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Still Talkin TV » Murphy, Kelso Remain Enthusiastic

Murphy, Kelso Remain Enthusiastic

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With a 0-5 start to the Buffalo Bills season going into Sunday’s game in Baltimore and more home TV blackouts on the way, fans unquestionably will be hearing more of radio play-by-play man John Murphy and analyst Mark Kelso throughout the rest of the season.

 That’s one reason why I checked out the last blacked-out game they did two weeks ago – the Bills 36-26 loss to Jacksonville.

 And it was clear from the broadcast carried on 97 Rock and 103.3 The Edge that Murphy and Kelso have two things in short supply this season.

 Murphy has remained enthusiastic.

 And Kelso is paying close attention to every play.

 In Murphy’s case, the enthusiasm is a huge plus.

 Before kickoff, he declared the Jacksonville contest “a winnable game,” an assessment that seemed accurate when the Bills got off to a quick lead.

 After a Jacksonville turnover, Murphy excitedly declared “there’s a break, that’s exactly what they need.”

 Now in his seventh season as the Bills’ radio voice after years as Van Miller’s analyst, Murphy has developed into one of the best play-by-play men in the game. He always had the great voice and a good feel for the game. He noted early that the Bills defense switched to a 4-3 against Jacksonville, which made Kelso “extremely proud.”

 Murphy’s enthusiasm also is more natural than it was years ago and he does a great job trying to get Kelso to explain his extremely technical dissection of every play.

 During the Jacksonville game, Kelso talked of a “TF trap,” a “zip screen” and something I think he referred to as a “deep dive.”

 Those terms undoubtedly are well-known in the Bills film room but not so much in the stands. When I tweeted about the TF trap the day of a game, a friend who has followed the Bills misfortunes this season guessed that the T stood for totally and the F in the play stood for an expletive.

 I won’t go there, but he did make me laugh.

 Kelso often falls into trap of thinking that every play has to be dissected after it is over. It is an incredible skill. Kelso’s ability to recall where practically every player was on the field during a play is quite impressive.

 It also can be exasperatingly dull. He would be wise to get out of the trap and zip his mouth once in a while to explore more often the bigger issues concerning the Bills defense, offensive line and wide receivers.

 It is not that he doesn’t address it – Murphy smartly asks Kelso questions about that. He should just look at the bigger picture more often.

 Kelso also is a former player and by many accounts an extraordinary human being, which suggests he isn’t about to harshly criticize any player.

But if the Bills are going to keep losing – and there is no reason to think the streak won’t be extended Sunday against the favored Ravens – then fans will take entertainment anyway they can.

 And that would include possibly hearing Kelso cut down on the technical talk about meaningless plays in double-digit losses and focus more on which players are playing dreadfully.

 Admittedly, I suspect the chances the Bills will beat the Ravens are higher than the chances that Kelso will turn into Cris Collinsworth.

 * Kenmore’s Don Criqui works his first Bills game of the season in Baltimore alongside Steve Beuerlein. On Oct. 31, Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker work the game in Kansas City.

 pergament@msn.com  

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One Response to “Murphy, Kelso Remain Enthusiastic”

  1. Magic Mike says:

    Don Criqui has been broadcasting NFL games since 1970!

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