Thursday, October 25, 2007

He's No 'Tokyo Rose'

Jim Rose, the play-by-play voice for the Nebraska Cornhusker football radio network, is often portrayed as a cheerleader for the NU program. His critics say he’s TOO pro-Huskers, too much of a homer, on the air when describing the action.

But Rose says he’s “never tried to pump sunshine into anything other than to try to look for positives.”

We caught up with Rose this week to see how hard it has been to keep a positive spin on the Husker program this season as the Big Red meltdown continues.

“I think my goal has been to not make it any worse,” Rose told the City Weekly. “We know what has happened, but my goal is not to denigrate the team, denigrate the players, denigrate the coaches in a way that was personal or sarcastic. Nobody wants to hear that out of me or anybody else.

“What I’ve tried to do is offer some positives. I think what people have noticed from me this year, or at least I hope so, is that if there isn’t a positive, I don’t say there is a positive. I say these guys are X, Y, Z, but I don’t say, ‘Oh, but you know what, we came CLOSE to making a tackle there.’ You haven’t heard that out of me.

“That insults the audience, that insults the credibility of the audience and I haven’t done it. You haven’t heard any false enthusiasm out of me this year. I think I have been enthusiastic when the team has done great things, I think I’ve been moderate when they haven’t. And that’s been my goal all along. That hasn’t changed; that’s always been my goal on the air from the very first game I did as a high school kid way back in the early 1980s.

“I never tried to create something that wasn’t there, positive or negative.

“Other people might say, ‘Well, Jim Rose was out there pumping the program and out there telling everyone how great it was. Well, what I was doing was being supportive of the program, and I think there’s a big difference.

“I’m not some sort of propaganda mister, some Tokyo Rose. I was a guy who was out there supporting it and trying to be positive because that’s what my job required.

“Can you imagine what kind of devastating effect it would have had on the network if I the play-by-play guy had been out there at booster groups or on the air saying, ‘You know, I’m not really sure about these guys; I just don’t know.’

“If I would have said that it would have had a devastating affect on our network’s ability to generate advertising, not to mention how inappropriate it would be. We’re a corporate partner with the University of Nebraska. We’re a partner with them. We support the program; we support the people in the program. If those people change we support the new people.

“Now, if it’s hard for people to understand that, then they just don’t have an imagination or they’ve never been in business.

“That doesn’t mean we lack credibility, or that I’m making up stuff, that doesn’t mean that I’m anything other than what I’m suppose to be. And I’ve never seen once a marketing strategy that involved negative publicity. I’ve never once believed that you can market something successfully by first extolling the negatives.

“People can draw their own conclusions, and I think most people understand the role I play. There are talk shows every day, there are fan forums every day, there are opinion pages in the newspaper every day where people can offer their opinion. It’s great. It’s a wonderful part of our industry. So it’s not like people don’t have a place to vent their opinions. We have it on our own network for three hours every night. We have a talk show where people can call in and say anything they want, as long as they don’t use any profanity or slander someone.

“They can criticize the program, they can celebrate the program, they can criticize people in the program, they can say what they want.

“So they don’t need it from me on Saturday. They can get it a lot of other places.”

We’ll have more of the Jim Rose interview in next week’s issue of the City Weekly.


Anonymous said...

Are you friggin' kidding me!??!?!

"We support the program; we support the people in the program. If those people change we support the new people."

Yeah, and you tear down the old people before they even have a chance to move out of their old office. Remember Frankie Solich??? The guy Jim Rose once said was "destined to be the head coach of Nebraska." Threw his butt under the bus as soon as his buddy Steve threw up the noose.

Wonder what Gary Sharp or John Bishop think of Tokyo Rose? Sure didn't have a problem running them out of the baseball booth when he felt his job threatened.

And Jim, isn't part of your job to SELL the network? No conflict of interest there, eh?

Anonymous said...

What's up with his hair in that picture? Looks like he just rolled out of bed after a hard night of drinking Natty Light.

Anonymous said...

Why does it seem that one week it the biggest sunshine pumping ever and then, when it is obvious that Smiley is gone, they start to throw everybody under the bus. Hmm....

Anonymous said...

Jim makes his money selling the Huskers. Is a salesman going to go on the air and tell the world that the product he's selling Monday through Friday sucks? No, of course not. So, he'll paint the picture as bright as he can, to keep that 1.7 million dollars he's billing from drying up.

That money, by the way, is the only thing keeping him employed by Host Communications.

Anonymous said...

Rose may be alot of things, but one thing is not - A good pbp guy.
The fact is that rose sucks.
He had his chance and failed. It is time to get someone else in there

Anonymous said...

wait -- there's MORE to the interview? SWEEEET!!!

Anonymous said...

Admit it, guys. Rose is 100% right.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember Rose throwing Solich under the bus? I remember at the famous SP news conference Rose wishing Smiley had given Frank more props.

Face it, you guys would find fault in whoever does that job.

Anonymous said...

Guess Rosie shouldn't have given this interview.

Anonymous said...

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