A deep look into the best NFL voices on both network TV and local radio


david halberstam round profile


CBS – Jim Nantz and Tony Romo – Jim multitasks smoothly and keeps Tony in-line. Nantz’ throat and appeasing diction tell the emotional tale. Romo opens things up by being completely himself and unpredictable. Viewers never know what to expect. In some ways, the Romo brand is one of a stand-up comedian. They’re a fun duo who like to chuckle.

Amazon- Al Michaels and  Kirk HerbstreitAl still has it and should be continued to be treated with due reverence. No excuse for lack of full concentration particularly late in a game, but when a fellow like Kirk Herbstreit is chewing your ear off and breaking your rhythm, what do you expect? Especially given a menu of lousy games?

NBC – Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth – Tirico has gotten better especially in measure due to Cris He is aplomb, confident and enthusiastic. Mike’s ready, yet Cris carries the announce team. I’m happy for Mike for getting an accomplished partner. From my perspective, Collinsworth always sounds like he’s happy. Can the audience have it any better?

ESPN – Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, – both cool and nonchalant. Moreover, Buck is concise (word used by Tom Verducci  to describe him.) Joe’s a master at setting up his color man on TV. Joe calls games differently from his dad who was reared on radio. Jack is the only play-by-player to do both radio and TV of Super Bowl. Aikman is fine but somewhat dull. In earlier days, at Fox, he and Collinsworth feuded a bit.

Fox – Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen – They’ll be calling the Super Bowl amid turmoil, their first big-game ever. Olsen earned the job with permanence in mind. But shortly afterward, Tom Brady unseated him for one reason, his flashy name. So Tom reportedly takes Fox’ mic in 2024 and Olsen? who knows what happens to him? He explains plays nicely but his early treatment by the executives wasn’t kind. Burkhardt is okay but he’s now informally in charge of training a king. A man who’s never been and analyst,


Gene Deckerhoff – Tampa Bay

Retired from FSU and sticking with Bucs only.

Jim Donovan  – Cleveland

By now, Donovan is up there with Cleveland great, Joe Tait, Tom Hamilton and Gib Shanley.

Wes Durham – Atlanta

Son of icon Woody Durham of UNC. He’s done Georgia Tech and continues to do ESPN.

Dan Hoard – Cincinnati Bengals

A busy man, yet would love MLB. Has Bengals plus U. C. football and hoops.

Mitch Holthis – Kansas City

With the charge of the Chiefs, he might as well own the town. Also did KSU football and hoops.

Mike Keith – Tennessee

Worked for the legendary John Ward at U of Tennessee. When NFL settled, he was gobbled up.

Wayne Larrivee – Green Bay

One of the strongest voices in America. Has play-by-play down to a science.

Greg Papa – San Francisco

This fellow has what it takes. He was pushed by Bay Area fans who swear into 49er role

Dave Pasch – Arizona

Dave is another who can leap from one assignment to the other with alacrity.

Merrill Reese – Philadelphia

Arguably the best today, even at age 80. Description with a flair and strong Philly accent.

Brad Sham – Dallas

In Dallas, he’s likely the most prominent play-by-play voice and associated with the Cowboys.

Bob Wischusen – NY Jets

Mixes his vocabulary gracefully and adroitly. If Jets would win, fans would appreciate him.

National Radio

As good as they come, Kevin Harlan was blessed with an overpowering voice and he has used it superbly. He will do his 13th straight Super Bowl this Sunday. He trails Jack Buck who did 16. 


Below are the ten Super Bowls that Tom Brady played in during his stellar career. FOX carried four of them. CBS and NBC each carried three.

Next up for Brady is moving into the FOX broadcast booth, apparently in 2024, as reported by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

Super Bowl Games –  Years – Announcers 

XXXVI – 2002 – Pat Summerall and John Madden – FOX

XXXVIII – 2004 – Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms – CBS

XXXIX – 2005 – Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth – FOX

XLII – 2008 – Joe Buck and Troy Aikman – FOX

XLVI – 2012    Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth – NBC

XLIX  – 2015   Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth – NBC

LI  –  2117 – Joe  Buck and Troy Aikman – FOX

LII  –   2018 – Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth – NBC

LIII  –  2019 – Jim Nantz and Tony Romo – CBS

LV  – 2021 – Jim Nantz and Tony Romo – CBS

If you’ll intertwine Tom Brady’s name with Cris Collinsworth’s, there’s a reason, he covered four of Tom’s Super Bowls, one more than any of his network colleagues.

His Super Bowl coach was always Bill Belichick, except the last, Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay.

Collinsworth (4)

Joe Buck (3), Troy Aikman (3), Al Michaels (3)

Jim Nantz (2), Tony Romo (2)

Pat Summerall (1), John Madden (1), Greg Gumbel (1), Phil Simms (1)

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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