15 Voices like Costas, Criqui, Scully and Stockton should have done Super Bowls on TV at some point


david halberstam round profile

At least 15 very qualified football announcers never got a chance to do a Super Bowl on TV. They each deserved a shot. 

Best of the top of the play-by-play who did NFL for a significant period:

Honoring the underrated: If contractual arrangements weren’t in place, these outstanding voices should have done at least one Super Bowl. That good!

Tim Brando   (February 27, 1956) (65)

Prepared, stylized, knowledgeable, quipster and a cozy southern drawl.

Bob Costas** (March 22, 1952) (69)

Can do it all perfectly. A prodigy at CBS in his first gig. Tremendous in the studio.

Don Criqui* (October 1, 1940) (81)

For decades, his powerhouse of a voice said it’s a fall Sunday afternoon. Lots of great memories

Tom Hammond (May 10. 1944) (77)

Football, track and two sports with which he grew up, horse racing and hoops. Never sufficiently decorated.

Keith Jackson  (Mat 18, 1928) (passed -2018) First season game caller of MNF on ABC TV in 1070. His lips spewed football.

Charlie Jones* (November 9, 1930) (passed-2008)

His timbre was heavy. It filled America perfectly, Charlie, Curt Gowdy and Jim Simpson on NBC. 

Verne Lundquist (July 17, 1940) (81)

He picked up speaking tips from his his father, a protestant minister in Austin, Texas. His early broadcast role-model was Kern Tips, the Voice of the Southwestern Conference….”And it’s power up the middle.”

Sean McDonough (May 13, 1962) (59)

He has all the wares and the perfect command. Did two NFL seasons of MNF plus years of college ball.

Brent Musburger** (May 26, 1939 (82)

Unpredictable, fearless and speaks his mind. Doesn’t mind picking an argument with a partner. Comes at issues from edges. Hosted plenty of Super Bowls but never called one.

Lindsey Nelson (May 25, 1919) (passed 1995)

Years and years of college football, Notre Dame and the NFL. Smoothly and gentlemanly. A well recognized sing-song delivery. Cozy and breezy.

Tim Ryan (May 16, 1939) (82)

Football wasn’t his lead sport. The NHL, boxing, tennis and tens of others were. Tim, one of the most versatile ever, did weekly NFL games  for the networks.

Chris Schenkel (August 21, 1923)_(passed 2005)

Smooth, soft and a silky resonance. He called big national games, including the one dubbed the “Greatest ever played,” the 1958, first overtime playoff matchup, Giants-Colts.

Jim Simpson* (December 20, 1927) (passed 2016)

He was the first face of ESPN. Never did any NFL on the newly born network. He also did the first Super Bowl on NBC’s national radio network. Years of the secondary weekly games behind Curt Gowdy. A blessed voice, when the throat mattered

Dick Stockton (November 22, 1942) (79)

Some five decades presiding over the NFL for multi-networks. Never overdid it. Spoke economically. Very pleasant voice.

Vin Scully (November 29, 1927 – (94)

Vin was likely the sportscaster of the the last century, unquestionably baseball’s best. In the mid 1970s, he joined CBS and his last material words were ‘Montana to Clark!’ Network politics interfered and Vin never got the prized assignment.

*Did at least one Super Bowl on network radio

** Worked for the most part in network studios; Costas, NBC and Musburger on CBS’ The NFL Today.


NFL Recognition  

The three most gifted, sideline interviewers: ESPN’s Suzy Kolber, NBC’s Michele Tafoya, and CBS’ Tracy Wolfson

Most durable in the studio– ESPN’s Chris Berman

Best play-by-play network radio: Kevin Harlan

Local voice of year: Dan Hoard, Cincinnati Bengals

Post-game: ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt

Tom Hedrick is the only broadcaster still alive who did the first Super Bowl in 1967. Jack Drees was his partner on the CBS Radio Network


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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Michael Green
7 months ago

Quite a list! There’s a story that Vin was promised the Super Bowl early in his time at CBS, and that was why he went full-time with the network.

I once counted and Vin had at least eight partners in seven seasons at CBS–Hank Stram, Sonny Jurgensen, Paul Hornung, Alex Hawkins, Johnny Morris, George Allen, Jim Brown, and John Madden. As much stock as CBS put into its broadcasters in those days, it’s strange that very few crews stayed together even for a season.