“Job Security” by James Jay Schifrin

image038On Saturday afternoon, viewers were treated to an announcerless football game on NBC-TV. This is something Bengal radio listeners have endured for years.

What a difference! For once you could enjoy the game without having to listen to the meaningless chatter of over-the-hill sportscasters and last-round draft choices telling you everything you never wanted to know about football and didn’t care enough to ask.

If you paid attention, you saw the Jets beat the Dolphins. If you weren’t asleep, you could see why. But the aftermath was predictable. The Cossell types convinced us we really needed them.

But what if the idea caught on? We already have self-service gas stations where you can check your own oil and stores where you can save money by selecting your own merchandise.

Imagine teacherless classrooms, where students could learn to think for themselves; preacherless sermons, where people could pray for themselves; bossless offices, where secretaries could finally get some work done.

But what if the idea spread? TV talk shows would become extinct. Bob Braun would be shining shoes. Newspapers might contain only ads. Or even worse, think of television newscasts where newscasters didn’t have anything important to say.

No, the idea won’t work. If it did, someday people would become self-reliant. They might even decide they no longer needed politicians to steal their money or big government to run their lives.

But our elected officials need not worry. Their jobs are safe. As long as the public is lazy enough to need announcers to watch a football game, they’ll be around.

This op-ed column first appeared in the Mt. Washington Press on December 24, 1980.