NFL fans in the UK know there are a few things that are assured as the Sun rising each morning and that Ed Hochuli works out. They are that Kevin Cadle will butcher any presenting gig. Mike Carlson will always be amazing and that Nick Halling will butcher a Thanksgiving Turkey and openly root for his team the Pittsburgh Steelers on live NFL coverage on Sky Sports.
Well last night the NFL season opened up with what turned out to be a great game (certainly if you have Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees as your fantasy QBs) but there was somebody missing. Kevin Cadle was there and along side him was Neil Reynolds and big Cecil Martin. Big strange I thought but Nick Halling has been known to miss the odd Thursday game game so I wasn’t too concerned. I then did some googling and found out that Halling will not be on the NFL coverage this year.
Some will rejoice and some will lament. The majority won’t even care less. This blogger though does and it is a sad day. I’m not a huge Nick Halling guy on other sports. I didn’t like him when he fronted Ice Hockey on Five and wasn’t a huge fan of him voicing over football for The Football League Show. However on the NFL it just worked and the banter with him and Kevin Cadle really helped the show run seamlessly.
He wasn’t forced out the door but instead chose to go by his own volition as he’s gone from freelancer to staffer seemingly as he’s now on the Sky boxing team. After so long on the NFL it would seem surprising that he couldn’t do both roles in a freelance way so logically the move to boxing is a full-time one.
Sky’s boxing output took a dramatic hit last year when Ian Darke left Sky to become the voice of football across the pond for ESPN and with Adam Smith not being heard on commentary too often recently it seems to have opened up a spot. Sky have increased their boxing output (but decreased their PPV output) and brought in John Rawling in a freelance capacity as well. I like John Rawling on boxing but Nick Halling I don’t. I really don’t.
So we get a decrease in quality output in the NFL where Halling shone and a decrease in boxing where Darke shone through like a beacon and Smith seems to have been moved towards presenting and fronting the sport.
Sky have made some poor decisions recently and they can be tracked back to Ian Darke’s decision to leave. Getting rid of Mark Bolton and replacing him with Scott Minto was disappointing and this move is just as bad. At least they went with Ed Chamberlain as their primary football guy over David Jones so that is one thing but put me in the disappointed camp that Nick Halling has moved on from the NFL.
He may have been a Scummer but he was good value.
For news of Sky’s NFL Coverage Coverage for 2014 – including Kevin Cadle, Neil Reynolds, Shaun Gayle, Jeff Reinebold and Cecil Martin then please follow the link.
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