Looks like Ralph and Razor are going to be around for a little while. I’m very happy to hear that. Like some of those commenters, I always worry when Razor does work for Versus or ESPN (in the old days) or NBC. I fear that he’ll want to move on to TSN eventually or something.
But just like a lot of the players, they probably like living in Dallas. Don’t ask me why that is. I also really like living here and I don’t know why.
The TV broadcast is simulcast for radio around here so their style is kind of a hybrid, I think. Ralph calls the action in a little more detail than most TV broadcasts, but a lot less detail than most radio broadcasts. I think it’s one of the reasons I like Ralph’s play-by-play so much. You get actual descriptions of the action and not wall-to-wall rambling about unrelated things.
Yet, it’s also not wall-to-wall play calling, either, so you do get some interesting talk between and during plays. He’s good at setting up Razor for a discussion and he contributes to them. They don’t just do their own thing and never interact. I’ve heard broadcast teams that do that.
I have kind of a love-like relationship with Razor. He thinks a lot of himself, but he’s not that far off. I learned a lot from him when I first started watching hockey. I miss those days when the Open Net segment was for answering actual hockey questions from fans instead of the lame and unfunny “comedy” bit it’s become. I learned the different sections of the ice, what all the markings mean, what he means by toe drag, the difference between forechecking and backchecking and a ton of other stuff that I might still be struggling to understand if it weren’t for Razor.
The best part about Razor’s color commentary is his semi-homerism. He is perfectly willing to point out what the Stars players are doing wrong, as well as what the opposition might be doing right. Since I have Center Ice, I have seen a lot of out-of-town broadcasters and that is a very rare trait. Most of them refuse to admit if one of their players actually committed a penalty or laid a questionable hit. Razor isn’t afraid to. He isn’t going to call a Stars player a criminal or anything, but he knows who’s at fault in a situation.
In that respect, he’s not a homer. But he is a homer in that he talks about the Stars most of the time. He comments on the game from a Stars fan’s point of view. We want to know what the Stars are doing in the game. We want to know how the opponent might be affecting what the Stars are doing, but we don’t want to hear an equal amount about them. The majority (but not all) of Razor’s comments are about the Stars, good or bad. Some guys, when trying not to be biased, go too far in the other direction. Save neutrality for the national broadcasts. We want to hear about the Stars.
The real hockey season starts tonight, and the Stars start tomorrow. The sound of Ralph’s and Razor’s voices are just as exciting to hear when the season starts as the scraping of skates and smacking of pucks. Congratulations to them for their extension and congratulations to all of us for the privilege of having the best broadcast duo in the NHL.