Or at least demote him. For the sake of your product, you really have no choice.
The fact is Bill Goldberg is a good man. He’s a dedicated (if horribly flawed) broadcaster, a huge supporter of the sport and appears to be an all-around nice guy. But when he is given a microphone, he cheapens your product. The Showtime broadcast of MMA events is good, but the UFC’s game is a little tighter (commercials and movie trailers notwithstanding). And part of the reason why their game is tighter is because they don’t keep folks who are clearly unable to handle the job employed for very long (Kerri Kasem, anyone?).
Here’s my recommendation: keep Goldberg around for the “Toe to Toe” segments. He works exceedingly well there. Careful editing cuts out his bumbling and stumbling and captures his occasional wit. He is believable in the role because of his athletic prowess and he is respectful enough to the fighters to make sure the focus is on them and their strengths. That is a role that works well.
But having him interview fighters in the cage is a terrible, terrible idea. He doesn’t pose good questions, he pauses awkwardly, is too easily distracted, doesn’t respond to producer’s keys very well and so on. And in the broadcast booth things aren’t much better. Because there are three commentators instead of two, everyone has to be tighter with their language. That would ordinarily be a good thing, but Goldberg – while improved – tends to read what sound like prepared statements. I know every commentator does that, but they are able to sell the improvisational angle much more effectively.
What does he really add? To the newcomers to EliteXC/Strikeforce who watched last night’s fights and loved them, nothing. They all noted just how much better Joe Rogan was at the gig and couldn’t understand why Quadros wasn’t taking Goldberg’s job. Granted, Quadros is competent if boring, but that’s better than incompetent.
So replace him. Fast. Before the CBS show, in fact. And if you need a replacement, use me. I write speeches for a living. I’ve done live color commentary for MMA, hosted my own MMA radio shows, hosted my own political talk show on terrestrial radio, and appeared on Sirius Satellite radio and ESPN radio (national and local) to talk MMA. It’s a shameless plug, but someone’s got to do the job.
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