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9/20/2006 09:45:00 AM

Early NFL Pregame Impressions

We've lived through the hype ("When your readers see this set on Sunday night, it'll be unlike anything they've ever seen before, starting with the plasma high-definition screens that frame the talent on the set." -- NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol). We've heard the aggrandizing ("I knew Joe [Buck] was really, really good, but I didn't know he was that good. And that's the God's honest truth.... He's the best in the business." -- Scott Ackerson, coordinating producer for FOX's studio show). We've seen the changes. Now it's time to judge a key part of our NFL Sundays: the pregame shows. I didn't want to rush to judgment and offer critiques after one week -- so I waited two whole weeks.

In my last blog, I criticized FOX for dumping Jillian Barberie and hiring Buck, who already calls the network's top game each week, to run the pregame show. FOX is also taking Buck, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson on the road each week this season. All these changes have made me jump ship. I used to be a FOX guy, but I've given this new version a shot and I'm not a fan. I still keep FOX on one of my TiVo tuners so I can flip back and watch Frank Caliendo, but the show doesn't work on the road and it doesn't work with Buck. You have fans screaming and yelling in the background, thus causing Buck to scream and yell, which makes his sense of humor even harder to stomach. In Week 1, the crew kept harping on the fact that it was hot in Jacksonville. In Week 2, Buck was egging on the Philly crowd to boo Johnson, which got old after the second time they did it. None of this was entertaining or informative.

Despite Michael Irvin's presence, I'm sticking with ESPN for my pregame information. Ron Jaworski is now in studio and Steve Young is gone, and the change is paying off. At least with Tom Jackson and Jaws, you have two people who know the game and don't insult viewers. I know Chris Berman is a lightning-rod personality, but -- please don't hate me for saying this -- I like him. Yes, he's goofy. Yes, he's corny. Yes, some of his jokes are stale. But for some reason, I have soft spot for Berman. Maybe it has to do with the fact that he's been around since I started watching sports. Either way, Berman is pretty toned down on the pregame show and does a solid job as traffic cop.

I'm a James Brown fan, so I gave CBS a chance. I really did. But the show just doesn't have any spark. You don't get that exciting feeling that kickoff is one hour away when you watch the CBS crew. Plus, it seems like all Boomer Esiason and Dan Marino do is talk about quarterbacks. It gets old fast.

I don't really consider NBC's new Football Night in America a pregame show; it's more of a highlights show. The biggest issue facing the program is that football fans who have the Sunday Ticket are always going to miss the first 20-30 minutes because they're watching the end of a 4 o'clock game. I've yet to catch the opening of Football Night in America, but I've seen their highlights segment. My only thought is: It's no Primetime.

Here's what I want to know from you: Do you even watch the pregame shows? Which one or ones do you watch? How long do you watch for? Do you even care about who is on them?

More important, what do you want from the pregame shows? I'd assume 90 percent of you, like me, want infomation on injuries and weather for fantasy and betting purposes. True or false?

posted by SI.com | View comments |  

Comments:

Posted: 10:18 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Your last statement hit the nail on the head. The only reason I and my group of friends watch pre-game is to see which 'questionables' are playing and which are not.
Personally, I don't watch any of the pregame shows and couldn't care less who is on them. If I want to know the weather for fantasy/gambling purposes, I can just go online and check it. I don't need a bunch of talking heads to get me excited for a day of football. If I'm not excited for it when I wake up on a Sunday morning, no amount of gibberish from these people is going to change that.
Posted: 10:26 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
CBS has been an abysmal embarrassment for years, but James Brown finally gives it a touch of watch-ability. But with two QBs and a TE, the panel lacks balance. Can't they add an expert from the defensive side of the ball? (please, not Deion). At FOX, Buck is over-exposed and over-rated. The great chemistry there has been ruined. ESPN's Irvin is loud & annoying like no other. Too bad we can't mix & match the analysts from each network and create one passable show. How about James Brown, Bradshaw, Howie, TJ, and Jaws? Until that day arrives, I'll keep the sound off and browse the Sunday newspapers until the games start.
Posted: 10:43 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I no longer watch any of the pregame shows. They are too much like to evening news....way to serious. It's just football for gods sake.
Posted: 10:52 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I was a Fox guy too. But I can't take Buck. I am switching to CBS I think mainly for Brown who is 1000x better than Buck.(Although I am uncomfortable with his refering to Eisason as "the blond bomber") I am also Tivo ESPN who may eventually end up with me, because there is no Carolina Panther reports on CBS.
Posted: 10:53 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to be a die-hard Gameday watcher. However, since Michael Irvin has been on I can't stomach it anymore. All he does is yell and make very little sense. The first week I actually heard him say that TO has never played opposite a good reciever like Terry Glenn. I'm no 49ers fan by any stretch but I wanted to reach into the set and slap him. I wonder what Jerry Rice was thinking. I love Jaws and Berman, which are the only reasons I'll turn on the shows. Overall, I flip between them because none of them are outstanding. I like Jaws the best because he actually gives facts (with backup info) and knows a lot about each football game whereas the others seem to just be living off there reputation as former players/coaches without any real insight.
Posted: 10:53 AM, September 20, 2006   by BW from San Antonio
I'm with you about Joe Buck. It seems like no matter what sporting season it is, there’s Joe Buck calling the shots in the FOX booth and not doing that good of job at that. I caught NBC’s Football Night in America and can honestly say that I enjoyed it completely. But I don’t want to hear the same thing over and over which is what you hear if you flip between the pre-game shows. I mean how many ways can you spin one topic or get all the “has-beens” to replicate a play to show why it did or didn’t work. But last Sunday night the crew on NBC was laid back and they did something that I haven’t seen elsewhere which is called it like it was.
Posted: 10:57 AM, September 20, 2006   by Brian S
It really bothers me that Football Night in America has replaced NFL Primetime. I could watch Primetime and learn everything I needed to know about that Sunday's games, even if I hadn't been able to watch any. FNA is largely superficial, and offers obvious and sometimes incorrect commentary; Berman and Jackson knew the game and explained it well. Essentially, FNA is a highlights show, whereas Primtime was a commentary show.
As long as Michael Irvin's on ESPN, I'll watch FOX. I like the "On Site" theme. I gives it a more Collegiate feel. CBS will always be boring, and geared for teh 60 and over crowd. I don't even know what NBC is trying to do, but they are waisting the talents of Sterling and The BUS!
Posted: 10:58 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Who really cares about these shows. Like most television, they treat us like idiots. All they talk about is T.O. and quarterbacks. Last time I looked, there are 11 guys on the field and it takes a good TEAM to win. It is all hype and no information. I watch the games with the sound turned off and refuse to watch any of these pre-game shows. And the amazing thing is these shows just get longer and longer.
Posted: 10:59 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
As you were, I used to be a FOX fan. Joe Buck ruined it for me. He's horribly loud, annoying, uninciteful, and has absolutely no chemistry with the rest of the cast. If they dumped him, Iu might be able to stomach the on the road change... but definately not with him.
I don't watch the pregames too much. I'd say it's more like anxious flipping between whatever bad 80's movie is on cable and the pregame, waiting for the game to start. None of them supply me with any information that I haven't spent all week discussing with people over the water cooler, and at least there the jokes are funny.

Either way, I'm sick of hearing about how defense wins games, the quarterback needs to execute, and the front line needs to establish a running game and protect the passer. I learned all that in peewee football when I was eleven. Plus I hate Joe Buck, can't help it. He seems to have a whole career in repeating what someone else said, but with emphasis.
I agree on all accounts Jimmy, except for the FOX comments, only because I haven't watched it yet. ESPN's NFL Countdown is by far the best pregame show, although I do miss Steve Young in the Studio. I even think that Michael Irvin is getting better, or maybe he's just growing on me like a fungus. Tom Jackson is fantastic and I truly love his honesty about his beliefs, especially relating to T.O.. CBS has no appeal what-so-ever. As big as a fan as I was of Dan Marino as a player, I'm as big a hater of him as a broadcaster. Shannon Sharpe is even worse. The NBC crew on Sunday night is just plain aweful. They are trying to be Chris Berman and the gang and it's not working. I liked Chris Collinsworth when he was at the desk on FOX but he's struggling now, maybe it's becuase he's expected to carry the show or he's trying too hard. Bob Costas is not Chris Berman and shouldn't try to be. Sterling Sharpe is another guy who I used to like way back when he was on ESPN but he's now only slightly better than his brother. The Bus...well he's new right...I'll cut him some slack, Atleast he's better than Shannon Sharpe.
Posted: 11:12 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to be a die hard pregame fan. I would have the tv on at 9am to get ready for the days games but now I don't bother. The pregames have evolved into jovial talking heads that don't provide any real insight except for the casual fan. My favorite game this season was the 2nd MNF game with Brad Nessler, Jaws, and Vermeil. Talk about actually learning something from the announcers. Many times I'm better served muting NFL broadcasts otherwise I can't stand the lack of focus on the game.
Posted: 11:13 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I no longer watch any NFL pre-game, half-time, or post-game shows. I am not sure if they feel as though their audience is filled with people who don't know anything about the game, but I have yet to find a show this season that makes me feel like I am receiving "expert" analysis. I purposely avoid every one on TV. I'll stick with college football reporting, at least they talk above a third-grade level.
Posted: 11:14 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I watch wherever Jaws goes, he breaks down film like no other
Posted: 11:15 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Yea, well Joe Buck is amazingly gorgeous. And that commercial where they are touching his throat is beyond unbelievable. In fact, Joe Buck should do pre-game, the actual game, and post-game all by himself in the booth. Next to him, should be a cardboard cutout of himself with darker hair. Joe Buck > world!
Posted: 11:16 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I also agree about Joe Buck. He is annoying and when he delivers his mediocre jokes you get the feeling that he's laughing a little too hard on the inside. I won't be watching the FOX pregame show as long as he is on it. I also don't like his in-game commentary, but that's another topic.
ESPN hands down!!!! Jaws TJ and Boomer are the best in the bus. And Irvin brings that edge to primetime. CBS is boring. Fox's new set in the parking lot is definitly no college gameday. ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports for a reason. And Salsiberry is just awsome!!!!! even though i cant spell his name. The only thing i dont understand; why would they take primetime off of Sunday nights... That was my favorite part of the day. Its just not the same on Monday..
I am glad Sterling Sharpe is back (with football night in America) still can't believe has was replaced by Irvin couple of years ago on ESPN. Fox should keep the pre-game in the studio and Joe Buck in the booth with Aikman. Pretty soon Buck could enter the CBS/Brent Musburger zone of the mid to late 80's (all Brent-all the Time). That deal they made to switch Mon/Sun with NBC/ESPN is ok, but the end of NFL PRIMETIME on ESPN will haunt the network in the future.
Posted: 11:18 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't really watch them. Most of the guys are just unwatchable loud mouths. If I could get a dream team from the various networks put together (JB, TJ, Jaws, & Collinsworth), then I would probably watch. But the loud mouths drown out all the intelligent talk.
Posted: 11:21 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The only pregame show I watch is the NFL Matchup show on ESPN at 9 AM Eastern. It last a half an hour, and shows me more information on the game in that 22 minutes of non-commercial time than any of the other shows give me in the bloated 60-120 minutes that they run. I agree with both Peter King and Dr. Z (and other posters) that Ron Jaworski is the only guy that analyzes these games who actually explains the plays being run and why the play does or does not work. He may be the only analyst on TV who doesn't feel the need to dumb down his comments so that little Susie in Topeka (sorry to any Susies in Topeka I may offend) likes watching the "funny guy on the football match."
Posted: 11:26 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
every network seems to feel they need the big name guys...sanders, irvin, young, etc. most of these guys are annoying. then they throw in baseball announcers like joe buck (can't stand him). what they need are more guys like jaws and jackson who provide insightful and well thought out information. as for football night in america...nope it isn't primetime so not the same. i much prefer ignoring these pregame shows and looking for anything i want to know online before the games. living on the west coast i'd rather sleep in than get up and watch FOX or CBS pregame shows anyways. only the games get me up.
Posted: 11:26 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch them - they're much too dumb downed to tolerate. The only ones that I really like at all are Jaws, Hoge, and Collinsworth. They're the only ones who breakdown plays at a good level.
I stopped watching them years ago and could care less who is what channel. There are too many commentators, and they usually all talk at the same time. As I read above, its mostly gibberish, and luckily I only hear the last 5 or 10 minutes before the game starts. Thanks
Posted: 11:27 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I have always been a Fox guy - but am struggling to stick with them. I love Howie, Jimmy and Terry....But J Buck doesn't blend well with them. He is great doing play by play and should stick there. Why don't they give 1st chair to Kirk Mennifee(which I prob mispelled). He is great and takes over once Buck goes to the booth.
Posted: 11:29 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I will watch ESPN for the 1st hour until FOX's pregame show comes on. I really can't take too much of Irvin always playing the race card. It is always Berman talking about Favre, Irvin talking about TO, every pregame. I was very disappointed during halftime of the Jax-Pitt game, showing highlights AGAIN of Sundays games and not talking about the game at all (it was a great game). I kind of dug FOX's show in Jacksonville week one, but every cutaway or intro, they always showed the DLine (the drummers) and the cheerleaders and introduced them. It got old fast. But I did like them having Coach Del Rio come out and share some insight. I think every week, since they go to different places, they need to sample some of the different tailgating foods and drinks, and at the end declare who they like best. As for CBS, blah. Marino and Boomer change their minds way too many times and Sharpe does not provide anything useful.
Posted: 11:30 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
TJ and Jaws are great on ESPN, but I don't hear any good insight from anyone else from any pregame show. The most anoying thing I have seen this year is when Al Michaels was asking Chris Collinsworth his opinions right in the middle of the Dallas-Washington game. I mean, who cares what CC thinks from the studio when his opinion comes during play on the field?
Posted: 11:31 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Joe Buck must have some GREAT dirt on an exec within Fox Sports. The man stinks. I was completely turned off from him after he sensationalized the Moss "mooning" incident a cpl of seasons ago. I really wish he would do LESS opining and MORE commentary on the games themselves instead of focusing on the extraneous. We don't need to hear more about players and their off-field activities during the pregame. Just get us set up to wath a game.

More stats, more strategy and more of Jaws and Hoge(and whoever else they may be able to find to fill those roles at NBC, CBS and Fox respectively) breaking down how teams play the game.
Posted: 11:31 AM, September 20, 2006   by Elliott
I used to be a fan of Fox's pregame show as well, because they actually made it fun to watch with JB, Terry, Howie, and Jimmie. Losing JB as well as Jillian was bad enough, but in adding Joe Buck to the mix, as well as taking them on the road every week, they've now lost me as a viewer. I might as well just use that hour before kickoff as nap time.
Posted: 11:31 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Someone please get CBS to run captions while Shannon Sharpe is speaking, I get like every third word, and of that nothing he says makes sense, Boomer is ok, Marino should stick to HBO, and JB should never have left FOX, I like the ESPN pregame, Irvin is growing on me, and Jaws is the best in the business, FOX, oh please shut Buck up, it's like McCarver but worse.
Posted: 11:31 AM, September 20, 2006   by rockingrudy
Michael Irvin needs to A) take some elocution classes and B) come up with something semi-cogent to say.

He's painful to watch
Posted: 11:33 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Pre-game shows on the network stopped being informative a long time ago. Joe Buck talking = mute button. I tried to check out the NFL networks pregame saw Deion Sanders and immidiatley turned the channel.
Posted: 11:34 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
ESPN - Chris Berman has long ago worn out his welcome with me. Michael Irvin is un-watchable. Jaws and Tommy Jackson are superb, but the other two ruin it. I no longer watch.

CBS - agree that James Brown is great. Marino not bad, but do not like Shannon Sharpe or Boomer. I have really never watched.

Fox - Was the best. The new road show doesn't cut it. Watched twice, and that was enough. No more.

NBC - Best collection of talent of all. Costas is terrific. Collingsworth is very good except when going on about the Bengals (and isn't he getting a little louder than he used to be?) Sterling Sharpe was always one of my favorites. Not sure why he was off the air for a couple of years. And the Bus ... pure genius bringing him aboard. I watch these guys.

ABC - I know we aren't talking about game announcers, but ... these guys are awful. How Theisman keeps a job is beyond me. Tirico seems like a nice guy out of his element in football. Back to golf, Mike! How ABC let their last year's guys walk is criminal. Also, what is the idea of having two sideline announcers. Give the job to Susy Kolber and be done with it.
Posted: 11:34 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
For years I would wake up anxious on Sunday mornings, either really early to get some yardwork done beofre the 11:00 AM(CST) pregame shows, or I would wake up exactly at 11:00 AM and turn on th television. This season has screwed everything up. I despise Joe Buck as a football show host. He may be a passable baseball host, but who really cares about that? baseball is a boring game and it helps when the announcers are bombastic. I have watched the FOX pre-game two weeks running and I HATE IT. I miss J.B. He was a professional who you could count on to rein in Terry and coach and Howie. Joe Buck is a smarmy replacement, who was put there just because he is in beer commercials now. I will never watch FOX pregame again.
(BTW, why oh why do they still let Bradshaw do the highlights? It is like watching a slow motion car wreck.)
The CBS show was always very dull for me. I would watch it, flipping between FOX and CBS, but it was just dull. Now, it is just a bunch of losers yacking it up like they had just finished playing a round of golf. I do not want to see that.

As far as MNF goes, it is DEAD to me. DEAD. MNF on ABC would get 13-20 million viewers. on ESPN it gets 6 to 9 million. You know why? 30% of the United States does not have cable television DAMNIT! Disney has screwed america again. I feel like I have been forced into paying for cable television so I can watch the one thing that made my mondays worthwhile since I was a little kid. I HATE THIS.
I find it wholly UN-American.
Posted: 11:34 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
This world has too much Joe Buck, he is not bad but he is everywhere! Am I the only one who wishes Jillian was still there, who does Terry have to hit on now?
Posted: 11:35 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I think you are dead wrong about Michael Irvin. He may be obnoxious, but he is smart and thinks on his feet. I miss Deion on CBS. Was worth it just to watch Marino get uppity when Mr. Sanders spoke the truth.
Fox went way down hill. CBS, by virtue of gaining James Brown, is better. But ESPN is still the best. Actually, that and Baseball Tonight are the only thing ESPN does well.
I am extremely disapointed with FOX and their pregame show. For years i looked forward to JB, Howie, Bradshaw, and believe it or not Collinsworth. Also, i miss when Jimmy Kimmell would torment Bradshaw and Howie out of reach via satelite; and Bradshaw tormenting his easy target Collinsworth. The studio is WAY better than this on the road crap. The entire on the road gig does not work for me. I have found myself phasing away from FOX quickly. By the way I could personally care less if I ever hear Corn, and Theis again. Watch and see those two personalities will clash before long!
Posted: 11:39 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I understand that this is a critique of the pregame shows but with the numerous positive references to Jaws I feel compelled to advocate for him on MNF. He was terrific on the Late Monday nighter on opening weekend.
Keep Terico and Tony but Joe must go. I have yet to meet a football fan who actually likes Theisman. In fact most people strongly dislike him. If you've ever seen Jaws on PTI with Tony and Wilbon they have great chemistry. It's always fun and informative and isn't that what sports announcing is supposed to be.
Posted: 11:41 AM, September 20, 2006   by Ryan - Denver
I think Pregame shows are great - they absolutely add something to my Sunday experience. And I think some are definitely better than others. ESPN's is head-and-shoulders above the others in my opinion. Chris Berman and Tom Jackson are unbeatable. Jaws is great, but I miss Steve Young. Michael Irvin is the worst in the business, but the folks around him are so much better than almost everyone else, ESPN is still the gold standard despite Irvin. I miss Primetime, too. The NBC highlights show isn't even close.
Posted: 11:45 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
for me, less is more. there isn't a compelling reason for me to watch them. i'm not a gambler, so who is likely to start or not (sans a key player) is of little significance to me until the game actually starts.

though i rarely watch pregame shows, if i had to pick one, it would be cbs. my logic:

espn has chris berman. no matter who else is on that show, it cannot detract from the simple fact that chris berman is on the show.

for me, berman is idiocy personified. a clown who babbles the same stuff for, what, 15 years? stuff that is faxed to him. he's not even creative enough to come up with some of this tripe on his own.

with espn canceled out, that leaves fox and cbs. fox has terry bradshaw, one of the few people walking the face of the earth who can make berman sound intelligent.

that cancels out fox.

cbs wins by default. cbs did have a drawing element: bonnie bernstein. but she is gone.

to be honest, i haven't watched a pregame show yet this season. what about nfl network's pregame show?

(btw, i find costas and football night in america refreshing beyond words to berman and his primetime schtick.)
Posted: 11:48 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Pregame shows are a waste of time. They have become a way to give washed-up jocks a chance to act intelligent. Joe Buck is the worst announcer on tv. He is just living off of his father's reputation. He is frequently biased towards one team and constantly annoying. And would ESPN please get rid of Berman?
Posted: 11:48 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I quit CBS and FOX a while ago. Deion Sanders forced me to leave CBS, but they replaced him with Sharpe, who is just as bad. I can’t stand Marino and Esiason either. The problem with FOX is not the commentators, it’s the show. The bimbos doing weather, the comedians making picks, all the stupid skits. Talk about dumbing down to your audience. This is football not some Jerry Springer act! So it’s ESPN for me, and that’s not the lesser of the evils. Tom Jackson is the best commentator in the NFL, hands down. Boomer is great fun and Jaws knows what he’s talking about (but lay off the Eagles references already!). The only problem is Irvin, so I just mute him out. I also really like their support staff, like Mort and the ultimate football geek, John Clayton. Salsburry is a wanker—John Clayton knows more about football than Salsburry does. I still love that line Clayton gave Salsburry when he told Clayton “what do you know, you’ve never played football.” Clayton replies, “neither have you.” Ouch.
Posted: 11:48 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I totally agree with the article, I am a long time viewer of ESPN Sunday NFL countdown, Berman is just fun to watch, and Jackson is great. I've never liked Joe Buck and his I have all the answers and hsi holier then thou personality. CBS is alright, but its no ESPN, and as far as "Football in America", puting aside the terrible name, i agree it is no Prime Time.

Dave
Posted: 11:51 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't know why FOX let James Brown get away. He was integral to the chemistry of that group and now it's gone. Although, maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't seen Joe Buck on the show yet. I see the sports guy from the NY Fox affiliate in Buck's place. He's not nearly the personality Brown is.

Also, BRING BACK JILLIAN!!!!
Posted: 11:51 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Fox without Brown does not work, taking the show on the road is worse and you add Buck and the show becomes unbearable. I now watch ESPN
Posted: 11:52 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I sincerely hope someone that has some ability to affect a decision at ESPN reads all this. A nearly universal concensus that we need much less Micheal Irvin, who just yells and makes no sense, and much more Jaws and TJ. And please, please, find a way to get Jaws and Vermiel back in the booth together. I think they could make one of the better teams of all time in there.
Posted: 11:53 AM, September 20, 2006   by Mike K
Fox overall has too many things happening at once on the screen, it's worse than CNN Headline News. They seem to think all their viewers are like little kids watching flashy cartoons and it really turns me off to their presentation. And Joe Buck is the most horrible thing to happen to sports. At least his father had a taste for each game he called and knew when to talk, what to talk about and more importantly, when to let others talk.
Posted: 11:54 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Let me start by saying that I'm a Packer fan, and HATE the Cowboys. I will take Michael Irvin over Sterling Sharpe any day of the week. Michael actually makes a point once in a while. Sterling, on the other hand, simply throws out rediculous comments to hear himself speak. He actually said the Seattle's win in WEEK 1 "saved their season!" Moron.
Posted: 11:54 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I would say that NBC's evening program is my early favorite. Nobody's yelling at me, you've got Collinsworth (always a plus) and people seem to speak intelligently about football. Well except Bettis but he's their "Deion" so at least this one's not yelling all ridiculous statements all the time.

As far as pregame goes, eh, Fox is still my favorite but the road thing makes no sense. How can any human being stand Bermen. SOME of his jokes are stale? How about all of them?? If I see footage of him shagging balls with the Tampa Bay Bucs one more time, I may have to kill someone. Also, his Schwam schtick is so tired it's practically on Lunesta.
Posted: 11:55 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
It's almost like the old days when you would watch a game on TV with the sound off and have the radio play by play on instead. Who cares about the pre-game BS. The start too soon, and spend too much time trying to outdo what the other networks are doing- the shows are more about themselves than the games. How long can you watch any group of the 4 talking heads making jokes with each other and laughing without making any serious points? I turn on all the games at 1 minute before the start!
Posted: 11:57 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to watch FOX pre-game, but don't like now that they are on the road. The fans are yelling and screaming, which causes the guys to yell louder. In studio was the best, nice, calm and informative. I didn't care about the weather report before, but liked to look at Jillian. I don't watch any pre game shows anymore, usually the same info over and over and over.
Posted: 11:57 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch pre-games at all. Haven't for the past 2 years. The only reason I did prior was for Mortenson to see who was injured for FF.

Pre-game shows treat fans as idiots.
Posted: 11:59 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Talk about nailing it. Instead of overusing Buck, Fox should have called up Chris Rose from B.D.S.S.P. to run the whole preshow from LA. He's used to panelized chaos, and working on Sunday pre-game would made him a better choice. CBS needs to let go of Marino or Boomer and pick up someone who, say, played defense; and ESPN, like you said, is very solid, despite Berman's slight staleness. But most pregame shows are just for last-minute updates, predictions, and stories with angles I've never thought of, but not much more.

As for NBC, yeah, nobody can be Primetime; nobody ever can after those 19 years (look at Fox's pathetic OT). But even Monday Primetime isn't the same, because the original used to be that hour break in our nights. Now that NBC has it, I'm not looking for it to be the same, but nobody will ever forget the standard it's replacing. I'll still give that some leeway in how it goes.
Posted: 11:59 AM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
What a waste of time, it's just a bunch of overpaid old jocks who like to hear their own voices.

Plus with all the commercials and promos(which you get in the game anyway) and yelling I never watch these shows. Hey, I just start the recorder, start watching the game an hour later and I bypass the commercials, half time, all the TV time outs(which is why I hate going to a game) and watch the whole game in two hours!
Posted: 12:00 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
jimmy, nice job on the pre-game shows. all of the shows are a lame attempt at cool, like acid wash jeans. everone was wearing them but deep down you know they looked ridiculous. Inside the NFL on HBO is by far the best NFL show around, and for fantasy geeks the ESPN fantasy show is like watching the wizard work on the other side of the curtain.
Posted: 12:05 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Please, please, please can we just
watch the game ? Whether it be
football, baseball or whatever ball.
I'm so tired of talking heads, dancing girls and ridiculus musicians. It's a sport not a Hollywood production.
Posted: 12:05 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch any of them. They say the same thing that a million other shows say all during the week. The Sunday pre-game shows were a big deal when they were the ONLY pre-game shows on TV, but now there are multiple shows every day that all say the same thing. I'll catch a SportsCenter or two during the week and then tune in the actual games.
Posted: 12:10 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The only analyst worth watching is Jaworski. The rest are full of air. Michael Irvin and Salisbury are simply loudmouths that try to outshout their contemporares. Most TV broadcasts should get rid of their "color" commentators as it seems they interject after every play so you know they are there. and many times there comments e.g. Theisman, are simply full of you know what. Buck is supposed to be the best play by play but he can't seem to confine himself to that. In this age of football broadcasting, less is definitely more.
Posted: 12:10 PM, September 20, 2006   by brandon
I watch the pregame show to get information of who's playing and who's not. I think FOX and ESPN do the best jobs. CBS is just boring to me. Boomer and Dan are just dull. I am not a big fan of their game commentators either. CBS needs to liven things up. Fox in my opinion knows how to keep your attention
Posted: 12:11 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I'll watch all of them, but ESPN is the best. I love Berman, Jackson, Jaws, Clayton (the geek), Mort, and Salisbury (sp?). My only problem with them in Michael Irvin (I hate when he talks about T.O.).

I have to admit, the FOX show is a little corny...

But the worse thing that happend to sports shows this year was the elimination of "Prime Time" on ESPN with Berman and Jackson. That was a good show. I hate this new Sunday evening program on NBC. It sucks and it's so formal. Everytime it comes on with Costas talking I think of the Olympics or something....

Bring back "Prime Time" dammitt!!!
Posted: 12:14 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
CBS is all about self-promotion... Long & Johnson are decent on FOX, but as long as Bradshaw is involved I won't watch... ESPN does a decent job of informing and entertaining, but Berman & Irvin are definitely overbearing most of the time. In summary, no, I don't watch very regularly.
Posted: 12:17 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Fox needs to dump Buck. He is more pathetic than mock pants dropping by Moss. ESPN is the best pregame and probably untouchable if Irvin was out of the way.
Posted: 12:20 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
i totally agree with you about FOX and CBS. Where is the petition to bring JB back to FOX pre-game show. I am forced to ESPN pre-game but I actually like Micheal Irvin. He is the loud mouth. It works. I do not like Buck, there is no chemistry at all and put them back in the studio PLEEAASEEEE.
I cannot stomach Dan Marino, bothers all the fibers in my body.
I want my old fox pre-game show back.
I don't like any of the pre-game shows. In the world of the internet they only rehash everything that I have read all week long. Quite honestly, on the games I care about, I've already done more research than the guys on the sets, who have to research all the games. Really the only useful part of the show are the 5 minutes were they visit the reports at each game site, 15 seconds for each reporter. That's all you need. Now if Jillian Barberie was still on, I would tune in to check out the um "weather" at each site.
Posted: 12:21 PM, September 20, 2006   by John from EP
I believe Steve Young WAS on the pregame show this last Monday night in Jacksonville. Man, was he horrible! Stammering and unnerving best describes his style.

I'd love to see some of the NFL network guys defect to the pregame show. Guys like Solomon Wilcots, and Brian Baldinger are great. The guys on Sirius NFL radio, like Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan would also be phenomenal in my opinion. I also agree that Jaws is one of the best, if not the best analyst on TV. The HBO guys are a joke.
Posted: 12:22 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The pregame shows are almost worthelss. They all do the same stories on the same supposedly marquee teams/players... How much more TO can anyone really take?

Primetime was great. FNA is pretty enjoyable, especially for a poor college student with no money for cable.

Joe Buck wore out his honeymoon on Fox in week 1.
Posted: 12:23 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Terry and Howie are the best there is. They combine humor intelligence and insight. Adding Buck just kills it for me. Take note FOX, when he is on, I change the channel
Posted: 12:23 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
There's all about equal - the best way to spend the hour is with the finger on the previous channel button.

for example:
Berman interrupting himself yet again.Click.
Listen to James Brown for a while.
Then Sharpe ventures his worthless opinion. Click.
Catch Frank Calienda's funny bit.
Then hear a bad Buck joke. Click.
Pray for a Jaws appearance...
Posted: 12:25 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Thank you... I could not agree more on how Joe Buck just does not fit in. Not to mention the annoying background noise. I think I am going to skip the pregame shows and just sleep in for an extra hour.
Posted: 12:28 PM, September 20, 2006   by damien - from buffalo
I think most of the pre game shows are awful. Although I do like espn's. They are by far the most informative. Jaworski especially - he's got to be one of the smartest analysts around. What espn should do is add him to their mondaty night crew and get rid of Joe Theismann. Jaworski actually pays attention to the games and notices the little football things that make a difference. He used to be great on espn,s old monday night countdown when he would break down the two teams and their tendancies. I thimk him and Tom Jackson work well together on the pre-game and you can't go wrong with "no one circles the wagons like the buffalo bills" Chris Berman. All the rest of the pregame shows are garbage.
Posted: 12:30 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
During the NFL season, the entire week is a pregame show. There's so much information and pontificating shoved in my face from Tues-Sat that if I don't know the storylines by Sunday, I haven't been paying attention.
Posted: 12:34 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I love the game, but I'd rather whatch old reruns of 'This Old House' than listens to a bunch mouths mouthing off about how they "know" what going to happen once the game starts.
Posted: 12:34 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I was a fox person until Jimmy Kimmel left. CBS has not been good since the nfl returned to them. They have three of the worst personalities on T.V. Dan Marino is a bore. Boomer is just jackass and Shannon is a guy who thinks he is funny but is not. So I have been watching ESPN. I got to say I like Irvin I think he gives a different point of view of the players.

I know this has nothing to do w/the pregame show. But I hate the monday night commentators. I actually like the commentators who did the Oakland vs San Diego game a couple of Mondays ago. That was Brad Nessler, Dick Vermeil and Jaws, they should be the announcing team.
Posted: 12:35 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Fox: Joe Buck is awful. Someone used the word "smarmy" and that is perfect. He has become a cartoon of himself. You went from class (James Brown) to ass (Joe Buck).

ESPN: I am a lifelong Cowboys fan. With that said, get rid of Irvin. ESPN should be about sports. Leave the yelling and incomprehensible stuff to Fox. Also, it's long past the time to send Berman out to pasture. The only thing worse than Berman doing football is Berman doing baseball play-by-play. With all the on-air talent ESPN has, they still stick to a guy who was last relevant before he started doing a comb-over about 20 years ago. Yikes.

And, while we're on ESPN, GET RID OF THEISMANN. For the love of God, no one can stand the guy! I'd love to see Wilbon and Kornheiser do MNF together. I would never miss a show. Tirico is a professional, but he's dull.

CBS: CBS pre-game has never flowed well. Kudos for adding the great JB, but it still doesn't do it. I can watch about 5 minutes before nodding off.

NBC: Can we start a lottery to pick the date when Jerome Bettis realizes he's not playing anymore? He still refers to "us" and "his" division. He's terrible, plus if it wasn't bad enough to sit through his idiotic thoughts, we then have to sit through the even more painful "Men of the Square Table" commercials every 2 minutes. Bob Costas is a great journalist. Unfortunately, he's not a comedian and his dry jokes and digs at the players in his highlights don't work. Collinsworth should have been retired years ago. I do have to admit, I like the set at NBC. The guys sitting around watching highlights on TV is much cooler than a desk set.

BOTTOM LINE: NBC wins. I will continue to ignore the early pre-game shows.
Posted: 12:35 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Your assertions are pretty correct, INCLUDING the Michael Irvin comment. Has anyone ever heard a bigger apologist than he is of TO? It really gets disgusting. He has to realize he's a part of the media now...therefore, be subjective. I can't stand him and was praying that the crack pipe last year, was his. Another word that comes to mind when I think of Irvin, is HATE.
Posted: 12:35 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
ESPN has the superior Sunday pregame show because they can spend equal time talking about every game. CBS has to spotlight the AFC and Fox the NFC. I don't know about you, but I don't want to hear Rich Gannon talk about about the Texans-Titans game live from Reliant Field.

ESPN also had the superior postgame/highlight show with Primetime. This pseudo-highlight show that NBC has can't hold a candle to Chris Berman and Tom Jackson. I miss Primetime. It was the ulimate way to catch up on the day of football if you were at the game or do not have Direct TV.
Posted: 12:36 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I just want to be entertained for an hour while I scarf down a couple of sausage biscuits because I am just waking up from a long night of drinking.
Posted: 12:36 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I agree with your evaluation of Fox, and CBS. I also strongly agree with your analysis of ESPN minus Michael Irvin. It is right on the money. I used to turn it off whenever Irvin opened his mouth. Football in America may not give a whole lot of analysis, but since I only get to see 2 games a day, it gives me a good idea of what happened around the league. Don't forget, not all of us can watch whichever game we want.
Posted: 12:40 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Is it me, or do the guys from Fox have that ,"God, I miss JB" look on the faces every time Joe Buck yells over them to make a comment?
Honestly, JB leaving to go to CBS took Fox down a notch and raised CBS up.
ESPN is great as well, But as most people commenting have said, A mix and match of the hosts across networks would be best.
My picks would be JB, Chris Collinsworth, Howie Long and Jimmie Johnson.
Posted: 12:42 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Has anyone seen NFL networks "NFL Live" show with Marshall Faulk? He was a great running back, but whoever decided he would make a good sportscaster needs to rethink their choice. Faulk does not know how to do hightlights. The biggest mistake I saw was when the Colts-Texas highlights were on. He kept calling Marvin Harrison the wrong name. And a few times when he said a catch was made by "Harris" (Faulks words) Harrison was no where near the ball. I think the networks should team up Joe Buck, Michael Irvin, Theisman, Tirico, Sterling Sharpe, and Faulk, and put them on their own show at like 4 in the morning so that no one would watch.
Posted: 12:42 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Please, please, please tell me that the powers-that-be at Fox are reading this. Buck isn't working. Your viewers (and not some tv critic journalists) are saying so. If this isn't a wake-up call, I don't know what is.
Posted: 12:43 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I have to agree with Buck does not cut it and neither does the road show trying to act like the ESPN college day show.
Posted: 12:44 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Chris Berman is the worst 'anchor' of the main 3 (NBC doesn't count because it is just a highlight show.). He isn't funny, those nicknames are old and his serious segments are much too serious. Keep him doing the highlights, but his personality is just terrible.
Posted: 12:46 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I haven't watched any pre-game shows this season and it is the direct result of the spiraling effect I've noticed over the past two years. The parties involved tend to artificially create banter that just seems unnatural. These disagreements add little value if they are not genuine. Speaking of disinegenuous - ye gods, do I have to listen to Joe "Full of Myself" Buck BEFORE the game as well as DURING. He is not someone I feel compelled to listen to - he lacks charisma. On the other hand, he probably is perfect for the current state of pregame shows, where no one has heard the phrase: "less is more".

Rather than these jokers fabricating stories from nothing, why don't they spend a little more time devoted to individual segments where each one actually analayzes something and provides some thoughtful insights. If that could ever come to fruition, I would enjoy watching the following:

Host: Howie Long (even keeled, intelligent and witty)
Co-host: Terry Bradshaw (his unbridled enthusiam is entertaining)
Analysts: Jaws & TJ
Spot Analyst: Jimmy Johnson
Highlights: Chris Berman
Posted: 12:48 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The problem with every show is there is at least 1 guy who destroys the watchability of the program. Joe Buck is the worst replacemnt ever, Chris Collinsworth is so arrogant it's awefull, I can never understand what Shannon Sharppe is saying, and Michael Irvin isjust about the worst thing on television. You have to choose between the lesser of the evils which makes me turn on the radio.
Posted: 12:49 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Berman, TJ and Jaws are pretty much the ONLY choice sadly. The Fox chemistry is gone without J.B., and WITH that traveling roadshow gimmick. I AM overjoyed that the whitest man in show business, Jim Nance, isn't doing football anymore. He's like the Perry Como of sportscasters... stick to golf (aka the anti-sport, or the universal cure for insomnia).
Posted: 12:50 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I miss Primetime. FNIA is too slow and offers too much commentary. I need a fast paced wrap up show to get me hyped for the 8 o'clock game. Also Bettis and Sharpe just don't mix with Costas and Collinsworth.
Im all for Football Night in America so far. The ESPN guys are always great, mostly because they have 10 or so guys that know football so well. Fox is just so showy that I never get anything out of it. And CBS....well Shannon Sharpe is boring and does the worst highlights ever. The NBC crew are new but they really made a great impression on me. And they are actually funny. "He seemed determined to turn over the ball."
Posted: 12:56 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
At least Fox got rid of that bit of pandering T&A marketing, Jillian Barbierri (sp?). We're not all slack-jawed, middle-aged rednecked alcoholics who think every woman is some sort of objectified blow-up doll. Women are great, but enough already... keep it about football. Surely there's enough T&A in the commercial spots for your standard run-of-the-mill sexist/misogynist.
I really used to enjoy the pregame show on ESPN, but it has become too stupid with the commentators they have, with the exception of Chris Berman. He is the only one who seems to be objective to all the teams. The other commentators cannot lay claim to that. I do understand that they may have had to play some of the other teams when they played football, but come on - that time is over. Let's get real.
Fox, I never cared for because I am not a big fan of Terry Bradshaw. I thought the combination of him with Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson was mediocare at best and James Brown should really stick with boxing. Now with Joe Buck, where's the diversity on the set? Not a good representation of the NFL.
CBS, the NFL Today, is the only one I can halfway stomach. Shannon Sharpe seems to be pretty knowledgeable, but Dan Marino and Boomer Eiason (forgive me if I spelled his name incorrectly) don't appear to get along at all. Boomer is always saying something to annoy Dan and you can tell - he doesn't appreciate it one bit.
Finally, I think that all of these shows should get back to the basics of football. As a female fan of the game, I do know that the game is won and lost on the line. If the defensive line is pushing the offensive line around, you don't have a chance at winning. Basic football.
Everyone have a nice day!
Posted: 1:05 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I couldn't agree with you more. I was always a fox pregame fan, but I'm not feeling the new changes at all. I also find it amazing that Michael Irvin is still on ESPN despite all the controversy and the fact that I have not found one person who enjoys his presence.
Posted: 1:07 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I turn the sound down andlisten to the local (Vikings) radio broadcast. Can't stand Berman, Irvin and Bradshaw. I also agree that the screen is so cluttered with graphics and stats, etc that it detracts from the game.
Posted: 1:07 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I can't watch the pre-game shows anymore. And I definitely miss Prime Time. NFL Games are boring enough, and now we have to watch Costas go through all the highlights with minimal analysis from the other 3? Give me TJ and Berman any time.
I don't watch the pregame shows. But, I religiously watched ESPN's "NFL Primetime" for the last 8 or 9 years, and relied on it to get a feel for what really happened in the day's games. The NBC show is weak by comparison. I know ESPN paid a ton to get Monday Night Football, but "Primetime" was the best aspect of the network's coverage and the NFL did us all a disservice by giving NBC all highlight rights during the early Sunday primetime hours.
I don't watch the pregame shows. But, I religiously watched ESPN's "NFL Primetime" for the last 8 or 9 years, and relied on it to get a feel for what really happened in the day's games. The NBC show is weak by comparison. I know ESPN paid a ton to get Monday Night Football, but "Primetime" was the best aspect of the network's coverage and the NFL did us all a disservice by giving NBC all highlight rights during the early Sunday primetime hours.
Posted: 1:16 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I agree with you 100%. I do wish that they had kept JB on the Fox Pregame, I enjoyed the goofy banter at times. Joe Buck is very over-rated, I don't think he would be in the business if it weren't for his father. Jack was an icon and his voice and commentary will forever be remembered by true sports fans but I don't think that could be said about Joe. I no longer watch the pregame shows.
Posted: 1:17 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
In the beginning, ESPN's pregame was novel in the way everyone was loose and having fun. It wasn't a heavily-structured serious program like the others. Now? EVERY show tries to be loosey-goosey with comments, ribbing, and laughter. More to the point: FAKE laughter. Are they paid extra to laugh loud and hard at every inane comment?
I will not watch ESPN's show because of Michael Irvin. I agree with your comments about CBS - dull. I watched week one on Fox and was not impressed. My solution for week two was to watch Manchester United vs Arsenal. Great game and I did not feel the football games I watched were any less interesting because I was not "informed".
Posted: 1:21 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Pre Joe Buck I would flip back and forth between ESPN and FOX, but now its either ESPN or the crazy preachers on the gospel channel. They both seem to have about the same meaningful football content.
Posted: 1:26 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch, and won't watch. Those guys on EVERY show (a few exceptions like Jaws and Jackson)are just sensionalistic talking heads who try to get a reaction. And if I want to know about questionables, I can find all that I need online. My vow at the end of last year to not watch another pro pre-game show WILL come to fruition.
Posted: 1:27 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Joe Buck has ruined FOX NFL Sunday. Why anyone would like this guy is beyond me. I'm looking forward to watching him get body slammed by Howie Long - of course I'll have to catch it on youtube.com since I won't be watching it live on FOX
Posted: 1:29 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Pregame shows are a waste of time. The provide not much more info than what you've already heard throughout the week. If they want me to watch they should give some inside scoop on the cheerleaders. I guarantee the viewership would go through the roof.
Posted: 1:30 PM, September 20, 2006   by jngo23
I have always watched the FOX pregame show because CBS is too boring and I'm still a little groggy in the morning to take the yelling of Michael Irvin. I do agree with you that Jillian Barberie was a big lost because not only did she do the weather report, she actually knew about football. As for Joe Buck, he's an acquired taste. I think the chemistry will take some time, like this whole season. He one hell of a commentator but as for a pregame host, we'll see.
Posted: 1:31 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch any of the pre-game shows. I do a little work around the house, clean up after a late, late breakfast, spend some time with my son, and purposely avoid any of the NFL networks. I then plop myself down on the couch at precisely 1:02 PM, hopefully just in time to watch the ball sail through the air after the opening kickoff.
Posted: 1:31 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
ESPN is the best. It is two hours and they cover every game. I like Mike Irvin, I never liked FOX. Joe Buck is too smug and Terry Bradshaw is too dimwitted. I love James Brown and am sorry he has such a weak supporting cast. NBC is awful. Sterling Sharpe and Bettis add nothing. Also Al Michaels is the most overrated announcer ever.
Posted: 1:32 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I too was a Fox fan, but I cannot see the point in subjecting us to Joe Buck overkill. I mean, NFL pre-game, NFL play-by-play, MLB; is he going to be on "24" next, or will he bump off Bart on "The Simpsons"? I have a hard time believing that there's not some other entertaining, knowledgeable pregame show host/traffic cop that can keep Bradshaw, Long and Johnson in step. Let's face it, JB is a class act, but no one else can do it? How about Stuart Scott?
Posted: 1:34 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I have said repeatedly that Joe Buck is a terrible announcer, regardless of the sport. His commentary on the fake Moss' mooning of the Packers fans was so pretentious that I wanted to reach through the screen and throttle him. To expand his role was a horrible decision by Fox, a company known for consistency in making bad decisions.

But let's be honest, the Fox pregame show was still bad last year and the year before. It was just the lesser of two evils to choose from, and the CBS show just happened to be worse. Jillian wouldn't have helped, she's just nicer to look at than remaining idiots.

I get all my info from the web now, and yes it is for BOTH fantasy and wagering purposes. It doesn't annoy me to the point of shoving an icepick into each eardrum like every pregame show.
Posted: 1:34 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
What made FOX was the kinda "comedic" take on the NFL and their pregame, but they have successfully ruined it all. Joe Buck is not the answer. CBS is still the same old tired CBS pre-game show. NBC, well, as you said, "it's no primetime." ESPN is really all that's left for me to watch and I enjoy it, good information, and overall the cast is good(even Michael Irvin isn't yelling that much this year)
Posted: 1:38 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I agree with your views. Berman and co. at ESPN make their pregame show the best-no comedy routines, no rock-video, pop-culture editing techniques, just football from experts (with the exception of that kenny mayne segment). CBS' show looks like CNBC or FOX, their graphics call too much attention to itself and James Brown is not a football guy he is a shameless show biz entertainer. Joe Buck is only good for doing the games with Aikman or Daryl Johnston because they keep him focused, but you're right his comedy act does not work at all, in baseball this fact is made even worse. Finally FOX has long since abandoned doing football, and have been in the business of shamelessly copying MTV for the longest time-not worth watching. ESPN's Primetime is sorely missed. NBC's football telecast and preview show are an O.K. first attempt, it's good to see Costas back doing football
Posted: 1:41 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I have a hard time watching any of the pregame shows anymore. I used to love ESPN's countdown, but I can't stand listening to Michael Irvin yap about Miami and Dallas anymore, I am also tired of hearing about T.O. every 5 minutes. Nobody cares about him anymore. Also, is it just me or are Sundays just not the same without NFL Primetime after the late game? Bring back Chris and Tom quick!!
Posted: 1:41 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I can't watch any of the pregames. The insult your intelligence. Several of the commentators/contributors are so gutteral or illiterate, you can't understand them. Others are felons with questionable character who they keep recycling. Just start the games, give down and distance, line of scrimmage, time and substitutions. The constant jibberish and yuk fest just drives you nuts, you have to turn off the sound.
Posted: 1:46 PM, September 20, 2006   by Caroline P.
I love J.B. so I followed him to CBS, but for me ESPN is the best pre-game show out there, except when Irvin is ranting about something or being an apologist for "TO the great", which drives me insane. I try to tune him out as much as possible. Tom Jackson and Jaws are great. CBS ranks a close second now that JB's on board (even with Shannon Sharpe there, who's just marginally better than Irvin). FOX just reeks now. Not even the presence of Howie Long could get me to watch anymore.
I feel ESPN has the best pregame. Problems are: 1) not an Irvin fan (although he doesn't bother me as much as before) & 2) lasts too long (starts too early for us West coast people). I typcially find myself coming in after it has started and don't feel like setting up TiVo. Never really liked CBS even though I am more of an AFC person. I did see week 1 with James Brown and thought it was better, but still didn't create a spark. I have always been a FOX guy. I enjoyed the interactions with the group, thought the info was good enough for what I wanted and I liked the segments they did (Jillian, the week's picks). Joe Buck is okay, but I don't like them on the road. Too much background noise that I find myself trying to listen too (anyone have "Dallas sucks" going through their mind most of Sunday?) or I look in the background for offensive/funny pictures. I think it affects the performance of Terry, Howie and Jimmy as well. Dumping Jillian (or that segment in general) was a bad idea. I think the best part is still their quick question segment because it gives the three a chance to answer and discuss quickly. Now I TiVo FOX and can watch the show in about 15 minutes. As far as NBC...haven't really seen much since I have the DTV football package. Plus, this past Sunday my wife said to me after the late games finished, "Gee honey, only 30 more minutes until the next game." And it was with a major sarcastic tone. Needless to say, I spent those 30 minutes doing some things around the house. Bottom line, the pre games have lost their luster for me.
As a female, Fox lost me when they brought that trash Jillian on, and I never will tune in again even tho they got smart and got rid of her. CBS boys never did anything for me and the jury's still out on NBC, altho all the Bus love and references have gotten old (just like they did during the superbowl run). ESPN is the gold standard as far as I am concerned. I love Berman, TJ, Jaws and Young. Irvin has grown on me a tad, at least he can be remotely funny at times even tho he's always taking the side of whatever diva WR has done wrong this week. The absolute best thing ESPN has going for it over all the others, however, and I haven't seen his name mentioned, is MORT!!! He's always got the scoop and I live for his updates. Just my two cents!
Posted: 2:01 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I have no use for any of them. Being a Bears fan, the only one I used to watch was Fox as it was on before those games. But the blowhards they have on there (Bradshaw...just shut up!) made it unbearable. The only guy who made any sense and wasn't there just to shout the others down was JB and now he is gone. And I beg to differ, while I am a fan of gratuitous hot babes, I think launching Jillian the weather bimbo was a good idea. She was annoying as all heck.
Posted: 2:02 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I'm with you, too, Jimmy. I always catch the ESPN pregame, mostly because I consider Tom Jackson the most knowledgeable and level headed "talking head" out there. Great human interest stories and Mort has the best "breaking new" updates. I turned Fox off years ago as soon as I saw Terry Bradshaw on the set. CBS - they have a pregame?
Posted: 2:03 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I gave up on Pregame shows last year, when all of the pregame shows officially threw in the towel on insight and information, in exchange for loudmouth personalities, gimmicks, and blatant stupidity. In short, they dumbed down the shows, and they lost me. (The hypocrisy is sometimes downright comical. You think I want to see Michael Irvin do a critique on Terrell Owens' me-first showboating? Are you kidding me? From the guy who made celebrating 5-yard receptions a league-wide requirement? Please.)
Posted: 2:06 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
NFL Primetime was the best, and it is now gone. No highlights show on television can come close to it.

I think we also lost the best broadcast crew on television in Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Paul McGuire. I think they were better than ANY of the other crews, including Buck and Company. If I were ESPN, I would have rewarded these three by handing them the Monday night game. Theismann is still there, but now we're left with Tirico and Kornheiser.
Posted: 2:06 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I think it's truly sad what's happened to Bob Costas. Back in the day, when he did pregame for NBC, he had a great team around him and his personality was terrific. Now, FNA is so bland and bad, and Costas looks and sounds like he's lost his fastball. Terrible show.
Berman and Jackson are the best. I enjoy Bermans quirkyness, his jokes and the quickwitted nicknames he throws out from time to time. Tom Jackson is level headed, knows the game and doesn't try to overshadow anyone. Jaws is a keeper as he provides alot of insight and does know the game.
However, I am a Cowboy fan but could do without Irvin. To flashy, too loud and a showboat.

As far as commentating a game, no one better in the biz than Al Michaels and John Madden. Period.
FOX is the worst!!!! Get back in the Studio and off the road. Get Joe Buck back doing play by play. He is AWFUL!!! ESPN is OK but like all others, I hate Irvin. I am trying CBS, but they have a lot of work left to do.
Posted: 2:12 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
i watch espns pre-game show unti Irving starts shilling for TO and than i am out of there. The 2 best things on pre game are Frank Calinendo and the Mayne Event
Posted: 2:21 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The only pregame show that I have ever watched regularly was on ESPN. I love Chris Berman and Tom Jackson. But I can't stomach Michael Irvin. Maybe it's because he's obnoxious or maybe it's because I'm a diehard Skins fan and I can't take listening to a former Cowboy talk about anything. But since he came on the show, I won't watch it. One other comment off of topic, I miss NFL Primetime. A lot.
Posted: 2:21 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Fox used to be my favorite pre-game show, but I am going with ESPN as well. Joe Buck seems to be an outkast on the show, especially when his feeble attempts at humor fail.
Posted: 2:26 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I live on the west coast. Between getting up, eating breakfast going to church (honest!) and everything else I never watch a pre-game show and none of my friends out here do, either.
Posted: 2:28 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to be a big fan of the Fox pre-game show with JB and the crew. I am so disappointed with JB leaving and his replacement is the obnoxious self-centered Joe Buck who is all about himself and who really doesn't let the others get a word in. Fox what are you doing? Joe Buck is annoying! And go back to the studio please and bring back Jillian and JB. And CBS, I can't understand half the things Shannon Sharpe says!
Posted: 2:35 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Replace Joe Buck with Curt Meneffee and the chemistry on Fox will be back again!! Otherwise it's just not the same without JB!
Posted: 2:36 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Anybody who doesn't like Joe Buck is not a true sports fan....
Posted: 2:37 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I completely agree.I to was an old FOX guy, but I don't care for their on location set. Save it for the playoffs. I also miss J.B.x2. I do watch ESPN.Jaws was a great addition.
Posted: 2:38 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Costas is NBC Sports. Collinsworth has transformed himself from difficult to listen to and now is a decent talking football head. However the problem for FNA is that ESPN's NFL Primetime was not only the best sports program on tv, to me it ranked as one of the best hours on television period. Jackson and Berman know their stuff and their chemistry is undeniable. The absence of NFL Primetime from the airwaves is the single biggest loss to NFL fans resulting from the new TV contract.
Posted: 2:38 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
At this point, Chris Berman is like a Vegas lounge singer who has been in the same dumpy casino for 20 years. I found him funny in high school, but that is because I was in High School. He is so hackneyed; he is like a cartoon character of himself. I watch Fox because I am an NFC (NY Giants) fan, but for the most part, I wait until kick-off where I will be yelled at for three straight hours, so I don't feel much of a need to subject myself to an additional 60 minutes of hyperbole.
Posted: 2:46 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Pregame shows are almost entirely pointless except for injury and weather updates (gambling, fantasy football).

Football Night in America is terrible compared to Primetime. They show less and worse highlights, and have one of the Sharpe brothers. Seriously some of the crap Sterling says is unbelievable dumb, commenting on a random play for 10+ yards "This could be the play that defines their season" and this was in Week 1. Ok, so a good played in week one = season defining?? I don't really care for Collinsworth and Costas shouldn't be hosting the show, hes terrible at it.

The only good thing that has happened this sesaon in terms of overall NFL coverage is that we get more Jaws, by far the BEST football analyst on television. ESPN should really replace their MNF crew with the backup crew they had for the Raiders v. Chargers game Week 1.
Thank goodness for pre-game shows. Hey, I can turn it off while my wife is in the room and say "Honey, you mean more to me than football!" The end result - get lucky and then watch the real game while she is at the mall.
Posted: 2:49 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I turn on the pregame but I'm not glued to the set as though it was an actual game. I like having some buildup to a full day of games, injury updates, and maybe one interesting feature.

#1 is FOX - despite Buck's presence,
there is genuine humor and the onsite could be interesting

#2 is ESPN - they at least preview all the games and have some really top talent (Mort, TJ, Jaws) but a few too many idiots over the years. I thought Steve Young would be funny like he is Toyota commercials. No.

#3 is CBS - so dull and so insulting to adult fans. They should start over.
Posted: 2:50 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
No more Buck. Fox used to be good. Now I watch ESPN when I watch any pregame.
Posted: 2:50 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to watch the CBS pre-game show for the infamous "Thurston Long's Outside the Huddle" report. That was a lot of fun, but only lasted one season. I liked Sterling Sharpe because he was ascerbic and witty, and called it like he saw it.

Now, I don't watch any of them. The networks want to spend more time trying to "hype up" the game than they do broadcasting it. I don't need a bunch of "talking heads" telling me how to enjoy the game.
Posted: 2:52 PM, September 20, 2006   by Andre M. Hernandez
The pre-Game shows focus on the same topics each week.
T.O.
Reggie Bush
Big Ben
The Manning brothers
Farvre
Belicheck
Tom Brady
Johnson's T.D. dance
Next time you watch, hold this list and check off one at a time.
Posted: 2:53 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I could care less about the pre-game shows. Watching 6.5 hours of football is plenty for me.
Posted: 2:55 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The pre-game shows are nothing but a bunch of jocks getting together and hamming it out. They provide very little insight into the games and only rarely come out with a comment that is meaningful to the upcoming games at hand. All you need is two analyst at the most and I agree that Jaws and Jackson provide the best commentary on the games from ESPN.
Posted: 2:56 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I see the pre game shows as time fillers for people with too much time on their hands. A lot of pointless talk whichdoes nothing for me in terms of enahncing the footbal wtaching experience.
Posted: 2:57 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
As long as Stuart Scott is not hosting, then I'll watch anything!
Posted: 3:00 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Joe Buck is the worest anoncer I ever heard. James Brown was alot better. Fox is ruined if they keep this up. ESPN has the best crew on TV. Then comes NBC with Coastas and Madden and Micheals. CBS is third and it will take some time for James Brown too gel over there.
Posted: 3:04 PM, September 20, 2006   by Gordon
There all crap!! The only one that was any good was ESPN Primetime...The constant quest of these talking heads to "out-pun" the others is excruitiating!! Especially the NBC Sunday night "show". Just give me 5 mins of Madden prior to kick-off and I'm set!
Posted: 3:05 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I'd just like to reiterate everyone who has blasted FOX for getting rid of Jillian (not that she was needed, but she looked great doing whatever she did) and getting rid of James Brown, he kept the others in check and I respected him. And worst of all taking on Joe Buck (why can't he just go back to baseball?). When you've got a good thing going, why change it?! Nice work Bradshaw.
Posted: 3:07 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I got tired of watching pre-game shows. Too much hype for their networks games. Too much hype for star players. I wish they'd focus more on lesser known players who they believe do their jobs well enough to let the 'stars' shine. I can't stand Esiason, Collinsworth, or Irvin. I'm neutral with Bradshaw, Marino, and Jackson. I love Long, Johnson, and Berman. Jaworski is the best analyst. Joe Buck is the best there is, in the booth. In the studio he ranks last of the moderators. I didn't care for Barberie for anything more than what she was there for, TNA. I don't care about the weather. Injuries are OK. I've already placed my bets so any pre-game wager info is useless to me. I watch pre-game shows because I want to know what strategies and matches each team is going to use to their advatage. I love to hear about football theory and breakdown of plays because it helps me play Madden NFL better.
Posted: 3:08 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch pregame shows and to go even further, would be in favor of an option for viewers that I've called "sounds of the game". Give me the option to mute only the announcers/play-by-play callers etc. and I'd watch all...day...long in surround sound and be willing to pay extra for it. Think of the money the networks would save when this caught on, not to mention the income from guys like me who could give a rat's *ss about the meaningless drivel being constantly spewed during the game.
Joe Buck is quite annoying -- everything from his name to his awful sense of humor.

Overall, pregame shows are what they are: filler. If you watch them for a whole hour it's like watching sportscenter three times in a row with worse commentary.

I watch them if I'm bored or if I'm feeling indecisive about a fantasy matchup, who to start, the weather, etc.
Posted: 3:14 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Look for betting there is no pregame show that really is going help you. The Books already know even before ESPN. I have watched all of these shows over the years to just past the time before kickoff and none of them are/were perfect. However, FOX & ESPN had the best ones hands down. The changes over the years have been many and it adds to the mix in a positive way. I live on the west coast now and its hard to be up and coherent at 10am for the games muchless the pre-game shows, but for entertainment value FOX lost some with JB leaving, no doubt! Jillian was always a reason to get up in the morning (Good Day LA) but not as much of a loss as JB! The BIGGEST LOSS this year is NFL PrimeTime. Why??? If you missed the day or just a game NFL PT brought you up to speend and always had the best highlight films! THAT'S THE REAL LOSS THIS YEAR! Besides with NFL network and ESPN you will always be keppt informed during the week on who will play and who will not and any other relative info.
Posted: 3:21 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Just bring on the game we et enough mindless dribble from the game announcers.
Chris Berman is the man! Like you I've grown up with him and honestly I believe he speaks w/ passion when it comes to football. The show would get an A if they'd can Irving. I agree about the Fox pre-game show. I'm tired of seeing Joe Buck and if I have to watch him in another beer commercial I'm gonna go postal. CBS.......Well they just suck. Their bland (even w/ the mouth Shannon Sharpe) and they don't even broadcast in HD! What a waste, ESPN has their act together. They could just throw the other two networks pre-game shows out the window.
Come back JB!
Come back Gillian!

I always looked forward to the FOX Pre-game show. The show was informative, enjoyable and JB, Terry, Howie and Jimmy really seemed to be having a good time together and their chemistry came across. I had never heard of this Buck guy before and I think FOX has totally ruined their show by adding him to the mix ('cos there is no mix).
The loss of J.B. for "the new J.B." was a debacle. Fox has been hands down the best pre-game for several years, but the chemistry is gone. I personally like Michael Irvin, he plays the devils advocate on every negative story in football. As for CBS, even James Brown can't save me from that boring waste of my time, I believe most people call him Dan Marino. Until Fox brings back the real J.B. I'm watching ESPN for pre-game and post-game football.
Posted: 3:29 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The loss of J.B. for "the new J.B." was a debacle. Fox has been hands down the best pre-game for several years, but the chemistry is gone. I personally like Michael Irvin, he plays the devils advocate on every negative story in football. As for CBS, even James Brown can't save me from that boring waste of my time, I believe most people call him Dan Marino. Until Fox brings back the real J.B. I'm watching ESPN for pre-game and post-game football.
Posted: 3:30 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I tend to watch ESPN. More because I watch their early morning lineup (SportsCenter and Sports Reporters....) than any kind of preference. I can't stand the "Playmaker". Didn't like him when he was a player and don't like him now. Irvin doesn't have a clue. He's loud and ignorant. TJ looks like he want's to body slam him some of the time. I like TJ, but that could be more because I liked him as a player than any real insights on the show. Young is almost as ignorant as Irvin, but he's more likable. I never thought I'd say this, because I've been an ESPN guy from the time it started, but Berman's act is getting old. You can only entertain for so long. Sooner or later, you have to know what you're talking about.
Posted: 3:34 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Pregame shows are no longer useful. Back in the day, we would read our local paper for the local team coverage, and get the big stories around the NFL from pregame every week. Now, everyone knows everything that is happening in the league from online articles, and we don't have to wait until 1 hour before gametime to hear news. As for the networks...

CBS - JB is great, but Boomer and Marino always get annoyed when someone diagrees with them, and they constanly talk down the the audience. THUMBS DOWN.

FOX - I watched FOX every Sunday for 10 years, but without JB, its madness, unstructured, and pointless. I don't hate Joe Buck like everyone else, and I like him for baseball, but switching him with Curt Menefee (sp?), and using different guys for highlights...uh, where is the continuity people?! THUMBS DOWN.

NBC - I barely get to see it because I am watching the end of the late games. Did I see them sitting on couches doing the highlights? THUMBS DOWN, for now...

ESPN - The good: Jaws, Mort, Clayton, TJ. The bad: Berman, Young. The ugly: Irvin. Over a two hour time span, you can just watch interesting things here and there, and ignore the fluff. One THUMB UP, One THUMB DOWN.

So what is the conclusion? Watch ESPN, but channel surf constantly to find the best story at the time.
Posted: 3:35 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
They are all pretty banal after 1 minute.If you spend more than three minutes a week watching any of these guys, you need to get a better life.

What's worse are the color commentators who are masters at stating the obvious. At least with the pre-game guys you don't have to watch them. I would encourage the dolts who comment on TV games to tape Dave Lapham of the Bengals radio network. Although he is a huge homer, he does tell it like it is when his team plays poorly or the other team plays well; and you get a great picture of what linemen on both sides of the ball are doing.
Posted: 3:38 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Ron Jawarski quickly became one of my favourite NFL pregame personalities. He's intelligent, informative and it's so easy to appreciate his 'under-stated' manner, especially when compared to the likes of Michael Irvin. Pregame shows this year have already become so annoying that I have decided to use that time to do my laundry, while I anxiously await for kick-off!
PS I'm hoping you will use Monday Night Football's Tony Kornheiser as one of your next blog subjects. I have only enough laundry for Sunday. Tony has to go! Soon!
Posted: 3:38 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Joe Buck is dreadfull and whenever he is on I change the channel. If you ever calls a Falcons game I mute the TV and turn on the radio. I don't know what it is but he just rubs me the wrong way. Since Fox doesn't have JB anymore I just skip pregame shows and get more food ready for the game!
Posted: 3:43 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I like the post games shows, to see what happened in other games. I could care less about all that Fantasy crap. Fantasy Football is just another version of Dungeon's and Dragons.
Posted: 3:44 PM, September 20, 2006   by Frank in NOLA
I agree 100% with your comments regarding ESPN. Doesn't Michael Irvin annoy everyone? I also miss Primetime. Frankly, I can do without any of the NFL pre-game shows; College Game Day outdoes them all!
Posted: 3:44 PM, September 20, 2006   by Frank in NOLA
I agree 100% with your comments regarding ESPN. Doesn't Michael Irvin annoy everyone? I also miss Primetime. Frankly, I can do without any of the NFL pre-game shows; College Game Day outdoes them all!
Posted: 3:49 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Living in AZ, the pregame shows air too early for me. I'd imagine that the same is true for non-bettors in any western city. When I have watched them, I've found that little has changed. FOX continues to insult our intelligence. Joe Buck is a fine choice for any program, but the FOX zoo is detrimental to anyone who really cares to learn anything. CBS fails to draw me in. ESPN does the best job, in general, but they deliver this stuff so often during the week, often repeating segments that appear on Sunday morning, that a regular viewer may feel they're wasting time that could be better spent reading the Sunday funnies. The NBC program is alright -- anything with Costas is worthwhile -- but has too many negatives: Bettis adds little thus far; Collinsworth is more candid on 'Inside the NFL', Sterling Sharpe fails to live up to either of his names. Peter King is excellent, but more so in print than on the air. Like Gammons, though, his access is incredible.

But, if there is a good late game (if, as in AZ, you consider the 1pm game to be 'late') airing somewhere, I'd never see the NBC show. Given the endless nature of most close games, I'd guess that NBC will find poor ratings.
Posted: 4:02 PM, September 20, 2006   by Melinda
Like many others have commented, FOX was my automatic Sunday selection for pregame until this year. I haven't been impressed (not just with Buck) and have found myself switching between CBS (which I NEVER would have imagined in previous years). Jim Brown going to CBS and Gillian leaving was a big hit. Howie, Bradshaw and JJ (who I can't stand, but was okay with his presence when Brown, Long and Bradshaw balanced it out) are giving it their best, but the new road approach, Buck leaving the last 10-15 minutes (further disrupting any flow that might have started), etc. has made the first two weeks choppy and unentertaining. I will be checking out ESPN more as well...I used to watch it until FOX pulled me away years ago...it may well be time to go back.
Posted: 4:07 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I watch ESPN pre-game only on Sunday mornings just for the Chris Mortensen updates. He gets the info the quickest for fantasy players. Irvin is real annoying tho. I turn Fox on about 12:20ET to catch the Frank Caliendo segment. I love his segments, he is hysterical and I love it when he rips on the other hosts (did you see the James Brown sketch last week.. classic). The rest of the Fox pregame is terrible, they bring nothing to the table. CBS is really boring although I like JB but Marino and Esiason are both very bland.
Posted: 4:19 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
True! Maybe the powers to be (fat chance) could cut the pregame to just 15 minutes prior to the real game. The only benefit to these crews is during halftime and post game for scores/highlights of other games.
Posted: 4:31 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
NBC and CBS are so dull, and ESPN and FOX rock!
As a long-time NFL fan, I'm looking for information, not entertainment. I haven't watched any of the TV pregame shows in years. The insipid jock banter is obnoxious and boring. Instead, I find a few of the radio pregame shows to be much better. Like you, I can't stand the new FOX set-up with the travelling outdoor set. Who can hear or make sense out of anything that's being said? ESPN was nuts for giving up the NFL Primetime program after the Sunday 4 pm games. I LOVED that show . . . the energy, the clips, the commentary. And, by the way, for the first time since Larry Czonka was running for the Dolphins, I skip the Monday Night games. I hate Kornheiser's work, and while I like Mike Tirico, football play-by-play is not his forte.
-Jerry
Posted: 4:34 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I work for one of the four shows we are debating and this my honest analysis of each:

CBS- Hiring JB is right on the money but I agree that one of the QBs and Sharpe have to go. Bring in a defensive guy and keep it to 3 in the studio. But I applaud CBS for not trying to be outlandish and copy FOX as they tried a few years back.

FOX- Embarrassing. Joe Buck should only be allowed to do St. Louis Cardinal broadcasts and that's it. FOX had it's run with JB, TB, JJ, HL, Jillian, & Kimmel/Caliendo but it's over now

NBC- BORING!!! How dare the NFL allow the new contract to only let NBC carry a Primetime highlight show. If the NFL cared about its product there should have been a stipulation saying that ESPN can still keep Primetime as long as they promote the SNF game on NBC.

ESPN- Countdown has always been the most informative but too often they try to fix something that was never broken. It started with Rush Limbaugh and continues with Michael Irvin. How about if you have any criminal or drug related background you don't get hired. That's how most Media companies work anyway.

If you are like me and grew up in the 80s & 90s then nothing touches ESPN Primetime. It was the best. I might cry now.
Posted: 4:46 PM, September 20, 2006   by Rodney
What needs to happen is the NFL allow ESPN to bring back Chris Berman and Tom Jackson with NFL Primetime! This was THE best NFL show, BAR NONE, except the games themselves. It is truely missed. Even if they taped it later on Sunday or early on Monday and run the program before the Monday night game, would be much more staisfiable than having to sit through "Football Night in America"! What a joke that Bettis is. Very disapointing.
Posted: 4:51 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I couldn't agree more with you. It's like I wrote this article. I used to love FOX, but can't stand it now with the presence of Buck. ESPN is probably the best choice even with Irvin. I wish we could go back to the way it was last year!
Posted: 4:54 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Anyone who watches any of these pregame shows needs to be shot. They are a waste of air time.
Posted: 4:55 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't like to watch the pre-game shows, they are way too long, I like Tom Jackson, if only he could put a sock in Michael Irving mouth, I amight actually start to watch the show. I just want them to hurry up and get to the games. Sometimes I watch the game on mute because they over analyze the game to much.
Posted: 5:02 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
you are absolutlely right Football night in America is lame, it will never compare to Chris Berman and Primetime. I abosolutly cannot stand Joe Buck so I also watch the ESPN pregame. And don't be ashamed to say you like Chris Berman, he is a legend I miss eating dinner Sunday nights while watching him call Deion primitime, thos were the good old days. Miss the rumbling, tumbling funmbling aspects of the SWAMI on Sunday night.
Posted: 5:05 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I watch about 6 hours of football on Sundays. Who the hell has time to watch pre-game garbage when you're about to see the game anyway? Who cares if an analyst thinks Team A will beat Team B? THEY'RE ABOUT TO PLAY!!! If, for some reason, they decide to never play football games and only talk about them, then I may take in a "pre-game" show.
Like you, I used to love the FOX pregame show. But this season, I was gone after one week. (And I love JBuck, he's from my home town, but he needs to stick to P-B-P.) Now, during that hour before kickoff, I watch HBO's Inside the NFL (which I have LOVED for years) that I TIVOed on Wednesday night.

Bottom line, I don't need the pregame puppets that are blabbing the same stuff I've already read on the Internet.
Pregame is the only guaranteed entertainment on Football Sunday. Most games flame out.

FOX with JBs (James Brown and Jillian Barberie) set a high standard.
Although I love Joe Buck and Aikman minus Collinsworth is the best announcing team, I HATE him on the pregame and I hate the on the road. Its bothersome and worst of all it reminds me of CBS pregame on 5th Ave. AWFUL.

I don't understand a word Shannon Sharpe says, Dan Marino is a male bimbo and Boomer is... well... Boomer Esiason. It doesn't bode well for that panel when JB has as many superbowl rings as the 2 QBs.

by default, ESPN is the best. Too bad its 2 hours and they have to fill it with "Mayne Event." that segment makes me want to read a book instead of getting pumped for football.

Also, I am incapable of watching any game that has Bill Maas as a color guy. he talks more than my girlfriend after 2 Martinis and a bad week at work.
Posted: 5:24 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to be an ESPN pre-game show follower all the way. But when they added Michael Irvin, they lost me (how many times can we listen to him extolling "The U")? Then I was a FOX pre-game man, until I heard that they picked Joe Buck to be the man (makes all of those commercials making us wonder who they picked one of the biggest let-downs in TV history). But I have given FOX a chance. First of all, I was right...... Joe Buck is no good in this capacity (or as the #1 guy on the top game.) Second of all, I don't like the distraction of taking the show on the road. A bunch of already drunken fans jumping around in the background really detracts from the show. I know it has only been 2 weeks, but I see that the way is set. Being on the West Coast, the pre-game show is always my way of kicking off the day with breakfast a some insight into the days activities. Seems like TV has taken that away, too.
Posted: 5:25 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
FOX went prompt stupid this season. Letting James Brown and Jillian Barberie go was sheer lunacy - what were they thinking? He's a goner and locked-in with his new gig. They should go back to her - hat in hand, apologize and ease her back into the fold. The show flops without her there.
Posted: 5:32 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
What happened to Primetime on ESPN? That was my favorite football show - a chance to catch everything in one sitting.
Joe Buck's self-righteousness, arrogance, ignorance, ubiquity, shrill blandness and inexplicably unwavering support from FOX are a blight upon the NFL's space in the media world.
Posted: 5:41 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to watch Fox (sorry, but Jillian was the one low point for me), and rather enjoyed it. However, Joe Buck is not the answer to ANYTHING! He just annoys me.
From what I have seen ESPN is the best option for fans interested in a pregame show. Don't worry about missing the first 10-20 minutes of NBC's Football Night in America because you're not missing much, the show as a whole is exactly as you put it "no Primetime". I am also a Chris Berman guy and I definately miss Berman and Jackson with their fast paced Primetime show, Costas, Bettis and Co. don't even come close. As for Costas he is good at the Olympics and back in the day as a play-by-play guy for the NBA on NBC but his personality mixed with the others on the show provides viewers with pretty mellow show comparable to CBS's pregame show. As for Joe Buck and Fox's pregame, I have not yet had a chance to see it, however I think that the combination of Buck and Aikman are the best 1-2 combo doing games on any channel. On a final note, can FOX please bring back Jillian Barbarie, c'mon how can you fire her?
Posted: 5:47 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I am an avid pre game show fan. Although I enjoy watching ESPN, I use to turn to fox when their show started. Now that James Brown is no longer on Fox, I tend to change the channels back and forth between ESPN, FOX, and CBS. As for ESPN, by far they are the best pregame show as of now. FOX is disappointing because Joe Buck is not funny to me and I don't like all the jokes on Jimmy Johnson. As for CBS, if Shannon Sharpe was not on there, I would probably give it a chance, but I can't stand to hear him talk. Not a Boomer fan either. I guess for now I will just switch the channels until the game starts.
I do like the Berman gang as well. I miss Primetime more than I care about watching the restof the pregame shows
Posted: 5:57 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't think it's worth commenting on any show other than ESPN Gameday. It remains THE best pregame show bar none. On the flipside, the postgame shows (in which I include the NBC Football Night) are nothing when compared to the greatest postgam show in sports history, NFL PRIMETIME. Say what you will about the characters behind the desk, but Primetime has been the benchmark for excellence in postgame reporting and highlights for as long as I can remember. We no longer get any version of Primetime here in Canada, which leaves me pretty steamed as NBC's Football in America show is the slowest moving sports show I've ever attempted to watch.
Posted: 6:04 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I was a FOX PREGAME Guy every Sunday Morning! But with Buck the Boy's just are not the same. I'll wait for Kickoff to start my Sunday now!!
Posted: 6:04 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't play fantasy and I don't bet. I'm a lifelong fan. 90% of what is on the shows I know already from reading the paper or the net the previous week. I am totally indifferent as to whether I catch the pregame shows. But I never fail to learn from Jaworski, M. Hoge, and a bit from Mortenson.
Irvin and Didtka are utterly clueless. Being from La. Bradshaw embaresses me. Howie Long looks bored by the whole thing. J. Johnson could illuminate like Jaws if the studio would let him. Those mini-fields they set up are a terrible waste of good land.
Posted: 6:08 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I usually am waking up right before kickoff. If I do get up "early", ESPN is the network.
Hmm. It seems like (pretty much) everyone cannot stomach either Buck or Irvin. As this is neither new nor startling information, it ahould beg the question,
"What are FOX and ESPN thinking?!"
Hmm. It seems like (pretty much) everyone cannot stomach either Buck or Irvin. As this is neither new nor startling information, it ahould beg the question,
"What are FOX and ESPN thinking?!"
Posted: 6:15 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Someone in the know should cut and paste all of these comments into an email sent each network's sports head. 10k words of most football fans saying the same thing. They don't watch the pregame because there's no actual insight into the games, just dumb ex-jocks making lame jokes and observations most informed fans could easily make.
Posted: 6:15 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Can some one please tell me why fox replaced Brown? I'm willing to be it was a money thing....I do agree with you about ESPN pre-game show...I find myself watching it more so than not....And yes I too put up with CrackHead Irving........
Posted: 6:19 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I have to agree with you FOX had a good team with J.B. there I don't really like Buck in the others, it's just not the same. Buck is good with Troy as the #1 team. I too like Chris Berman for all the same reasons. I will not watch CBS even with J.B. there, and I don't watch NBC's Football Night in America, it cant touch Primetime.
Posted: 6:20 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I love ESPN's pre-show, with the exception of Irvin. All he does is defend the latest player with an attitude. He's just as much of a punk now as he was as a player. Year after year I hope they dump him. Boomer, Jaws and TJ would do just fine.
Posted: 6:26 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I've got a theory that either Fox can't stand talent or nobody with talent wants to stay with Fox. The best pregame show I have ever seen is Fox when it was JB, Terry, Howie and Collinsworth (even though I'm not a big fan of Howie, he does work well with the others). Then Fox decided to move Collinsworth to the booth. Stupid. I don't think anybody was happy there. And for the JB move, see above, I'm with everybody else. I think NBC did a reasonable job finding all the quality dumpoffs by other stations in Collinsworth and Sharpe (Sterling's much better than Shannon), but Bettis ruins it. He's just not an analyst. Personally, I like the highlights format of the show. I really could care less about analysis at that point. It has a feel of a postgame show, which is perfect for me.
I'm surprised no one has brought up the fact of how horrible FOX is with Curt Menafee. It seems like he is trying really hard, and I'm sure the FOX producers have told him what role or niche he has to fill. I really liked FOX with James Brown. I was watching the FOX show with friends and we all commented on how odd they all sounded without JB. We now watch ESPN, but I can't stand Michael Irvin. Everything about him, from the way he speaks to his suits, says LOUD!!
Posted: 6:27 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
This is kinda off topic, but I don't watch the pregame shows. My comment is about NFL Primetime. ESPN/Disney: For the love of Pete, put Berman and Jackson back on NFL Primetime. I don't care if it's on Monday, just put those 2 guys back on the show. I've officially had enough of Stuart "Boo Ya, Playa" Scott! This group they have now, on location of the Monday night game, is terrible. They all shout to us and over each other, because, I'm guessing, it looks like they took over the College Gameday set. The fans in the background are all screaming and shouting, so they announcers all have to shout over them. Terrible concept and show.
Posted: 6:33 PM, September 20, 2006   by Tom H.
I can no longer enjoy (or watch) any of the pre- or postgame shows. The Fox pregame program has lost a lot without James Brown and Jillian Barberie--and has lost still more with the addition of Joe Buck and the "live in front of the shouting, mindless fans" on-location sets. Joe Buck doesn't have the sense of humor or hipness to orchestrate the input of the other announcers (Bradshaw et al.), and what red-blooded male doesn't miss Jillian?

The alternatives are no better. CBS has always had lame announcers (remember the insipid Jim Nantz?) and good ol' NFL Sunday Countdown is way too long at two hours, especially with the obnoxious Michael Irvin.

Finally, I really miss ESPN's NFL Primetime. What were the suits thinking when they canned it?

Thanks for this therapeutic opportunity.
Posted: 6:34 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Fox? What happened? The bad... Joe Buck. He comes off like a jerk. No hot chick for Terry to flirt with. The good... Howie and Jimmy look like they want to beat the hell out of Joe Buck.

ESPN. The good... Boomer and the crew. The bad... the show format has gone tv news. (Close up, standing show promos with Berman and Jackson?)

CBS. The good... James Brown. The bad... the clash of the quarterback egos. I feel like a fight between Dan and Boomer could break out at any minute. (And it's still not good TV.)

NBC. The good... Bob Costas doesn't annoy me as much as I expected him to. Suzy C's plastic surgery. The bad... Bob Costas.
Posted: 6:46 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I watch the Fox pre-game show until Frank Caliendo is done. Then I do stuff around the house until the game comes on.

I do watch the ESPN show for the first hour since it's on before any of the other ones. However, I'm not a Michael Irvin fan so I don't watch it very closely.

I am probably one of the few that doesn't play fantasy football, so I don't watch any of the shows for that.
Posted: 6:46 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Please, exterminate Chris Berman, and hire the College Gameday Crew to do the pregame show....FOR ALL NETWORKS.
Posted: 6:50 PM, September 20, 2006   by More Cowbell
Jaws and maybe Chris Collingsworth are about the only class acts on TV talking about football. I really liked Dick Vermeil on the color on the Oakland game. The others, and I mean ALL the others, just talk...period. Irvin and Sharpe almost makes me want to buy a gun. I just can't watch any of them anymore. I stopped watching the pregame as there is no real news or insight. All yelling and laughing and jabbing each other. It's the male version of The View and who the hell wants that?
"My only thought is: It's no Primetime."

Bingo.

Nothing-pregame, postgames, whatever-matters to me except that NFL Primetime no longer exists. Mark my words, it will be back. Football Night in America is an empty suit. Bring back berman and TJ!!!
I don't want Chris Berman to die per se,... but a speech-debilitating stroke would be nice.
Posted: 7:19 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Everyone of these shows suffers from the idiot factor. Fox has Bradshaw. ESPN has Irvin, CBS has Esiason and NBC, well don't get me started on that....I think if Fox had kept JB and fired Bradshaw they would have been the top show hands down....unbelievable that a guy who has based his entire career on benefiting from other's greatness has not been seen for the fraud that he is.
Posted: 7:22 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
question...is James Brown even real, or is he a blown-up puppet? I like the guy though.

Buck is awful.

In the end, who really cares about the pre-game show, we all tune in to watch the actual game, right?
I"m with you regarding FOX, really cannot take Joe Buck. Also can barely stomach Michael Irvin, he is so predictable and brings nothing interesting to the table. I love JAWS.
Posted: 7:28 PM, September 20, 2006   by badgervan
The mere sight/sound of Michael Irvin, Theesman, and Bradshaw causes a channel check. If nothing better is found, radio will do. How the hell do Theesman and Irvin keep these prime time jobs, when there must be much, much better talent waiting in the wings?
Posted: 7:32 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I have to admit, there are way to many pregame shows to begin with. I watch ESPN out of habit really. Sure, Berman can be cheesy, but I love him for that (Just like a father who dosent know his jokes stink). Irvin has almost no credibility or accuracy, and manages to stay focused on the Cowboys under any circumstance. But he's like that annoying relative that you all know, and dont have the heart to kick out of your house, and so I just deal with him. I still, to this day, can't see how Jaws was ever a Football player. But he was, and that's ok, he has good insight. The ESPN crew is geared for an in your face discussion and wild predictions. Just like you would talk about at work, or at a BBQ. Thats why PTI was so good, it hit home to alot of fans, because thats how they communicate about sports. If Wilbon and Tony did a pregame show, I'd not only watch it, I'd tape it as well.
Posted: 7:48 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
im moving out to the west coast so luckly, im not getting up early enough to watch this crap. i used to love fox, but buck is the spawn of satan. ego, thats all i say. also, i miss primetime, that was religious for me, every sunday night turn on primetime to catch up on the day. i think espn needs to realize that if anything, primetime NEEDS to come back. i miss it!
Posted: 7:52 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Since they did away with the Fox pre-game crew that I loved to watch, pregame shows are out for me. I no longer tune-in to them; I tune in right before game time.
Posted: 7:59 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I would set my alarm for 8:55am when i was 5 years old to watch James Brown, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Chris Collinsworth on FOX every sunday...I havent done that in a long time, partly because they water down the show with stuff like 10 yards with TB and other junk, i miss the overview of all the games in a segment called "Check it Out" where they went through each team's storyline before the game and outlined key factors in a quick 90 second segment...I miss the good old days where i liked the pregame analysis better sometimes than the actual games

-Eloy, Chula Vista
I don't, nor will I watch any pregame shows this year. They're all terrible with the exception of Countdown, and that's only because ESPN has the most knowledgeable guys. Football Night in America is terrible. It's definitely no NFL Primetime, and the fact that the NFL would grant exclusive highlight rights is ludicrous in and of itself. Football Night in America comes off like an even slower-paced, duller version of HBO's Inside The NFL. NBC's NFL coverage was always boring, and I see that absence does not make NBC more entertaining.
Posted: 8:07 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The NFL should give rights to just one network to do a real "Pre-game show". The show will rotate from network to network on a weekly basis. Each network must have one representative on the team, but through an on-line poll, the fans decide who that representative will be.

If they do that, the weely lineup will be: Jaws, James Brown, Bradshaw and Madden.

Sideline reporter: Suzie
Weather: Jillian
Prediction: Jimmy Kimmel
Posted: 8:12 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
The ESPN Countdown show has taken over. Joe Buck has the same amount of chemistry as Daunte Culpepper has with Chris Chambers as he does with Terry, Howie, and Jimmy. CBS has sucked for years and not even JB can save them. Football Night is a Primetime but not as good because Bob Costas is no Chris Berman. As i look back on the pre and post game shows, Primetime and Countdown are always king.
Posted: 8:13 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
All these shows have essentially the same dilemma - Entertain or Inform. For all the cogent analysts (Long, Jaworski, TJ, occasionaly Esiason, Collinsworth) you have to suffer with irritating prima donnas or schtick-meisters (Bradshaw, Sh. Sharpe, Berman, Irvin - who is easily the most unwatchable with his yelling, mangled English and intransigence). Clearly no show is all things to all people so I just watch in small doses till I get irritated and reach for the remote. With the internet, other print or broadcast media during the week and then games continuously from 1:00 to 11:30 does one really need an hour or two hour pregame show of universally dubious quality? We should all go get some pregame exercise.
Posted: 8:17 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Even though ESPN has the potential to be by far the best show, I cannot (and will not) stomach Michael Irvin. ESPN's pregame show was absolutely fantastic the 2 weeks he was suspended last year because the police found a crack pipe in his car. Because he was not there SHOUTING ALL THE TIME BECAUSE HIS INFORMATION (at least in his little mind) IS SO DARN IMPORTANT, the other analysts were able to calmly analyze the games.

Once he got back, everybody had to start shouting again to battle his SHOUTING ALL THE TIME BECAUSE HIS INFORMATION (at least, in his little mind) IS SO GOSH-DARN IMPORTANT.

Can Irvin (or watch him closely after hours and catch him with another crack-whore), and the show will become watchable.

PS - last Sunday Jim Brown even commented about the all-QB, all the time focus of Simms and Marino, noting that a non-QB player got little attention from the ex-QBs ("well, he's not a QB so he doesn't count").
You're spot on. I choose the ESPN pre-game as well. Jaworski is the best in the business. His analysis of plays and particular situations rivals any NFL coach and I've always wondered why he didn't go that route. Tom Jackson is mature, informative and respectful of the audience. Chris Berman is well, ...Chris Berman. Loud , goofy, and convinced everyone has the exact same memory as him. Funny thing is he's pretty close most of the time. Michael Irvin is an a$$clown sideshow act, and I can't for the life of me figure out how in the he{{ he got accepted by admissions at the U. Much less, understand half the words that exit his pie hole. The rest of the pre-games are stale and uninformative. With the exception of Jaworski's breakdown, they really need to keep all fat guys off that astroturf mini field demonstrating plays in slow-motion. I pray that at the same time, Michael Irvin's new "baby bib" style ties don't sweep the nation. One more thing: The "JACKED UP" segment is the biggest bunch of BS ever! Seeing someone get "BLINDSIDED" is hardly funny, and this is the only type of shot they ever show. I promise you, if I'm running at full speed and crash into you while your not looking, you're going down. This is not only a childish and immature segment, it's insulting as well. Again, a Michael Irvin clownshow act. Good article.
Posted: 8:29 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I watch ESPN pre-game, but I can't stand Michael Irvin...he's an idiot and everyone knows it. I'm surprised so many people are down on Buck. Even if you're not a fan of his, he's nowhere near as irritating as the scumbags that keep getting hired (Irving, Deion, Shannon Sharpe) by the networks who like to talk about integrity but then show very little in their hiring practices. Trust me, it's not a rascist thing...James Brown and TJ are great, and nobody is more obnoxious than Bradshaw. I want to see the injury updates for Fantasy, and that's the biggest reason I tune in. I'm surprised you seem hesitant to admit you like Chris Berman...I don't know anyone who doesn't like him.
Posted: 8:29 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to watch FOX when I did not have Cable/Satelite but I got it I use to switch from ESPN and FOX. I cannot watch FOX since they let go of JB... and CBS is BORING and so that means ESPN has to be the favorite even with Micheal Irvin. NBC is still adjusting so we got to give them time.

(BTW, I watched the 1st NBC game and I hated seeing the hosts on a COUCH... talk about unprofessional!!!
Posted: 8:51 PM, September 20, 2006   by Jerome
Michael Irving is the biggest embarressment that ESPN has ever had to endure. Not only does he not know what he is talking about, but he suffers from the "when I was playing" disease. As long as ESPN lowers it's standards to allow him to be on their show and interview people, I will watch ANYTHING else other then their pregame show.
Posted: 9:04 PM, September 20, 2006   by David Nolley
Do you go to Ruth's Chris Steak House for the salads? Me neither. So why would anyone ever care about what any of these guys are saying about the main course. They're rarely right about anything, frequently annoying and mostly unprofessional. When was the law passed that declared all former pro player were fit for the broadcast booth? With rare exceptions( most notably Chris Collinsworth, Howie Long and Tom Jackson) most of these guys barely have command of the English language. All the shouting, baiting, preening and hyperbole-filled gibberish is grating. Cosell was a ego-maniacal windbag but he knew his stuff. He was right when he coined the phrase "jockocracy" to describe where sports broadcasting was headed.
Posted: 9:06 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Can someone (anyone?) explain the merits of Irvin? All bluster, very few salient points with little real insight, horrible delivery and enunciation, extreme bias, lack of humour etc. etc. After his legal problem last year and being out of contract I was certain that he was going to disapear. No such luck! It looks like ESPN wants to antagonize us with this guy who takes unlikability to a whole different level. That is unless you want to throw in Joe T. on Mondays and add their dueling sideline "reporters". With other networks doing away with these chirping no-nothings, ESPN has instead chosen to double their numbers and continue to allow or even encourage their talking over play by play and game analysis. Mind you when the analysis is by Joe T. and Tony, Tony, Tony who was a good idea gone wrong (contrary to his rep neither a humourist or a curmudgeon) maybe there is something strangely meritorious about this.
Posted: 9:15 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I agree with your last comment - gambling and fantasy are the primary reasons to watch a pregame show. ESPN is my choice because TJ and Jaws are the best analysts and Mort is top notch at providing useful information. Fox used to be second, but the road show is unbearable, as is Joe Buck and the loss of Jillian is also inexcusable. I also agree that the Vermeil/Jaws tandem on the SD-Oakland MNF game was brilliant and they should be doing more games.
Posted: 10:19 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Pre game shows are just a male soap opera; who is mad at who, who is about to get fired, what quarterback should be benched, which coach is on the hot seat. Men talking to other men like its important. It's only important to gamblers and fantasy league 'get a lifers'. Just let me know when the game starts. I'll even take watching the half time band come out rather than going back to the studio.
Posted: 10:33 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
joe buck is the worst, i hate his voice, his personality and everything else about him. He needs to get off his high horse... a fake moon is not the end of the world
Posted: 10:39 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
If there is a more under-rated broadcaster than Howie Long I'd like to see him. He does a great job of bringing a different perspective of the game to the telecasts without trying to grab the spotlight. Too often you have ex-players who are either inarticulate, have no real insight or are just plain obnoxious on the shows. A pregrame show is all about balance; some offense, some defense and someone to hold it together. What we seem to see in this era is an unbalanced mess.
Posted: 10:47 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to be a Fox guy and flip to ESPN during commercials, but like everyone else commenting I think Joe Buck is enough reason to put the remote down til kickoff. There aren't any other options because CBS is so bad it should just start its coverage at kickoff.
Posted: 10:49 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch any pregame shows either - everything that I need to know I can find on the net'. However, I really do miss NFL Primetime - Berman was entertaining, and Tom Jackson always had some interesting insight. Not only that, but it was a great highlight/commentary show. Why did they ever get rid of it????? Does anyone know?
They are all almost unwatchable at this point..as is most of the bradcasters who actually do the games. Back in the day (late 70-early 80's) actually football startagy and information was given out on these shows and durring games, now with the exception of a couple of guys(and yes Jaws is one of them),all they do is yak about their clothes, or something equally insignifigant, their anyalasis is not in the liest way expert, and they repeat the same stale comments week to week. It is rare that I even pay attention to what anyone invaolved in sports broadcasting has to say anymore. The worst is anything done by fox, the idea of bringing in some celeb who's show is debuting on the network the next night, and chating with them while the game is relegated to the back ground is unacceptable.

I actually watch my games in a sports bar, so much of the time I cant hear the tv anyway..a blessing in disguise
Posted: 10:58 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I deeply miss NFL Primetime. I loved Berman's & Jackson's chemistry and the fact that they actually made the highlights rather exciting. Of course, what I miss most is Berman's goofy shtick and his & Jackson's "college call out" routine.
Posted: 11:00 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Berman is a pox on sportscasting. The worst thing ESPN did was create the "sports personality."
Posted: 11:02 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
I read through all the comments (slow night) and the same thing is said over and over and over so let me summarize:

ESPN - Jaws and TJ explain the game, Berman is tired act but tolerable, Irvin murders the King's English, Young fills a seat

CBS - Marino / Esiason / Sharpe suck/boring and JB took the money

NBC - too much flash, not enough insight, trying too hard, Collinsworth is their MVP

FOX - Buck is like Theismann (the networks dont understand that the public hates them both as know-it-alls and the overkill makes it worse), College Gameday has monopoly on parking lots, get back in studio with Menefee and bring back Barberie's legs

Did I miss anything?
Posted: 11:07 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Shannon Sharpe should be banned from cable television. He can't even put together a basic sentence without looking like a fool. Marino and Esiason only talk about qb's which gets old quick as I read up above. 1 more thing, Joe Theismann is the worst play-by-play man in the history of tv. My friends and I actually keep track throughout the game of how many off the wall comments he makes after EVERY PLAY! It's as if he doesn't use his brain at all. He actually said that Big Ben had a 104 fever. News Flash..... You can't even see straight with that fever.. youre probably in a hospital!!!!!
Posted: 11:08 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
MICHAEL IRVIN RULES!

No, only kidding. He sucks, of course.

I'm a football fan, period. I never was an NFL player, coach, or journalist. So I should be able to watch these shows and actually learn something, from people who know far more than I. But I don't. So I've stopped watching.
Posted: 11:37 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
ESPN. No doubt. For me, nothing beats listening to Boomer, TJ, Mort, and Jaws each week. TJ's candid comments are wonderful, Jaws always comes through with great analysis, and I really don't care what anyone says... Sundays aren't sundays without Chris Berman. Each crew has one member that everyone hates, and I think Michael Irvin is the lesser of the evils, and is improving. I CANNOT STAND SHANNON SHARPE, and I think Terry Bradshaw is EVEN WORSE. And for those of you who are curious as to what happened to ESPN's Primetime highlight show... From what I understand, starting this season, NBC contractually owns all rights to any NFL highlight shows before Midnight on Sundays. ESPN can do highlights as part of Sportscenter (their new "NFL Blitz" segment with Boomer & TJ), but they can't have a show completely dedicated to NFL highlights until after midnight on Sunday... Hence, the show was cancelled. And that sucks, because I've watched it since I was a kid. Hell, we played drinking games to it in college. (DRINK EVERY TIME BOOMER "WHOOPS"!!!)
Posted: 11:40 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
They've opened a casino and an airline; why can't Hooters start a pre-game show? At least the inanities would be visually tolerable...
I don't watch the pregame shows, I get all my information logging on to any of the radio shows, usually ESPN early in the AM, then sporting news radio later in the morning. The tv shows are just talking heads who say nothing of relevance, and Michael Irvin really has to go, he shouts any more and proclaims how professional he is, just awful. ESPN will respond eventually to my rants.
Posted: 11:46 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
NFL Primetime was the best and most entertaining show on TV. Berman is corny sometimes, but he is great for entertainment. TJ is the perfect compliment to Berman and they have great chemistry. Will miss "Kerry Rhodes from?" Louisville!!
Posted: 11:49 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
Man, do I miss primetime. It was entertaining, detailed, well-produced and original. Even though I had seen most if not all of the highlights from all the games during the half-times, I still watched, most of the time two times. I guess all good things must come to an end.
Posted: 11:57 PM, September 20, 2006   by Anonymous
How can you say TJ makes ESPN the best pregame show. Does anyone else remeber when he claimed that "they (The New England Patriots) hate their coach", then the Patriots won 21 straight games and two Superbowls. ESPN has to get some real knowleagable people in and fire TJ and Irving. Blacks will still watch it.
Posted: 12:00 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I don't watch any of the shows. Costas and Buck don't just think they are bigger than the game of football, they think they are bigger than sport itself. Irvin is too loud for me. Berman's sound effects make my skin scrawl. I miss the days of CNN's NFL Preview Show. Vince Cellini was an excellent host while James Lofton was informative and Ron Meyer was informative and at times funny with his dry sense of humor. Peter King had all the inside information you couldn't get before the Internet was mainstream.
Posted: 12:03 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to watch ESPN's Gameday every Sunday, but now it's just a ton of hype for the first half hour - previewing over and over what's coming up in the main hour of the show. The main hour features a panel including Michael Irvin - which means ESPN is not included in my viewing options - he's a total buffoon. I have a soft spot for Berman and Jackson too, but it's a criminal to have them share the same stage as the Limbaughs and Irvins of the world. ESPN's decision makers are blinded by focus group marketing madness. I'd rather watch The Weather Channel. Fox and CBS are not even on the radar, they are colossally bad, dumbed-down, and totally irrelevant. I just wish NFL Network had a pre-game show, I realize why they don't, but they're the only network that stays true to the football fan. It's not perfect, but it's 1000% better than any of the other dreck on Sunday mornings.
Posted: 12:03 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
Michael Irvin is dispicible and it's ashame they have him on there. He's a disgrace to football and it's sad that he will enter the Hall of Fame before Art Monk. He should be in jail instead of a pre game set.
Posted: 12:10 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
Watch NASCAR it the best thing going on SUNDAYS. Pro. FOOTBALL is just a tunup for WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW. Live by the three 'R's.
Posted: 12:14 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
ESPN now has the best pregame show. Berman and the crew are very good (especially if you tune out Irvin) and personally I feel that there is too much random banter on FOX and not enough football being discussed.
Jaws is the very best. Michael Irvin and sean Salisbury are loud mouths. Most announcers aren't worth listening to. Buck is very impressed with himslf and other than Dan Fouts, there isn't a color announcer worth paying on TV. It is really amzing how the TV management spends all that money for sideline reporters (got to have a pretty face) and running mouth color analysts(think Theisman) when most viewers are reasonbly knowledgeable and would enjoy the game more without them. They have to manufacture situations to get everyone in or in Theisman's case he simply interjects a statement after each play. Keep up the good work. maybe TV will read a little.
Posted: 12:36 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
Joe Buck, Chris Berman, and Michael Irvin are all 100 times more annoying than Cosell. Joe Buck is the worst of all. How does that man even have a Job?
Posted: 12:52 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I can't stand stand Joe Buck and now he's turning up everywhere. He's very lucky his daddy was a great baseball announcer because Joe has no talent at all.
I won't watch FOX anymore because of him.
I'm an NFC guy, so CBS doesn't do much for me either.
If Irvin could somehow swallow himself with his huge, yapping mouth and make himself disappear, ESPN would be great.
I have been watching the NFL Network 24/7(or whenever I get a chance). It is entertaining and informative if you can stomach or ingnore deion. He's not on all the time and I try to miss him. Everyone else is great and I highly recommend them.
Posted: 1:14 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
each channel has someone that sucks. obviously these are michael irvin, joe buck, and everyone on CBS except JB. ultimately JB, TJ, and all the FOX analysts would be the best ccombination. too bad it will never happen.
Posted: 3:18 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I was a die hard Fox watcher until this season. To me the only talking head worse than Joe Buck is Brent Musberger. I refuse to listen to either one. They insult the average viewers intelligence with their contrived and overwrought styles. Joe Buck has ruined the chemistry of the Fox show. Bring back JB and Jillian.
Posted: 6:41 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I watch espn the only thing I want is Michael Irving to leave.
Posted: 6:54 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
your right on the money.. buck sucks at everything he does... nice to get a job on a name... fox blew it by losing Brown.. he was the best nfl pre game ring master on the tube... intelligent and entertaining.. i usually watch games with the volume off... now the pregames can be muted too...
Posted: 7:06 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I was a Fox guy. Now I don't watch anybody. Maybe IMUS in the morning could do the pre-game.
Posted: 7:09 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
ESPN's NFL pregame show is by far the BEST. They make you feel like you're sitting around in your own home talking football with the guys. They not only report the issues of the day's games, they have a lot of fun doing it. Michael Irvin comes across as defending his friends at times, but then again as guys, we do that kind of stuff.
Posted: 7:29 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
Joe Buck = worst commentor ever (besides bill walton)
Posted: 7:31 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I agree that Buck's gotta go. He is annoying. And, as much as I loved the Bus as a Steeler, he stinks as a commentator. His jabs at Cowher are unacceptable after being given the chance to continue playing when his 2003-04 season average was the pits. (Excuse the pun.) At least when Marino and Boomer talk qbs they know what their talking about. I want to hear predictions, injuries and stats. I don't care about fans, jokes and the inane banter.
Posted: 7:54 AM, September 21, 2006   by Bob - from NH
You are correct Jimmy!! All the shows suck. The FOX show was the best - now it is embarassing. Buck can not come close to James Brown. CBS is boring. ESPN is annoying - well at least Micheal Irvin is. FOX could be rescued if they went back to the studio and replaced Buck. ESPN could be rescued if they replaced Irvin. CBS could be rescued if they replaced Marino, Sharpe and Boomer. Oh yeah, what about NBC? Well, that got that generic, over-hyped, skating expert and boring Bob Costas. Could there be a worst Pre-game show? I think they should put Buck, Costas, Irvin and Marino in the same studio.... and then fire them all live on TV. That's the only way this group could provide any entertainment!
Posted: 7:55 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I watch ESPN's pregame shows. I am with you about Michael Irvin. He used to be a good receiver, but I'm sorry Mike, T.O. is not the savior that you think he is. There seems to be animosity towards several members which makes it fun to watch. You never know if a fight is going to break out. I usually catch all of the show unless I sleep in. ESPN is the way to go. The other guys just don't cut it.
Posted: 7:58 AM, September 21, 2006   by Cameron
Apparently, I am the only guy who appreciates Irvin.

Buck does nothing for me.

I think Collingsworth is one of the best.
Buck's gotta go. He's annoying and only there to try and get more female viewers.
Don't the producers know that a true female football fanatic wants to hear from the pros - not someone who's too small to have played in a peewee league? He's so annoying!
Why do they keep changing something that works? Howie, Terry, Jimmy and James were doing great. Yeah, Jillian was a flake but she was entertaining.
I watch these guys to find out who's injuried, who's out, who's back, and what they predict. I don't care about the rest of the gibberish.
I like Chris Berman. He knows the game. He gets excited about it and he calls it like it really is. Yeah, he can be annoying but at least he knows what he's talking about!
I am disgusted by the Bus as a commentator. His jabs at Bill Cowher are unwarranted and unworthy of a past teammate who was carried by the Steelers during the 2003-2004 season when he was just sitting on the bench. He does not belong at a commentator desk. He's lost his charm because he's trying to be one of the guys in a time where loyalty and defending friends is looked down on.
And, one more thing. Get rid of all the graphics that fly across the screen, pop up during a play, and just get in the way of the game. We know the game; we don't need cute cuts to see what's going on.
Just let us do what we want - watch football all day Sunday, Monday nights, and some Thursdays.
JP
I never watched pregame shows, and this year is no exception. I listen to the radio or look at the internet to get my NFL news. Besides, I'm a college guy and the league is off my radar until week 9 or 10.
Posted: 8:38 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
Just relly tired of Terry Bradshaw. Put him and his EGO out to pasture. Karl
Posted: 8:38 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I haven't watched a pregame show in years. Who has the time? While I am a football fan, the only game I really care about is the Redskins. I have no interest in the weather in Kansas City or how the betting line has moved. I also can't stand ex-jocks on tv or radio, most are illiterate loud mouths.
Posted: 8:47 AM, September 21, 2006   by Jopond Crosley
James Brown & Jillian B were part of a cohesive team. Now the Fox show is a mix match. The personality matriz is bland at best. The CBS guys are sucky not including sharpe. ESPN is the measuring stick. TJ and chris have had guys rotating in for 20 years it doesn't matter. But please dont make anybody watch Costas.We want to be informed not iritated.
Posted: 8:55 AM, September 21, 2006   by Mark2556
For years part of my Sunday ritual was to watch the NFL on FOX. The team of Howie, Jimmy, James and Terry got it; give insightful information, keep things moving and above all, have fun. And, their screen presence was on of four guys who really had a good time together (unlike CBS...four guys who basically got crabbgy with each other). And FOX was no group of dopes; the had Juliane Barberie, who was never hard to watch and was also a lot of laughs.

Now, James Brown is gone and Joe Buck is sitting in his place at the head of the table. And the show's format has been changed to accomodate Buck's travel for game announcing. The results are disasterous. Buck si a great play-by-play man, but as host of a pregame show he falls woefully short. He seems more interested in getting THROUGH the show than presenting a good show, and there's no chemistry bewteen him and Bradshaw, Long and Johnson. He comes off as a tad arrogant and pompous.

Worst of all, the entire group spends the whole show trying to yell above the crown noise behind their live set. What is this, college game day? It's too annoying to view.

And anyone who says they don't miss watching the weather on this show is probably trying to make their wives happy....
Posted: 9:01 AM, September 21, 2006   by Derrick
I will have to agree with many of the posts here. I was a big fan of the Fox show but I have now switched to ESPN. All the other pregame shows are horrible. Just plain horrible. I have not seen FNA segment yet. I would like to add a few names that could take the place of the low performing announcers. I think Sean Saulsbury would be a great addition to one of the shows. James Brown and the crew on Fox was funny, informative and had great chemistry working together.
Posted: 9:05 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I used to start my Sundays off with ESPN Countdown and tune to Fox at noon. I can't take that much of Joe Buck so now I just basically flip between ESPN and CBS now until the game starts.
Posted: 9:06 AM, September 21, 2006   by Anonymous
I watched Fox religiously up until this year. It is terrible! I am on the PC checking fantasy updates only. No more pregrame, I can't stand it. And Joe Buck is a tool.

I suggest something very radical, get the guys from CBS golf, that funny Aussie and Paul Azinger, they are the only commentators/pregame type stuff I actually like, and I don't even like golf all that much. I just want to laugh, I will get my info from the net. Go Lions!
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