Organizational Inertia is the bane of my existence. If there is one thing that grinds my gears it’s hearing that something can’t or shouldn’t be changed because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” I think ESPN suffers from this. There is no other way for me to square the fact that Jon Barry still has a job broadcasting games for them.
After spending the past month and a half closely evaluating Jon Barry’s Broadcasts I have come to a some conclusions.
First, Jon Barry is horrendously bad. Not just sort of bad, or mildly annoying, or bad from time to time (which is totally understandable, nobody is perfect all the time), he is consistently spectacularly awful at what he does. You can bank on it. When I started doing the breakdowns, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to find enough stuff to use to show how bad he was. Boy, was I wrong. I had to learn to pace myself, as I would end up with like 20 clips of awfulness from the first half of the broadcast alone. I had to learn to record only the most stupefyingly stupid things that Jon Barry said, just to keep the breakdowns manageable.
So how awful has he been? Check it: In the past month and a half, he has dropped the F-bomb on air, made fun of Dikembe Motumbo’s accent (which is perhaps mildly racist but certainly inappropriate – particularly the timing, as it happened just after Mike Tirico was talking about the weird demise of some of Dikembe’s Nuggets teammates), consistently misdiagnosed screen and rolls (check out any of my broadcast breakdowns for this, I think they all feature some type of misread, calling a screen and pop or just a plain screen a screen and roll), had about a 99% disapproval rating from basketball twitter, and didn’t pronounce the names of multiple players correctly (again, most breakdowns feature this, just check one out).
That list that is Baxterlike in it’s amazingness. Most people, were they to do even one of those things, or the equivalent, over the course of a month, would be suspended or fired.
But Jon Barry is not most people. He continues on, oblivious to the criticism, spewing forth empty falsities with his trademark condescending smugness, broadcasting away on ESPN, while we are left listening to him destroy the game that we love. Like one of those terrible CBS shows that nobody watches but is somehow in like Season 17, Jon Barry endures.