Philly Media Sports’s (PMS) Weblog

Out of the Zu – Marc Zumoff is Wayoff

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on May 8, 2008

I was so thrilled when Marc Zumoff began announcing 76ers games. His was a fresh voice.  He knew the game and he reported it with clarity, with just the right amount of enthusiasm. He brought the games alive. Zu was a joy.

As he settled in, I thought Zu was on a path to the greatness of Merrill Reese and Harry Kalas. There is a beauty to the way Reese and Kalas call a game.  They clearly root root root for the good guys, but they tell a creditable story, while not getting in the way of that story.  Yes, Zu was headed in that august direction, but sadly (and I AM sad about this) he has become a cliché-ridden bore.  And worse, the clichés are of his own labored creation.  Instead of reporting the game, he seems to be saying, ”Hey everybody, look at me!  Wait till you hear this one! Ain’t I clever?”

Zumoff has coined so many catch phrases that he assaults the poor listener with what seems like scripted inserts. I mean Marv Albert has “Yes,” and Dick Enberg has “Oh, my,” but one catch phrase is not enough for Zu. No, Zumoff seems to have an endless supply of them. Now, when I watch a 76ers game on TV, I feel like I am under continuing attack with Marc’s precious and predictable “Zumoffisms.” Instead of reporting the game – which he once did so well – he postures and preens by churning out his stash of in-game clichés. He makes it painful to listen to the telecasts.

Here’s a list of Zumoffisms, right off the top of my head:  

takes him to the weight room

turning garbage into gold

mining for gold 

lock all windows and doors

in among the trees

bust a move 

heaves it down

double vision


That’s nine of them.  I’ll bet there are at least nine more.

If Zumoff could get back to making the game about the game, instead of about him, watching the 76ers on TV could become fun again.  But for now, Zu is both predictable and heavy handed (heavy mouthed?). Sad to say, he’s made himself more important than the game. 

P.S.  While we’re on the subject of sports announcing, let me just say:  Bob Salmi must go!  His relentlessly preachy commentary is so tiring, so tedious. I’ll bet you weren’t aware of this little known fact: basketball was not invented by Dr. James Naismith, or even by Stephen A. Smith. No, it was Salmi.  Just ask him. 



2 Responses

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  1. William Sole said, on March 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Blogging keeps me insane. Keep up all the positive work. I too love to blog. I found this one to be very informative

    • phillymediasports said, on April 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you. I was getting constipated and just had to flush it out. More to come in the next few days. JJ

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