Friday, December 21, 2012

The "Announcer Snob" Has His Say

Yep, that's me.  Pat "T-Boone" Pickens has named me an announcer snob, to go along with the opinion of a few others.

Personally, I like the term "critic" but, hey, semantics and all.  It's OK.  I recently suggested that I would make a fine sports media critic in the style of Neil Best.

Or Richard Deitsch.

I noticed that Sports Illustrated is conducting an online poll for the best and worst in sports media in 2012.  Deitsch will have the results next week.  So...I'll weigh in.

First up! Best play-by-play announcer.  The nominees:

- Al Michaels
- Mike Breen
- Joe Buck
- Dan Shulman
- Mike Emrick
- Ian Eagle

I like each broadcaster.  Michaels is the dean of the NFL guys, while Breen has stepped near the head of the class for basketball.  I like Buck (sue me), and though I prefer Shulman on radio, he's still so solid on TV.  You know how I feel about Doc Emrick.  Ian Eagle is near the top of the NFL at this point.

But it shouldn't surprise you.  Doc Emrick gets my vote.

Mr. Scully, by the way, is still better than all of them.  That is said with no disrespect intended. analyst:
- Charles Barkley
- Kirk Herbstreit
- Jeff Van Gundy
- Cris Collinsworth
- Doris Burke
- Dan Fouts

All decent to good.  I think guys like Jon Gruden, Troy Aikmen (who does NOT hate the Giants), and Phil Simms are overlooked here.  But these are the nominees.  I struggle calling Barkley an analyst, but indeed he does analyze games mostly from the studio.  I tend to think of these announcers as game analysts.  Either way, my vote might be a small surprise.  I like Herbie - Kirk Herbstreit, with Van Gundy a very close second.

Best announcing team?
- Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth
- Mike Breen/Jeff Van Gundy
- Dan Shulman/Orel Hershiser/Terry Francona
- Mike Emrick/Ed Olczyk
- Brent Musberger/Kirk Herbstreit

Again, a solid collection.  But I'll keep my thoughts short.  Doc and Edzo are the cream of the crop.  They're smart at breaking a game down, know when to tighten things up, and also bring a little levity in.  Olczyk has become the marquee hockey analyst (so long as John Davidson isn't nearby).  Give me Emrick and Olczyk.

Somhow the team of Adams/Erway/DeMaria/Kaelin got overlooked.  An oversight, I'm sure.

Best studio show?
- Inside the NBA
- College GameDay
- Baseball Tonight
- Fox NFL Sunday
- Fantasy Football Now
- NFL Live

This came down to two for me.  Inside the NBA has the right mix of analysis and laughs.  But Fox NFL Sunday is the original.  They also have Terry Bradshaw.  They need to get the comedians out of the way though.

Most unlikable sports personality?
- Skip Bayless
- Tony Siragusa
- Stephen A. Smith
- Michael Irvin
- Colin Cowherd
- Deion Sanders

Tough choices!  But Skip Bayless has earned it.  His attempt to say Derek Jeter might have indulged in steroids was laughable.  That gave him this award for me.

Best place to watch sports in 2012
- Fox
- Turner

They had the Super Bowl.  The Olympics.  Sunday Night Football.  I chose NBC, mostly for the Olympics factor.

And had they said "LISTEN" to sports, well, then we know it would have been WGCH.

By the way, I don't think the voters agree with me.  Michaels was far ahead for best play-by-play, Collinsworth was leading for analyst, Michaels and Collinsworth for best team, College GameDay for best studio show, and ESPN for best place to watch.  Skip Bayless, on the other hand, well, yeah.

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