I listen to ESPN Radio a lot. I listen to the jocks they have on there as long as I can, then I turn it off. That means that Freddie Coleman gets about 10 seconds of my time. Ever listen to this ultra-maroon? Ever wonder how the hell he got on radio?
I tried to find out more about Coleman. I found no bio on the ESPN Radio website. His name comes up on Google searches, but only referencing the fact that he’s a part of the ESPN Radio GameNight team. There is no hard data on his career or how he came to be hired by ESPN. He’s apparently a cipher—which is maybe no surprise given how he comes across on the air.
If you dig a little deeper on Google, you can come up with the fact that Freddie Coleman attended Mansfield University, located in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, in the north central part of the state. Mansfield plays Division II football, and just concluded a 0-10 season, yet another banner year for the Mountaineers, who usually are lucky to win a single game. And the Mounties don’t just lose—they get hammered. Among this year’s wonderful performances were the 46-0 loss at Slippery Rock, the 61-7 drubbing at the hands of East Stroudsburg, the 51-7 debacle at Kutztown, and the season-ending 41-0 defeat versus Millersville. The Mounties are nothing if not consistent.
So they can’t play football at Mansfield, but apparently they can’t teach the English language there either. Ever heard esteemed alum Freddie pronounce the word radio? He says “RAY-do.” He always says “RAY-do.” You’d think a guy who was having a career in radio would know how to pronounce the very word. It’s “RAY-Dee-O,” Freddie. Get a clue.
The other night, Freddie stumble-bumbled his way through a sentence in which he used the phrase, “in that standpoint.” The cliche phrase, if that’s what he meant, is “FROM that standpoint,” which means ol’ Freddie can’t even use a cliche correctly. But what I think he meant was “in that eventuality,” in which case what he said was simply ignorant nonsense.
How does a guy gifted with substandard pronunciation skills with no sense of English usage—Anybody wanna bet that Freddie can’t spell, either?—qualify as an ESPN broadcaster? And remind me not to recommend Mansfield University to anybody as a seat of higher learning.
I’m not alone, either. Here’s Tom Danehy in a memo to ESPN executives in the 9/21/06 Tucson Weekly:
“Can you find people who speak the language? I don't mind the slang and vernacular (although Stuart Scott's shtick wears thin after the 5,000th invocation of ‘cooler than the other side of the pillow’). What I do mind are people who haven't got a grasp of basic grammar and syntax. It's infuriating to hear an announcer (Freddie Coleman, for example) say, ‘He should have ran’ or ‘She could have went.’ “
So if anybody out there in the blogosphere knows anything at all about this Coleman guy’s resume, drop me a line. He doesn’t appear to be an ex-jock of any repute, which otherwise would have supplied the only logical explanation for how he could have launched a broadcasting career. But even at that, since when are ex-athletes exempt from learning how to enunciate words properly and speak with literate competency? You can bet that when ESPN execs go on speaking junkets to colleges they stress to young wannabe broadcasters the importance of acquiring language skills and all that conventional crap. Then they go back to their offices and hand cushy, high-paying jobs that most of us would kill for to illiterate dummies like Freddie Coleman.
That’s our modern, hypocritical world for ya.
We don’t want anyone to go home empty-handed, though. Here, to the left, is a picture of the infamous Mr. Coleman speaking at Mansfield University. I wonder if anyone understood a word he said...
UPDATE: A reader on the West Coast e-mailed today to inform us that Freddie Coleman was a second-team all-PSAC selection at wide receiver for Mansfield in 1986. That solidifies the ex-jock connection, anyway.