15 other play-by-play voices who would have sparkled in the Super Bowl TV booth but never have

In 58 years no Black person has ever been asked to serve as an analyst

david halberstam round profile

There have been 12 network play-by-play Super Bowl TV voices. They’re listed in alphabetical order and in number of games to date:

Jack Buck (1) Joe Buck (6) Kevin Burkhardt (1) Dick Enberg (8) Frank Gifford (1) Curt Gowdy (7)  Greg Gumbel (2) Al Michaels (11) Jim Nantz (7) Ray Scott (3 full games and one shared) Pat Summerall (12) Jack Whitaker (2nd Half of first game with Scott)

In the final year of his life, Whitaker told me that play-by-play was never his art. He could extemporize and dash-out opinions as well as anyone, be they Horse Racing, Soccer, Olympics and Golf. He was very respected for for his ability not to grope for a word, while capsulizing how the event turned. 

In alphabetical order, these voices would represent themselves nicely:

Kenny Albert  

Kenny had dad Marv to counsel, The son is energized and reliable 

Marv Albert 

Dad broke in as a prodigy. The NBA was his heart, NFL, Boxing +. (R)

Tim Brando 

Among the seniors of college play-by-players, did NFL, still as sharp as a whip 

Don Criqui

He did two Super Bowls on radio and TV decades on both CBS and NBC – (R)

Kevin Harlan

Draws a deep picture on national radio and his TV viewers are glued – (R)

Frank Glieber 

Died a young man in his 50s. CBS thought highly of him *

Keith Jackson

The first MNF, the W/S and was interchangeable with college football *

Charlie Jones

An overpowering voice of the AFL and NFL for 30 years on ABC and NBC *

Verne Lundquist

The man full of laughs, calling football and telling stories. Never dull

Sean McDonough

Great intonation, anticipates each play; Teaches a course on the move 

Brent Musburger 

Sharp, opinionated and unpredictable; Called Major Bowls with fire

Lindsey Nelson

An early generation football man, both NFL and college; A silky voice *

Mike Patrick  

Identifiable with ESPN football – SNF from 1987-2005 -Right on it

Tim Ryan 

Just name the sport and Tim did it with serenity and detail 

Dick Stockton  

Did NBA Finals, tons of NFL including post-season and MLB


R – Did Super Bowl on network radio 

Jack Buck is the only announcer to do network radio and TV play-by-play of a Super Bowl.


David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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