If you have watched men’s college basketball the last few seasons, you have undoubtedly heard former Purdue star Robbie Hummel provide color commentary for a game. In fact, you’ve probably heard him on several games. And you’ve probably seen him do in-studio segments for halftimes and other network shows.
Hummel has become a regular on ESPN and Big Ten Network for everything men’s college hoops and has seemingly risen to become one of the top broadcasters in the game.
All this has made me wonder: does this man sleep?
I watch college basketball as many nights as I can during the winter, and I especially am glued to my television once February rolls around. The amount of games I’ve watched with Hummel on the call, or at the very least trying to entertain me during halftime, is astronomical. If I had to guess, I have heard his voice more than any other color commentator in the country for the last two years.
Granted, living in Big Ten country, I am more likely to watch his games. But still, it feels like Hummel is somewhere new every night, and these schools aren’t located next door to one another.
The great thing is, I enjoy his calls every time. Unless you’re an old man with an incredible personality, i.e. Bill Raftery, I want my color commentator to teach me and other viewers about the sport. I don’t want platitudes, I don’t want generic stories about how Player A used to play violin as a kid, and I don’t want a delirious hype man who makes noise because their voice box is currently capable. I want analysis. I want information. I want breakdowns.
Hummel delivers all of those things, and he does it in between flights and drives from city to city for what seems like every day for months. How he does this without collapsing from exhaustion, all while maintaining international competition form, is beyond me. But that’s what I appreciate about him, and that’s why he deserves to become the long-term face of college basketball commentary.
The best thing about him, though: how much he cares.
“I’ve loved college basketball since I was a kid,” Hummel told the Chicago Tribune in 2017 when he started his broadcasting career. “Announcing is something that’s always interested me. When it came up, it made sense.”
So, here’s to you, Robbie Hummel. You were a joy to watch in college, and you’re a joy to listen to now. Your love for the game is obvious, and your work ethic is clearly unparalleled. The game is better with you, and your efforts are greatly appreciated.
(P.S. – Purdue could really use you this year. Your approximate 10 years in the jersey wasn’t enough.)