Media Monday: Chris Roberts

Being from Los Angeles, the voice of UCLA, Chris Roberts, is quite familiar with mini sports flags. Lakers fan prop them on their cars with honor, announcing to the world, “Yes, I know Sasha Vujacic’s middle name, and I’m damn proud of it.”
But at one point, Roberts had never seen those flags.
He’d surely seen giant banners, special soda cans, even placemats.
Not flags.
Not until Knoxville.
“Fanatics, just fanatics,” said Roberts of Tennessee Volunteers fans. “That was the first time I’ve ever seen these flags attached to their car. I’d never seen that before. What is that? Oh, they’re talking about Tennessee. They go bananas for the team, it’s a way of life.”
UCLA got its first taste of that life last season, when the Bruins upset the visiting Volunteers 27-24 in overtime. But that was just a nibble.
Now, Neyland Stadium will be shoved down UCLA’s collective throat, a real orange crush.
“Rahim Moore told me he loves road games, even when he was a kid in high school,” Roberts said. “There’s a challenge; everybody is against you. I think each road game is a little bit different. Everybody hates you, but you can take a crowd out of a game by playing better than the home team.”
Last week, UCLA did not let that happen.
The Bruins took care of San Diego State, 33-14, after a rocky start. As the play of the offensive line progressed, though, so did the Bruins.
“The offensive line I thought was really pretty solid from tackle to tackle,” Roberts said. “I like the new guys they’ve got in there, from Xavier Su’a-Filo to Kai. They look strong.”
And with their strength, came the new speed infusion.
Between Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman, UCLA had 144 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
“That’s a bonus, and that’s the recruiting,” Roberts said of the collection of backfield talent. “You’d rather have too many. We know how the successful programs have done that. You have so many of them, you call it tailback du jour. Who steps up is going to play.”

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  • Fan4Life

    So how was practice? Did Brehaut run with the 1st offense at all? Who ran the Scout O? Are the coaches planning on RSing Keenan Graham?

  • 909Bruin

    are they going to move Dye to corner and let Viney play nickel? i love Tiny Viney. He has good feet and hips but he’s just small. What is the plan for that CB spot Jon? thanks

  • Anonymous

    Please no more Chris Roberts. I get sick just listening to him. =( I think most UCLA fans would agree.

  • Bruins095

    Roberts is terrible, but probably stuck with him for many more years.

    Very concerned about corner opposite Verner. Viney has been pretty good in nickel packages, but does get burned. Knoxville can be a very tough place to play. Curious to see how the secondary lines up on Saturday.

  • BE REAL

    And I thought I was alone in not liking Roberts. The guy could take a lesson from a non-homer, Vin Scully, and not every bruins’ first down is worthy of a touchdown-type emotion.

  • hemetbruin

    Please do not interview Chris Roberts, do not encourage the worst broadcaster in the country.

  • Bill

    Chris Roberts is quite possibly the worst play by play announcer in the history of Los Angeles. His lack of knowledge and timing are baffeling. Hopefully he either retires soon or somebody at UCLA figures out that he is just awful.

  • Trojan Doosh

    Be careful what you wish for. James Washington is much, much worse than Chris Roberts. I like James Washington, but not on the play by play or color. I don’t want to hear any more references on how he used to do it when he used to play.

  • Anonymous

    Chris Roberts is awesome.

  • Javy

    James Washington is TERRIBLE!!!

    The guy is totally incoherent, he cant pronounce anybody’s name right and he stutters! Plus his voice hurts my dog’s ears.

    I’d take Petros Papadakis over Washington any day!

  • Sleepy LaBeef

    Compare and contrast: Chris Roberts and Pete Flabbergast. The latter is a very competent announcer, but a complete and shameless homer, basically an obnoxious jerk, who whines pitifully when he doesn’t like a referee’s call, and perfectly captures the arrogance that defines SC. The former isn’t nearly as much of a homer, but is confused, confusing, says idiotic things, gets real loud and excited over a 2-yard pass play which makes it 3rd and 9, then inexplicably makes a quiet, low-key call on a 3rd and 18 pass play for a first down. Not a homer, but a complete doofus.

  • Anonymous

    Washington isn’t a good tv commentator, but Roberts is easily the worst play by play guy in the country. How a school like UCLA has kept him on for so long is baffling. They dont come any more clueless than Chris Roberts.

  • Anonymous

    I’d say it’s actually a tossup between Roberts and Barry Tompkins for worst play-by-play man. I swear if he asks ‘How do you like it?” one more time I’m going to hurl.

  • uclabruin84

    Being up here in Seattle, I don’t listen to Chris Roberts all that much but when I see him at road games here in the Pacific Northwest he always comes by the Bruin pre-game party and spends time with the fans. I have seen other announcers ignore everyone like they are some kind of Media Star. Chris will always be remembered up here for a call at a UW-UCLA football game when the Ball Brothers were both on the defensive line. As they teamed on a sack, Chris said “now there’s a twin Ball sack”. Local radio here still plays that clip. Hilarious!

  • lbcbruin

    I re-watched the game on on Sunday. I felt so sorry for “Jay-Dub” washington. He was horrible. When he did finish a sentence it was nothing but a terrible cliche. He seemed really nervous. It was hard to tell where his comments were coming from or going. I actually put the t.v. on mute.

    I don’t mind roberts so much, I can actually get through a game listening to him.

  • Anonymous

    “How a school like UCLA has kept him on for so long is baffling.”
    That my friend is hilarious…

    Why? It’s exactly because we are UCLA that we’ve kept him for so long. Unfortunately Chris Roberts embodies and epitomizes the UCLA administration. UCLA is too cheap to pay for a serious announcer.

    Either you get an up and comer–like Joel Meyers back in the day–and so there is tremendous turnover or you get a lifer who is grateful for the opportunity and therefore will never leave on his own accord despite his merits. It’s very clear UCLA has chosen the latter road.

    As long as Roberts is happy with his pay, he ain’t going anywhere. And let’s face it, he probably knows where he is on the pecking order of things. He’s got a pretty kick-ass job and he doesn’t need to be that good at it. They will not fire him unless he does something “off-the-field” that ruins the reputation of UCLA.

    My friends, we are stuck with this guy…

  • Anonymous

    Hello? Is Jon home?

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Chris Roberts is genuinely a nice guy. I have spoke with him on a couple of occasions — either at Pauley or on road trips at the Bruin Bash, etc. Is he the best PBP announcer in the history of broadcasting? No. But neither is he the worst. I kind of like Chris. And, I do not look to any announcer to make or break my enjoyment of a game. I like to watch the action without a lot of gawd awful chit chat. Chris does a good job of a job that really ain’t that important in the grand scheme of things. So, give the guy a break!

    . . . . But, it looks like we’re stuck with this Jon Gold! (Only kidding, Jon. You’re doing a great job so far!)

    – UB

  • CrouchingBruin

    I like Chris Roberts, especially his basketball broadcasts. I don’t really consider him a “homer.” At least he goes out of his way to praise players on the opposing team. If you want to hear a real homer, try sitting through a USC broadcast with Pete Arbogast. He just can’t believe any call can go against the Trojans.

    I’ve also been impressed with Petros on the times he’s done UCLA games; knowledgeable and, for being a Trojan, very fair to the Bruins.

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    I agree, CrouchingBruin. Whenever I listen to a broadcast by a SUC (sic) announcer, I truly understand the definition of the term “homer.”

    As for Petros, he is enjoyably obnoxious. When he first did the color commentary on FSN, he was more “homer” on the “homer” scale. Lately, he has become more impartial. Plus, his little bro is a Bruins (and he really wanted to be one).

  • Anonymous

    “So, give the guy a break!”

    No offense Ultimate Bruin (I’m actually about to offend you) but it’s asinine statements like these that reveal just how pathetic the administration and a certain populist of UCLA nation truly is.

    I’ve met Roberts a few times, but so what, not sure what that has to do with the merits of being the voice of BRUIN basketball and football. He does a piss poor job at broadcasting. How many times does he describe the play so late you already know what happened based on crowd reaction? How many times does he inaccurately describe who was in on the play and thereby describe the wrong picture? Time and time again. He gets players numbers wrong, names wrong, pronounces them horribly, over and over and over again. And this only scratches the surface!!

    Why should incompetence be rewarded? And yet it is at UCLA. What else is new…

  • Anonymous

    UB said

    “Is he the best PBP announcer in the history of broadcasting? No. But neither is he the worst.”

    WOW…way to make an argument…so I guess since he is not the worst, he should continue being the voice of Bruin athletics? He might be the second worst, but it’s okay as long as he isn’t the worst…

    What we should expect is someone who does an admirable job. Someone who does his homework. Someone who is professional. How often does it sound like Roberts is ill prepared? How often does he jumble players, numbers, words, and mispronounce names. This is unacceptable. BUT…since he isn’t the worst…we should give the guy a break. NICE…

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Hey anon, what put a burr up your saddle? Sorry you place so much stock in PBP announcers! Yes, we should give nice guys a break. You’re not nice. So, no break for you!

  • Anonymous

    Chris Roberts is not that bad. Have any of you tried doing play by play? I have and it’s not easy. Plus it’s nice to have someone who gets a little excited about the Bruins in a world that is so pro prophylactic. By the way, the lead of the “Orange Man Group” Bill McDonald does really poor play by play, much worse than Chris Roberts. He certainly didn’t set up JW well for color commentary.

  • Anonymous

    “Chris Roberts is not that bad. Have any of you tried doing play by play? I have and it’s not easy.”
    This is as bad as saying “Give the guy a break”

    Just because you can’t do it doesn’t mean that Roberts is not that bad. Seriously–that’s a very self inflated thing to say.

    I don’t get paid to do this. I didn’t sign up to do it. This is not my profession. But it is his, and he does a half ass job.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed about Billy Mac…

    except that he doesn’t work for UCLA…Roberts does.

    And UB–I didn’t ask you to give me a break–
    But I agree we should give nice guys a break–but not one for 17 years…