Friday, July 10, 2015

Q & A with Chris Rose of ABC's BattleBots

Photo provided by ABC
Chris Rose describes ABC's BattleBots as boxing meets mixed-martial arts meets March Madness. Only with explosive robot action.

Shaker Heights native Rose normally appears on MLB Network and the NFL Network co-hosting a variety of shows, but his latest gig as BattleBots' play-by-play man has him covering a sport that is nothing like anything he's tackled before.

"When I walked in on the first day, there was this one bot called Warhead that looked like something out of an alien movie," he says. "It had a tail and wings, and this spinning dome on top of its head. You're just sitting [there] saying, 'Holy crap, if that thing ever got loose, that's a horror film waiting to happen.'"

We went toe-to-toe with Rose to talk about what makes BattleBots exciting and his projection on this year's Cleveland sports scene.

On Bot Building:
These builders are pouring their heart and soul into these things. They take sometimes six to eight months to get their bot exactly where they want. They go to work just like any of us do and then they go to work on their passion. I don't know how you are, but I get queasy around an electric screwdriver. Just the fact that these people can figure out a way to make these and be better than their opponent is fascinating.

On the Dark Side:
There was a guy named Ray who built a bot called 'Tombstone'. He is the guy who we kind of call the 'Darth Vader' of BattleBots, and he embraces that role. He walked the pit area, which is where all the bots are built. He was looking at all of the other bots and said 'Yea, this might make a good little appetizer' and 'That's a cute toy for my bot'. That was great to see and there were people that were intimidated by him, no question about it.

On the Cleveland Indians:
This is as disappointing a campaign as I can remember. Corey Kluber hasn't been great. Carlos Carrasco has been so-so. Trevor Bauer has been pretty good and earned a spot in the rotation. The bullpen hasn't been as good as it was a year ago, and the offense stinks. It's really, really tough to watch. That being said, they can still make a run, but I wouldn't be shocked if they were seller [at the trade deadline].

On the Cleveland Browns:
The quarterback situation is a joke — it's awful. They went up and got [Johnny] Manziel and when they drafted him, we all cheered. I was watching the draft with one of my brothers and we were excited, but he's not doing anything. I don't see him as an NFL quarterback. Their starter for 2017 is still not on their roster in my opinion. Until they get that figured out, the best they can really be is an 8-8 or 7-9 team. And I think they are building the team the right way. What they've done with the offensive line is good. Defensively they are a pretty good group — they could apply a little more pressure to the passer, but until you get the most important position in sports filled, you're just going to be spinning the wheels.


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