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THE MIDTERM GRADES ARE IN
William Taaffe
November 28, 1988
Some NFL announcers will like their marks, others won't
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November 28, 1988

The Midterm Grades Are In

Some NFL announcers will like their marks, others won't

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Criqui, C-; Trumpy, B.

Charlie Jones and Jimmy Cefalo ( NBC)—Strange marriage here. Jones, who's in his 29th year as a pro football announcer, is excellent. Sure, he lacks pizzazz, but no one doing play-by-play arrives better prepared or has more stories to tell about the players and owners involved. Cefalo has the subdued manner of an altar boy. His voice is so soft and he uses so many words that it's often difficult to understand what he's saying. And when you finally make out what he has said, his point is usually obscured by footballese.

Jones, A-; Cefalo, D.

Mike Patrick and Joe Theismann ( ESPN)—Last year, during its first season of NFL telecasts, ESPN brought in a different guest analyst for each game. It wisely scratched that practice. ESPN also took Roy Firestone out of the booth and assigned him to halftime shows, where he belongs. Trouble is, in place of Firestone and a guest, ESPN is using Theismann, who rattles on as if he were being paid by the word. Patrick is competent on play-by-play, but next to Theismann he sounds like Mr. Peepers. Give us a break, Joe! Only sophomores in high school always try to have the last word. Occasionally Theismann saves himself with a revealing insight, but it's hard to take him seriously because of his carefully groomed veneer. Ever notice how he likes to preen on camera?

Patrick, C-; Theismann, D+.

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