Media Awards for 2007
Honoring best, worst from TV, radio, print and more
Posted: Thursday December 20, 2007 12:53PM; Updated: Sunday December 23, 2007 11:07PM
Person of the Year
JAY GLAZER, Fox Sports: The list of organizations more secretive than the NFL isn't long (the Kremlin, CIA and MI-6 come to mind), which makes Glazer's investigative work this season all the more impressive. The Fox insider nabbed the NFL scoop of the year by procuring a copy of the Patriots' now infamous videotape of the Jets' defensive signals ("the Magruder tape," his Fox colleague Howie Long dubbed it before host Curt Menefee mentioned something called the Zapruder film). Glazer then followed his Spygate scoop by getting the video surveillance tape from the March 19 brawl at the Palms casino between Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter and Bengals lineman Levi Jones. Glazer said the Dolphins and the league office pressured Fox not to air the tape.
Glazer's response? "We had the tape," he says. "How could we not go with it? I have a catchphrase; I call guys around all the time and say, 'Give me some scoopage.' If I don't have a big scoop each week, I take it hard. You don't go after the story -- you go after the relationship, and the stories will come with the relationship."
A nonstop talker and Olympic-caliber wiseass, Glazer owes his success in testosterone-laden NFL circles in part to a machismo attitude born in mixed martial arts. Glazer calls MMA for Fox Sports Net and Showtime and competes in the sport for fun. ("Most people lie on the beach to relax," he says. "I let people punch me in the face.")
As for the Patriots' tape, he says he will go to the grave with the source. "I'm not saying a word," says Glazer, who is signed with Fox through next season. "Of course, whenever people ask me where I got it, I always tell them the same thing. I tell them [Bucs cornerback] Ronde Barber [one of Glazer's friends] gave it to me."
Honorable Mention: Rece Davis (ESPN), Verne Lundquist (CBS), Le Anne Schreiber (ESPN Ombudsman), Trey Wingo (ESPN)
Best Announcing Team
VERNE LUNDQUIST and GARY DANIELSON, CBS: In the history of Vernes, he'd rank below Jules Verne and Verne Troyer, but perpetually underrated CBS sportscaster Verne Lundquist, 66, was rightly recognized in April with his induction into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. Among the more memorable moments on his five-decade résumé: Jack Nicklaus winning the 1986 Masters, the 1992 regional final between Kentucky and Duke, Tiger Woods' fourth Masters victory in 2005 and George Mason's upset over Connecticut in the 2006 NCAA tournament. The broadcaster has long been the voice of CBS' Southeastern Conference football coverage, and he and analyst Danielson had another exceptional year. More good news: Lundquist is signed with CBS through 2009 and says he has no plans to retire.
Honorable Mention: Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell (ESPN Radio), Gus Johnson and Dan Bonner (CBS, NCAA tournament only), Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf (CBS), Lundquist and Bill Raftery (CBS), Vin Scully and anyone (790 KABC-AM)
CHARLES DAVIS, Fox Sports: Davis isn't a newcomer to television. He's been a quality college football analyst for TBS and Sun Sports over the years, but his work during the Bowl Championship Series -- especially for the Oklahoma-Boise State game -- gave him a national platform to strut his stuff.
"Even though he was an accomplished broadcaster, I thought he was under the radar doing SEC for Turner," says Fox Sports president Ed Goren. "For people who saw him on the BCS on Fox last year, it was probably the first time they saw him."
What they saw was a broadcaster who was engaging and well-prepared and should be even better without Barry Alvarez sucking up oxygen in the booth. Along with announcer Thom Brennaman, Davis will call the Georgia-Hawaii Sugar Bowl game Jan. 1 and the BCS national championship between LSU and Ohio State on Jan. 7.
Honorable Mention: Ron Darling (TBS), Curtis Granderson (TBS), Jamal Mashburn (ESPN), and, for adding gravitas to the Mitchell Report coverage, the investigative team of Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn (ESPN).