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Random Rant: Defending Scott Ferrall

I’ve read one too many posts on this blog as well as others that are ripping Scott Ferrall and his performance as a ring announcer during this past Friday’s debut show for YAMMA Pit Fighting.

While I have not seen the event in its entirety, I have watched clips online and have also seen the infamous Ferrall video that is currently making the rounds.

Maybe I’m biased because I’ve listened to Ferrall since high school. I am a huge fan of his and listen to his show on Sirius Satellite Radio on an almost nightly basis. That’s the thing though — I’ve heard Ferrall and know what he’s about.

Ferrall is unique and doesn’t believe in presenting a cookie cutter template sports talk show. Nothing that he does is conventional. His style isn’t for everyone, but there are a lot of people who enjoy his show. Myself included.

Ferrall is great in the right role but putting him in as a ring announcer was short-sighted on the part of the organizers of YAMMA. To expect Ferrall to come in and play the role of traditional ring announcer — if that’s what they expected — was just unrealistic.

To think Ferrall wasn’t going to try and add his personal flair to the introductions in an attempt to make them more interesting is just ignorant. YAMMA is either at fault for not doing their homework or if they were familiar with Ferrall, then they are at fault for not casting him in a role that he was better suited for.

To me, the natural fit for someone as charismatic as Ferrall is as a backstage interviewer. The guy is all personality so why make him the ring announcer, which is traditionally a role where you have to restrain your personality? Let him talk to the fighters and see if he can ask them irreverent questions and draw something out of them.

To those who continue to rip the guy, chances are you’re not familiar with his sports talk show. Because if you were, you’d understand that the guy was just doing what he makes a living at doing every day. If you’re going to blame someone, you should blame YAMMA.

The fact that Ferrall’s presence on the show wasn’t promoted at all is another issue. Perhaps if they did, more of his listeners would have gone down there to check out the event. And if Ferrall had been playing to a more favorable crowd, his routine would have come off much differently. Instead, you had him trying to throw out one-liners that were met with absolutely no response. Trying to revolutionize the role of the ring announcer in front of a dead audience just wasn’t a good idea in hindsight.  Put him in front of a crowd that understands what he’s all about, and the end result might have been different.

The funny thing is that in the days proceeding the event, Ferrall has gotten more attention from the MMA media than any fighter involved on that card. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, at least YAMMA is getting some publicity. On the other hand, the tournament was supposed to build new stars and it’s not a good sign when more people are talking about your ring announcer than your tournament winner.

31 COMMENTS
  • MMA Junkie says:

    Great piece. I thought I was the only one who appreciated his attempt at doing something differently in MMA.

    If only he decided to “Shake it up!”

  • Evan says:

    “To those who continue to rip the guy, chances are you’re not familiar with his sports talk show. Because if you were, you’d understand that the guy was just doing what he makes a living at doing every day”

    Simply not true. I tried so hard to give that awful show a chance. I have even called in. It’s a matter of opinion but I think he is awful…I remember when Howard was trying to too introduce him to all of the listeners on his show and it was nothing but 45 minutes of disjointed ramblings which was a pretty accurate preview of his show.
    I am sure he is a great guy in person but his show is horrid.

  • “Maybe I’m biased because I’ve listened to Ferrall since high school. I am a huge fan of his and listen to his show on Sirius Satellite Radio on an almost nightly basis. That’s the thing though — I’ve heard Ferrall and know what he’s about.”

    You’re right, that’s exactly why you’re giving his performance some merit, but the fact is that his “flair” was horrible during the introductions. In fact, it really struck me as cheesy. Anybody who says: “Travis I want a room with a Wiuff” needs to think of some better ways to put flair into the show.

  • Evan says:

    “Ferrall is also slated to appear in the upcoming Tim Allen mixed Martial Arts movie “Redbelt” as an announcer”

    Looks like Redbelt is making the same mistake…

  • JJ says:

    Great rant Sam, I myself was a bit thrown off and humored at the beginning since I had never heard of Scott before but before it was all said and done I wasn’t at all upset about the fact that he added some personal flair and style to a normally dull announcing job.

  • Frankie says:

    Ferrall was the low point of the show for me. His announcing was just horrible…he sounds like he has throat cancer.

    His comments during the intros were anything but funny. It was embarrassing to watch, you could see the fighters/cornerman shaking their had as he spoke…it reminded me of smaller events where they have terrible in ring announcers who remind people to “get another beer” during the break. Ferrall was terrible, not funny, and took the show down a few notches.

  • Eric S. says:

    It’s nice to see that at least someone out there is defending Ferrall, but I have to agree with some of the other commenters on this one. I attended live and thought the guy was just terrible in every way that an announcer could be terrible. I understand it was Yamma’s decision to nab him for the show, but the man was absolutely painful to listen to…. just painful.

  • clint notestine says:

    I thought the guy made the show so bad it was good. If it wasn’t for his tracheotomy-man voice the YAMMA show would have been unwatchable. Waiting to see what asinine thing he would say was worth it.

  • Ronin says:

    Sam you should sit down and watch the whole event.. well come to think about don’t do that, watch every time talks Scott Ferrall It was horrible.

    I never heard of Scott Ferrall and after Yamma I never want to hear him again.
    I don’t know if he was putting on that voice or if he sounds like that all the time, but that voice would grate on Mother Theresa nerves.

    I think I speak for most people who didn’t know who Scott Ferrall was and watching him for the first time I was thinking who the hell is this guy?, OMG that voice..
    Why is he announcing this event?, LOL what did he just say?, and finally I never wanna see this guy again.

  • […] it’s pretty easy to just say Scott Ferrall sucks, Monsieur Sam Caplan takes another view of things: Ferrall is great in the right role but putting him in as a ring announcer was short-sighted on the […]

  • jeff the drunk says:

    excellent analysis sam. one thing that i noticed during last week’s shows was that scott kept complaining that YAMMA didn’t provide him with the background info on the fighters that he requested and also complained about the lack of communication from the promotion as to how they wanted him to approach his announcing duties. i’ve been listening to scott ever since he came over to sirius. although i’m a huge fan, i’ll be the first one to admit that his show is not for everyone. you either love the guy’s show or can’t stand him. he’s extremely knowledgeable about all sports and does a helluva job promoting MMA. maybe YAMMA was expecting scott’s involvement to generate some stern like numbers as far as PPV buys or ticket sales, who knows? but love him or hate him, he does a good job of promoting MMA and he at least deserves credit for that.

  • GoofyMonkey says:

    I’m a huge fan of Ferrall too. I love his Sirius show. That being said I still don’t think he did a great job announcing that night. I mainly blame the way he was mic’d… it made his very unique voice sound really weird. I would have loved to hear him as the 2nd colour guy (i.e. Randy Coture to Joe Rogan).

  • jj says:

    I love interesting announcers and commentators, the Japanese MMA Ring announcers are the greatest, they try and blow their voice out on every introduction–especially the woman from Pride. Point being I don’t even have to understand the language of the announcer to enjoy the presence and enthusiasm they bring to the role.

    I’m sorry, I tried to stomach Scott Ferrall, his voice was mildly amusing for the first few moments and then slowly grew towards the sensation of having teeth pulled.

    It wasn’t just his monotonous deadpan I’m-being-choked voice, although that was obviously a big part of it…his strange comments about the fighters just kept dragging out.

    Jeff Blatnick was a great commentator as always.

  • jj says:

    Oh and John Perretti was a terrible commentator as always. I’ve not once enjoyed anything he has said.

  • RustyNailz says:

    His ring announcing was brutal! Just because you like his radio show does not mean you automatically have to like his work at Yamma. If you had never listened to his radio show (like me) and seen his performance at Yamma, there is no way you could not be anything but embarrassed.

  • Evan says:

    Has Scott addressed the show and the feedback he has heard from everyone?

  • Ferrall was the most embarrassingly bad part of an embarrassingly bad show.

  • jeff the drunk says:

    “Has Scott addressed the show and the feedback he has heard from everyone?”

    yeah he did on last night’s show. he acknowledged the overwhelming negative feedback and ranted against a bolgger from another MMA site, can’t remember which one though. he also said his deal with YAMMA is for 2 shows and he will be ring announcer for the next one in mexico city as well.

  • Jeff Blatnick was not a great commentator for this event. He was the better of the commentary team, but he wasn’t that great. He was mediocre at best, and the pieces in the cage in which he studdered over questions was not indicative of a great commentary, but I will say his cage side stuff wasn’t bad.

  • Ryan M says:

    “excellent analysis sam. one thing that i noticed during last week’s shows was that scott kept complaining that YAMMA didn’t provide him with the background info on the fighters that he requested and also complained about the lack of communication from the promotion as to how they wanted him to approach his announcing duties. i’ve been listening to scott ever since he came over to sirius. although i’m a huge fan, i’ll be the first one to admit that his show is not for everyone. you either love the guy’s show or can’t stand him. he’s extremely knowledgeable about all sports and does a helluva job promoting MMA. maybe YAMMA was expecting scott’s involvement to generate some stern like numbers as far as PPV buys or ticket sales, who knows? but love him or hate him, he does a good job of promoting MMA and he at least deserves credit for that.”

    Well it’s up to Scott to do the research. And if he doesn’t have it, then you don’t need to make up horrible puns accompanied with a lack of any sort of originality. I appreciate your passion Sam, I really do. But I whole heartedly disagree with you, it was the worst announcing job I’ve ever seen (I’ve only seen the youtube clips) I wouldn’t have paid 10 dollars to see that show, it was a train wreck from the beginning and everyone knew it. And I bought WFA: King of the Streets and almost every KOTC event for the past 3 or 4 years. MMA is great, YAMMA is not. Sorry Bob, you messed up big time.

  • egad81 says:

    I dont care… HE WAS HORRIBLE!

    Let see a hot chick announce the fights!

    And people say KIMBO is a joke… and so and so cant fight….but that dude is not good. At some point loyalty to someone gets in the way of the MAJORITY… or $$$

  • Michael says:

    You say his style isn’t for anyone and I agree. Because a ring announcer has to appeal to a wide variety of people or at the very least be unoffensive, a style as limited as his is only going to attract negative attention. From my perspective it was horrible and brought a low quality atmosphere to a show that desperately needed to succeed.

  • NealTaflinger says:

    There is an episode of TUF on tonight. The excitement – can you feel it? I can’t wait for another beautiful matchup of freaks and warriors who are ready to pound and dance. Shake it oooooooooooh!

    Regardless of what the dude has done in other arenas, how nice he is, or how well suited he is to other kinds of work, the fact remains that that was hilariously bad ring announcing work. I was waiting for the dude to drop a, “and boom goes the dynamite.” Bad idea, bad show, good night now.

  • Evan says:

    ““and boom goes the dynamite.”

    Greatest moment in sports broadcasting history.

  • hankd says:

    Ball State Brian is my hero…

    Ferrell blows ass…

    continuing on now..

  • Reaser says:

    Made a crap show worse…all that needs to be said..

  • Jay says:

    Sam, I agree with just about everything you express in your opinions on this blog but you are WAY off base with this Scott Ferrell thing. I’ve listened to him when Atlanta tried to stomach him in the past and he just sucks! Don’t stick up for him because he was WAY over the top doing YAMMA…..His schtick is garbage. I was amused with Ferrell for about 10 seconds on radio and I nearly puked when I heard his voice Friday night.

    sorry, but YAMMA would have been better without Ferrell.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Sometimes I wonder if people read my entire articles. I think they read the first few paragraphs and see something they don’t like and rush to respond.

    First, I didn’t say I believe Ferrall did a good job announcing for YAMMA. My point was that I don’t agree with people blaming him. I think the blame should go to YAMMA. Ferrall has a flamboyant personality and is unique. He doesn’t hide who he is. So why put him in that role when you know what he’s about? That’s the point I am trying to convey.

    It’s like all the people in the U.S. who voted to re-elect our current president and now complain about the direction of the country. He performed poorly the first four years so why would you expect him to perform any different the next four?

    Furthermore, I don’t understand the sentiment expressed by some people that I am wrong about Ferrall. Sorry, I like who I like. I think he’s great on the radio. I realize that a lot of people do not. If you don’t like him, I’m perfectly okay with that but how can you tell me I am wrong for liking who I like? I’m not sitting here telling everyone they are wrong for not liking him. To each their own.

  • drizzle says:

    So, you “don’t agree with people blaming him”? You may now know how I feel about yamma.

    I think everyone attacked yamma without giving it a fair chance. They attacked it two weeks before it even aired.

    As far as Ferrell is concerned, he’s annoying and a bit unprofessional compared with Goins or Buffer.

    But I really couldn’t care less who’s announcing. In fact, those who are getting all hung up on this whole ‘announcer argument’ are missing the real picture. The only picture actually; the fights.

    Some of you ungrateful clowns should just be happy there is someone willing to put on a unique and potentially exciting show for us fans.

  • Evan says:

    Ok, its now been 5 days since YAMMA and he still sucks. I hope when the SIRIUS/XM merger comes through they get someone who is listenable to at night.

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