HOWTO: Remove Annoying Announcers From Sports

If you’re like us and you’re sick of listening to Joe Theismann overstate everything on Monday Night Football, this might be the tip for you. Joe seems like he’s just stepped out of the womb, doesn’t he? Every touchdown is a game winner to Joe. Anyway, here’s a feature you didn’t know you were getting when you sunk that cash into a 5.1 system.

A Duke University student has figured out which speakers to mute in order to filter out the announcers. So simple, so deadly, so inside.

If you are sick and tired of listening to Vitale, and you are fortunate enough to have access to an audio receiver + surround sound speakers, here is an easy and 100% effective way to eliminate Vitale and Patrick from your viewing experience. If the game is being broadcast in Dolby Digital 5.1 (not sure if that means the game has to be in high def or not, the audiophiles on the board can correct me), the audio is divided up such that the rear channels are *only* the ambient crowd and stadium noises.

On a whim during the Indiana game, I muted the front-left, front-center, front-right, and subwoofer – leaving only my rear channels. To my delight, the only sound remaining was that of Cameron: sneakers squeaking on the hard wood, the crowd shouting, and the occasional PA announcement. You don’t hear a peep out of ESPN! If you already have a surround sound setup, you should test this out (unless you enjoy hearing Vital sing ‘Hear Comes Santa Claus’).

We’re trying this next Monday. We are so excited. Go Bears. —MEGHANN MARCO

You Can’t Hear Me Baby!!!!!!!! [Awful Announcing]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Marcus says:

    Am I just such a ridiculous audiophile that no one else is bothered by this:

    But then you’d only have two speakers on! I, personally, cringe any time I cant devise a tactic to make every single speaker produce noise in some way.

  2. Smoking Pope says:

    @Marcus: Considering that most people would gladly be deaf rather than listen to Joe Theisman, I’d say having 2 speakers to listen to is akin to learning that you can avoid cholera by drinking only beer.

  3. oudemia says:

    Huh. I just turn off the sound and put on the radio if I hate the folks calling the game on tv.

  4. keane says:

    So long, Tim McCarver.

  5. Where is your brotherly love for DeadSpin? Nary a word of those tequilla overlords.

  6. rbf2000 says:

    I’m a Redskins fan, so I don’t mind hearing Joe’s commentary.

    But, if the game is broadcast in 5.1, you should just be able to turn off the center channel to avoid the announcers. DD routes all speech to the center channel, which is kind of ironic, because you most likely spent more on your front towers than your center speaker, but the center speaker does the majority of the work for any DD 5.1 system.

    Although, on my receiver, if you tell it that you don’t have a channel, it will route the sound to a channel that you do have (i.e., if you tell it you don’t have a center channel, it will route the speech to the front speakers). It would be a different story if you simply unplugged the center channel (the receiver would still be sending it a signal, but obviously would not actually play anything).

  7. LTS! says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if they just used SAP to allow you to drop out the announcers? After all, it’s used so infrequently on most stations.

  8. Hirayuki says:

    I subscribe to TV Japan through Comcast (long story) and discovered that by using my cable box to set the default SAP language to Spanish (which puts TV Japan’s audio channel on English for those programs that support it), I lose the audio on the vast majority of network TV commercials. Talk about a perk!

  9. spinachdip says:

    oudemia – that works too, but the TV is on a longer delay than the radio (1 or 2 seconds? I don’t remember), so you end up hearing what happens before you see it, which can be annoying.

  10. adamondi says:

    I am glad that I am not alone in my hatred for the announcers of Monday Night Football. Why, ESPN? Why do you hate us so? Why must we be inflicted with THREE crappy announcers when most networks only punish viewers with TWO crappy announcers?

    Al Michaels and John Madden are the only announcing team that doesn’t piss me off at this point. And that is because John says a lot of things that can be interpreted as extremely dirty (and therefore funny) while Al just seems to not give a crap anymore. Very enjoyable.

  11. Panhandler says:

    @spinachdip: You’ll tell me it’s not worth the trouble and you’re probably right, but I listened to all the Gator games over the Gator Radio Network this year while pulling video from Comcast… and you’re right about the video delay, which is why one needs to buffer them both. I pulled the radio stream from Yahoo Sports (which causes a few seconds’ delay), then buffered the video using the TiVo. With some judicious tweaking, I could get it lined up just right.

    Hardly ideal, but it’s one potential solution for a limited group of fans. “Oh, my!”

  12. spinachdip says:

    Panhandler – No, that’s great, actually. And as a Carolina basketball fan, I have to be subjected to Vitale or Packer a lot, so it’d be worth it, especially since I’d get the the hometown radio announcer… except doesn’t support Macs.

  13. horstmary says:

    The 3 announcers on Monday night football are awful. I have turned off the games so far this year as I can’t stand the garbage. Also I don’t like the sideline commentators on any network.
    Just show the games and SHUT UP.

  14. TIMCHUCK says:

    Dolby looks for Mono signals and directs them to the center channel speaker. The best way to handle the announcers is to just turn down the center channel about 12db. As annoying as they are, you do need just a touch of the boys. A touch mind you, so work that center channel volume, even more than the master volume. If you mute all three front channels, you’ll lose the stadium PA announcer and the sound from the field, which are essential. I actually turn up the FL,FR channels 3db. Lowering the center channel makes the commercials less overpowering as well, so much so that occasionally I don’t even mute them. TimChuck Audio Engineer