The 49ers announced this morning that they are bringing in Tim Ryan to replace Eric Davis as the color analyst for the 49ers radio broadcasts.
This is a bit of a surprise move as Davis has only been in the 49ers booth since replacing Gary Plummer at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. In my non-expert opinion, I thought Davis did a good job. He had no problem breaking down plays and explaining the action to those who couldn’t watch the game on TV. He also seemed to have nice chemistry with Ted Robinson.
With the 49ers’ move into Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara next season, the team plans to increase the amount of team-produced media.
Former 49ers cornerback Eric Davis, who has served as the 49ers’ radio analyst the past three seasons, would have been unable to participate on a regular basis due to his daily work in Southern California on NFL AM, the NFL Network’s morning show.
“I loved the gig the past three years,” Davis said in a text message. “With the new in-house media format the team will have moving forward, they want their guys on site almost daily at the facilities. I couldn’t work (that) with my network gig. All’s good on both sides. Simple logistics.”
Ryan has a long track record as a broadcaster but has primarily only been on TV, in that he wasn’t always thought very highly of. From Sports on Earth’s “The Best and Worst NFL Announcers”:
While Dierdorf may carry the torch as the worst commentator in the NFL, the Myers/Ryan crew holds the honor of worst tandem. Ryan loves him some clichés, as 20 of his 55 infractions came in that category. Some of his favorites include “peak at the right time,” “they believe they can win,” “its all about courage and no fear,” “this team is building character and starting to believe” and “who’s going to step up and make a play?” On four separate occasions he reminded viewers that football is a “win-loss business.” He also had this gem at the end of the Week 5 Panthers-Cardinals game: “Nobody can point fingers; everyone needs to look themselves in the mirror and self-reflect.” I now imagine Tim Ryan standing in front of a mirror trying to peer into his soul.
Ryan had some noteworthy nonsensical statements as well. He doesn’t know when to use “well” vs. “good” (“they play good in December”). I don’t know what the phrase “play opportunities” means, but Ryan uses it a lot. He will surely be getting an angry telegram from Bob Costas for the phrase “Dansby shot his gun up inside there.” I would be just fine if Tim never says “Pick-six house call touchdown” again. He also believes “People don’t know J.J. Watt as a household name” and “[with] social media it’s easy to forget how good Arian Foster has been.” To begin a sentence with, “The problem with being down 14 points …” sets the rest of the sentence up for failure. And, perhaps my favorite: “I’ll tell ya, Seattle’s gotta keep ’em out of the end zone in terms of a touchdown here.” No, in terms of bunnies. Seattle has to keep them out of the end zone in terms of bunnies. OF COURSE IN TERMS OF A TOUCHDOWN THAT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU GET INTO THE END ZONE DEAR GOD TIM RYAN.
Chris Myers does more talking than the average play-by-play guy, perhaps as a result of recognizing how bad Tim Ryan is at his job.
It will be interesting to see how well he is able to transition that experience to radio and how is able to work with Robinson. Another note is that Ryan doesn’t have much of a 49ers background beyond his time calling 49ers preseason games, playing his college football at USC and professionally with the Chicago Bears. Even though football isn’t as big as baseball on the radio, it will interesting how this switch in broadcasters is received by 49ers fans.
And that’s how we’ll segue into today’s Amici’s contest question:
What do you, the sports-listening consumer, think about the Tim Ryan hire?
Someone who comments will win a Large Pizza (any toppings) from Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria.
my opinion? i guess it depends on what is meant by "team-produced media". I'll reserve my opinion until we know what this entails and tim ryan's role for it.
Since I am deaf and don't listen to audio broadcasts, it is kind of moot for me to comment, but I prefer a commentator who is an in-house type (former 49er). Ryan never played for the 49ers. It only helps that he is very excited to do work inside the 49ers organization.
Not sure it really matters much since most people watch the game on TV and dont listen to the radio
One positive is we dont have to hear him on tv along with chris myers
I'm not sure about this move. Eric Davis was great on the 49ers radio broadcasts! Tim Ryan is ok, but yeah, he is kind of boring. This obviously means that he won't be on FOX anymore, and he won't be doing 49ers preseason games on KPIX with Dennis O'Donnell. It will be interesting to who his replacements are there.
I guess this is good for Eric Davis in that he can focus on his NFL Network gig full-time, and he wouldn't have worry about all the traveling during the NFL season between the 49ers and his NFL Network gig, especially with his NFL Network gig starting at 3 AM PT, which is ridiculous. But yes, I'll miss Eric Davis on the 49ers broadcasts.
Too bad. Davis was terrific. I listened to most all the games the last 5 years and Davis was a pleasant surprise when he replaced Plummer. And he became an excellent analyst who was informative and entertaining.
On Ryan: Isn't there 3 Tim Ryan's? There's the older CBS play by play guy, good voice, been around forever; then wasn't there the Atlanta Falcon Tim Ryan, defensive linemen, TV color guy, keen intellect and prolific fiction writer? Then the 3rd Tim Ryan, I think we're getting this version. Heck, I'm Tim Ryaned out!
@wacker Reply to me: The guy I'm confusing him with is Tim Green. Can't we get Tim Green!? Now he was good in the booth.
Overall I liked Davis. But I really didn't like all his yelling and cheering. "GOT HIM!! GOT HIM!!" "WOO HOO HOO" "YEAH!!".
I prefer broadcasters who can contain themselves. I know they are paid by the team and they want the team to win but I just can't stand the homerism.
Davis was always good at breaking it down though. He knows exactly what he's talking about and how to explain. I really don't think Tim Ryan would be capable of doing so since he wasn't able to do it on TV. Explanation on radio is even tougher.
I'm skeptical. On Murph & Murph this morning, Tim didn't even know that the area inside 20 yard line is called the Toyota Red Zone.
Anybody but Tim Ryan. Tim Ryan is a throw back to the announcers of the 60s and 70s.
And that is a place we do not need to return to for modern TV broadcasts.
It is 2014. Please find someone who knows the year and era.
I'll miss Davis, I thought he was very insightful, authentic and passionate. I don't have a TV and listened to every game on the radio (with the exception of the playoffs, where I'd watch it else where)
In big games - I would put the radio on to take advantage of it's live feed being about 15 seconds ahead of the TV - so on Sunday - just before the final play of the game - Eric stated:" Ted, this is where legends are made - let's see what happens" ..................and the legend of Richard Sherman was cemented forever.......
Anyway, I liked Eric, no opinion on Tim, though on Murph and Mac today he was critical of the Niners last play on Sunday, so let's hope the candor continues, BUT...............
The NIners and that new stadium are modeling Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, more and more, as each day passes, total control over the product. No wonder Harbough has been being nice to the media of late - it's a sympathy card as in - "Your days as reporters around here are going away fast."
I'm afraid the soul of the franchise is dwindling away to marketing, corporate manipulation and branding.
@paperback writer Is your last comment a take on the Marathe promotion?
deepee29: Uh, no, more a take on how difficult this stadium/location/pricing/management mentality is getting away from the heart and soul of the loyal 49er fan and football fan, in general.
Managing the product and message is not good for fans, in my opinion.
It's getting like ownership is modeling Kap's Beats commercial - shutting out anything they don;t want to hear - or THINK - they might not want to hear, if they were listening.
EXAMPLE: That ridiculous memo of how to cheer at a game!
The transition from Candlestick to Silicon Valley will make the transition from the Stick to AT+T seem as if the Giants' move was only across the street. This move may not be toomany miles, but SOOOOO far apart in so many other ways.
Poor Ted ! He will now need to be both play by play AND color guy, if Ryan is as boring as he usually has been on their channel 5 Preseason games.
Dear God no
I really liked Davis for all of the reasons you mentioned. His timing with Ted Robinson was damn near perfect. Long winded when they needed to kill a little time but always brief enough to give Ted a chance to add to his comments. TIm Ryan on the other hand has two modes; Short and stupid, long and stupid. I think I'd rather have Shermans brother breaking down plays.
The fact that Ryan didn't play for the 49ers isn't such a big deal. Wayne Walker became a fan favorite both as a color analyst and sports anchor even though he spent all 15 years of his career with the Detroit Lions.
The only time I listen to the radio broadcast is when I'm stuck doing something on a Sunday that forces me to drive while the game's on (which hasn't happened since Harbaugh arrived), so I'm not too worried either way. The main difference is that Davis is strongest when discussing coverages and one-on-one battles between corners and receivers, and Ryan is at his best when dissecting line play.
Tim has fairly big shoes to fill. He will really need to work on his yell: http://blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers/2012/01/17/radiotv-calls-of-alex-smiths-td-pass-to-vernon-davis/