantz is the face of sports on the Tiffany Network. He is the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the NFL and golf, and he's previously hosted the Olympics.

Nantz is also the lead man on college basketball for what amounts to a two-month cameo between the end of football season and the Masters.

Nantz, however, does not get buckets. Gus Johnson gets buckets.

Johnson is exciting, passionate and knowledgeable. His calls on big games are so good that he's entered the rare broadcasting territory of having viewers tune in because he's calling the game. Need proof? The Big Ten Network has a commercial called "More Gus Johnson than ever before" with his best calls. It doesn't promote upcoming games, just Johnson.

Sadly, Johnson is like a double-digit mid-major in the NCAA tournament - his run always ends before the Final Four. At least we get to hear him call games on the first weekend and one the regionals.

If Nantz was born to call the Masters, Johnson was born to call March Madness - all the way through until the last note of "One Shining Moment."

The public demands it. Gus Johnson equals ratings.

- Howard Primer

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