Deckerhoff's Homer Act Wears Thin
The Tampa Tribune, published 8 December 2003

The Tampa Tribune's editorial staff decided that we would mute our television and turn our radio on so we could listen to our Bucs against the Saints. That is a normal statement for Bucs Radio Network announcer Gene Deckerhoff. It actually is comical to listen to Deckerhoff and hear him bleed red and pewter. Actually, nauseating is a better description.

Deckerhoff, along with former Bucs linebacker Scot Brantley and sideline reporter Ronnie Lane, call the action on the Bucs Radio Network, made up of stations from Tampa to Las Vegas (apart from the internet which is a seriously sore subject for our British friends).

In his 16th season as play-by- play man for Bucs broadcasts, Deckerhoff has become the voice of the Bucs. That's OK for public appearances and Super Bowl celebrations, but the homer act gets old - fast - on the radio. During the opening series alone, Deckerhoff used ``we'' or ``us'' nine times. Every team wants to project a positive image to its radio listeners but Deckerhoff goes a little bit too far. His rah-rah approach may work on Florida State broadcasts but it doesn't at the NFL level.

NICE PASS, GENE: On the Bucs' first touchdown, Deckerhoff screams, ``We throw a pass to the tight end for a touchdown.'' Gee, I thought Brad Johnson threw the pass to Ken Dilger.

BRANTLEY MIFFED: The radio guys don't question coaching decisions very often but Brantley was critical of the Bucs' decision of player personnel. ``Why is [Michael] Pittman in the game instead of [Thomas] Jones?'' Brantley said. ``And you don't run a counter play on fourth-and-one.''

Brantley continued to question the use of Pittman. ``You have to have Jones in the game. He's been productive and Pittman has done nothing.''

GET A SPOTTER: In the first half alone, Deckerhoff misidentified Jones five times. I know the No. 22 (Jones) on the Bucs jersey looks like No. 32 (Pittman) from a distance but as an announcer, you need to know who's in the game. If it weren't for Brantley calling out names, Deckerhoff might not get any right. Not getting a name correct has become a Deckerhoff trademark.