Thursday, June 04, 2009

My Dream Broadcasting Team

I've seen dream teams put together so many times that it got me to thinking - who would be my dream team of broadcasters in sports? If I was the Sports Director of the ~R.O.B.~ Network, and we had the rights to whatever sports I wanted, who would be on my staff?

Most of these will probably not surprise you. There are really no rules to this - I can pick anyone in the history of sports broadcasting, dating back to Harold Arlin on KDKA in August, 1921 (he called the Pirates 8-5 win over the Phillies). I'll pick a play-by-play voice and an analyst. Where applicable, I can add a studio host or sideline person, or third analyst. In other words, it's my staff so it's up to me. With that said, let's go.

Baseball - Let's get the easy one out of the way. You knew my lead announcer would be Vin Scully. He's the best ever, in any sport. Duh. The color analyst would be Tony Kubek. Utterly brilliant in his analysis and uncaring if offending. He easily ticked off George Steinbrenner, and Kubek was a former Yankee. He's getting his due, as the winner of the 2009 Ford Frick Award.

Of course, Scully never works with an analyst, unless he was calling network games. Incidentally, if Scully's not available, Red Barber (Vin's mentor) gets the call. Then Mel Allen. It's tough to not go with Bob Costas but I think he'll be our host and interviewer. Jim Kaat will also be available for analysis.

Football - I could go with Pat Summerall and John Madden (I mean, they were together for a long time) but I'm staying loyal to the team I grew up with: Dick Enberg will call the action and Merlin Olsen will analyze it. The former Father Murphy actor enjoyed such a truly brief run in the booth (roughly 1977-1989). He's missed. Summerall and Madden are probably my "B" team." (Notice no "Monday Night Football" guys) By the way, we need a pregame show, and folks, this is where we need Brent Musberger, if only so he can say "You are looking live..."

Basketball (NBA) - The play-by-play part is easy: Marv Albert. As much I like Mike Breen, Marv is the best ever. The struggle here is with an analyst. I've enjoyed Doug Collins work, and I still like Clyde Frazier. I've also enjoyed the Czar of the Telestrator (Mike Fratello). I'm going to go with Doug Collins, but might rethink this one.

For some reason, I feel compelled to put Pat O'Brien here as a pregame host.

College basketball - Dick Enberg's work load will increase. He gets the nod to call the college game. Keep Jim Nantz available. Now this gets dicey, because the best college broadcasting team - ever - was Enberg with Al Maguire and Billy Packer. The thing is whether or not I could deal with Packer on this staff, but I think Maguire evens it out. So OK.

Hockey - One of the easier calls for me. Though I grew up with Jiggs McDonald on Islanders 'casts, and have high regard for several others, the late Dan Kelly gets the call. John Davidson will work with Kelly to do color. They will be great together, as will Mike "Doc" Emrick, who will do whatever he wants.

I invite our neighbors to the north to tell me otherwise (and I've never heard Foster Hewitt's work).

College football - Keith Jackson was Mr. College Football. I'm going to give him the edge, and pair him with his old partner, Frank Broyles. But if they even so much as slightly screw up (not likely), Don Criqui and John Brodie will be available (if only for the way they called the Miami-Nebraska '84 Orange Bowl).

Tennis (we'll have the majors) - Dick Enberg again, with Bud Collins. Keep John McEnroe around as well. Pat Summerall can help if Enberg's schedule gets crazy.

Golf (again, the majors) - This is where Jim Nantz can shine, but Jim McKay will be available. Summerall, Scully, and Verne Lundquist each get holes as well (I want Verne just for a "yes SIR!"). I need an analyst though. I'm going with Ken Venturi. I'll be selfish and add my friend and former "Tee Time" co-host Michael Breed. He can walk the course as a reporter.

By the way, since it's my staff, and I can do so, we'll provide some high school sports. Of course I'm calling the play-by-play! Sean Kilkelly will work with me, but so will Mark Rosen, Ricky Fritsch, Matt Hamilton, Mark Smallwood, John Spang, Tommy Dee, Zach Fisher, Nick Angotto, Tom Kane, Rob Crowley, Chuck Costello, Jason Intrieri, Bill Brehm, and Nick Fox (with Tim Parry as our lead blogger). And the Maloney's (Dave Sr. and Jr.) will be on standby. In other words, almost anybody who has worked with me on WGCH (I know I'm missing some names).

And Sean Ford will handle our minor league baseball coverage.

We haven't put a bid in for the Olympics yet, but if we do, and we need a miracle, then I'm sure Al Michaels will be a phone call away.

So there you go. Have at it.

And it's all subject to change!

No comments: