Dear Thom Brennaman

Thom Brennaman is a TV/Radio sportscaster for the Cincinnati Reds. He is the son of legendary Reds sportscaster Marty Brennaman. He has been a sportscaster with the Reds since the 2007 season.

Over the years, I have put up with Brennaman’s incessant babbling about his former gig with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Every time the Reds play the Diamondbacks, my sons and I predict how long into the game Brennaman will go before he says, When I was with the Diamondbacks….

A couple of years back, Brennaman was roundly ridiculed for what he said about Tim Tebow while broadcasting the 2009 NCAA National College Football Championship Game:

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Video Link

Like many people, Brennaman had/has one huge man crush on Tim Tebow. So much so that there is a slang word now associated with Brennaman’s love for Tim Tebow:


After listening to Brennaman hundreds of times over the past seven years, it is clear to me that Brennaman is a devout Christian of some sort. His religiosity is subtle but it does graphically show itself from time to time. Two weeks ago, the Reds hosted the St. Louis Cardinals. During the game a Reds batter fouled a ball off and Cardinal first baseman Matt Adams went into the first base stands to try to catch the ball. Before Adams could catch the ball a fan grabbed it and Adams shoved the fan with his glove. (according to stadium rules, a fan has a right to catch any ball that comes into the stands)  After the Adams started to return to first base, the fan, in wonderful, classic, we hate the f*&%)*&g Cardinals fashion, did this:

reds fans giving the finger

You can view  a GIF of the play here.

The fan displaying the national hand sign for love caused Brennaman to launch into a sermon about how it is ALWAYS inappropriate to give anyone the finger, especially while worshiping at Great American Ballpark Church. Brennaman couldn’t see me, but I gave HIM a double-barreled salute in response to his moralizing. As Mike Wilbon, on Pardon the Interruption, said the day after the game, the only thing better would have been if the fan had given Adams and the Cardinals a double-barreled salute. Unlike Brennaman, Michael Wilbon understands the Reds-Cardinals rivalry and he loves and appreciates the passion the fan showed on national TV.

Which brings me to last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. If you are a baseball fan you might remember that the Tampa Bay RAYS were once called the Tampa Bay DEVIL RAYS. Brennaman decided to launch into a sermon, worthy of any fundamentalist Baptist preacher, about how Tampa Bay only started winning a lot of games and championships AFTER they dropped the word DEVIL from their name.  I kid you not.

Brennaman again reveals the religiosity that lurks just below the surface waiting to explode any time Brennaman’s moral sensibilities are offended. Does he seriously believe they won more games just by changing their name? What…was God sitting in heaven just waiting to bless them with a MLB championship once they saw the light and changed their name? (the year after changing their name, Tamp Bay went 97-65 and made it to the World Series)

Here’s what I want to say to Thom Brennaman…

Shut up. I am not interested in your religious beliefs or moralizing. I am a Reds baseball fan and what I want to hear is BASEBALL not sermonizing or moralizing. I am not interested in your opinion about Reds fans, Tim Tebow, or whether God is concerned with what name a baseball team has. What I want to hear is stats and commentary about the game, the Reds, and the opposing team. If I want to  hear a sermon, I will flip over to one of the dozen religious channels that I receive with my satellite service.

Comments (2)

  1. Sheila Warner

    Just found your site via Jonny Scaramonga’s site, and I like it so much. You are a funny guy, and I like your insights. I read all of your deconversion story along with letters to your former parishioners, your mom, and your former friend. I was deeply saddened when that friend refused to shake your hand at the end of your three hour talk. It seems you likely spoke from your heart, while he closed his heart to who you really are. I’m a Phillies fan, so you can feel sorry for me. Hopefully, this year will be better…..

  2. mikespeir

    “…Tampa Bay only started winning a lot of games and championships AFTER they dropped the word DEVIL from their name.”

    Just about the time you think such superstition is dying out it raises its ugly head again. Sheesh!


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