January 26, 2006

TV Commentator Awards: The best to the worst of the NFL announcing teams. Dr. Z rages through the lineups, but also talks about a welcome trend.

posted by irunfromclones to football at 02:59 PM - 18 comments

wow.. low marks for espn? i'm shocked. also, i realize that he only talked in passing about production values, but is cbs' graphics department from 1985? can someone lend them their copy of fireworks or flash? and when they do that thing where they show the red zone as the field completely in red.. ugh. i feel like the cbs announcers should have been summarily penalized for this poor presentation as much as madden+michaels (in a good game) got a boost for their team's presentation.

posted by ninjavshippo at 03:12 PM on January 26, 2006

Someone seems to have gotten the word out that when there's a game on, it's supposed to be announced. Thus there were no more of those Suzy Kolber sideline interviews, or at least very few of them, that ran right over the live action. Well, that same someone needs to get that word over to Fox.

posted by NoMich at 03:18 PM on January 26, 2006

Please, please, please...just get Dierdork and Simms off the airwaves. PLEASE! Also, I couldn't agree less in regards to Aikman. As a player I absolutely despised him. As an analyst, he is one of my favorites. Just because Troy doesn't get a stiffy over all the big guys on the line like Dr. Z, it shouldn't take away from the fact that he is informative and intelligent.

posted by willthrill72 at 03:51 PM on January 26, 2006

I agree completely with the critique of the ESPN #1 team. But, I liked the ESPN #2 team (Sharpe & Tirico). Maybe they just were better by comparison, but better they were. The Monday Night games were complete torture. If they aren't going to actually announce the game, then they should put all the pertinent information on the screen, so that we can listen with the sound off.

posted by bperk at 03:57 PM on January 26, 2006

I think Dr. Z is pretty much on target. And that's the first time I ever thought that. I like his rankings and while I could nit-pick one or two, I won't. One thing I do want to talk about is sideline reporters --- Why do most sideline reporters read off a clipboard and tell us about things they learned on Thursday? Or rather, if they're going to do that, why are they reporting from the sideline? Why not just have the "sideline reporter" in a truck or in Bristol? Even the really good sideline reporters are worthless on the sideline because they're most often telling us about something they picked up in interviews over the week. Oddly, one of the worst sideline reporters, Tony Siragusa, is actually the one providing insight (or something) from the sideline. He uses that vantage point to give his thoughts on the line play, the attitude of the teams, and occasionally the mood of a specific player. Granted, his comments generally boil down to, "The line play is getting rough, guys" or something stupid like that, but at least he's trying to use his sideline position to tell us something we might not otherwise know. Why hasn't production picked up on this? And why hasn't some other network copied the Siragusa model with someone who can actually think? These people have the best seats in the house... Please use them to tell us something meaningful.

posted by 86 at 03:58 PM on January 26, 2006

I wonder when Aikman et al will do their annual review of sportswriters?

posted by mjkredliner at 04:01 PM on January 26, 2006

I hate all tv commentators for football. In a pub I would much rather listen to music and watch the game. I know how the game is played, and I can more often than not figure out what is happening even without sound. Occasionally, I'll miss hearing the crunching of helmet, but the trade off of not having to listen to those clowns (or worse the screaming commercials) is worth it. When I watched at home (no TV reception right now) I would prefer to listen to radio commentating if I could get it, which thanks to the buttheads at the NFL is harder and harder. Listening to the homers on the radio is so much more enjoyable than whoever the networks put on the air, in my opinion. I'm at least glad Dr. Z was tough a tough grader again this year, but I don't think it matters as long as the networks are telling the directors and the commentators what to do for the sake of marketing the superstars.

posted by scully at 04:06 PM on January 26, 2006

"Tony Siragusa, is actually the one providing insight (or something) from the sideline."

I actually heard him a couple years ago ask the guys in the booth to throw down some hot dogs and a beer. I guess that falls in the "something" category.

I'm surprised this was pretty spot-on analysis of the announcers, you know, coming from Dr. Z and all. On preview: yes, terrapin, the radio is much better than listening to the TV announcers when at home.

posted by redsnare at 04:10 PM on January 26, 2006

Down here it's cricket season, and the best solution is to watch TV with the volume off and the radio coverage on. Radio is supplied by a public broadcaster with no adverts, thus saving you the effort of hitting the mute button every over.

posted by owlhouse at 04:15 PM on January 26, 2006

I won't watch Buck during baseball season because of McCarver, but during football season I live for him and Aikman. They are the best. I agree with willthrill72 about Dierdorf and Simms. Brutal. And those guys on Sunday night? Should have been replaced 15 years ago. Who EVER thought Theisman could do this job? He is to football what McCarver and Morgan are to baseball.

posted by geomike78 at 05:08 PM on January 26, 2006

I used to just mute the TV and turn on the local radio but haven't been able to do it the last couple years because now the tv feed is on about a 1-2 second delay. It sucks! Unfortunately, I really do enjoy hearing the crowd noise and the hits so I generally suffer through the broadcasts on as low a volume as possible.

posted by DudeDykstra at 05:27 PM on January 26, 2006

i think madden is a terrible announcer no matter how important the game is. the cameras are good as dr. z says but the announcing is terrible. i agree with dudedykstra that the delay sux becuz u cant listen to the much more thorough radio broadcast

posted by autzenrocker123 at 06:41 PM on January 26, 2006

Why do FOX and CBS CONSTANTLY trot out their "A" teams of Buck/Aikman and Nance/Simms when there are seriously MUCH BETTER commentators...now I'm only 19 years old, but I know this much. The job of the commentator is MUCH like that of an NFL official: tell the game, examine the role of the players and DON'T use too much fancy language in your play-by-play. I unfortunantly got stuck with several Houston Texans games, but Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots are both a good tandem. Both seem to have a good booth chemistry, and neither one tries to do too much at one time (try that out Troy when analyzing a pass, or how about you Phil when you're making bold statements). We need more people like this who don't ramble on about stuff only ex football players know. Besides, it makes the game more enjoyable. Al and John...DON'T SCREW UP THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!

posted by chemwizBsquared at 07:33 PM on January 26, 2006

Great peice of work. I learned a lot from the read. Lets have more like that.

posted by westcoast at 08:10 PM on January 26, 2006

I can deal with just about every commentator but I wish Phil Simms would fall off the planet. Mr. Know it All. God forbid if your favorite team is playing the Patriots and he is announcing the game. You'll hear about how great the Patriots are in every aspect of everything. It's like they are the only team on the field. He sucks.

posted by dbt302 at 10:37 PM on January 26, 2006

anyone else find it funny that the polls show the guys Z had ranked as the worst as the best and the ones he ranked as 4 stars were at the lowest in the poll rankings.

posted by bdaddy at 09:21 AM on January 27, 2006

"Tony Siragusa, is actually the one providing insight (or something) from the sideline." I actually heard him a couple years ago ask the guys in the booth to throw down some hot dogs and a beer. I guess that falls in the "something" category. Siragusa is the most useless person in sports. "Guys, it's REALLY LOUD down here". "Guys, I'm standing down here and you can see the defensive lineman have their hands on their knees breathing heavy". Real insightful.

posted by bdaddy at 09:23 AM on January 27, 2006

It would really be decent if the networks would pay some attention to what the fans thought of their shitful announcers and fix it by firing the ones who can't find their ass with both hands. As far as any ESPN announcer is concerned, they all suck, for ANY sport. The whole network is beginning to suck, especially when they start broadcasting poker and call it a sport, too. This is perhaps why ABC gave up Monday Night Football and gave it to their daughter network, for in their infinitissamal small-minded way, you don't deserve to see the game on Monday if you don't have cable. Networks ought really get their heads out of their asses and fix their errors before we have to listen to them.

posted by mrhockey at 01:51 PM on January 27, 2006

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