Fans protest CBS commentary at SEC title game

Monday, December 9, 2013 | 6:20 p.m. CST; updated 7:29 p.m. CST, Monday, December 9, 2013

COLUMBIA — The Southeastern Conference championship game ended in a loss for Missouri on Saturday, leaving fans frustrated. However, many say the loss wasn't the only reason for their disappointment.

Some fans said they were outraged by comments made by CBS announcers Gary Danielson and Verne Lundquist, such as that MU had "cute little plays." Using the hashtag #muteCBS, fans shared their anger on Twitter.

On Saturday, Alabama fan Andy Bearden made a petition on to fire Danielson and Lundquist because their commentary was "extremely negative for most of the game." As of 6 p.m. Monday, 1,375 supporters have signed the petition.

"I believe this petition is very important because the greatest conference in college football deserves to have the best commentators calling the biggest game every Saturday," Bearden said in a phone interview.

Multiple attempts to contact CBS representatives Monday were not successful.

MU students Caroline Fischer and Taylor Strader also joined the protest against the commentary, writing a letter about it to CBS on Saturday. They shared it on social media, gathering 1,035 likes on Facebook, 1,608 retweets and 1,179 favorites on Twitter. (See highlights in a Storify below.)

In the letter, they mentioned that the commentators referred to the competition as "our Auburn" and said that Missouri should "return to the Big 12." They called for professionalism and respect from the commentators in the future.

"We wrote the letter to CBS because we are tired of getting put down time after time," Fischer said in an email.

Strader said the MU community has been supportive since they've posted the letter.

"There are so many people who are standing behind us and advocating for our letter," Strader said. "It truly is a great fan base to be a part of."

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Michael Williams December 9, 2013 | 8:20 p.m.

I, too, watched much of the lead in to this game, starting days in advance. I was dismayed at how little air time Mizzou was getting. One example was how few Mizzou highlight plays (compared to other teams) were shown during what little discussion occurred. It was rather obvious the announcers, regardless the station or venue, had little regard for Mizzou; indeed, the theme was "MU shouldn't be here; they are upstarts and cannot play at this level."

Yes, I was disappointed in their analysis...or lack thereof.

Unfortunately, our gripes carry little weight now. After all, we lost and, in doing so, validated their lack of respect.

Yes, our offense put up 42 points. But, let's face it folks....we got hammered.

Gripes of "Where's the respect?" carry more weight if those NOT giving respect are busy eating their words.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 10, 2013 | 6:31 a.m.

I watched that game on CBS (because the Big 10 championship game was a night game) and thought the comment containing the word "cute" was very odd: sports announcers don't use that word much, even when covering women's athletics. :)

As for switching athletic conferences, there's doubtless going to be some TEMPORARY downside involved. Some of your former conference partners may be miffed about your having left, while you may not be initially welcomed "with open arms" by all of your new conference mates. Life, athletics included, isn't all upsides.

BTW when are Messrs. Deaton, Alden and Pinkel going to tell Mizzou fans the reason(s) MU didn't succeed in joining the Big Ten Athletic Conference? We know an attempt was made, prior to joining the SEC. One daily metro newspaper in Big Ten country has long since published their version of events, whether accurate or not.

(Report Comment)

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