Hawk Harrelson Homering: High Time HE GONE?

Hawk Harrelson Homering: High Time HE GONE?

Who’s the biggest dead weight connected to the Chicago White Sox: Gordon Beckham? Brent Morel?

How about Ken “Hawk” Harrelson who gave us 63 seconds of dead air Friday night on the game’s most pivotal play. Yes, over a minute of silence as the game’s critical home run unfolded. Obviously, it’s time HE GONE!

Over the weekend, the Detroit Tigers took two of three from the Sox in a very early season series with preliminary control of the AL Central at stake. The way the game ended was just so upsetting to Hawk Harrelson that he couldn’t even bring himself to properly call it.

That’s not cute- it’s grounds for dismissal.

It’s not loving your team too much, it’s actually breach of contract.

Unless CSN Chicago had technical difficulties?  Microphone or soundboard failure?  What excuse/explanation does the White Sox broadcast booth have for failing to do its job? Right as Jhonny Peralta’s two-run walk off home run landed in the Comerica Park seats, turning a 4-3 Sox lead into a 5-4 Tigers win, Harrelson gave us the silent treatment.

Watch below

Now I’m not saying he should be cut just because of this. I’m saying, he’s got a whole rap sheet, and this is just the latest egregious act.

I could not agree more with the sentiment of the website Heave the Hawk, with a mission statement including: “Mr. Harrelson’s unique blend of non-standard English and ego-maniacal blather has made the mute button a must for Sox T.V. viewers during the last three decades.”

According to a study run by Fan Graphs, the Chicago White Sox broadcast team of Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone ranked dead last of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. And it’s not Stone, or “Stone Pony” as Harrelson annoyingly calls him. Stone makes you a smarter fan, Hawk dumbs you way down.

Hawk Harrelson’s homering is OUT OF CONTROL. Listen to his call of Paul Konerko’s 400th career home run (Big League Stew). The magnitude with which he treats the event, you’d think he was witnessing Hank Aaron 715 or something. All announcers are homers for their team to some extent, but Hawk might as well be wearing a foam finger and body paint.

And he panders to the worst levels of homering with the “umpires are out to get us” script; over and over again. Hawk does exactly what the myopic, narrow-minded meathead fan does- everything “our side” does is right, and every call that goes “against us” is a bad call.

And then there are “Hawkisms.” Some find a few of these sayings to be original, catchy, even possessing a flair of Southern charm. Others find them to be gibberish befitting “Deliverance” or “Hee-Haw.” Some of his sayings are ok, some are tolerable. Others are just abominable and make his broadcasts un-listenable.

The list:

“He just missed it” or “He just missed that one”- on routine fly outs to the middle of the outfield. Hawk is trying to say that Sox hitters just missed hitting a home run…as the outfielder comes closer in to softly catch a routine flyball.




“That’s a Matt Abbatacola”- Promote your D-List local media celebrity friends on your own time; quit using a Sox broadcast to raise their public profile.

“chopper two-hopper!”- is this some redneck vernacular I’m not aware of?

“Cinch it up, and hunker down”-  WTF kind of hillbilly speech is this?

“Sit back, relax and strap it down”- I’m just waiting for him to break into the theme from “Rawhide” one of these nights. “CINCH IT UP, STRAP IT DOWN, HUNKER DOWN, RAWHIDE! CUT EM OUT RIDE ‘EM IN RAWHIDE”

“You can cancel the post game show”- wtf does this mean? He says it right after the first Sox hit of the ballgame. Doesn’t make sense.

“hang woof ‘em”

“in the cat bird seat”

“a gone goose.”

So there you have it? Hawk Harrelson: Heave Ho or leave ‘em be? comment below.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too



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  • leave him be. sure he's no vin scully but at least he's better than the national guys who tried everything they can not to get player's name right.

  • As the ol' red neck would say "hell yes", fire him now. He is insufferable to listen to.

  • He's a local broadcaster for the White Sox. I think that most Sox fans like him, and that's all that should matter. Complaining about announcing seems like such a silly argument. If you don't like it, turn on the radio, or watch the other teams' broadcast teams. The same could be said about
    Harry Caray (especially at the end of his career), but he was absolutely loved on the North Side, and still is.

  • In reply to Utard:

    U-get it, Utard! Preach on brother man!

  • This guy is the worse announcer in all of sports. Fortunately for him, he's broadcasting to Sox fans who are the worse fan base in sports and don't even watch the games. So technically, no one's listening to him. But he's still the embarrassing. HE'S THE REASON THE MUTE BUTTON WAS CREATED........

  • agree with you that he's probably the worst in all of baseball. but completely disagree with you that the Sox fan base is the worst in sports. take a look at all the empty parks across MLB. lots of teams have more apathetic fan bases

  • In reply to Paul M. Banks:


  • I applaud this article. I have loathed him for years and for the points you made and a few more. I could listen to Stone all day but......not at the expense of suffering this moron.

  • The 'study' by Fangraphs was an unscientific poll of readers. Anway, Fangraphs wrote, "It’d be easier to describe Hawk Harrelson as a 'polarizing' figure among FanGraphs readers if there were more respondents who defended him. While I, personally, am less put off by Harrelson’s antics than many readers — and, in fact, prefer him to certain broadcasters who appear to revel in blandness and polish — there’s no question that Harrelson is entirely himself." Anyway, you can't replace what longevity does for a distinctive announcer. Corny good ol' boy Hawk has grown on us over the years, and for many Chicagoans his voice and style represents renewal, the end of a hard winter, and all those cool baseball-related emotions. I could never understand why/how Cubs fans didn't just put up with but loved Ron Santo, but, see previous sentence.

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    I think we all understand that home team announcers are what they are. To promote the team and pump up the fan base. But their is a line you can't cross and Hawk has crossed it many many times! He is never critical of his home team and has been pointed out here always blames the umpiring or whatever.But when the Sox have been stinking, he is silent as a mouse. Whether your a fan or not, you still have to be a professional. And when your cheer leading interferes with the job you were hired to do well it time to stop. Hawk should have put out to Pasteur a long time ago. Yes its time for him to go...he won't but he should go! And before you bring up Harry..yes Harry was confused toward the end of his career but when the Cubs were terrible(which was often) Harry called a spade a spade. Hawk will never...ever do that!

  • @haberstr I see your pts abt Hawk representing baseball to so many Midwesterners, but that doesn't mean there aren't a million broadcasters out there who could do the gig WAY better than Harrelson.

  • When Harrelson says "You can cancel the post-game show" after the first hit of the game, he's referring to the fact that the game is no longer a no-hitter, so we no longer have to look forward to the post-game show featuring the triumphant pitcher. Lame? Oh, yes...

  • In reply to juliepie628:

    i don't mind AT ALL when he says this. is it lame, kinda.

    is it understandable - absolutely (how does the author not get this - if you know baseball)

  • "You can cancel the post-game show" refers to the fact that the game is no longer a no-hitter, so we can no longer look forward to a post-game show with the victorious pitcher. It was cute the first 30 times I heard it...

  • thank you, so why is a 2-0 count "the cat bird seat" and why are runners on 1st and 2nd "ducks on the pond"

    Lord help us.

  • In reply to Paul M. Banks:

    Your showing your ignorance of the game.
    "Ducks on the pond" to describe runners on base has been around as long as the game.
    "The cat bird seat" was a creation of one of baseballs most respected broadcasters, Red Barber. It's intended to add a trifle of color to the broadcast. Would you prefer the more mundane, "The batter is ahead in the count: or, "The pitcher is behind...."

  • I like Hawk and would like to see him around for a while. If you don't like him, you can listen to the radio fee or watch another channel. It's really that simple.

  • Look, I'm not a big fan of Hawk either, but you really, really, really should leave out the personal insults. Attacking the man's upbringing is way beyond the pale. You ma not think he's professionally with his comments, but this article is no better. Please, grow up.

  • I don't know where "cat bird seat" came from, but you obviously know nothing about baseball, Mr. Banks. The Texas Rangers had a t-shirt made last year with a hand gesture that signifies "ducks on the pond" as seen in the link here: http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/10/wear-your-duck-proudly-rangers.html, so it isn't like he pulled it from you know where. It's an often used term. His way of speaking has given Sox fans unforgettable nicknames like "The Big Hurt" and "El Caballo." Besides, don't expect me to listen to the Ambien twins on the Snore for Sox play-by-play.

  • Paul Konerko is one of less than 50 players in MLB history to hit 400 HRs, the only Sox player and one of two Chicagoans (the other was Ernie Banks to do so. I think we can accept "OUT OF CONTROL" under those circumstances.
    Hawk does "exactly what the myopic...," Who do you think he's addressing? An audience of Oxford Dons?
    Silence bother you? Ever hear of Bob Elson? He began broadcasting baseball in Chicago before WW II and continued into the 60s or 70s. His silences were so long you checked to see if something happened to your radio. But it didn't prevent his entry into Cooperstown's broadcast wing.

  • In reply to Emanon:

    Frank Thomas and Sammy Sosa also hit over 400 HRs in a Chicago uniform.

  • In reply to Emanon:

    Fantastic reply! Shows a perspective that comes only from experiencing lots of different announcers, radio and TV. Most people have never heard of Bob Elson.

    Hawk is funny to listen to if you go into it, accepting that he's a homer, and has all those quirks that make him who he is.

    Lighten up. Think it's cool to attack someone's job? Don't think so. Watch the game and enjoy.

  • In reply to dalugan:

    What announcer, particularly if he's paid by the ball club, isn't a homer. What do you expect a diatribe on front office stupidity and on field incompetence?
    Much of Hawk's patois is the language (clean) of the dug out and locker room and has been passed down generation to generation..I'd surely rather listen to that then Harry Carey welcoming "....so and so the owners of whatever bar" in hope of caging a free drink.

  • I'm an educated -- BA Communications -- White Sox fan, staring when my family lived within 5 blocks of Sox Park.

    I like Hawk. Yeah, he's gosh-darn goofy, but he does his job his way. And it appears that's fine with White Sox management and Steve Stone. I would think if either one of them had a complaint against Hawk, he would have already 'been gone.'

  • Instead of running Hawk Harrelson, one of the greatest broadcasters in the history of Chicago baseball, out of town, why not concentrate on the two robot drones on the north side? Harrelson is one of the greatest announcers in the history of the game. He brings passion and insight to his broadcasts as well as humor and insight. He knows his audience as well as any announcer in this city's history.

  • I am neither a Cubs nor a Sox fan – in fact, I have not cared for baseball much since the strike (yes, I know how to hold a grudge). BUT, Mr. Banks, we want reality and in Harrelson, we get that. We don’t need a Rhodes Scholar or some William F. Buckley type calling the game. Yes, there are “millions” of other sportscasters out there; they may be better, but are they best for this crowd? It’s the All American Sport, and Hawk says and does corny stuff Yes. But that’s what Chicago said about Ray Rayner & Chelveston once. Steve Stone, for the record, is phenomenal.

  • Harrelson's shtick has been making my ears bleed pretty much since the day he was hired. He should have been fired 20 years ago. He is the single worst play by play announcer in baseball, now or ever.

  • I am neither a Cubs nor a Sox fan – in fact, I have not cared for baseball much since the strike (yes, I know how to hold a grudge). BUT, Mr. Banks, we want reality and in Harrelson, we get reality. We don’t need a Rhodes Scholar or some William F. Buckley type calling the game. Yes, there are “millions” of other sportscasters out there; they may be better, but are they best for this crowd? It’s the All American Sport, and my guess is that he has enough support to keep him in place. He says and does corny stuff? Yes. But that’s what Chicago said about Ray Rayner & Chelveston once. Steve Stone, for the record, is phenomenal.

  • Yes please! Can him now!

  • So you criticize Hawk for all of his idiosyncracies on the air? Wow, maybe we all should have pushed for Santo to get canned. Talk about awful announcers. Talk about homers. Talk about butchering the English language. Talk about being loved by almost all Cub fans!!!

    We WANT someone to criticize the umps, to feel like we do as fans. Nothing wrong with that. Stone balances the silliness with his fantastic analysis. Leave it alone.

  • You have no clue about passion and the love of the game. How sad.

  • In reply to markploch:

    When someone is on the air broadcasting to millions of people, they are every but fair game for criticism

  • Hey Grantland, err I mean Lacy oops Paul,
    Please try to separate yourself from the rest of these Chicago writers who write before they think. Some of the greatest calls in sports are ones that the announcers let the scene tel the story. Kirk Gibson HR comes to mind. What should he have said at that time. Everyone watching new what happened. If you need a interrupter to help then that’s a different story. I get it , you need to be controversial to get some reaction on boorish themes such as this, Stick to things you know like Global warming or scrapbooking. Let's put it this way Harrelson will be in the Broadcasting Hall of Fame before Paul Banks writes a worthy story. ,

  • Steve Stone is an excellent analyst. He does talk about which pitch is coming, how the batter needs to approach the situation, etc. I learn a lot from him. As for Hawk: I am getting tired of his same "lines," after all these years. Nothing creative or critically analytical. Bill Melton "says it like it is" on the postgame show, when he does say "who did what" when the Sox lost the game. When Hawk announced with Paciorek, they did more analysis, and I do miss "Wimpy." But frankly, I can't stand the FOX announcers on Saturday, who hardly know anything about the team, except if it were the Yankees, Texas, or L.A. Definitely Steve Stone adds so much that the TV broadcasts keep my interest and I learn a lot from him.

  • I learn a lot from Steve Stone. He gives critical analysis, like Bill Melton on the postgame show. As for Hawk: I am getting tired of his "same old sayings," which add nothing to the game. I miss Tom Paciorek - he also added much to a broadcast. I could see "Wimpy" and "Stoney" doing a great job together. I like intelligent information from the announcers of any sports game. Hawk used to do that, but not much anymore. Too bad.

  • The Hawkeroo is a hoot. I dig his act. He has flavor. If you don't like Hawk, you have no sense of humor. Baseball is entertainment and Hawk in an entertainer. Get over yourselves and leave him be.

  • Baseball has always had it's unique lingo i.e. ducks on the pond, throw the (heater, dark one, bender), pull the string, shoe string catch, bloop or Texas league single, turn it over or turn two, lay one down, and God knows how many others. I look for an announcer to use these cliches and to teach them to the next generation of fans. I must admit though that most of the phrases are learned playing the game or sitting the park than from announcers.

  • I like Hawk and Steve. Hawk is a homer and that is OK with me. I used to listen tp Bob Elston and Milo Hamilton so I have been a White Sox fan for a long time. I could do with a little less of what he and Steve used to do when they played but overall I like that they want the Sox to do well.

  • Hawk and Steve Stone are very entertaining. So what if he uses a lot of goofy terms? (The one I really am tired of is "Don't stop now, boys"). I can live with all that. Try listening to the Sox game on the radio, with sleepy Ed Farmer and the nitwit Feisty....no thanks!

  • Keep Hawk and Stone Pony, send Farmio and Feisty to the Moon!

  • I prefer Ed Farmer because among other things, he mentions the reactions of the fans, and what is going on in the whole ball park, not just what's on the field. It gives a better sense of being at the park. The closest Hawk gets to this is, "souvenir left side." Really tired of Hawk's constantly comparing today's players and yesterday's players.

  • Thought the Times only had stupid writers. Vin Scully a lot of times let the action speak for itself. Think Vin ought to get fired? Guess Hawk should have said Sox lose then that would make it better.

    Plus the worst team in the booth is on the Sox radio side. Farmer is the worse play by play in history. Think Bob Elston times 100.

  • I'd rather listen to Hawk than some of the national announcers especially those with a bias towards the East Coast teams. His "Hawkisms" are what is unique about him....c'mon now Harry Caray, Jack Brickhouse, and others had their own flavor why can't Hawk?

  • I love the hawk! Can"t live without him, OMG, the way he can call a game! Mercy! You can put it on the board! Way to go hawk!

  • He should have been gone a long time ago.
    John J

  • I was just thinking recently what it would be like watching sox games when hawk retires and I have to say it really made me sad. It will take awhile to enjoy the games the same way without hawk. He is such a part of the whole experience. I don't mind his homerism...after all they are white sox broadcasts. If I want the national perspective aka cardinals/yankees/red sox bias I always have the fox game of the week. I for one don't care if hawk gets excited for a Peralta walkoff...not so sure if I care if he offends the few tiger fans watching on csn Chicago if he doesn't get excited enough for Detroit.

  • I actually used to like Hawk Harrelson, back when he worked with Don Drysdale. Even working with Tom Paciorek, but the 8 or 10 years, he seems to be losing it, almost like Harry Caray did his last 20 years. If not for Steve Stone, Sox broadcasts would be completely unwatchable. Of course, Im a Cubs, but Im stuck with Len and Bob, who are bad enough! So its bad on both sides of Chicago

  • I don't particularly care for Harrelson's announcing "style". One thing that everyone misses when discussing Harrelson's constant harping about the umpires is its actual effect on the game itself. Do you think the umpires are unaware of the criticism leveled at them from the broadcast booth? When an announcer such as Harrelson continually blames the umpires for lost games, and is always complaining about close calls against the Sox, the umpires know about it. They hold grudges like everyone else and can effect the outcome of close games. Harrelson needs to tone way down his criticism of the umps from its present level. I have no problem with his "Hawkisms". I've been an Indians fan all my life and one of my all time favorite announcers was Herb Score. They're the guys that make the game feel like you're watching it at a Little League field, and not on a TV at home.

  • I'm a Cub fan. I don't hate on the Sox, and would love to watch a game of theirs now and then because i love baseball, but Hawk makes this impossible. I HATE that guy. Why associate Chicago's southside team with such a raging redneck? I've found this baffling and impossible to deal with over the years.

  • High Time HE GONE? That's a can of corn. Buh-bye.

  • You want bad play-by-play?

    I give you AZ D'Backs main radio guy, Greg "The Guvna" Schulte.
    He would have to IMPROVE just to be "bad".

    His broadcasting crime?

    A pedestrian TELEVISION play-by-play call, but he's ON THE RADIO.

    The next time I hear him say "there goes the runner" will be the frst.
    He'll be yammering away about some anecdote and you can HEAR The pitch pop and he calls it 5 or 10 seconds later.

    He MUST have compromising photos of his employers as job security because his fill-in is way better to listen to.

  • It must be a Sox fan thing, as I love the Hawk! I have grown up with him, and his Hawk-isms'! They can always make a losing season fun, and a World Series season even better. He is full of originality, and there is no one who comes up with better nicknames or catch phrases, than this man! If you don't like it, don't watch! Turn on Len and Bob, and leave the originator alone!!! With the addition of Steve Stone, things have increasingly gotten better too. Stoney brings great balance to this team, and really there is no one I'd rather listen to. We usually don' like what we can't understand. Life is too short for hate PMB!

  • Steve Stone is boring.

  • Great job writing a piece of shit SEO geared article to generate ad revenue. Good job with all the SEO words! Impressive! Paul M. Banks, how much did you make off this? You have no idea what you're talking about. Fuck this dumb ass site, fuck all the other shit you've written, fuck your fulbright and fuck you.

  • Oh wow! People still watch White Sox baseball? I'm sure they both love the Hawk....!

  • awwwwwwww you're so sweet! thank you so much. You're the nicest person ever

  • Stretch! dadgumit

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