Letter to the editor: Great football program deserves better radio announcers

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Most people can agree that Hurricane athletics is second to none. The list reads like a resume: five football national championships, four baseball national championships and countless awards in other sports.

However, there is one award UM will never hold for a long time and that is the award for best college broadcasters. In fact, I am more than willing to say that UM has the worst broadcasters among all Division I schools. Therefore I believe that Joe Zagacki should hit the unemployment line.

Zagacki is affectionately known to his few (and I do use the word few loosely) fans as “Joe Z” and is the main play-by-play voice for football, basketball and the occasional baseball game.

Listening to Zagacki call a game is like nails against the blackboard. There are times when I avoided listening to Hurricane games on radio because of Zagacki. His voice is so monotone and when he tries to yell he sounds like a person who needs to use a mechanical larynx because he lost his original one due to smoking.

Zagacki’s voice is so bad it has gotten him major notoriety from such radio personalities as Dan LeBatard and WQAM veteran Neil Rogers.

There is no requirement of being friendly in this line of work and Zagacki makes sure that he does not fit the bill. As one former co-worker of Zagacki told me, “Joe is a cold person because he is constantly looking over his shoulder thinking someone will take his job.” Zagacki’s unprofessional conduct also has gotten him into trouble when he confronted WVUM announcers after a baseball game last May.

My question is, whose ass is Zagacki kissing to keep his job as the voice of one of the proudest universities in the country? I was surprised to not find one person who said they enjoyed listening to a Zagacki-led broadcast. Some went even farther saying they would rather listen to WVUM instead of Zagacki.

There are several candidates out there who I think would be more than qualified to be the new voice of the Hurricanes to bring credibility and class back to the broadcast booth. One option should be Dave Lamont, the morning host of 610 WIOD as well as the play-by-play guy for some of ABC’s college football games. Jeremy Marks-Peltz would also be a good choice. Marks-Peltz graduated from UM in 2005 and has an excellent reputation in the UM community.

There are many other options out there but both Lamont and Marks-Peltz are wins in my book.

In the meantime, Zagacki should probably line up for a job at Don Bailey Carpet with that other stooge who thinks he is an analyst.

– Ben Brislawn
B.S.C. ’08
Miami, FL

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  1. COMPLETELY agree with this writer. As a life-long Hurricanes sports fan, and current student, this has been a bane to the sports program forever. It’s astonishing that nothing has been done to fix this. Considering how much money we probably pay this guy, hopefully this will be part of our “economic cutbacks”. If not, at least offer the same pay to somebody with a decent voice.