Talk sports, pop culture and more with SI.com's Jimmy Traina.
3/13/2007 07:53:00 PM
Evaluating Top Announcers
Marv Albert and Bill Raftery make us stay tuned in longer. Joe Buck makes us reach for the mute button.
Graphic by Randall Grant
Let's talk announcers. With ESPN morning radio team Mike (Greenberg) and Mike (Golic) handling Arena Football League duties on television, and Billy Packer about to invade our homes for the next few weeks, there are a couple of questions I have for you.
1. Are there any announcers who will: a) make you watch a game you had no intention of watching; or b) make you stay on a game a little longer than you would have had someone else been behind the mic?
2. Are there any announcers who will make you: a) not watch a game; or b) watch the majority of the game on mute?
I thought it would be fun to go through different networks' top broadcast teams for various sports and do an evaluation based on these questions. When you're done reading my thoughts, be sure to send me yours.
Jim Nantz and Billy Packer, CBS: Packer is a "Lightning Rod Announcer" -- someone most people have very strong feelings about one way or the other. (Most of the top analysts fit that criteria, so from here on out, I'm just going to use "LRA.") Oddly enough, I'm indifferent to Packer. He doesn't bother me (good sign), but I can't say he makes me enjoy a game any more than I would have. Nantz is a solid nuts-and-bolts play-by-play guy. Nothing more, nothing less. Final word: I can't say this broadcast team adds or subtracts from my enjoyment of a game.
Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, CBS: I wish this was CBS' No. 1 team. Lundquist is the definition of a grizzled veteran. He brings passion to each broadcast, without making it about himself. He knows when to let a moment speak for itself, as evidenced by this famous clip. Raft sometimes makes things about himself, but he toes the line, doesn't cross it, and that's what I love about him. I think he's the best analyst in the sport. He brings a lot of fun to the booth, without going too far, and he can still analyze the X's and O's. Give me more man to mans, onions, kisses, lingeries and my favorite, send it ins. Final word: This team gets an A+. They keep me from flipping the channel.
Brent Musburger, Bob Davie, Kirk Herbstreit, ABC: Last season was the first for this crew, and it quickly became one of my favorites. Musburger seems to be an LRA, but he does a very good job on play-by-play and seems genuinely excited to be doing games. (Plus, he's not afraid to show that he's up on today's technology and is down with "this Google thing.") Davie and Herbstreit had some chemistry, and provided a good mix of serious analysis and light-hearted banter. I don't expect any Michigan fans to agree with me on this, but that's OK. Final word: This crew should only get better with time.
Lundquist and Gary Danielson, CBS: Last season was also the first for this team, but I preferred the previous team of Lundquist and Todd Blackledge (who left for ESPN/ABC). Danielson seems to go over the top with his preaching. He sang the praises of the SEC all season long (and rightfully so), but it was hard to take him seriously when he never felt that passionate before about the conference, since he worked for ABC, which didn't air SEC games. Final word: Overall, Lundquist adds to my enjoyment of any game, but CBS could use a bigger personality as its top college football analyst.
Nantz and Phil Simms, CBS: Simms gets points for not talking down to his audience. He talks football like a fan would, and doesn't over-analyze a game. He often brings up his experiences as a player and makes it relevant to what's going on at that moment, which is the important thing. Final word: A solid, yet unspectacular team. CBS should've gone after Simms' former coach Bill Parcells and added him to this crew.
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, Fox: Aikman has grown into one of the best analysts in football. His biggest strength is that unlike most former players, the ex-Dallas QB isn't afraid to rip anyone. Buck seems more toned down on NFL telecasts than MLB games (maybe the lack of down time means there's less time for his stand-up routine?), and that's helped put him and Aikman in the same class as other top NFL broadcast teams. Final word: Another solid, yet unspectacular team.
Al Michaels and John Madden, NBC: I can't say there's much different between the three network's top broadcast crews. Michaels and Madden, like Buck and Aikman, and Nantz and Simms, do a good job, keep the nonsense to a minimum and don't make you reach for a mute button. I think that's all you can really ask for from announcers. Final word: Madden is an icon, someone we grew up listening to. For that, his voice alone brings a special feel to a game. Makes it feel bigger, more important. That quality can't be ignored.
Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser, ESPN: I wanted to give Kornheiser a chance last season, but I couldn't make it more than a few minutes without having to mute the games because of Theismann. Tirico is a fine play-by-play guy, but Theismann destroys the broadcast because he never stops talking. I could go on, but I'll just let this tremendous letter do it for me. And he never stops talking. Final word: You have to mute Monday night games.
Buck and Tim McCarver, Fox: Both of these guys are LRAs. I don't mind McCarver. I grew up listening to him do Mets games in New York, so I have a soft spot for him. Does he belabor points? Sometimes. Does he say things every now and then that make no sense? Yes. But he still knows the game and can still teach you a thing or two. That's what he does best. Buck, however, is unlistenable on baseball. I'd say 90 percent of the time I'm watching a baseball game on Fox, I have the sound muted because of Buck. The lame jokes and corny sense of humor are impossible to stomach for three-plus hours. Final word: Gotta mute this team.
Mike Breen and Mark Jackson, ABC: They're working together for the first time this season and I'm going to hold out judgment until after the playoffs. I'm able to catch both men in action on local broadcasts. Breen, who does Knicks games, is a Nantz-type. No frills, straight play-by-play. Jackson, who does color on Nets games, is a must-listen. He's smart, witty and will get on players. Final word: TBD
Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, TNT: Marv is the premier broadcaster in sports. (he's come a long way from his days as a sports anchor on the local news), and he hasn't lost his touch one bit. And it seems that no matter who is paired with Albert (Mike Fratello, Doug Collins, Kerr), that person seems to shine, and that's been the case with Kerr. Final word: This duo keeps me tuned in longer than I would be if another crew were doing the game.
What do you think of these announcing teams? Who makes you hit the mute button? Who makes a game more enjoyable for you? Make sure you let me know.
Mike Breen is a great play by play guy, but he interjects his own opinions and analysis way too often. In the process, he'll completely negate and upstage whichever analyst (Walk Frazier or Kenny Smith if he's doing a Knicks game on MSG) he happens to be working with. He needs to stick to doing the play by play (which he does very well) and that's it. I don't know how you can give a thumbs up to Brent Musburger. He's absolutely awful and I have no idea how he ever got into a play by play booth.
Jimmy, you're wrong about Joe Buck on MLB. He's the only reason to leave the sound on. McCarver is the idiot who ruins the broadcast. And Bill Walton on NBA games, just "horrible!!!" I'll change channels just to avoid Walton.
The worst team I've heard was the NFL Network Thursday Night crew this past year. I am a huge NFL nut and Bryant Gumbel actually made me turn games off when I normally do not miss a game all weekend. Gumbel's montone voice simply bores me to tears and got the point where it was nails on a chalkboard for me. While I understand why many people hate Collinsworth, I actually enjoy his arrogance and swagger. Overall this team is a game killer simply because of Gumble.
No mention of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball crew? I'm actually a huge fan of Jon Miller. I like what he does with the game and his presentation. But Joe Morgan? Without a doubt one of the greatest second basemen to ever play the game. But for the love of all things holy, get him off the mic! Closed captioning helps sometimes, especially when his quotes are misspelled. It makes it funnier when you try to imagine him saying the misspelled words.
Where are your NHL guys? They call one of the toughest games out there to call, and you left them off? Give me Bob Cole, Harry Neale, Pierre McGuire, Gord Miller, or JIn Hughson over any of the other "major league announcers!
Joe Buck is beyond horrible. Muting him isn't good enough for me. I can't stand even looking at the guy during the pre-game, during the game, etc. The only reason why he is where he is, is due to his father, who unlike his son, was a master of the play-by-play. McCarver's time is past. "Real classy Deion!"
I can't believe you left out Joe Morgan and Jon Miller. 2 superb announcers who know the game well and don't over do it. Tell me; who other than Miller actually takes the time to pronounce Latin ballplayers' names to the tee. No one else.
Albert and Kerr- I hope that duo stays around for years to come.
Lundquist- LEGEND! and don't forget, he was phenomenal in Happy Gilmore too!
i am relieved to see that i am not the only person who thinks dick vitale is annoying. it is embarassing the way all of the espn radio guys are gushing over vitale to get him into the hall of fame. he was a mediocre coach and his shctick as announcer is tired.
Joe Buck is the Ryan Seacrest of broadcasting. I just can't figure out (have spent actual time trying)how their networks seem desperate to find them more air time, yet I've never found a soul who actually likes either of them.....Don't they have to do polls? Does someone read them? It is truly baffling to me
I can't stand Joe Buck OR Tim McCarver doing baseball games, Buck seems to try too hard to make you feel like you're watching something special...even when you're not (I think he's trying too hard to outdo his Dad, which is a hard shadow to get out from behind). McCarver just drones on & on about the most obvious things (He's a baseball version of Madden- "Well you see, what the offense wants to do is put the ball in the endzone- that's the way to score points & that's what the offense wants to do is score points..." Madden has 3 nuggets of good info per game, the rest is horrible. McCarver is worse, he doesn't even know how to make one good point. As for the guys I do like, Marv Albert is the best, he was the voice of NBA on NBC for like, 15 years. I also hear him doing NFL broadcasts on Westwood One with Boomer Esiason, he is without equal. I also like Ron Wilson, who does mostly hockey games (which are the hardest to call) I heard him a lot when I was younger listening to STL Blues games. Honorable Mentions: Jon Miller (silky-smooth) Lou Pinella (Lightning Rod Guy, but great at analyzing a game) The ESPN Crew that did the second half of the Monday night double header last year- Ron Jaworski, Dick Vermeil, & I can't remember the Play-by-Play guy, they should hire themselves out like Mercenaries to do several games a week- I didn't care the ONLY GAME THEY DID was a blowout, I felt like I was at a coaching clinic.
I mostly agree with your choices with the strong exception to Tim McCarver. He's the worst thing to happen to baseball announcing ever. As another person commented - Tom Tolbert is horrible on the NBA. And another negative vote for that goof Bryant Gumbel.
I didn't give an opinion on Vitale because he doesn't do the NCAA Tournament, but obviously I shoul've included him since he is the voice of college hoops throughout the season. Judging from the comments I've receiced, this won't be a popular opinion, but I don't mind Vitale. Is he a clown? Yes. Does he refuse to ever shut up? Yes. Does he kiss every coaches butt? Yes. But I think he's good for the game. I think his passion and love for college basketball are admirable. Having said that, he won't make enjoy a game any more than I would have, and I'm not staying on a broadcast to hear what he has to say. However, unlike many of you, I don't reach for the mute button when I hear him.
I met Theisman in Charlotte some years back, great guy. But he is a lousy, annoying announcer. Reminds me of when Howard Cosell was late in his career on MNF. My friends & I would mute the TV and listen to the radio broadcast with Hank Strahm.
Buck is attrocious... uninteresting, whiny, out of touch. His awful work made me appreciate James Brown all that much more on NFL shows. Buck should be dropped off in West Philadelphia for the beating he serserves.
I find most of your analysis good except for one group. I cannot stand Brent Musberger preaching all the time and belaboring his points over and over. I either mute him or change channels. I thought CBS was right when they canned him and think his retirement time is well past. I don't care for Bob Davie either, the more I hear him the less capable I think of him as a coach.
As good an anylist as Troy Aikman is, I get tired of his butchering the English language. "WHAT" is his favorite and overused word. He is not as fast as what he was. I don't think he is as quick as what he was. It does not cause me to mute him, but sometimes I get so fed up that I switch to another game.
Buck brings nothing to the booth and is even worse on the pre-game show. He actually thinks his opinion is as important as Terry, Howie and Jimmy. Give me Curt Menafee any time.
Joe Buck and Bill Walton have to be the worst commentators ever. They talk like idiots and Buck is not funny whatsoever. You swear Walton knows everything that is going to happen and always knows that the team ahead at the end of the game was going to win the whole time. Buck is lucky his dad was a famous broadcaster because he would have never been as famous or overly used as he is now.
Al Michaels is my all time favorite. He has an easy voice to listen to and knows when to joke. He understands the games, but doesnt try to over analyze them.
Jon Miller will make me tune into a game, although I think his best show is on radio. When he teamed with Joe Angel in Baltimore in the 90's it was pure fun. Running him out of town is another reason to dislike Peter Angelos.
For you to say anything positive about Phil Simms tells me you don't pay attention to what football is really about. It's like he never played the game. You say he talks on the level of the fans... you insult the fans. He's a moron with the vocabulary of a middle school kid.
Musburger spends too much time on hype. He's always promoting something other than the game.. and when the big play happens and a cheering crowd shot doesn't need any embellishment... there's Brent yammering on and on about the play. Just shut up already.
Five worst announcers (besides the two above) Dan Dierdorf... another who played the game yet speaks as if football was invented on Mars
Dick Enberg... totally clueless
Mike Emrick... he takes 50 words to describe play by play that only requires ten "Datsyuk deftly feeds a pass, cross ice, over the stick of Blake, so nicely, over to Kozlov"... how about "Datsyuk, cross ice to Kozlov"????
Good article Jimmy, but you underestimate Simms' ability. He is one of the most knowledgeable people in the game, and has a good 'announcing' voice to go with it. Simms will become the best announcer since Madden mark my words. If he was ever teamed up with Aikman, they could put Michael Jackson in the booth and i'd still listen. As for Dickie V. - he is one of the greatest things to happen to college b-ball. Give the guy some credit, when you think of college basketball, you think of Dickie V. Its that simple.
Favorite Bill Raftery quote, describing a Travis Deiner pass to Dwayne Wade for a dunk, they were showing the replay, Raft said "Ah the awareness, the intensity...gorgeous looking pass! Send it in...medium sized fella!". Keith Jackson will always be my favorite, Vern is awesome, Marv is great, Dan Shulman on ESPN is excellent, and as much as I hate the Dodgers I could listen to Vin Scully all day long.
I know that you are talking about the current group, but it would be nice to see an article comparing them to some of the old guard. For example:
NFL & PGA - Pat Summerall matches Verne Lundquist when it came to letting the moment speak for itself
NBA - Marv rules, but if you ever lived within a Boston radio signal, you knew to turn off the volume and turn on Johnny Most. The man was a stitch. Chick Hearn was completely different, but just as good.
MLB - Curt Gowdy and Vin Scully were the best play-by-play announcers ever. Joe Garagiola was fun at color. And even this Mets fan will give kudos to the Scooter.
NCAA - God rest Al Maguire's soul. The team of Enberg and Maguire could never be outdone. As for Billy Packer, I remember his days as Jim Thacker's partner. CBS hired the wrong guy.
NHL - You have left off the best sports announcer ever. Nobody ever was, is, or will be better than Dan Kelly. Get some clips of the man.
Special moments - Al Michaels, Lake Placid, 1980.
As for those ragging on Theismann - you're being too nice.
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are the worst broadcast pairing of all times. Both are pompous know-nothings who believe they are more important to the game than the game itself. Put them on a slow boat to China full of concrete. Give Theismann and Collinsworth first class tickets on that boat as well.
I can't believe nobody is commenting on Billy Packer!! I absolutely cannot stand the guy. He's your typical know-it-all (and he's so freakin' smug). What about the elbow in last weekend's Duke-UNC game? He kept going on and on about how the elbow was not intentional. Nantz (who I used to like) lost some points for not calling him out.
Raftery & Lundquist: One of the best broadcasting teams in all of sports (humorous & knowledgeable).
Jon Miller: Love him
Joe Morgan: Hate him (another know-it-all). Can he ever do a game without making a comparison to 'The Big Red Machine' ?
I couldn't agree more with the Miller/McCord/Faherty comment, they make golf watchable. Madden (and any warm body beside him) used to be great, but with all the commercialization he's seen over the past decade, he has become a parody of his former self.
Nobody ever has or likely ever will call a game like Keith Jackson called the big College football games for ABC in the 80's. By that measuring stick, nobody calling any sport at any level today can be considered great.
What about Gary Thorne? I miss hockey night on ESPN, his voice too me says hockey. By the way Joe Buck is just a waste of time doing football, i can stomach him throughout the baseball playoffs though. -MJ in SC
I am old enough to remember when Pee-Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean were the announcers and did the play by play. They both knew and loved the game. Every once in a while, Dizzy Dean would break into song...the Wabash Cannonball, it was great. The current crop of baseball annoucers are nothing compared to those two.
I, too, grew up listening to Jon Miller call Orioles game, and the man has an unmatched voice. He makes me want to tune into Sunday Night Baseball. His knowledge of the game and sense of humor is priceless.
joe buck and timmy (they don't deserve capitalization) are the worst. Ever. Evereverever. In a close tie for second, Theismann. Listening to Tony mock him without his knowledge is priceless. Not mentioned, but coma-inducing and dreadful is Bill Curry. Not only does he sound like a hungover robot, he's... well, this is an actual quote from a UT-Arkansas game about four years ago: "The center's first priority is to snap the ball." And this mental giant failed as a head coach? Shocking.
PS: Gus Johnson cracks me up. Love the guy. I'm pretty sure if CBS had the guts to pair him with Rafferty, all of our televisions would EXPLODE.
Mr. Musberger is, to put it kindly, long-winded and "self-appreciative". This and his fawning syncopants make ANY game they broadcasts almost intolerable. I enjoy football, but when he is doing play-by-play I have to turn the sound down to zero. I tried it on mute and the words from the closed captioning blocked the action on the screen.
I'm convinced that, were it possible, Bill Walton would marry himself. The guy is so egomaniacal it makes me sick. Also, he drones.
Dick Vitale is nothing but a mouth and hands screaming mindless Duke and North Carolina love at me. And his Hooter's commercials are uncomfortable to watch.
Brent Musburger would marry Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, or USC, were it possible. He spends entirely too much time on subjects not related to the game, and he has "Star Syndrome", the inability to recognize anyone but the QB's, RB's, and WR's.
I know he isn't the best announcer out there, but John Madden always brings a special feel to the game for me too. I guess I've played too many football games listening to him. I do miss Pat Summerall...
For me, I could watch anything, even Competitive Crocheting (if there were such a thing) if Vin Scully is calling it. Like it was pointed out about McCarver, occasionally he makes and odd comment or misses a call (usually a player's name, at worst). I love his knowledge, vigor, respect for the game and his objectivity. He may be the only announcer left who doesn't need a partner; he carries a game by himself. Oh, and how many announcers have been with the same club for 58 seasons?
I think your leaving out a very underated commentator from ESPN. Len Elmore meets all your requirements. No matter who plays, I can always watch the game. He knows basketball like no other and is able to breakdown a play so easily that you understand what the players were trying to do on the court. He is not overbearing and a load mouth like others on the network or other stations. People need to start recognizing Len Elmore because he deserves a significant more credit for his services to broadcasting.
Don't give Joe Buck a free pass for his NFL buffoonery just because Aikman gives some decent insights. The guy is a MO-ron, and obnoxious to boot. Why is he even on television? My only guess is that the suits have such a low opinion of the NFL audience that they think putting a complete imbecile on the air will appeal to the target demographic. As a football fan with an IQ somewhere above 85, I can tell you, we don't like it!
most brutal play by play man ever is bryant gumbel doing football games..literally turn off sound cause dont want to take a chance that the mute button breaks or somehow disengages by accident thus making me listen to him for a good 4/5 seconds.
I can't believe you gave credit to Madden. You must be of an older generation, because I don't know many people under 30 who think Madden is anything than out-of-touch. He spends more time telling stories about people no one under 35 knows and often completely ignores crucial plays in the game. If it weren't for his name being attached to a good football video game, I think he'd be completely forgotten about by now.
Agreed, Marv Albert is definately the consumate basketball announcer.
I have the same opinion on Madden, for some reason, even though he keeps saying things like, "I really think the team that puts the most points on the scoreboard is going to win today," his voice has become the appropriate sound-track to all the season's big games.
The only person I would add to this list is Chuck Swirsky, he is the local commentator for the Toronto Raptors, he is so popular that more people have Chuck Swirsky theme signs then "Go Raptors" signs at the games and could easily go up against any of the greats (in my humble oppinion).
Brent Musberger is the absolute worst announcer in the history of broadcast television. Apparently, if he is covering a game it is the only game where anyone is any good, and whoever is good on that day is instantly the greatest player in history. He is downright awful. I will specifically not watch a game because of him, or keep it on mute.
I know Keith Jackson is (semi)retired but what other announcer has you talking like him before, during and after a broadcast--even my wife tries to impersonate him. He alone made Dan Fouts tolerable. I almost named my first-born Nellie just so I could have the joy of yelling "Whoa Nellie" at ballgames.
How about an NHL great?....Doc Emerick...Never, ever talks down to his audience and even though he's on TV, he paints a picture of the action like no other....he makes 6-1 blowouts in December seem like Game 7 of the Cup Finals...a joy!
McCarver is the worst announcer in sports. He'd make me mute the World Series. Tries to sound like a Harvard grad analyzing baseball and often makes pseudo-analytical gafs on the fly. Too bad for his partners, he makes the whole sportscast team look uniformed.
Vin Scully may be the best announcer of any sport of all time. Watching a Dodgers game with him alone in the booth is an education and a pleasure. I regret losing MLB Extra Innings to Direct TV, because I would watch a Dodgers game just to hear him.
I find that I can't hit the mute button fast enough when I first hear Vitale's annoying blather.I've got to agree with the poster who can take Joe Buck, but would leave McCarver.McCarver talks way too much, as does Joe Morgan. Maybe I'm old school, but I'll take Michaels, Musburger Lundquist and ESPN's John Miller(NOT JOHNY MILLER) any day.
Can't believe anyone likes Raftery. He said during a UNC telecast "Look at Hansbrough listen." Musberger is an idiot. At least Billy Packer knows what he is talking about. Dan Bonner does some games in the tournament, he gets an A+ for calling out his partners on getting things wrong.
I know you covered just the main sports, but to touch on NASCAR, the Fox team of Joy/Waltrip/McReynolds is so top notch. They make watching the race interesting and enjoyable.
The Fox team better watch out for ESPN, though, as far as top NASCAR announcing ensemble. Jerry Punch is improving as he goes and Rusty Wallace is as candid as DW. As far as their studio team, to steal a line from a coworker of mine: "Brad Daugherty will bring more African American fans to NASCAR than any African American driver ever could". Brad is nearly flawless with his delivery and he really knows racing.
I agree with most of your assessments. For College BBall without question it's Lundquist and Raftery. I have to through in my all time favorite College BBall team and that is Dick Enberg, Billy Packer and Al McGuire.
Buck is too dry and show no emotion. He makes every game sound it is the Brewers vs Pirates.
The most underrated play-by-play guy is Brad Nessler for ESPN. He is fantastic in football and basketball. He tends to mention some small nuggets about several of the kids during the broadcast. He also makes each game sound like a championship game without being overly dramatic.
McCarver hasn't been the same since he was paired with Paula Zahn at Albertville...still, he knows baseball. That said, I can't stand him.
Billy Packer---it's all about the coach, the ACC and major conferences...No thanks.
Brent Musberger---the Curt Gowdy of his generation. Grasps the obvious...I hate being called "folks."
Joe Buck,Thom Brennaman both need to loosen their sphincters. 'That guy from the movies' voice doesn't mask the fact that they're corporate shills (so is Jim Nantz, but he doesn't have to freeze his diaphragm to speak)
Joe Theismann - I'd rather watch 'The View.'
Gary Thorne is really good. I like Jon Miller as well. Joe Morgan shoudl be locked in a booth with Dierdorf and Theismann
darrell waltrip, great. his brother, absolutely horrible.
Mike Joy should be given credit. NASCAR he does a phenominal job, and some of his best work is during the Barret-Jackson auctions on Speed TV. his overwhelming knowlegde of the automobile comes off effortless. he is a class guy
What Phil Simms are you writing about? Of the Phil Simms you review in your column, you say that he "doesn't over-analyze a game??!!??" The Phil Simms I have to suffer through on CBS football telecasts NEVER SHUTS UP FOR A SECOND! His annoying and inexplicable fascination with his own voice and endless rambling, over-analyzing is the worst thing on network sports television.
I really berleive that joe buck is hands down the worst announcer in all of sports, Talks way too mcuh about meaningless stuff and is usually wrong in his observations If anyone saw the costas now with him and charles barkley and John McEnroe you know what I mean
I will actually stop and watch a (ncaab) game that I didn't intend to if either Rick Majerus or Jay Bilas is commentating. There was also a Thursday night college football game with Chris Fowler in the booth with Herbstreit that I thought was particularaly well done.
I will mute or turn off all together any game with Vitale in the booth.
In general, I've noticed a trend towards rambling on about things other than the game in all sports. At least they usually show the ref anouncing what a flag was for in football, but in basketball many times it's hard to find out what a whistle was really for. Or heaven forbid you wonder how many fouls a player has. Drives me nuts. The celebrities in the booth on MNF are the worst. And it should be illegal to interview someone in the stands while the ball is in play.
When our local teams are playing, we sometimes put the sound on the radio if the timing isn't too far off.
Joe Buck is awful...but he's by far the better of the two when paired with Tim McCarver. McCarver makes my ears bleed. Joe Theisman isn't much better. Joe Morgan was a great ball player but he's dumb as a stump and can't put together a coherent sentence.
Bill Walton is god awful. If you can make it through a game, you'll notice he contradicts himself over and over. A guy turns the ball over, "he's careless". 5min later the same guy will make a nice pass and Walton will point out "he does the little things to win."
If there is one guy who will make me tune into a game that I could totherwise care less about, it's VIN SCULLY. He does the entire game by himself, and still manages to fill the time with relevant and creative commentary. He never makes the game about him, but you listen because of him.
YOU'RE WRONG ON THE MONDAY NIGHT CREW. TIRICO IS AWFUL-HE'S BETTER SUITED TO BE A STUDIO HOST. KORNHEISER ADDS NOTHING, HE NEEDS TO STAY WITH PTI. THEISMANN IS OK BUT HE GETS NO HELP. HE WAS MUCH BETTER WITH MIKE PATRICK AND PAUL MAGUIRE
I haven’t listened to the announcers for several years now. They all are annoying in some way, shape, or form. Most of them bring little to no value to the table and I really have no patience to hear them go on and on. Now, John Madden is the single most annoying person ever and needs to be put to pasture. Who else can get away with comments like “you know, the team who usually scores the most wins the game” or “they’ll go for a touchdown on this play” – priceless.
So I guess most of you are from the east coast and don't like Joe Buck b/c he doesn't have the "east coast bias" like most broadcasters do. He will never be his dad nor do I feel he wants to be his dad, but he is clearly one of the best announcers of the present time and hope to continue hearing him well into the future.
Joe Buck is awful. He tries to use his big commanding voice to sound important, and it doesn't work. Sure he gets compared to his dad, rightfully so. Why would he be compared to anyone else? The problem is that his dad knew what he was doing, spoke only when necessary and when he had something worth saying. Joe talks to hear himself talk, and rarely says anything worthwhile. I'd rather listen to someone mock him, or listen to Bud Selig do a game.
Kevin Harlan is one of the best basketball announcers in radio or TV. He was the T-Wolves radio voice for the first decade or so of their pathetic existence and, despite their consistently crappy performance, actually made the games interesting. I remember one game where MJ did a superb dunk Harlan exlaimed: "I don't believe what I just saw...I saw a man flyyyy!!" On another occasion I was listening to the Wolves while running and Christian Laetnner apparently took a shot in the groin. Harlan described it: "....and it looks like he took a shot...right below the Mason-Dixon line!" I was laughing so hard I had to stop.
as good as Marv is on tv; he's even better on radio. growing up, everyone I knew would watch the Rangers on a muted tv; listening to Marv doing the radio broadcast...same thing with the Knicks. When there was not tv broadcast, we still listened to him on radio. Nowadays, I don't watch much basketball on tv, but whenever Marv is on, I'll always tune in for a little bit longer than I would have.
I find some of the most enjoyable announcing on the less than "high-profile" games. My main criteria for quality is to just call the game (and keep the banter/jokes etc. to a minimum). Some of the announcers and analysts with lower profiles seem less self-absorbed and usually highly competent.
Like a lot - Vern Lunquist, Todd Blackledge, Al Michaels, Bill Raftery, Kirk Herbstreit, Mike Tirico, Marv Albert, Steve Kerr Okay - Troy Aikman, Joe Theismann, Phil Simms (Gotten better, Joe Buck Dislike - Tim McCarver (Annoying) Tony Kornheiser (Loved him on radio), John Madden (tired shtick), Jin Nantz (boring and dull),Brent Musburger (smart a), Bob Davie ( dull) Also love Mike Patrick, Ron Franklin and the old Mike Gootfried.
Billy Packer has ruined too many games for me to count, I simply cannot listen to him whine when the game isn't played the way he thinks it should be played or coached. Mute all the time or simply not watch because of him. Bill Walton and Nick Faldo are the only announcers in sports who can draw me in to watch something I wasn't planning on watching already. Nantz and Buck are dry as dust, 2 of the greatest "bores" of all time. Theisman is so bad, it's entertaining.
The MLB listing is way light. Buck and McCarver aren't the only ones here. Here in the west, we generally saw Thom Brennaman and Steve Lyons (before he was axed). Brennaman, whose work I'd appreciated before we moved to AZ, proved himself to be an excellent home team voice for the Snakes -- the right combination of network-level quality with interest in, but not rooting for, the home team. Lyons was horrible and had been for years. His demise was sad -- I doubt he saw himself as offensive. His comments missed the mark so often, he probably couldn't recognize humor from rudeness.
Sometimes, we see Josh Lewin as the play-by-play guy. His work with the Rangers is solid, and he probably has lots of Fox time ahead.
Joe Buck must have hit Jimmy's nerve. His work is solid in all sports. I guess being aware of things outside of sports is seen by some as a detriment. Hey, any guy who loves Broadway shows -- a gift from his mom, who was a big co-star in the original "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" -- can't be bad.
McCarver was the best thing to come to Mets broadcasts since the team started, and his departure was a major loss. He knows the game and is glib in describing it.
And where is Jon Miller and Joe Morgan? These are the lead guys on the air today and theirs is the true Game of the Week.
Miller is the ultimate top dog -- legendary on radio and excellent on TV. Morgan has his detractors but I'm not one of them. Joe always gives his opinion and has no particular love for the modern player when compared to his own excellent era. He is a breath of fresh air.
How about Gary Thorne or Dan Shulman or Dave O'Brian? Each now has a seat at the ESPN table and, if we're lucky, will never move. Shulman, in particular, has shown his versatility in recent years, with work on college hoops as well as baseball.
Vin Scully aside -- he walks on water as the result of good training and lots of hard work -- we're in a pretty good era for baseball.
Please no more Duke games for Patrick and Vitale. The're fine either together on other games or individually, but I always hit mute when the two of them do Duke because of their ridiculous love affairs with Duke... and they seem to feed off of each other.
can we bring Keith Jackson out of retirement? Hell, I watch those gatorade commercials just to hear his voice. Flutie and Smith were good for college ball b/c they actually had fun in the booth: made me laugh
In all honesty I don't mind Joe Buck during the MLB playoffs. I know this seems like blasphemy to most, but hear me out. I'm in my 20's and when I was a kid I used to grow up watching Joe Buck announce the important Saturday afternoon games, and more important the playoffs and world series. I know that most don't like him because they find him corny, and he is. But something about his voice to me that signifies a big game. And at the beginning of every season I always hoped that Joe Buck would be announcing my team in the World Series. And I'll remember when my team the Astros finally made it to the world series, and hearing Joe Buck announce that game, gave me chills. I heard him for so long announce other world series games that my team wasn't in, and it was just an incredible feeling hearing him announce a World Series game that they were in. The point is, even though he can be lame, he has that voice that lets you know it's a big game when he announces it.
Good stuff: For Bay Area fans, I've got to go with Mike Krukow and Jon Miller (when he's in town). It even makes me switch off of the beloved A's when the game is in hand over to the Giants broadcast because the coverage is much better.
Also, with color commentary, I've got to say Herbstreit (NCAA) and Aikman (NFL) are as good as it gets.
And, I CAN NOT BELIEVE Bill Walton's name hasn't been brought up as the WORST COMMENTATOR EVER (to use Walton-esque superlatives). I just can't stand listening to this idiot.
Buck is the worst announcer I've ever seen. He's really bad, and probably more annoying in baseball, but at least he knows a bit about baseball. His near total ignorance about the NFL, and obvious lack of preparation for games, is wholly unacceptable.
For example, recall the Randy Moss "mooning" incident in Green Bay, which Buck labelled "the most offensive thing I've ever seen." The comment is utterly absurd, even with very little context. (A fake mooning is the most offensive thing he's ever seen? He's sure lived a sheltered life.) But, any decent announcer, and a huge number of NFL fans, is well aware of the tradition in Green Bay of the fans *actually* mooning the visiting bus on its way out of Lambeau after games. Not that Buck would have any idea about such things.
Phil Simms is the worst announcer in sports today. He makes proclamatory statements and immediately rescinds them several times each game, giving the impression that he has no idea what he is talking about. During one 2006 Denver Bronco game Simms had this to say:
"One question, three things..."
What made it worse is that he never even asked that one question.
-Mutable: Tom Tolbert -LRA: Bill Walton (I'm on the positive side of the fence, if only because I'll be yelling out something like, "Give Shaq the damn ball!" and then Walton says the same thing -Gold Standard: Marv Albert or John Madden plus anyone. They're voices are iconic ("A spectacular move! By Michael Jordan!" -- I still remember seeing/listening to that moment, exactly where I was)
Buck and Theismann are the bane of a sports fan's existence. Throw in the pompous comments of Joe Morgan and you have the "Gawd-Awful Trifecta" of sports casting.
The golden rule for a terrible guy in the booth is when they utter, "Back when I played ... ."
Dickie V is also up there in the Madden iconic territory. He also elevates a game just by calling it. The "Diaper Dandies" and the "Babies!" can wear, but underneath is a passion for college basketball that is genuine.
I second the comments about Kevin Harlan on the NBA on TNT telecasts. He is great! His enthusiasm rubs off on you while you watch the game and gets you more excited about any game whether it is close or not. Another fun story (again from the old Wolves days): The Grizzlies were beating up on the Wolves, and early in the fourth quarter, Pau Gasol went up for a monster dunk on of the Wolves' scrub centers, and Kevin Harlan exclaimed: "Oh Baby, what a play! The Spaniard went up high and came down hard ... uno, dos, tres ... ole!" I was rolling.
Harlan is currently paired with Doug Collins on the TNT broadcasts, and he does a very good job of play-by-play but also directing Collins' commentary and then giving Collins the floor. Harlan also does a great job with game resets and substitutions, which many announcers are not very good with these days. Kevin Harlan will always be my favorite NBA announcer.
I normally have the sound low or off on any game. I don’t believe many know as much as a true sports fan. Those that are worth listening to with the sound up are: Lundqusit Raftery Blackledge Aikman Tirico I would like to see Suzy Kolber given a chance in the booth. This lady is smart, knowledgeable and adds to a broadcast. I would keep the sound up for her input.
Those that I make sure the sound is muted, in order, are: Vitale Buck Davie Theismann Musburger Madden
The rest are generally just time killers with little to add to the game. There are exceptions: Nance on golf; Breen on NBA.
Ron Franklin of ESPN....simply one of the best voices in broadcasting. I never missed watching the Saturday night SEC games he did play-by-play on. He could make Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt sound interesting.
The best announcer in any sport is ESPN's Ron Franklin on college football. Why they seperated him and Mike Gottfried, I will never know. I could close my eyes and listen to him describe a night game at Tennessee or LSU and feel like I was at the game.
I cannot stand Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. McCarver can't get players' names right ever. (Brandon Arroyo?) Joe Buck just has his job because his father was successful, and he's a snotty little punk who looks down on people. Very impersonal.
I actually like Joe Theismann and feel that it was Kornheiser that killed that trio. Jim Nantz is okay, but he should stick to college basketball and golf.
As for the NFL, please give more airtime to Kevin Harlan. Phil Simms is insufferable. Sam Rosen is classic too.
What about Gary Thorne? Even if nobody cares about hockey, Thorne is a classic voice.
We need more women in the booth. Breaks up the gaggles of stupid men talking about things that even most women know aren't factual, true, or are even wrong.
Too bad no hockey coverage... Gary Thorne is about the best national announcer, and it's too bad more don't get to hear Rick Jeannerette in Buffalo - no one brings more passion to a broadcast without being as annoying as Vitale. As bad as Theismann is, Kornheiser is worse and sometimes it sounds like Joe's even ready to smack him. TK makes me long for Dennis Miller!
I can't honestly say there as any announcer that would make me turn off a game I want to watch--too big of a fan to let that happen. However, hearing Jon Miller or Gary Thorne coming out of my TV would make me watch a game I otherwise wouldn't care about. Two guys who love their job and love and respect the game, and sound great doing it.
As an old Philly guy, I have to give a shout out to Harry Kalas. Without a doubt the smoothest tones ever to grace the airwaves!
You did not cover regional & team-specific announcers but the BEST baseball announcer of ANY ERA is Vic Sculley of the Los Angeles Dodges. We went to the games in LA [back in the day] with our portable radios in toe! Over-half the fans were listening to what they saw on the field, it was THAT GOOD!
NFL Bryant Gumbel & Greg Gumbel - about as boring and non-football as possible
Additionally, the CBS broadcast teams do not hold a candle to FOX
John Madden - Appreciated and key for the league, but is too old and senile to be an intelligent commentator. At one time, best in the business, now "6 Legged Turkey, BOOM!"
Lastly, not even sure if he's still broadcasting NBA games because who cares about the NBA, but Walton makes you want to punch him in the face. That nasally tone with an overuse of a large vocabulary that he obviously does not understand is brutal. Well him and watching overpaid Nancies barely try.
I don't know who did last night's NCAA play-in game, but they drove me crazy by talking incessantly about who should, or shouldn't be, in the tournament -- during the action no less. Dick Vitale is an instant mute button candidate. If he says "Robert Montgomery Knight" one more time, I'll turn to the Home Shopping Network and observe watches being hawked.
I definitely agree that Buck is a Schmuck. I still can't get over when he completely exagerated when Randy Moss (I'm not a Moss fan either) pretended to moon the G.B. fans after a touchdown. Buck has aspirations to become a pastor I believe.
In my opinion, baseball is the most difficult of the major sports to broadcast due to the game pace.
Current Best Baseball play-by-play - Jon Miller (ESPN and SF Giants). Current Worst Baseball play-by-play - Vin (put-me-to-sleep monotone monotony) - Skully (LA Dodgers, some national TV, radio) Best ever - Harry Carrey, by far.
Bill Walton may have been a great basketball player, but a sports announcer he is not! He spends most of the time talking about himself and "when I" situations. He needs to pay more attention to what is happening at the moment instead of talking ad nauseum. I turn the channel over if he is announcing a basketball game - even if it is my favorite team playing! Too bad there aren't anymore Al Maguires around. He was and always will be the best of the best!
Buck and anybody he works with doing baseball games are terrible. They were especially bad in the NL Championship series- Cardnials Vs. Giants. They showed obvious bias towards the Cardinals and disdain towards Giants and Barry Bonds. They would always, ALWAYS state how good the Cardinals and their lineup were. Using words such as powerful, meaty, best in baseball, stay tuned fireworks are comng... When they announced who was coming up for the Giants they would simply say, "Stay tuned the Giants 2,3,4 hitters are coming up next..." I pointed this out to everyone I talked to and everyone started hearing the same thing. The World Series was a little better, bigger stage I guess... And any baseball announcer who gets all the pitches wrong. "That was a backdoor riser, sinker, changeup..." Joe Morgan... ugg...
Growing up in Michgan, I had the pleasure for decades of listening to Ernie Harwell. Talk about easy to listen to. Right up there with Scully.
I agree with others on Hubie Brown. Guy is really interesting to listen to. You can learn a lot from him and he never acts like he's a know-it-all. I was just recently converting some old VHS tapes of the 1989 NBA Finals onto DVD and he was on the broadcast team way back then. Geez, he's been at that quite awhile. I hope he stays at it for as long as he wishes to.
Surprised no one has mentioned Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. Smith is all right. Folksy. Barkely I'm all over the place with. Sometimes he seems serious and knowlegeable. Other times his, uh, rabunctiousness is too over the top.
I agree that Mike Emrick and Gary Thorne are top notch guys I'd listen to anytime.
Same with Lundquist. Comfortable as an old shoe.
One guy that makes suicide a thought is having to listen to Screaming A. Smith. Does this guy ever talk without high decibles? Holy cow!
Ah, yes. Holy cow! As in Harry Carry. We miss ya, guy.
I must be the only one around who doesn't get the greatness of Marv Albert. He's okay....but that overworked "czar of the telestrator" line used to make me reach for the Tagamet in a hurry.
Let's be honest here, they are all pretty bad. Especially Tony on Monday Night Football, it was so bad this season I didn't watch it. Frankly, I'd rather see Mike & Mike do the game. John Madden and Pat Summerall always rocked, as well the combo of Dan Fouts and his former partner, Keith Jackson. (boy am I admitting I'm over a certain age)
Billy Packer, what a waste, what a homer. In the 70's while stationed in Virginia, I had to put up with this guy when he did ACC broadcasts. You'd think no good teams existed outside the ACC, especially North Carolina.
There aren't any announcers that make me watch a game that I otherwise wouldn't. However, there are several who ruin a game. The worst offenders are Vitale and Musberger. Vitales' schtick is so tired and redundant. How many times do I need to here how special every coach and player is? When everyone's special, no one is! Musburger is simply a pandering moron with a completely phony laugh. Aha,ha,ha,ha! Across the board all announcers suck. They talk incessantly, they try to convince us how difficult it is for these poor athletes to play the games they do. They try to impress upon us what wonderful, endearing, intelligent young men these athletes are. Then a week later they're arrested for domestic violence with drugs in their car! Please, my dream is to be able to listen to the sounds of the action, game sounds and crowd, with no announcers at all. Wouldn't that be heaven!
I became a Joe Buck fan after a particular at bat in the 05 NLCS. It was the Cards at home (against I can't remember). Anyways, the other team is threatening, runners in scoring position. A reliever comes in with one out. The stadium is rocking. Buck is giving his play by play. The Cards reliever records an out. The stadium is increasingly tense. A big out is needed. Buck giving his play by play. The count moves to 2 strikes. On the next pitch the batter swung and missed to end the inning. Most announcers would proclaim, "Strike 3!", or "Struck him out!". Joe Buck did not say a single word. All you heard was the stadium exploding. All you saw was the confident pitcher walking off the mound with the fans cheering in the background as they went to commercial. I've never felt so in the moment of baseball game from the comfort of my own sofa. Sometimes you have to know when to keep your mouth shut. Joe Buck knows how to do that when it counts.
Now, that I've finally stopped gagging, I can honestly say you missed the mark on more than one announcer. John Madden "may" be an icon; but, he's the MASTER when it comes to nonstop talking ... often about nothing, save his opinion. I definitely mute when he's on, even thought it means never hearing Al Michaels, again. As for Tim McCarver, another nonstop talker, frequently about nothing & often about himself, the bottom line is this: what Tim McCarver doesn't know about baseball, you don't need to know (which is SO not true) -- definitely another must mute. Last, but not least, although I don't believe either was mentioned, please tell me why Terry Bradshaw has to yell everything he says? He "can" be amusing, but the yelling wears thin; &, Randy Cross needs to find another post-football job -- he isn't, nor will he ever be, a decent announcer.
Listening to Sam Rosen and John Davidson work a hockey game made all those horrible Rangers games worth watching. Even without JD, Rosen is the premier US hockey play-by-play guy. You can keep Doc Emrick and his hysterics every time a shot misses the net by 20 feet and catches the glass.
I think Dick Enberg has always been a good announcer for several sports like basketball, football, and tennis. I am surprised that he is not used more by the networks. He has a feel for the players and the sport. I would rather hear anyone but Bill Walton. His analysis makes me want to turn the channel or mute the sound.
I like Joe Buck but Troy Aikman drones on and on and on. I wish sports commentators would say more about what is going on in the game than going off on tangents.
Although he's doing radio only now, Hot Rod Hundley is one of the best NBA announcers. He's enthusiastic and fun. He gets excited for his team but he's also not a total homer. He gets excited over good plays, period. He know the game inside and out.
You hit the nail on the head with "I-never-made-a-mistake- Theismann". Don't forget his equally annoying basketball counterpart "I-always-did-everything-right-Bill Walton". I don't hit the mute button. I hit the off button and get on the internet!
I'd like to see Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on the list for MLB announcers. I could listen to Jon Miller call a game any day of the week, even a game I don't care about! He has to be one of, if not the, best play by play announcer in major league baseball today. He knows the history of the game and can fill the downtime (which, admittedly, happens quite a bit in baseball) with interesting anectodes and factoids about the game.
I always though Dick Enberg was unappreciated as a sportscaster. I wouldn't claim him to be the most insightful or flamboyant one of his group, but his smoth delivery and soothing vocals always made me feel comfortable watching his telecasts.
what about jon miller and joe morgan on espn's sunday night baseball? i could listen to miller call a game any day, even if i don't like the teams playing i sometimes end up watching just to listen to his stories. he's a great play by play announcer and really knows the history of the game. he does have a goofy sense of humor, which might irritate some, but i've always found his commentary relevant and interesting. he does a great job of filling the downtime, which happens a lot in baseball.
I am so glad to see someone else singing Verne Lundquist's praises. I grew up watching him do nightly sports in Dallas. There is no one in the world who can say "Touchdown Cowboys" like him. I enjoy hism and his play calling and commentary every single time I hear him. He adds to the game, period.
Walton = worst ever. Will always turn off a game he is announcing.
Musburger = second worst ever. I love his voice, but sometimes I am not sure if he is sober. When he is good, he is good. When he is off, I have to mute the game.
The rest are fine. Although Marv Albert, Keith Jackson, and Al Michaels probably make my first team.
One other comment - let us listen to and watch the game. We could care less most of the time what these guys are talking about and I don't think they even know sometimes that their little side conversations during down moments annoy us.
You mention Buck and McCarver, and BUCK is the more intolerable of the pair? Wow. McCarver has two separate websites devoted to pointing out his incessant idiocies, and my only question is why there are only two.
Don't watch much NBA, but you had to love Chick Hearn. He was a class act and wasn't afraid to say when the Lakers were awful.
Joe Buck makes me yawn and mute the game. McCarver is fine. Jon Miller is good and the only saving grace of the ESPN broadcasts because Joe Morgan is one of the most annoying, arrogant and ANTI-DODGER announcers ever. The old TBS announcers were such homers, if LA wasn't broadcasting the Braves/Dodger games, I'd watch on TBS muted and listen to Vin on the radio.
Vin Scully - By far, the best Baseball announcer ever. For years, he was one of the few solo announcers out there and deservedly so. He's starting to stumble a bit and make mistakes but I'd rather listen to him than anyone else.
I cant stand Joe Buck, I am considering starting a fund to propose to him, so he will go into early retirement.
One announcer left off of you list for top announcer is Gary Thorne. Most well know for Hockey on ESPN, I would watch a chess match with him announcing. He makes all games exciting, and I would like him to branch out more
The best baseball announcer for my money is, without a doubt, Vin Scully. In a time when there are 2 to 3 people in the booth and sideline/dugout reporters he stands out. Professional, knows the game well and has interesting annecdotes.
I could listen to Vin Scully all day call baseball or football. In fact I could listen to him read the phone book and find it entertaining. He is just the best!!. Same for the late Chick Hearn calling basketball, you never heard sneakers squeaking when he called a game like the gaps in todays game calling.
I can't believe some of these people. I also totally disagree with half of what Jimmy said. Lundquist is good, but I can't stand Raftery. I hate the way he only speaks in fragments and tries to overpronounce words. He also says "physicallity" too much. I don't mind Joe Buck, but I'm not much of a fan of McCarver. I used to dislike Vitale, but he knows what he's talking about so I don't mind him as much now. Brent Musberger is the guy I can't stand. He talks everything up like it is the greatest thing ever, he tries to make big stories out of nothing, and he repeats the same story all game long. Kirk Herbstreit is great, and when he's with Musberger, he never gets to talk. Another guy I can't stand is Jon Miller. He and Musberger are the only 2 announcers I have muted. He NEVER stops talking. Sometimes you need to just let the viewers watch the game instead of continuously feeding them worthless data and stats. I remember one Cubs game where he said probably 20 times in the 7th inning how Kerry Wood didn't have a strikeout yet. Announcers I like are Keith Jackson, Al Michaels, Marv Alberts, David Feherity, Jay Biles, and probably some more but I can't think.
Jimmy, are you nuts? You left out one of the most exciting, passionate, get out of that lounge chair announcers that has ever tickled our eardrums! That would be Dick Enberg. He would make curling interesting if they let him!
I agree about Bryant Gumbel being terrible, and Joe Buck is flat out annoying. Trying to outdo Dad (who was great) and always trying to attach some supreme importance to every event. And a TERRRIBLE studio host (memo to Fox: hire a real studio host - and please, not Jeanne Zalesko).
Jon Miller's certainly one I'd watch a game for. Cerebral in his approach. I really wish more focus would be given to great locals -- Harry Kalas, for one, would be awesome on a national broadcast every once awhile.
I don't watch basketball much but Marv Albert is very good.
Lundquist has always been good, no question. I like Ron Franklin, too. Have to admit, though, that I miss Summerall. Truly the gold standard for NFL in prime time. You can't beat Madden and Michaels.
How can you leave out Bill Walton? He's the most annoying presence on sports television this side of Thiesman. If I hear Walton's voice, I immediately change the channel. How he continues to get hired is beyond rational explanation.
Billy Packer is another who needs to be put to pasture. He's constantly negative and very often just plain wrong in his analysis. Why won't they elevate Raftery? He's the best!
The teams listed are only national broadcast teams but as far as NBA announcers go no one, national or local, dead or alive, will ever be as great at his job as Chick Hearn was for the Lakers. All of the guys in the article should look to him as an example.
I am a baseball fan who occasionally watches NFL and golf so I won't comment on folks in other sports.
What I find most annoying about televised sports is the assumption that no one is actually watching the game and therefore the announcers must tell me about what I am seeing with my own eyes. They do not grasp the concept that TV comes with pictures and there is no need to do a radio type broadcast. I mute the commentary and listen music.
With all the in-game commercials for useless stats and the constant drone of promos, it is impossible to enjoy a baseball broadcast by any of the networks.
I even mute my home team broadcasters. Tis a sad state of affairs.
I can't believe someone actually posted on here that they thought Bryant Gumble doing NFL games wasn't bad. Were they watching the same Bryant Gumble I was watching? That's about as terrible as it gets. Agreed that Joe Buck is absolutely horrible. Never met anyone who thought differently. Lets see...other horrible announcers...the entire old ESPN crew from Sunday night and now the entire ESPN crew on Monday nights. Honestly, Tony Kornheiser needs to go. And, can ESPN find a group of announcers for the NFL that does not constantly argue back and forth the whole game? Me being from the Bay Area and being a huge Giants fan, I have to say we are lucky to have the best announcers in baseball. John Miller on the radio and some TV is awesome and Dwayne Kuiper and Mike Krukow have to be the best tandem announcing a ball game. Check out the 2K sports Baseball game for PS2...they are the announcers.
The most annoying thing about Joe Buck on baseball is that he is trying to be Bob Costas. When NBC did baseball, Costas usually did some sort of commentary on why the game we just saw was great or the meaning of the game in the context of baseball history. Buck tries the same thing except that his thoughts are all over the place and it ends up having absolutely ZERO meaning. For football, he's pretty bad. The only reason I keep the sound up is because of Troy Aikman. I enjoy his analysis of game situations and play calling. Joe's just bringing him down.
while marv albert is entertaining, I'd loathe having to learn basketball from his broadcasts. Listening on the radio, you always could picture what Chick Hearn was describing. Here's a typical Marvism:
I don't like the fact that Joe Buck is pushed down our throats. Give me a break. His quality is just average. It's OK to give him some duties, but he does not deserve the right to be the voice of every important baseball and football game of the early 21st century. He's only got the job because his dad had a regional following. Let better quality guys have access to the big games instead of him all the time.
Mr. Traina, your choice of blog topic is curious. Why do you not even acknowledge Dr. Z's column that covered exactly the same topic from JUST LAST MONTH?
Brent Musberger must GO AWAY. Somewhere FAR AWAY where they have NO MICROPHONES. His use of hyperbole crosses way over from ridiculous to astronomically unbelievable.
Harold Reynolds was left out of your commentary, and as an announcer for MLB, he was fabulously entertaining up until his dismissal from ESPN.
The next time you want to blog about something that was already covered by SI.com, you could at least attempt to make reference to the previous work and show how you either agree or disagree. It would have been a thoughtful and respectful thing to do. Shame on you for overlooking it.
Leaving off Jon Miller is a crime. Yes, I'm a Giants fan, but Miller is one of the top five baseball broadcasters ever in my opinion, and only Vin Scully is a shoe-in that is better than him right now (and that's not as sure a thing in my book as it is in others).
I'm not a fan of Morgan, but he doesn't detract from the game for me.
The Giants broadcasting team in general (except for Greg Papa, a good football radio guy who fills in on Sundays when Jon is doing ESPN) is one of the best in the business. Kruk and Kuip get on some people's nerves, but I love them. Sure, they can be homers to a degree, but local teams all should be to a point, and they never cross that line. And Dave Flemming, Miller's main partner on the radio, is one of the better young up-and-coming broadcasters in baseball, with a strong distinctive voice that doesn't grate, ad will get only more robust with age.
Steve Stone, now on ESPN, is as solid as they get on MLB color. Not a big hockey fan but Gary Thorne and Bill Clement were a great team. I'd watch just to hear them. Joe Buck tries too hard to be funny and the main attraction. Am glad to see Irvin gone and hopefully the suits will see the light in getting the Sharpe brothers, McCarver and Theisman off the air as well. My spouse can't stand to listen to Madden or Morgan. Musburger and the "folks" line is definitely annoying. Walton--throw it down big man, throw it down. "Psycho" Lyons--average at best ballplayer and even worse announcer. All Announcers--stop shouting and trying to talk over each other.
Whoever likes Gus Johnson or John Madden is crazy. All Johnson does is scream in the microphone during pedestrian plays to overshadow his obvious lack of knowledge, and Madden slowly stutters through replays with a brilliant observation like, "Now, what the defense is trying to do here, is to get to the quaterback."
I cant believe you said Madden is listenable. I'm all for the old time guy but most of the stuff he says I could definitely do without while watching the game. He and Buck are easily my most muted announcers on TV right now and Buck is AWFUL.
I will watch games with either Vin Scully or Dick Enberg that I normally wouldn't watch (even tennis for God's sake) just because they are SO good.
Can't STAND Theisman, Vitale, or Pat Summerall. Summerall seems bored with watching football for all these years, time to hang it up! Madden gets old really fast, spends too much time trying to connect one of his observations to the rest of the game, even if it is not relevant.
From a Michigan student and die-hard fan, Kirk Herbstreit is without a doubt the best announcer in college football. He understands college football better than anybody else on any of the major networks, and is impartial when it comes to assessing teams. Whoever the rest of the ABC's broadcast crew, as long as Herbie is there, it will be the best in college football. I also think he is one of the best overall announcers in any sport, college or pro.
MIKE PATRICK is absolutely, positively TERRIBLE, unless you're an obnoxious Duke fan. I used to think that Dick Vitale was the ultimate Duke butt-kisser, but Patrick has honestly lapped him at this point. I'm SO glad I don't have to hear him anymore this year. He is the ONLY announcer that will make me turn off the sound -- the ONLY one. I don't know if I'm making myself clear here, people. Patrick is a complete wiener.
This is the same conversation that Bill Simmons over on ESPN.com has been having since last fall. He's been grinding it out so much, that ESPNU let him call a couple of college basketball games. Check it out if you're interested.
Also, Buck and McCarver are horrible. Watching the World Series last year with both of them showing favoritism to the Cardinals was ridiculous. Not to mention that neither of them really adds anything to the game, they simply subtract.
Dick Vitale is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with televised sports in recent memory. He is loud, obnoxious, and out of control. He is obviously in love with himself and his pointless ego has become irrelevant to the modern game of basketball. Do I mute the game when I realize I must endure the endless vomit spewing from his mouth? No...I simply turn it off no matter how much I was looking forward to watching it!! I can discover the outcome on the internet the next day.
Mike "Doc" Emrick is the best announcer in sports. His voice is electrifying and it doesn't get any better than Emrick announcing hockey. He's athrowback to the beautifulloy cadenced announcers of old.
Joe Buck has made me curse my TV many times, and as a Giants fan, his pro-Cardinal stance has made me looney during the 2003 NLCS. He simply should not be a broadcaster, yet FOX will use him to comment on as much as they can. FOX needs to listen to what the fans say- NO MORE JOE BUCK!
As long as Theisman is in the business every other announcer can feel safe. They are all superstars when compared to him. Theisman's arrogant, know it all attitude and his habit of arguing ad nauseum with his co-broadcasters makes me switch the channel even if it's a good game. He must go.
Marv Albert makes the event unwatchable. All-time overrated, YES!, just edging out John Madden. Jim Nantz is just a little too good all around to be true. Best analyst in sport is Doug Collins followed closely by Hubie Brown.
Gary Thorne, quite simply advanced the game of Hockey for an entire generation of fans. I will never forget his work the year that the Rangers won the Cup. Add to that his announcing of the LLWS, vaarious Olympic events, and the occasional regional baseball game, there is none better.
Favorite announcer of all time? Chris Schenkel. 2 generations of sports fans would have never known sports without his body of work.
theisman is horrible...all he does is talk about how great he was and would have been.
but joe buck is the worst announcer ever to grace national tv broadcasting. not only does he believe that he is a demi-god in the sports arena, but he also favors the yankees tremendously when covering baseball. no other national announcer is so tainted in his views. not only do i have to mute the games, but often times I will turn the channel just because buck is seen or heard.
For the record, here's my list of the top TV guys in each pro sport:
NBA: Play-by-play: Marv Albert. The class of his profession. Color commentary: Anyone paired with Albert. He's that good.
NFL: Play-by-play: Dick Enberg. Perenially overlooked, perhaps because he's old. But he's the best. Color commentary: John Madden. He's like an old comfortable couch. I hope he never retires.
MLB: Play-by-play: Jon Miller. What a voice! Color commentary: Not Morgan or McCarver. It's tough because a lot of the best baseball announcers do radio, not TV, but I'll give the nod to Buck Martinez, who does some national games and about half the Baltimore Orioles' schedule. This guy is really insightful, even if he voice isn't particularly melodious.
The best play-by-play announcer in professional sports by far is Dodger baseball announcer Vince Scully. He knows the game and transfers his knowledge to the fans in such a way that when you are listening to him he makes you feel that he is talking directly to you and you alone. Indeed,the first time I ever attended a Dodger game in the old L.A. Colliseum I asked the chap I was with why so many fans around us had transistor radios plugged into their ears. His reply, "have you ever heard Vince Scully call a ballgame ?" I had'nt! I listened to Scully a few nights later and from that moment on I was hooked like tens of thousands other Dodger fans
Bill Walton ... he's hideous ... his Grateful dead mantra is ridiculously tired. Do you remember when you were a kid and made a tie dye t-shirt. You wrap the rubber bands around the places you don't want dyed and then start dipping. I want those rubber bands around his vocal chords. Jerry ... we're begging you ... please come back and demand that Bill cease his constantly negative blather.
The horrible, ceasless sound of John Madden's voice is enough to make me want to shoot my TV Elvis style. Good thing I don't have a gun! Dick Vitale is in that same vein. These guys both make me wonder if it would really be that bad to be deaf.
Kevin Harlan is the best NBA announcer, period. The only justification for him not being on this list is that he is paired with Doug Collins, is painful to listen to and in fact occasionally comes across as a moron.
Vin Scully is a national treasure. There is nothing like a warm summer breeze and laying in a hammock with an AM radio listening to a Dodger game. Except maybe on a Fall day listening to Keith Jackson call a ABC College Football game!
Buck-horrible theisman-horrible steve tasker- awesome Kevin Harlan-awesome deirdorf-horrible vitale-horrible Marv Albert and Pat Obrien- entertaining because in the back of your mind you know they are wierdos. Kevin Harlan used to make timberwolves games good back in the days of Laettner and Rider. Have you ever seen Frank Caliendo imitate Madden? it is right on.
Three people make me reach for the mute button without fail...John Madden, Dick Vitale, and Bill Walton. They all have very annoying voices and tones, and make the STUPIDEST comments, its makes you wonder if they are sober half the time.
Shame on you for omitting the NHL Broadcasters, especially considering that the NHL is one of the four major sports under the label "the big four."
I'm also surprised you missed Dick Vitale for college basketball. If I'm channel surfing and there is nothing on, I'll stop channel surfing and listen to what he has to say because he is a college basketball icon.
On occassion, NESN's color commentator for Boston Red Sox games Jerry Remy will handle the color commentating duties for some-but not too many-FOX Saturday Baseball games that involve the Red Sox. What's good about him is that he is unbiased in his views, and as a former player, has a lot of knowledge about the game. Even if the Red Sox are on the wrong end of a lopsided score I'll keep the game on just so I hear what he has to say.
Billy Packard lost my respect with his irrational defense of henderson in the Duke -UNC game. It was like he could not be bothered with the details of viewing a replay but instead rushed to defend an indefensible act. I actually like Joe Buck and think most people are ragging on him because of his name. As for Dickie V he drives me nuts but i never miss a chance to listen to him. He is a dye in the wool Dukie but you still gotta love his enthusiasm for the game.
I would rather duct tape my mouth to the exhaust pipe of my car than listen to Thiesman. He is absolutely horrendous. MNF is a joke. What is with the D-List Celeb interviews? What segment of the audience does that bring in?
Kornheiser was/is a huge mistake...his battles with Theisman totally detracts from the game, and he has no knowledgeable insight. Is Joe Buck a robot ????? Probably the most blah announcer on the planet !!
Phil Simms is unwatchable. I alway turn the TV sound off and stream the audio when that clown announces! He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever! His remarks dumb down the entire broadcast. Its too bad, because Jim Natz does a great job! Come on CBS, Phil Simms? You guys are better than that!
Billy Packer has hated Carolina ever since he played for Wake Forest and it showed in the last Carolina-Duke game.
During the replys, Packer blamed Roy Willams once, Hansborough once, the ref's 4 times and said it was not a foul and how sad it would be for Duke 14 times, that's right, 14 times. Never once did he say "I Hope Tyler is ok". Jim Nance (to his credit) tryed to keep the balance by talking about Hansborough's smashed face twice and gave Packer an obovious lead in.
Packer ingored Nance
He just carried water for Duke and how unfair this was to Duke. Packer's Bias runs deep and always has against North Carolina.
Don't believe me, watch the Carolina - Gerogetown title game as colorman Packer could not find a nice word to say about Caroina. He should retire now. If not, CBS should not renew his contract.
He is a colorless color man living off the egos of college players and sucking up to programs he likes of which Duke is one.
Bill Raftery is the best colorman in the college game. He's fair and full of the insite that Packer never had.
Poor Henderson, he only missed one game. He should wear a mask until Hansborough can take his off. Feeding off Packer, Coack K's only concern was for his team and Hendersons reputation, not "that kid" Hansborough.
Now expcet an new round of Coack K commercials for State Farm insurance. There are already on the air. His ego is endless, anything to get his face in front of the camera. Remember all the American Express commercials he did and played during the Carolina win in the title 2005 game?
Remember when "K" was laid up a few years back, he wanted all the losses to go on his assistant coachs record, not his. Of course he did not give him his salary for those games..his ego would not let him.
He should coach or go into show business doing endless commercials for McDonalds.
Dickey "V" is on another planet and should never call another game execpt as the Duke play by play man for the Duke radio network.
There is a good strong crop of college players coming up through the ranks that are fair, add flair and are what the viewing public wants to see and hear. Jay Bilis (former Duke player) is one of those as is the Mike(the G Man).
Enough of this Mr. Packer....... go home and look in the mirror. You'll see an old grouch and the bias of years past.
I love baseball but Fox commentators hurt my baseball enjoyment. Joe Buck is awful!!! I also hate when they put that stupid baseball "scooter"...i hate that...I'm glad they got rid of that Steve Lyons, he was like annoying. In NFL, NBC and CBS have the best in J. Madden/Al Michaels and Nantz and Simms and the other guys are pretty good. ESPN ruined MNF with Kornchucker and Joe T. NBA, Marv is great.
Why has nobody mentioned the name BOB COSTAS!?!?!?!? Especially in Olympic sporting events and of course MLB games, he's SO the man! For his amazing record alone he at least deserves one mention on this list. This one's for you Bob!
OK, Theisman could be worse. Of course that would violate the Geneva Conventions.
But Musburger, ugh. I could never forgive him for the Portland/Philly NBA series of the 70's. Watching then-Trailblazer Bill "I don't like being called Mountain Man" Walton scare the stuff out of him was a classic TV moment that I would love to see again.
Buck ruins nearly every broadcast he does with lame jokes and uninsightful commentary. I don't know why they let him do football considering he knows even less about football than his spoonfed baseball knowledge.
Dick Vitale is a blooming moron. Who mostly babbles through the games he announces. All you have to do is look at his followers at the games to see his real mentality. If he announces I don't watch. Please do a opinion pole on him. EJB Michigan
OK - so first I have to say... If theisman is bad, then Madden is abhorable. Though he has mellowed in the last few years, his pork chop mouth grates on me.
I'll give you another football announcer/color guy that I dislike... Shannon Sharpe. Has anyone ever understood a word he has said? He has the worst mush mouth in sports. Add to that that he thinks that he was the be all end all for football players in the world.
And just to even it out between sports, there is nothing that'll make me hit mute faster than Dick Vitale. There's having a coloful saying every once in a while, and then there's Vitale. I have never seen anyone do less announcing and more preening and attention getting in my life. If ESPN carries a game that he is announcing, unless it's WVU (which would rarely happpen), I will not watch it. Definitely, by far the worst in all of sports.
I always muted MNF when Howard Cosell was on and I do it now with Joe Theisman - he never shuts up, thinks he knows everything and that everyone wants to hear his opinion. I love Tony Kornheiser on PTI and would love to hear him on MNF, but just can't handle Theisman long enough to listen to Tony.I watched AFL football just because of Mike & Mike - not a big AFL fan but love the guys so I did watch it.Iknow Dick Vitale is a good guy, but I always mute when he's on - drives me crazy. I think Joe Morgan is the Joe Theisman of MLB - just horrible.I love Michaels and Madden and Tirico and think Troy does a good job too. For my money I will take my local Red Sox guys - Don and Remdawg!!!!
Tim McCarver is probably the worst announcer in sports. He's ruined every All-Star game in memory. I won't watch a regular season game with him. His worst offence is constantly discussing everything BUT what's going on on the field. When I watch the ASG I want to hear about the guys I never see, preferably when they come up to bat; instead he drones on with boring anecdotes.
While I couldn’t agree more about the NFL announcers comment in reference to CBS. I believe that Nantz & Simms are the best out there right now & adding Parcel’s would only seal an already brilliant pair.
Your fox comment is way off base though. Fox’s crew is not up to par as is CBS’s crew. I believe Aikman was over rated as a player & as an announcer. And Buck is just not worth of my time.
Now for NBC, Michaels is an icon he has been there since the inception w/ some pretty great names. However, Madden is not one of them. Madden is nothing more than a blow hard that lacks understanding of the game. I know he was a player & a coach but half a_s @ best @ both. His announcing is very annoying & disrespectful to the listener. He is either insulting your intelligence or rambling on about nothing that has to do with the current situation of the game. He talks over the game with his own incorrect analogy & that chalk board or highlighting pen & rerun options must be taken away from him. I will avoid a game if I know that Madden is going to be the announcer. Michaels deserve a h_ll of a lot better companion than that of Madden.
ESPN, well what can you say about them. They came into the NFL wars a little late. They are trying to get ratings but their current trio doesn’t have the drive to get them anywhere. Tirico & Kornheiser are average. However Theismann, here we go again another over rated quarterback trying to parlay his career into announcing. His playing day’s are a lot like his restaurants they both leave a horrible taste in your mouth. The best thing that ever happened to Theismann was when LT broke his leg. Another Washington cry baby.
If any of these networks want to bottom out than just hire Madden & Theismann as their announcers & that will seal the deal.
I have to ask though; you have know breakdown for the NHL? Are you suggesting that the NHL does not meet the criteria to be considered a professional sports league?
Dick Vitale ruins every game with his constant, irrelevant blather. Musberger almost as bad. Joe Morgan repeats everything 3 times. All 3 get muted or avoided. Raftery is annoying; Dan Bonner is the best color guy in college basketball; Elmore & Gminski are good, too. Packer's color commentary consists of second-guessing instead of insight.
We always mute Madden. He does talk down to the audience. He is so self-absorbed. He blathers on while we're wanting to know what's going on ON the FIELD. We turn on sports radio and mute the TV when Madden is on because we find out more about the game we are trying to watch. Someone needs to take that yellow pencil away from him too. He just forgets completely why we tuned into the game in the first place!
When ABC lost Monday night football we were at first thrilled -- thinking we could watch NFL without Madden. Then he got the Sunday night gig and spoiled it!
Walton does not make me hit the mute button he makes me turn the channel. He is by far the most annoying and contradicting of them all. HE IS AWFUL! The only reason he is there is because he played in the NBA.
One of the wrost colors guys in NFL broadcast history is Bill Maas. He never stops talking and babbles aimlessly, sometimes to the point of forgetting the point he was trying to make. I switch games if he is one of the announcers.
Buck is not the person for me, for anything.. He should have took lessons from his father who was an ICON for me. Usually during MLB games i have the music playing and watching the game without listening to him. Get him out of there. Joe T. doing NFL turns me off. Thats usually another night of music playing in the background while Im watching the game.
Wow. Traina completely left out what most people think are the most talented announcers in sports (er, gaming). Norman Chad and Lon McEachern that announce for the World Series of Poker events are the most entertaining of any duo being televised. And, no, it is not because it is just poker. There are plenty of other poker-related shows that just don't have the skill in commentary and entertainment like these two present.
I grew up listening to Keith Jackson cover college football. He made the audience feel at home and care about the games and wasn't into hype for himself or over-praising efforts. Simply, the best football play by play announcer I ever had the privilege of listening to. Pat Summerall, in his prime, was close. His signature, understated but professional approach was terrific for the NFL. Madden, years ago, was a top analyst -but that's past tense. Too many football announcers, both the analysts and the commentators showcase an uncommon ability to play up and overemphasize the useless with overabundant energy. The former ESPN Sunday night team was the worst I've heard! "You'll never see a 2 yard run like that" was a gem from Paul McGuire. It's a 2 yard run! Those guys probably would have been talking up how well designed the stadium parking lots were if they had time! I just turned off the volume!
One of the best teams in MLB is Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on ESPN Sunday night. Gary Thorne and Steve Smith also make a good pair with good baseball play-by-play and a lot of banter. The best announcer though, still is Vin Scully of the Dodgers, and he would never need a second voice in the booth.
McCarver and Theismann epitomize everything that is wrong with sports broadcasters these days. They both try to make every little thing, every tiny miscue into a Capital Offense or at least a major controversy. Listening to these guys you would think that the players were killing babies on the field. Theismann is the worst because he seems to think he was perfect as a player. HEY JOE REMEMBER THE SUPER BOWL VS THE RAIDERS? YOU SUCKED!!!!
At least he has finally gotten off QB's who don't throw the ball at least long enough to pick up the first down when they are passing on third down. He had to let go of that when a former coach sitting in on the broadcast. reminded Joe how often he did the same thing.
I think the Bill Clement / Gary Thorne combo was the best in any sport by far. I really wish those two would get back together. On the other hand, Joe Theismann needs to go and so does the entire announcing team of the NFL Network's Thursday night games. THey are by far the worst in the business
my favorites are: football- Jaws amd Collinsworth Basketball - Marv Baseball- Al Lieter NCAA Hoops - Majerus and Len Elmore- Elmore is prob my fav out of all of them- great insight, thoughtfull analysis, refereshing lack of ego- (i.e. it's not all about him) exactly what i'm looking for when i watch a game- tell me something i as an informed viewer wouldn't already know offhand , without making it all about the announcer or cannonizing the players and coaches, point out flaws or missed opportunites, etc...- had the chance to meet Mr. Elmore -he's really a nice down to earth guy...
What's with the Joe Buck hating? He's smooth and witty, and makes otherwise un-interesting baseball games interesting.
You gotta love bloggers! Each trying to out-do the other with an even more loud, brash and, often, ridiculous comment. Good thing to know most of your evaluations of broadcasting talent are on par with your sports IQ...that is not a compliment.
Kind of tuned you out after reading that you're a Musberger fan. We must live in alternate universes. I almost upchucked when I heard some idiot decided to hire him. Thought we were through with him (finally). My antipathy stems from the many years he ruined NBA games.
The late, great Chick Hearn was the best! RIP, Chick. It's never been the same without you!
Joe Morgan is easily the worst ever, although Buck and McCarver are terrible. Back when Isaiah Thomas was announcing basketball I would change the channel rather than listen to him talk about his glory days for two and a half hours.
Jon Miller is good, but he's paired with Morgan. If ESPN put Al Leiter as Miller's partner, that would be a good team. Dan Kelly and Jack Buck were great back in the 80's (RIP). I could listen to Vin Scully all day long. Marv Alberts does a good job. I'm going to miss hearing Keith Jackson do college football. Otherwise, I can't think of any that are really that good anymore.
A forgotten pairing in this list is Todd Blackledge and Mike Patrick on ESPN College Football. Blackledge was predicting the SEC upset of any BigTen champion months before Florida whacked OSU. Patrick is the consumate play-by-play.
In contrast, Mike Gottlieb and Pam Ward are the worst ever in college football. I will not watch my favorite teams if they are covering the game.
Bob Uecker doing Milwaukee Brewers games is sometimes more entertaining than the game, although does go over the top favoring the Brews. I also agree with the favorable opinions on Kevin Harlan, another of my favorites.
The best invention on the planet is the SAP button on my remote. If there are no Spanish Broadcastes on all you here is the natural sounds of the game. I figured this out when I was dying to watch Saturday baseball but Buck was driving me insane. Saturday baseball is back thanks to my SAP button.
I am going to disagree on your comments regarding Brent Musberger. If you want to discuss using the mute button for a game, I believe the inventors of the mute button had Musberger in mind. Everytime I see him broadcasting a game, he always mentions his beloved BUCKEEEEYYYYEEEESSSS. Even when Ohio State isn't being aired, it's Musberger's apparent duty to point out something about the BUCKEEEYYYEEESSS. The mute button never worked so well for me.
There are only two good MLB baseball announcers: Don Sutton and Pete Vanweiren with the Turner stations. The big issue is that these guys (Pete and Don) keep their focus on the game they're calling. Even if it's a laugher, they still focus here. Most other MLB announcers seem more interested with impressing me with how much they think they know about the game. They're usually wrong. A big offender on this is Joe Morgan of ESPN. Joe should let his statistics do the talking. The only cure for Joe is the mute button. BTW, wouldn't it be nice if the stations could carry game noise on one audio channel and the announcers on another (like SAP). Then, we could hear the game and mute the announcers.
I must admit growing up a Mets fan I too have a soft spot for McCarver, but the one person who will get me to put the TV on mute or turn the channel completely is Joe Morgan. Don't know what it is about him but really can't stand to watch him.
The McCarver/Buck team is just straight-up brutal. Leaving the sound on while they attempt to call a game actually makes me angry. McCarver is full of babbling nonsense and is waaay past his time. Buck never shuts up and seems to think he is funny. He's not. Not even a little.
The Morgan/Miller team, who I can't believe you left out, is by far the best in baseball. They both know the game, don't over analyze, don't talk down to their audience, and they actually seem to care about the little details like pronouncing every players name right.
The absolute worst though is the MNF team. Turico is a great play-by-play guy, but man...Theisman is just awful. Knornheiser is fairly annoying, but he's not terrible, its just that he doesn't really add anything useful and looks like one of the Geico cavemen. But Theisman is the reason I need to leave the sound off. The guy NEVER SHUTS UP! He doesn't even have anything interesting to say, his "analysis" consists of stating the obvious, blurting out complete nonsense, or just saying the exact opposite of what is about to happen. Its infuriating to listen to.
I do have to give a shout to Harry Kalas, the best play-by-play man in baseball history.
Last night I was going to watch the Suns/Mavericks game. When I heard that Walton was announcing I changed the channel before he got a chance to speak. He is the master of overstatement and is excruciatingly hypercritical. Flat out wrong a lot too...without admitting it. The absolute worst...please forgive the Waltonesque superlative.
I'm a Michigan fan, and I do agree with you on Herbstreit and Davies. Herbstreit is actually my favorite announcer of them all, because at least he's knowledgeable on Big 10 football. It's Musberger I can't stand. I can't mute the announcing becuase I like what Herbstreit has to say, so Musberger generally tends to inflict a lot of hat throwing abuse to my television screen. He's full of obvious statements and nonsensical nonsequiteurs, but fails to utter them in the charming 'Keith Jackson manner' for which Musberger seems to strive. And when Musberger was paired with Danielson? That was the team from hell. I actually almost enjoyed it when Michigan was unranked a year ago--it meant ABC's B-list crew, which made the game that much more pleasant to listen to.
The worst announcer on TV is ESPN's Joe Morgan. The guy's brutal. Explain to me, Mr. Morgan, how on a Sunday Night Telecast, when both Comerica Park and ESPN's radar guns show Joel Zumaya hitting 102 mph, can you say that you've seen a lot of pitches and don't believe Zumaya's throwing that hard?
And then turn right around and praise K-Rod of the Angels for hitting 97 on the same radar guns.
I grew up listening to Musburger - he was everywhere on CBS - kind of the role Jim Nance has taken on. Musburger over sells everything though - ie) 3rd down and 3 in the second quarter and Musty says "This is the biggest play of the game"...give me a break.
This is going back a ways, but I used to love Bob Costas as the NBA on NBC announcer. They usually teamed him with Doug Collins, who I'm lukewarm on, but I think Costas is one of the classiest sportscasters out there -- always sharp and always relevant.
Joe T is a disaster, I don't understand why ESPN has stuck with him for all these years. FSN's English Premier League coverage should be mandatory training for all broadcast teams - unobtrusive play-by-play and to-the-point analysis by personalities committed to allowing the game to be the main event - and candid criticism when necessary, i.e., Chelsea vs Man City last weekend as "the worst game of the season!"
Mike Patrick is "mute material"? On which planet? I'd take Mike over just about anyone else named here. He's got range (NFL, NCCAA Men's and Women's basketball), knows what he's doing, and doesn't become more than the game he's calling, ever.
I know this is unfashionable, but I enjoy the MFL line-up. Michaels is always first rate and Kornheiser is coming on more in his PTI mode which I find as great entertainment. Theisman (Theesman?)oh well, can't have it all!
I think one of the broadcast teams that should be made a fixture on ESPN was Dick Vermeil Ron Jaworski and Brad Nessler (OAK n KC 1030 MONDAY NIGHT GAME) Brad does an exceptional job; Jaws breaks down QB play like no other and Vermeil was easily understood and believeable
Of course you omitted the best play-by-play announcer ever in any sport, Dr Mike Emerick. I haven't watched hockey for years, but when I did, there were games I would watch, just because he was the announcer. He is fluid, accurate and never misses a beat. The play flows better from him than it does on the ice.
I mute the TV everytime Bill Walton speaks. The man makes my ears bleed. Next to Theisman, he's the man I most hate to listen to. When Walton was calling a Lakers game during the last year NBC did the NBA, one of his partners [can't remember who] made a comment about Kobe shooting the ball too much. Walton said [I swear] that players like Kobe know it's not how many shots you MAKE, it's how many you TAKE. My brother and I both looked at each other with that "did he just say that?" look and waited for him to correct himself. Nope. In fact, when the other commentator started to correct him, Walton cut him off and said something to the nature of "I'm serious. If you don't prove to your team you can take the big shots, how are they going to buy you as a leader?" WTF?? There's a big diff between taking the BIG shots and taking EVERY shot. After that, I had no patience for Walton. If he's calling a game for my fave team, I mute the TV and pray my radio gets the signal. My fave is Marv Albert. You're right. He makes everyone paired with him better -- even Charles Barkley. :)
Does anyone else remember Joe Buck doing the play-by-play for Fox's Bass Masters Bass Fishing tournament a few years back? That balding hack should stick to that. When he cashes his paycheck and looks at the paystub he should point his head to the sky and say, "Thanks, dad."
I hate the guys who rely on schtick - meaning Raftery and of course Vitale make me switch to whatever Law and Order reruns are on cable at that particular minute. In my opinion Raftery is the worst announcer I've ever heard.
Dick Vitale drives me insane. If it is a team that I am really interested in, I hit the mute button to keep from hearing him run his "motor" mouth! If I am half-way interested in the game, he causes me to change the channel.
The announcer most-likely to make me hit "Mute"? Dick Vitale. Does he EVER stick to the game? At one time, yes. On ESPN Classic, there are games from the early 1980's where Vitale was an announcer -- before he went Gucci and wanted to become Al McGuire. That makes Vitale disingenuous, and should get him kicked off the air.
While I agree with your choices, you falied to mention announcers in the NHL. I feel hockey is one of the hardest sports to announce because of its speed. Mike Emerick is one of, if not the best in the business.
How Phil Simms has become the darling of the broadcast world is beyond me--he SUCKS.
The worst ever is a tie--Bryant Gumble on NFL Network (the only time I have ever muted a game) and PAUL MAGUIRE. He was a punter for God's sake and yet he somehow feels entitled to do nothing but criticize the players on the field.
My brother has never displayed a temper--except once. I personally watched him destroy his TV with a baseball bat over a Dierdorf comment. Man that was great.
He may not be a major network guy but how can we leave out Vin Scully? Not only is he a great voice for the Dodgers but we all remember the call when the ball went through Buckner's legs. How about Kirk Gibson's homer. None of these guys you are mentioning have anything close to that.
When discussing announcers you have to bring up Chris Berman on ESPN Baseball broadcasts. The man is the very definition of "unlistenable". He is an embarassment to baseball broadcasting and whoever keeps putting him on should be shot.
And when you give him Sutcliffe or Brantley as color guys it easily becomes so miserable that it wouldn't matter which teams were playing. There is not one second when one of those idiots isn't filling the air with bad jokes and nonsense. They have no appreciation for the pace of the game.
Chris Berman's work on ESPN Baseball games is maybe the worst individual work of any announcer in pro sports. It deserves mentioning.
I always fear drawing Bill Walton for the NCAA Tournament games. His blathering favoritism is intolerable and annoying. Kevin Harlan is a complete class act and should be allowed to take the next step to the big games.
I know this is supposed to be about TV announcers, but since I work all weekends with only a radio for company, I feel compelled to contribute. I really like the combination of Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason on the Sunday night NFL games on Westwood One. Marv shows off his knowledge of the game and his voice (he even makes a long incompletion sound exciting) and Boomer draws on his experience well, without harping back to his playing days too much. I also love how he "picks on" Marv, especially if it's about a sponsor they just mentioned, e.g., "Boy, it seems like that's something you could really use, Marv". It really makes the broadcast fun.
Packer, Theisman and McCarver are all masters of the obvious. "That was a terrible pass." You can use that one for either of the first two. "A 97 mph fastball is a tough pitch to hit." REALLY? These guys suck the life out of any game they are involved with.
Sorry, but Vin Scully does not walk on water. I cannot listen to the man whatsover. Best memory of him to date is calling the 1985 NLCS, Game 5, Dodgers vs. Cardinals. He pointed out the Wizard had never hit a home run left handed in 1,200+ at bats. Well, he ended his career with one, and it was hit seconds after the Scull-miester dropped his mindless statistic. The ball went sailing over the fence, Ozzie rounded the bases, and Scully had nothing to say (I think I heard him crying). Too much for his Dodger-blue heart to take. It was sweet.
Joe Theismann and Bill Walton should be banned from announcing anything. How did they ever qualify other than being players once---that doesn't make them announcers. Their voices and their commentary are nerve wracking. Just seeing them in the line-up makes me mute the sound.
first off, this blog is "useless and pointless" NOT because Dickie V. was left off (though the glaring omission of a guy who can bring excitement to a game in which the two teams playing are only known to their students was a large error, already remedied by the columnist), but because of the omission of AN ENTIRE LEAGUE (and one which can create excitement like none other)
the NHL. and for announcers of an NHL game (preferably a playoff game, which are the best in all of sports) you must demand to hear Gary Thorne or Steve Levy (which would then obligate the game to go into triple overtime).
Could not agree more on Lundquist. Have always enjoyed listening to him. Also agree on Buck...decide if you are an announcer or a comedian, although you are not very good at either. Two you failed to mention...I am so tired of Vitale and his same old schtick. Man has it gotten old. Also Rick Sutcliffe makes watching MLB tortuous. The guy never has an unexpressed thought!
Chris Collinsworth is the best analyst in the NFL. I miss Keith Jackson's voice. Musberger makes everything melodramatic and I enjoy it! Herbstreet is a rising str in college football.
As for turn the volume off dudes, Thiesman. I enjoyed when Kronheiser pecked away at him early in the year, but he must have og t the note to tunr it down. Enough already with the guest in the booth. Lame promotional plugs that dirupt the flow of the game.
Joe Buck is not just a bad announcer, he's a moralizing, preachy, obnoxious jerk. I think Fox has decided to make him the "voice" of certain sports, but it's a mistake. I will avoid games to avoid him.
Great discussion folks--1st time I've seen the great "best announcer" debate so thoroughly covered. It appears there is agreement that Joe Buck and Brent Musberger clearly have been unmasked as the most lacking in talent, although no one can question whether or not Joe paid his dues to get to where he is. His Dad was without a doubt among the best ever or ever will be for MLB and the NFL. Joe got his start in the minor leagues and worked his way up, including long stints with the Cardinals' not-so- sober Mike Shannon. McCarver became awful after bitterly leaving St Louis to become the all-time "homer" for anything New York and goes out of his way to criticize anything not favorable to the Northeast teams of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. After listening to a couple of years of his putrid announcing of several games involving the Braves and anybody else, Deion's prank in the 1995 locker room was appropriate. Regarding nepotism in media, the Carey (Skip and Chip) boys generally do a great job for the Cubs and Braves. Skip Carey and Don Sutton used to keep me in stitches, especially regarding comments about Sutton's use of the "wet" or "dry" side of the ball in his pitching days. I love Sutton's stories about being the 4th starter in a rotation that included greats Koufax and Drysdale. Without a doubt, Dizzy Dean and Joe Garagiola made the NBC Saturday Game of the Week the best of sports listening--if you couldn't enjoy watching a game a listening to these guys you had no business watching baseball. Vin Scully was among my favorites until he lost all credibility during the Giants-Cardinal NLCS in 1987. He hammered and yammered on about the superiority of the Giants right up until they lost. I stopped listening to Musburger years ago and will change the channel if he's broadcasting. My all time favorite broadcast team was Pat Summerall and John Madden or Summerall and Tom Brookshire. Every Sunday afternoon was made more special by their professionalism and passion for the football.
While they may not be considered announcers, I'm sick to death of what we call "the muffin reports," as in the sideline reports that usually start with "I was talking with xxx before the game, and apparently his mother told him..." Giving these meaningless reports is insulting to the reporters (usually women), and annoying to the audience who just want to watch football.
I agree with your comments about Marv Albert. He is truly exceptional in what he does. The best of the best - and I'm really a baseball fan more than anything. Which leads me to say...
It hurts me deep in my being to have to sit through the gimmicky, pandering, ignorant fashion in which Fox chooses to broadcast baseball.
It is an approach that presupposes Martian Kindergartners make up the majority of baseball playoff viewers. For example, it's shocking how many critical at-bats and plays are not shown so the field reported can talk to the bench coach or Fox TV personalities.
"Say, isn't that the cast of House above the dugout? That's one doctor who practices medicine by his own set of rules, eh Tim??"
Then there is the team themselves. Tim McCarver makes me want to stab my eardrums with red-hot knitting needles.
There has rarely been a more tone-deaf color commentator in sports. His repetative bleatings offer almost no insight, yet are delivered with such dismissive over-confidence, I wonder if he is even watching the game or just a victim of some non-profane form of baseball tourette's syndrome. He's arrogant, unobservant and seems frankly disinterested in the game half of the time.
As for Buck? Boy, his dad was sure great wasn't he?
On another note, I would like to echo hershey3's comment that Jon Miller is an outstading baseball broadcaster, cut from the same cloth as Vin, Mel, and Russ.
On scale of 0-5, 5 being the highest, 99.44% of these ex-jocks & mute-suits couldn't feed the monster, without the help of an entire broadcast team and supporting cast. I have never hear any of them originally, turn a phrase or coin a term. Considering the valve they add to enjoying the game, is near a visit to a strange dentist for triple root canal, I can't understand how anyone, except their mothers, believe they have the talent to enhance the broadcast of a sporting event. If these audio pukes only knew how regurgitated they sound, they would be happy to have a job barking grilling orders into the headset at one of America's big three, McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's.
HAVE TO AGREE BUCK IS TERRIBLE, ITS SAD....I MEAN EVEN THE FOOTBALL IS TERRIBLE AND AIKMAN IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST, SO HE COMPLETLEY RUINS IT...BUT IM SOUR YOU FORGOT GARY THORNE, ARGUABLY THE MOST WELL ROUNDED ANOUNCER IN SPORTS, DOES ALL SPORTS WITH COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE AND LETS THE GAME FLOW ON ITS OWN
Listen, Dukie Vitale is great for the sport, and he truly loves college ball. But honestly. When he is doing a Syracuse/Uconn game, Oranything out of his beloved ACC. Why do I need to hear over 40 references to Duke University, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Coach K, former Duke players, Duke Campus, Dukes recruits, Dukes janitor who has been there 45 years and gets Dukie Vitale a special towel. Come on. And if you cant admit that this is true. Then you must already be muting him. When Vitale did a Lville game, the Lville Student newspaper had 121 things Vitale talked about that had nothing to do with the actual game or former players on either team or the Universities. Geez.
BY FAR, Theismann is the worst EVER, regardless of sport. Running a close second to last is Vitale. Do these guys ever shut up? I will never watch a game called by those clowns. Buck and McCarver are very good, but heaven knows we all miss Vin Scully -- truly the gold standard. Buck/McCarver got an obvious call wrong in the World Series. They kept referring to "interference" when a baserunner made contact with a fielder without the ball between thrid an home. The call is OBSTRUCTION, Tim.
Oh, and you left out the NFL sideline ladies. My wife and sister-in-law always complain about female sideline announcers on NFL broadcasts. Their complaint is: What do they know? They never played.
The most underated announcer in all of sports....BARRY TOMPKINS. If you have ties to the Pac-10 you know this guy is as good as it gets. He does everything from basketball to poker to gymnastics. Truly a voice I grew up listening to and ALWAYS enjoy hearing.
In hockey, the worst of the worst is the whining, yippy Mike Emerick. He feels the needs to call every single nanosecond of action and never lets the game breathe. He far too often screams when nothing is going on (a shot goes wide, a goaltender makes a routine save). He thinks he's being witty using terms like "shovel" and "saucer" instead of pass. Most of all, his voice sounds like the Aflac duck being squeezed by a vice.
I cannot listen to Brent Musburger or Joe Theismann, which sucks because I love football, college and pro. On the other hand I will watch anything with Gary Thorne or Mike Emrick. Thorne even made the Little League World Series exciting! While Emrick and Chico Resch are the best tandem in hockey.
I'm looking forward to the day Musburger retires and Theismann gets fired!
I live in St. Louis. How do you think I feel when I have to watch my beloved Cardinals games with a pompous ass like Joe Buck announcing? I agree with the comment that he seems like a suits son that has to be given a job. Living off his name and his Dad's reputation is right. I HATE Joe Buck!!!!
Dickie V - Change the channel Bill Walton - Ditto Vin Scully is the best announcer I've ever heard. The past few years, though, I find myself wishing he would shut up and take a breath now and then, especially when on TV. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan - I wish they had a device that would mute the TV when Morgan opens his mouth and reverses it when Miller speaks. Morgan is probably the most biased sports announcer around. Madden knows football - problem is that I've heard everything he says too many times - definite mute button. You all are a bunch of chauvinists. Not one mention of Holly Rowe who always gets the less important college game but she is knowledgable and does a good job imo.
mike tirico--worst announcer in all of sports. he reminds me of the kid we all knew in school who couldn't wait to impress you with everything he knew. tirico tries to cram more useless crap (no other word for it) into every sentence he utters.
Dick Enberg, Vin Scully, and Gary Thorne are the announcers I enjoy listening to the most. I used to like Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy announce football games. I really miss Charlie Jones for football, and Tony Kubek for baseball. And God bless Benny Parsons, who gave Nascar fans something to look forward to listen to.
My idea of the ultimate audio torture is Brent Musberger and Joe Theismann doing a football game. Brent never shuts up and thinks the coaches are playing. Joe never shuts up and might not know who is playing.
A discussion of muting an announcer without mention of Dick Vitale, is like a discussion of PGA post 2000 without mentioning Tiger Woods. I used to tire of Vitale by March of a given year. Now, I'm sick of him before December.
I will not watch a game that Brent Musburger works. He simply makes up things or puts things in the wrong context. I won't let my kids watch Brent either for fear they will think a meaningless detail is some key strategy or a single player is the reason why the football team is winning.
I agree that Buck is unlistenable for baseball telecasts (he's slightly better for football). but not for the reasons you stated, Jimmy. I think he has a lack of energy and excitement for key spots and, for example, when a team wins the world series, he makes big, sweeping dramatic statements rather than getting caught up in the excitement. he can make a great game dull.
on the flip side, i think Gus Johnson (march madness) and Mike Patrick (anything) can turn the dullest game into an exciting affair. those guys are a pleasure to listen to, while buck should cut off his own tongue.
I think Lundquist is an excellent play by play college basketball man and Raftery is the best college game color guy although he was better earlier in his career when less enamored with himself. The gold standard in this space for all time is Dick Enberg paired with Al McGuire. I actually used to enjoy some of the banter when Packer was in that mix, too, but McGuire was the best.
For football I think Al Michaels is the best current play by play man. I can't stand Madden but think Theismann would be fine if he'd just tone down a notch or two. Simms? Awful...goes off on tangents too often. Aikman? Excellent color guy, probably the best. The Gold standard here? How about Howard, Giff, and Dandy Don? Cosell was a blow hard but the other two were tops.
Baseball? Jon Miller isn't bad as a play by play guy. Steve Stone is by far the best color guy today - knowledgable and uncanny in way he will tell you what will happen BEFORE it actually does. The gold standard? Give me Curt Gowdy or Joe Garagiola paired with Tony Kubek.
NBA? I can't stand Albert. Kerr is an execellent talent and I used to think Matt Goukas was a fine color man. The gold standard here was Chris Schenkel or Keith Jackson paired with Bill Russell.
Raftery...are you kidding? He's HORRIBLE!! I just finished watching Creighton vs Nevada. He never let the facts get in the way of whatever BS he was peddling. The only good thing is that I actually couldn't understand 50% of the fake excitement that was running out his mouth. God help CBS if they put him on their #1 team!
Makes my heart warm to see so many people think Verne Runquist is the bomb. And I thought I was the only one who recognized his greatness. He reminds me a lot of Ray Scott, who was a legend in his own right. Hyperbole aside, Brent Mussburger and Steve Lavin do a great job on college basketball as well.
Still gotta give a shout-out to aforementioned veterans Lundquist, Michaels and Musburger (Musberger's radio play-by-play of the Nat'l Championship game in College Football was a thing of beauty). Include on this list tho'--Dick Enberg. Love the way he does NCAA Tourney games. He conveys excitement, captures emotions and his "OH MY..." signature phrase isn't bothersome. Does a great job when CBS carries the US Open Tennis Tournament too.
In college football, there is NO one better than Keith Jackson. Who else can make a "FUMBLLLLLEEEEE" sound like the Titanic sinking or the Hindenburg exploding? I have endured dull games over by the first half just to listen to the man speak. He makes watching college football a true pleasure without ruining the game.
Here's an announcer very few will remember in an entirely different "sport". . .pro rasslin'. Gordon Solie. The man knew EVERY single wrestling hold ever invented. Ever heard of an "inverted souffle" or a "Russian legsweep"? Neither had I before Gordon Solie came along. (yeah, I watch 'rasslin, what about it?). But my alltime favorite moment was listening to Dusty "the American Dream" Rhodes elongate (and brutalize) "GAWDEN SOOOOLEEE" in an interview. It made Dizzy Dean's "he 'slud' into third base" sound like Tennyson.
RIP Mr Solie. You brought an element of class to a circus.
All of these comments and no one has mentioned the greatest announcing duo of all time-Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "the Brain" Heenan. They could take a Rick "the Model" Martel vs. some guy from the nosebleed seats and keep my attention for hours. They were classic with the good guy/bad guy banter.
Also, I agree completely with the comments on Kevin Harlan. I love him in the NCAA tournament when the game is on the line. I also liked Marv Albert when he teamed up with "the Czar" Mike Fratello.
Billy Packer is as you put it, an LRA. However, while you are indifferent to him, he makes ME want to go outside during a thunderstorm waving aluminum baseball bats above my head. Examples of why he makes me want to end my own life:
The 2000 NCAA championship game - Michigan State vs Florida. Mateen Cleaves is on a breakaway and Teddy Dupay is hustling back. Instead of letting Cleaves shoot a layup, Dupay goes for a steal and Cleaves steps on his foot, rolling his ankle. Packer swears that this was one of the dirtiest plays he's ever seen. He and Nantz pit Dupay as the villain and Cleaves as a superhero for coming back into the game and pretending to hobble around...until the final buzzer sounded and he puts his dancing shoes on.
Last year's selection show when Packer bashes mid-majors while admitting he's never seen them play. The words uninformed and biased come to mind.
UNC vs. Duke a few weeks ago when Gerald Henderson takes a swing at Tyler Hansborough's nose and breaks it, but Packer swears Henderson had no intent to injure. Similar situation as the Cleaves play, except Packer chose to defend the Dukies. Just goes to show that his opinion's have no real foundation...just whatever he's feeling at the time.
Tim McCarver....don't even get me started. For me, McCarver and Packer are neck in neck in a race towards making me want to break things. Joe Buck, on the other hand, makes MLB broadcasts bearable, and to be honest, I believe he's the best there is in the business, football and baseball. To say that he is ruining his dad's name is downright ridiculous.
One more thing: How about Chris Berman doing golf? I'd compare this to having Madden do figure skating. Just wasn't meant to be.
College Football: Musberger is bearable as long as I don't have to see him wearing one of those freakishly large hats--keep him off my screen! Fouts is annoying...Pac 10 bigot...too obvious. Gottfried is tremendous, full of great insight, a huge plus despite the slur he picked up a few years back (stroke???) He is the best. The worst might be Spielman...between butchering the English language and inundating us with the obvious he is a MUST-MUTE. Pam Ward does nothing to save him. The worst of all time was Todd Christensen...I used to wonder if he got paid by the syllable. Todd used more polysyllabic words, out of context and for no good reason, than anyone I ever saw do a game. No one in history ever loved his own voice more.
Buck is a tool. When he blew a gasket over the Moss thing in GB (fake mooning) he was clearly piling on. There are athletes the media loves to hate (TO, Moss, etc), and athletes they will never say anything bad about (Manning, Rothledfiuiaupsdpberger...uh, the QB in Pittsburgh)...and all Buck ever does is toe the party line. He has never said one thing during any kind of broadcast that added an iota of enjoyment to the experience. I like Aikman...he could tone down the obvious criticisms a bit...I don't need to hear how fumbling hurts your team...but other than that he's pretty good.
Madden is fine...does his own thing and you either like it or hate it, but you know what you are going to get and he's one of a kind. Summerall was great when he was blasted...I can remember multiple times when he said penalties were against teams that weren't even on the field.
Nantz does a yeoman's job on football and basketball, but he's the best thing since Jack Whitaker in golf. Buck takes himself waaay too seriously. Verne Lunquist is old school and I will miss him when he's gone.
NCAA B-ball - Dislike Nantz/Packer very much....very bias towards the big-time schools.....Lundquist/Raftery is good, as well as Gus Johnson.....Dickie V is Dickie V
NCAA F-ball - Musberger is annoying, but funny....try his drinking game....you'll be gone by the second quarter....Herbstreit is decent if he stops being an OSU homer during the game....
NFL - Phil Simms is pretty good, as well as Aikman, but I don't like the play-by-play men, especially Joe Buck....what a loser....Al and John are staples, but they have gotten lame at times....if they stick to the game, and not to stories, then they're at the top of the list.....Collinsworth is the man, but his stupid partner Bryant Gumbel brings him down enormously.....as for MNF, no comment.....
MLB - McCarver is worse than Buck, by far the worst team in sports....I like Miller and Morgan though.....
NBA - The TNT crews of Albert/Kerr and Harlan/Collins are my two favorite in all of sports.....Albert and Harlan also call other sports as well....Harlan needs to be a #1 guy somewhere else though because Albert is a legend....Breen is pretty good, as well as Jackson and Brown, but I don't like Tirico much....
NHL - Gary Thorne is the man! Too bad nobody watches hockey anymore....
The announcer that makes me hit mute is Mark Jackson. I can't believe he is going to be doing the NBA Finals and all the big playoff games. He doesn't add any valuable insight to the game and he is very annoying. I don't know why ABC doesn't use Bill Walton and Jon Barry as their #1 team.
Clearly, Tim McCarver has pictures of some network executive with a hooker. There can be no other explanation. The truly sad thing is tht he actually knows the game, and makes a few really fantastic points. They just get covered by the 20 stupid points, and the mind numbing repetition. I hope the forementioned executive retire ssoon, so that Tim's blackmail pictures are no longer a danger, and the viewing public can be spared the pain of this imbecile.
The newest team on CBS of Len Elmore and James Brown forces me to consider muting the TV. JB is great at football highlights, but when it comes to play-by-play it sounds like the game is one long highlight. As for Buck and McCarver I can't say I have a problem with Buck, but the new voice of October baseball is Thom Brenneman.
I absolutely love Gus Johnson. I think he should be considered for the No. 1 slot on CBS; while we all remember his disaster at the end of UCLA vs. 'Zaga in the 2006 Sweet 16, his performance just last night for Louisville vs. Texas A&M was almost as legendary. When Sosa buried big shots, he screamed "TIGGERAY," ostensibly a reference to Sosa's nickname in the Bronx. I love the excitement he lays on the table.
We can't forget about Gus Johnson in this discussion. I'm both shocked and saddened that it doesn't appear he's doing a Regional this year for CBS - I think it's Engberg/Bilas, Nantz/Packer, Brown/Elmore, and Lundquist/Raftery - because we all remember his performance calling the UCLA vs. Gonzaga Sweet 16 game last year.
Just last night, though, he was unreal in doing Ohio State vs. Xavier - "HA HA! College basketball! HA HA! CBS Sports! HA HA! This is March Madness!" is what he exclaimed after the Ron Lewis three ball to tie - and Texas A&M vs. Louisville. When Sosa buried a three to make it 59-56 Louisville with about 7 left, he screamed "TEE-GAH-RAY," ostensibly a reference to Sosa's nickname growing up in the Bronx.
If you've heard Johnson do NFL with Steve Tasker - the end of the second Steelers vs. Browns game this year comes to mind - or Knicks games - the end of their December game in Denver comes to mind - you know he brings more excitement to a game than almost anyone in his field. I adore him.
Jim Nantz belongs on golf broadcasts and sports-related human interest packages. He is far to soft and gentle for anything else.
Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are hands-down the greatest baseball duo on TV, network or not.
Mike Patrick, Paul McGuire and Joe Theisman had some serious chemistry on ESPN's Sunday Night football, but somehow Theisman got promoted to Monday Nights and Patrick--whom I think is excellent--got dropped to occasional, irrelevant college football and basketball games.
"Send it in"'s and "little smooch off the glass"'s do not help basketball broadcasts along, they contribute to brain aneurisms. Bill Raftery is the worst. For incoherent, borderline cenile ramblings, I'll take Dickie V any day.
I would rather hear Ray Scott, Mel Allen,Jack Buck, and my all-time favorite Pat Summerall than any of these guys. But, as many will disagree, I really like Joe Buck. I also think that Harold Reynolds should be somewhere doing baseball!!!
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