NBC leads off with the very solid twosome of Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen. Olsen was obviously advised by the network to get away from the intensely analytical style of his rookie season in 1977 and became a more outgoing personality in '78. Few color men work harder. I especially like two things about his approach: he doesn't shoot for the cheap one-liners—"They hired me as a color man, not a comedian," he says—and he tries to keep his between-plays comments fairly tight. I can't handle the rambling monologues that are interrupted by the action on the field—"I'll get back to my story right after this play."
No. 2 for NBC is the new team of Jim Simpson and John Brodie. Charlie Jones and Len Dawson are No. 3, and for me they are a very easy listen, because they hark back to old AFL days—and so do I.
The fresh new team on NBC is the No. 4 unit of Criqui and Bob Trumpy. Trumpy, who steps up from last year's No. 5 crew, is a comer whose flashes of insight often jolt you. For instance, when a TD was erased by an illegal pick in a Houston- Cincinnati game, Trumpy had this rare infraction nailed before the official's flag hit the ground. And in the same game he provided this punchy capsule on the Bengals: "A very, very talented team; there's just something haywire upstairs."
That's the lineup for '79. Keep watching the waiver lists.