Commentator Rankings (cont.)
Posted: Thursday February 8, 2007 12:09PM; Updated: Wednesday February 14, 2007 5:52PM
THREE AND A HALF ***/
John Madden and Al Michaels, NBC
Also it seemed that the boys at NBC were dedicated to making sure that the M&M's kept their focus on what was happening on the field. It had been a problem at ABC.
But then, around the 16th week (Philly 23, Dallas 7) storm warnings were sounded, a reversion to the old ways, which used to happen when the game started getting unclose. Interesting anecdotes began to creep into Michaels' conversation, talk of old times. "He's drifting," I told the Redhead. "The riptide's got him." Now a play or two was missed. Not nice to watch. A couple of weeks later, in the wild-card playoffs (Seattle-Dallas), all of a sudden, in a tense part of the contest, they launched into a discussion of whether or not Bill Parcells was coming back. But the tightness of the game brought them back to it, thank God. Who knows what lies ahead?
Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon,CBS
And the Redhead asked me the question I'm always asking, "Why don't they all do that?" Why? You ask why? Because such is not for the A team, the No. 1 crew. They don't have to bother with such mundane affairs.
Yes, Kevin's my man. Always has been. Gannon can break down the pass-catch game, but lacks an overview. And when he takes a shot at line play, it's a joke. His evaluation of the Texans top draft choice, Mario Williams, was a typical ex-quarterback trying to evaluate a D-lineman. Oh, we learned about his agility and his ability to play the run, and this was while the Giants' Luke Petitgout was eating him alive, and even TE Jeremy Shockey was pushing him around. So Petitgout goes down and Williams collects a sack off 93-year old Bob Whitfield and it was, see, didn't we tell you how great he was? Well, in spite of everything, Gannon seems to be improving, all around. I guess.
Dick Enberg and Randy Cross, CBS
Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots, CBS
Ron Pitts and ?, FOX
The team seemed better next time I saw them, but by Week 7 (Minnesota-Seattle) it was plug Steve Hutchinson week. The hole could have been on the other side of the line, but it didn't matter, Hutchinson got the credit. And Pittsie was missing stuff. And I hated to see it because at one time I think I had him close to five stars. Finally in Week 12, I saw him do the San Francisco-St. Louis game with Jesse Palmer, and that put the lid on it. He had gone corporate and had given up. Frank Gore broke a 12-yard run without making a cut, through a big hole, and it was "fantastic unbelievable." In the old days Pitts would have called it right ... that no one touched him. So I'm dropping three stars on him for old times' sake. Give him a break, Fox ... one good solid guy to work with, OK? He'll be good again, I promise.
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