Welcome to Bronco Nation, Bob Behler.
The long local nightmare that was the Peak Broadcasting radio search is finally over, and now that the dust is settling, we are starting to get a feel for the new guy, Bob Behler. We know that he is from the University of Massachusetts. We know he has done March Madness and a few big-time sporting events. But there is still so much we don't know about the guy. For instance, who is his favorite character on LOST? We'll have to check Brian Murphy's blog in two months to find out.
Our immediate observation is that he seems like a great candidate. The immediate observation of most Bronco fans is that he is not Paul J. That he can be both a great candidate and not Paul J. Schneider is a blessing and a curse, but we feel that a few years down the road, the former will be much more apparent than the latter.
What gives us our blind hope? Mostly Behler's photo. Merely looking at Behler, it appears he oozes professionalism. We feel like we should not go up and talk to him unless we are wearing a cardigan and drinking something named after a golfer. And good thing, too, because Boise State deserves someone of Behler's caliber who will handle the radio position with class, talent, and expertise. Will there be duck au gratin in the broadcast booth? Maybe. Will we hear the word "conflagration" during a BSU blowout? Don't be surprised. One thing's for sure is that Chris Fowler will no longer be the most nattily dressed man in the media room when ESPN comes to town.
Taking a step back from the situation, there are a lot of interesting subplots to notice.
1. Replacing Paul J in the minds of Bronco fans will not be easy.
Hours after the Statesman posted a Behler story, there were 50 comments discussing, to a varying grammatical degree, the merits of Behler versus Paul J. For every fan that is happy to see Paul J sail off into the sunset (and take his broadcast mistakes with him), there are two who cannot even fathom having any other voice on the radio.
2. The effusive praise of Behler from UMass fans.
If the heartfelt reaction from Behler's former listeners is any consolation, Bronco fans are in good hands. We have yet to come across anyone who thought poorly of him.
It won't be the same without him, the ultimate pro and was in my opinion
the best we ever had in my 40 years following UMass. Best of luck Bob
you will be sorely missed!
Bob - If you see this thanks for all of your hard work. You behind the mike enhanced UMass sports for me...whether I was there or not. You'll be missed. Enjoy the potatoes.
3. Behler was third on Peak's list.
We're not sure which is a worse offense--that Peak was forced to settle for its third choice or that an announcer of Behler's caliber was third on the list to begin with. We mentioned earlier today that Peak will be interviewing two candidates for the color commentator position; shouldn't they get three just to be safe?
4. When will Behler's first broadcast be?
Everyone has written about Behler's first broadcast at the season-opener on August 30, but we are not naive enough to think that we won't hear Behler's voice before then. Peak would be doing a disservice to fans if they did not broadcast at least the final fall scrimmage. Although, on second thought, doing a disservice to BSU fans is what Peak seems to do best.