Television announcers in 2012 are oftentimes in a pretty thankless position. In this day and age where we can rewind everything, pick apart every word and then cackle about it with our friends on social media, the television gig (while WELL paid) comes with crazy scrutiny. Add in the extreme biases and unhinged emotions of the average NFL fan, sprinkle in some alcohol and it can go from thankless to downright vicious faster than you can say "hashtag Dierdorf sucks."
Which brings me to yesterday. When I saw Texan fans going after longtime CBS analyst (and Hall of Fame offensive lineman) Dan Dierdorf during his call of the Ravens-Texans game yesterday, I defaulted to "Ah, must be crazy NFL fan being crazy NFL fan" mode. Not that I'm really a fan of Dierdorf's work, but I'm not openly anti-Dierdorf either, so therefore I didn't think much of it.
But a funny thing happened as the game kept going -- the Dierdorf tweets (none of them complimentary, all of them derogatory, and several having him doing unspeakable things to an unclothed Terrell Suggs) kept coming. And coming. And coming. Coming in droves like I hadn't seen for an announcer in quite some time.
So I had to see what the fuss was about.
So I slapped on the headphones, put on the CBS broadcast and listened in to see what the Twitter torches and pitchforks for Dierdorf were all about. As it turns out, Dierdorf was not only regaling the television viewing audience with his usual string of mix-ups, non-analysis and inane rambling, but he was enamored with Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and his return from a major Achilles injury. Like "sop him up with a biscuit" enamored.
The ludicrousness of Dierdorf's fawning over Suggs during plays in which he was not involved or plays during which Suggs was on the sidelines (that happened)...well, let's just say I quickly saw what everyone's Twitter fuss over Dierdorf was about.
Twitter is the world's topical barometer, one of the only places you can go that I'm aware of to instantly see not only what topics people are talking about, but what topics the most people are talking about. All you need to know about Sunday is that during a game that the Texans were leading 29-3 over the only other 5-1 team in the AFC, the top Twitter trending topic in Houston was "Dan Dierdorf."
And the top trending topic in Dan Dierdorf's pants was Terrell Suggs.
Like many types of hate, Twitter hate builds and evolves over a set period of time. As best I can tell, the Twitter hatred for Dan Dierdorf on Sunday can best be broken down into seven distinct evolutionary stages. They are as follows:
PERSONAL APPEARANCE Most of these tweets came before the game had started, before Dan Dierdorf decided to use the Texans' 30-point rout of the Ravens as an innocuous backdrop for the revelation of his desire to stroll along a quiet beach hand in hand with Terrell Suggs. Really, they came before Dierdorf had even opened his mouth...
Lookin kinda old there dan dierdorf.
— blake medley (@cadillacmedley) October 21, 2012
Dan Dierdorf's face looks like a scrotum.
— I. Am. Other.(@ESVenom) October 21, 2012
Dan Dierdorf looks like a creature from lord of the rings #whatswrongwithyourface
— Zack Rosen (@zrosen25) October 21, 2012
REALIZATION AND SELF-MUTILATION Ah, but Dierdorf would open his mouth, He would speak. He would say many words, most of them either having to do with the miraculous healing powers and supple buttocks of a Terrell Suggs. And it was at this point that people realized that inflicting extreme pain upon themselves was preferable to the pain inflicted upon their ears by Dierdorf himself...
Id rather bang my head against a wall repeatedly than listen to dan dierdorf announce a game. #toomanyhitstothehead
— Black n' Gold Blitz (@BnGBlitz) October 21, 2012
Dan Dierdorf makes me want to hit myself in the face with a hammer repeatedly
— Brenna O'Neill (@loafofBREN) October 21, 2012
DAN DIERDORF SHUT UP. JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP.
— Mike Bender (@BendersBender) October 21, 2012
DIERDORF'S TERRELL SUGGS MAN LOVE Dierdorf's love for Suggs was evident from the get-go on Sunday. Texan fans' scorn for Dierdorf was equally evident. And their disgust with Dierdorf's fixation on Suggs was, quite frankly, hilarious. Here are but a few of the literally hundreds of examples...
@sportsmt Dan Dierdorf is the President if the Terrell Suggs fan club.
— Eodon Games (@eodongames) October 21, 2012
Dan Dierdorf is going to offer to pleasure Suggs after the game. #texans
— Joel Cochran (@jacochran) October 21, 2012
Every single time Red Zone goes to Ravens game Dan Dierdorf is turning Terrell Suggs into a deity. It's not like he found a cure for cancer.
— Chris Dokish (@ChrisDokish) October 21, 2012
— Humpington Post (@HumpingtonPost) October 21, 2012
Just had to run my TV through its diagnostic self-test. Dan Dierdorf just went 5 minutes without talking about Terrell Suggs.
— eric Farris (@eafarris) October 21, 2012
In honor of Suggs' miraculous recovery, Dan Dierdorf is petitioning it to be renamed the Suggs' tendon.
— Jason Day (@dreson00) October 21, 2012
— Don Ryan (@DRyan81) October 21, 2012
Listening to Dan Dierdorf fawn over Terrell Suggs makes me feel like a 3rd wheel in my own living room.
— Jay Kay (@dagnabbit13) October 21, 2012
DIERDORF IS WORSE THAN CRIS COLLINSWORTH I actually think NBC's Cris Collinsworth is pretty good, and I frankly think the fact that so many people don't like him is validation of my theory at the beginning of this post that announcer hate is a tad out of control. Collinsworth, in my opinion, is good. But whatever, some of you hate Collinsworth, I get it. Apparently, Dierdorf was bumbling his way through Sunday badly enough to eclipse Collinsworth's ineptitude, according to some of you....
Dan Dierdorf makes Cris Collinsworth sound good and that is hard to do
— JOHN (@Dexxxzzz) October 21, 2012
We always get ho ass commentators..chris collingsworth..dan dierdorf
— Whore Hey ™ (@thegeorgeyoung) October 21, 2012
WISHING INJURY UPON DIERDORF From mean-spirited to downright vicious, by the second half of the game people were wishing actual physical ill upon Dierdorf, particularly upon his throat region...
I'm hoping Dan Dierdorf goes down with an injury soon.
— Fidoz (@Fidoz) October 21, 2012
Some one please stab Dan dierdorf in the throat. I'm begging you, he is the dumbest person in the world.
— wayne glacken (@Wizzy_Wayne) October 21, 2012
WISHING DEATH UPON DIERDORF ....and from injury to death...
Is it too late for Dan Dierdorf to take the place of Alex Karras?
— mannyg (@egut74) October 21, 2012
Hey Dan Dierdorf.Please emulate Alex Karras
— Jonesing (@RJonesing) October 21, 2012
EQUATING DIERDORF TO CRAIG JAMES And once you've wished death upon someone, there's only one more deep, dark, worse place you can go. The seventh circle of Twitter hatred hell -- equating someone to Craig James...
Boy, having to listen to Dan Dierdorf announce this game actually makes me miss Craig James announcing... Not really.
— Terry Alexander (@Alexander_Bites) October 21, 2012
Sometimes it's hard to know if what you feel about a certain person or topic is the same as what the crowd feels. You can smell something burning, but is it a mere brushfire or a towering inferno? On the way out, I give you the tweet below from Shawn Johnson (@brthurr on Twitter), a somewhat naive heat check to see which way the wind is blowing on this whole Dierdorf situation...
— Shawn Johnson (@brthurr) October 21, 2012
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No, Shawn, you are not. Not even close.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.