Posted: Tuesday May 3, 2005 3:32PM; Updated: Tuesday May 3, 2005 4:04PM
SI.com's Richard Deitschrecently weighed in with his thoughts on who should make up the NFL pregame and broadcast teams for NBC and ESPN come 2006. Readers responded with their own ideas. Here's a sampling.
I would love to see Chris Berman in the booth. Him doing play-by-play with his quick wit and knowledge of the game would be fun to listen to. Daryl Johnston, I believe, is one of the better analysts out there. He gives you his thoughts and information, but not to an extreme, as others do. If I had to throw a third in there, I say Troy Aikman, Daryl's former Dallas teammate, who doesn't do a bad job. -- J.J., Damascus, Md.
My dream has been a reality for some time now. I feel that Al Michaels and John Madden are the best broadcast team in football. John Madden's ability to read the field and describe the play to the audience in simple language has taught me plenty about the game. Michaels is consistent as the play-by-play man and does not get easily distracted. The two have a good chemistry. They are genuine and they never bore me. -- James Lambert, Albany, N.Y.
The best lineup would be Tony Siragusa, Al Michaels and John Madden. -- Joseph Sams, Centreville, Va.
So I can't have Ray Scott, huh? Then give me Bryant Gumbel and Boomer Esiason. Both know the game, aren't afraid to say what they think, can put a sentence together and keep their attention on what's going on, not rambling on about something entirely unrelated to the action. -- Jim Nixon, Minneapolis
Al Michaels is the top play-by-play guy for the NFL. He is almost never wrong. He doesn't talk too much and has a calm, unassuming manner of conveying the information. He gets the game. Joined with him, however, should be, Howie Long. Ever watch NFL Sunday on FOX? He's clearly the most articulate, best prepared, calmest, most honest of the group. Of course, he is surrounded by buffoons, but I still think his preparation and notes are always right on. He doesn't fall for media-bliss bandwagoning, he doesn't put up with spoiled superstars, and he's (thankfully) not a former quarterback so we don't have to listen to his ego like we do Bradshaw and Marino. I love Madden, and he makes occasional insights, but I think it's time for someone new and I think the new guy is Howie. -- Jason Jarvis, Derwood, Md.
Innovations is important, but so is a quality broadcast during which I might actually learn something from the commentators. Therefore, my dream team in the booth would be Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Moose Johnson with Suzy Kolber on the sidelines. Buck does good play-by-play and leaves enough room for the other two to do their thing, and Aikman and Moose have fantastic chemistry (why were they broken up by FOX?). I'd encourage Kolber to do a little digging and provide some spot analysis, she's much more knowledgeable than any other sideline reporter working today. I'd have her do a "game-plan analysis" at the beginning of the game. -- Paul, Atlanta
I would like to see Al Michaels (play-by-play), Mary Carillo (color), Tiki Barber, (analyst), Lewis Black (sideline). Michaels is a no brainer. Carillo is the most underrated booth personality on this planet and I think she would be awesome in an NFL booth. Plus, Michaels couldn't give her to much grief cause she's a she. And Barber would be good because I can't think of anyone else and you do need an ex-football player in their somewhere. And Black on the sideline would shoot life into an otherwise huge sleeping pill of the broadcast. -- Danny Sarco, Harrisonburg, Va.
I believe Richard Deitsch made several good choices with his selections, particularly with the ESPN pregame crew. The reason Charles Barkley is great on TNT is because he is entertaining to watch, and his basketball knowledge is high. Adding talents such as Chris Rock or Lewis Black to ESPN, even if they have little knowledge of the sport, would add entertainment value. Keeping Tom Jackson and Chris Berman around would keep the football IQ high, making the pregame almost as watchable as the game itself.
If I could choose any announcers -- including ones from other sports -- give me Bill Walton, Bill Raftery and Pat Summerall. The combo may not have the most knowledge, but it would be entertaining. I can hear it now.
Raftery: "And the defender met him at the fifty...WITH A KISS!!" Walton: "How can you say that? That was the worst play in the history of the NFL."
It would be glorious. -- Jeff Dent, Grand Blanc, Mich.
Rush Limbaugh and Donovan McNabb. Who is he going to offend next? Will McNabb kill him? Is the football game any good? Who cares? -- Zach, Moose Lake, Minn.
If we are talking Dream Team, this is how mine would go. I like the CBS A team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. I would pull Matt Millen out of the front office, and let him join the team. Put Suzy Kolber on the sidelines, and there you have it. -- Michael, Cleveland
There is no way Brett Farve ever steps into a booth. He plays two more years and rides off to country club land. I'll take: Kevin Harlan, Paul McGuire and Lynn Swann on the sideline. Harlan is a great play-by-plan man in any sport, McGuire IS a hidden gem, funny yet insightful, and Swann has been the best sideline reporter in college football and has been sorely missed on MNF. -- Eric Gass, Milwaukee
Announcers in the broadcast booth are annoying and useless. Give me a game where I can hear mic'd up players and listen to and enjoy the sounds of the action uninterrupted. I don't need Al Michaels pontificating on some random non-NFL thought nor do I need Joe Buck telling me useless stats that any fan already knows anyway. -- Jon, Milwaukee
I'm fine with anyone on Monday Night not named Chris Berman, Paul McGuire, Joe Theismann, Sean Salisbury, Merrill Hoge, Ron Jaworski, Stuart Scott, or Stephen A. Smith. And I do mean "anyone." Joey Lawrence would be an improvement over any of the above. -- Drew Magary, Bethesda, Md.