Perhaps we have been spoiled as Los Angeles Sports fans in terms of who we've enjoyed as our sports voices. Vin Scully. Chick Hearn. Bob Miller. Petros Papadakis. But is it just me, or is the river of awkward that is the Joel Meyers experience bustling like the mighty Mississippi this year? Check out his latest gem. And by gem, I mean diarrhea of the mouth.
A few nights ago, Kobe hits an insane fadeaway from the right wing and is fouled on the shot. He stumbles backward into the courtside seats near the Laker bench and Sasha Vujacic, excited from the acrobatics of the play gets up and slaps Kobe on the ass. Joel's call?
"Sasha likes it from behind!!!"
Wow. Oh and let's not forget about the Length of Lamar. My lord. The LOL. I understand that decribing a players length is a trend right now in basketball commentating with all the long-armed, versatile players scattered throughout the league. But Joel takes this to a whole other level. Wow, he was really bothered by the length of Lamar on that shot. Or, Lamar's length caused that turnover. It's like, it's not just Lamar Odom. There's Lamar. And there's the Length of Lamar. Both are sentient, tax paying citizens of the Earth according to Joel.
But you see, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about Joel that bothers me. I mean, the Gay innuendos are one thing (and that "one thing" would be hilarious), but I think the thing that frustrates me the most is that I can't understand Joel's thought process as he's calling the game. I feel like the play by play man should describe the action and from time to time make some relevant observations about the context of said action. But Joel. Joel, Joel, Joel. Joel does not do this.
Here's a hypothetical example. The Lakers could be down by ten points with maybe 6 minutes to play in the game and then Joel will say something like, "The Lakers could use an 8-0 run here..." First of all, you're thinking well, no shit, Joel. But then the you think about it some more and you find yourself wondering, well, why didn't he say a 10-0 run? Hell, why not 20-0? But then you know what happens next? The other team goes on an 8-0 run.
But ok. I suppose every announcer is guilty of jinxing a team now and then. Fine. And of course, it doesn't happen that way all the time. What if say the Lakers do go on that 8-0 run, making Joel seem down right prophetic. Now say we got the ball with 30 seconds left, down 2 (remember, it was an 8-0 run from down 10). Kobe's dribbling out the clock a bit at the top of the key, he decides to make his move, and here is a classic Joel call of this play:
Kobe dribbles right. He's gets into the lane. HE'S CUT OFF! He finds Fisher in the corner. FISHER FOR THREE!!! OH!!! It rims out. Can't give Kobe the assist....
That's right. Can't. Give. Kobe. The. Assist. Seriously, who gives a shit about the assist. What about the fact that the game is probably over on that miss. It's like he gets fixated on certain things, usually statistical milestones for certain players, and it prevents him from commenting on the broader, more important perspectives. And honestly, it's becoming distracting as hell.
And I know that the above is not describing a play from a particular game. When I said before that I cannot pinpoint what bothers me about Joel, I really meant that I don't have a body of concrete examples of his ineptitude to list before you. But if you've been watching the Lakers closely during the Joel Meyer's era, tell me the above hypothetical does not sound all too familiar.
But either way, it looks like this is what we've got until the Lakers get wise and put Spero Dedes on TV. So you know what? Let's make the best of it. One easy way to do that: get shit faced. I present to you the Joel and Stu drinking game.
Rules: Buy some beer. Buy some liquor. Watch the local broadcast of the Laker game. Drink when you hear the following from Joel Meyers or Stu Lantz.
Level I: One sip
- Joel talks about Lamar Odom's length
- Stu refers to Pau Gasol as Pau Kasol
- Joel mentions points off of turnovers
- Joel or Stu uses the phrase Charity Stripe
- Stu says that the Lakers have "issues" if they are running late in the shot clock
Level II: Chug a beer (beer bong is optional, recommended)
- Stu says something about the Lakers "needing to Scratch"
- Joel mentions where a player played college ball more than once
- Joel talks about Trevor Ariza's length
- Joel talks about Andrew Bynum's length
- Joel talks about Pau Gasol's length
Level III: Take a shot
- Stu uses that metaphor about how big guys being far from the basket is like being high in the mountains/air is thin
- Stu says "Noiiiiccce"
- Joel talks about Kobe's Length
- Stu talks about Pau Kasol's length
- Joel uses the phrase "the rub down low"
Seriously, you'll be drunk by half time. And the Lakers will be up by 20. Happy drinking, Laker fans.