This is what I’m thinking:
Janet Snyder, John Zach, Rob Lucas and several other members of the Entercom radio team in Western New York were silenced for portions of three hours on Thursday:
Greg Ried, the general manager of all the Entercom stations in this market, explained that a core switch that distributes the audio locked up from about 6 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. on six Entercom stations.
Snyder’s WKSE-FM, Zach’s WBEN-AM, Lucas’ WTSS-FM, Alternative 107.7, ESPN 1520 and Solid Gold 1400 were all silenced for some of the three-hour time window. The only Entercom station that wasn’t impacted before the problem was fixed was WGR-AM.
Judging by my Twitter feed, a lot of WNY football fans wish CBS’ analyst Phil Simms would be silenced. But he is calling Sunday’s Super Bowl between Carolina and Denver alongside play-by-play man Jim Nantz.
During the NFL season, Simms is constantly bashed on Twitter and also on a website that is devoted to criticizing him.
I brought up the treatment to him in Pasadena, Calif. after the end of a CBS press conference for the Super Bowl.
He said he was unaware of the website and didn’t have much respect for Twitter anyway.
“I’ve got Twitter accounts on Showtime and this and that and 98 percent of it is foul,” said Simms.
“Anybody can create anything on Twitter. I could go hire people to spin it and it would be ‘well, I’m the greatest thing in the world.’ It’s Twitter. That happens. You can hire people to go on Twitter to help or hurt.”
He is right. But he also recently took a beating on a newspaper ranking of NFL analysts, finishing last among high-profile analysts.
I don’t have as much of a problem with Simms as his critics. Sure, some of his word phrasing can be a little awkward. But he had a very strong, opinionated game covering the Bills' 22-17 victory over the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football this season. And he was excellent during Pittsburgh’s playoff victory over Cincinnati, especially when he called out Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for his brutal hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.
He makes mistakes. All analysts do. During one playoff game, Fox's Troy Aikman was analyzing whether a team should kick a field goal before play-by-play man Joe Buck told him it was only third down.
During Denver’s AFC title game victory over New England, Simms first thought that the Broncos’ double covered the Pats Rob Gronkowski on the failed two-point conversion that would have tied the game in the final seconds. His replay narration showed that Gronk appeared to be open on one-on-one coverage before Pats quarterback Tom Brady threw elsewhere.
Still, I am expecting Twitter to light up Simms throughout Sunday’s Super Bowl even if he has a good game. Once you get a reputation, it stays with you no matter how you perform.
I normally try to ignore four-hour Super Bowl pregame shows so I am not tired of football by the time the game starts.
I’ll have to alter my plan this Sunday because CBS is carrying that feature which imagines how football history would have changed if the Bills had won Super Bowl XXV against the New York Giants. The feature imagines the Bills then might have won four Super Bowls in a row.
I’m not buying the premise. Part of the reason the Bills made four straight Super Bowls was because they were motivated after each Super Bowl loss. You could just as easily say that the Bills would never have gotten to another Super Bowl if they had won the first one.
Additionally, the Bills weren’t exactly competitive in the three losses that followed Super Bowl XXV.
Still, I expect CBS’ piece to be a strong one and will be happy to watch it as long as it doesn’t show Scott Norwood’s missed 47-yard field goal more than once before imagining it go through the uprights as part of the premise. Bills fans have suffered enough watching Norwood’s kick go wide right.