NFL

Ten of the most distinct voices for good or for bad; Folks who get assignments and trigger thoughts

Grading of the 2023-24 Broadcasters – Those who stand out

 

Todd Blackledge

NBC made one of its best hires in decades, recruiting analyst Todd Blackledge, strengthening its college football broadcast stable. It matched him with Noah Eagle, still fresh from Syracuse. He’s all of of 26. Todd’s fantastic. He’s fresh and judicious in his instructive trenches, keeping matters simple. He’s 62. 

Mike Breen 

Mike threw all his heart into basketball when he was a young teen. The Fordham man poured all the depth of basketball knowledge he picked up from coaches and from star writers like Peter Vecsey. When the trio of Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy jelled, they were lauded the best NBA trio in ages. A myopic move by ESPN firing two of the three was asinine.

Hubie Brown 

Preaching Hubie, his style didactic, homiletic and inimitable. Brown is the broadcast master of the NBA. He doesn’t waste any time. Brown’s is an educator who tells it as he sees it. He’s not a Charles Barkley but you’ll learn the games’ nuances, studying his commentary.

Joe Buck

He is flawless. The economy of his act demonstrates how concise broadcasters can be. Boothmate Troy Aikman opened up a bit this year, they quipped and interacted. He dropped baseball smoothly nationally at Fox after breaking the number of World Series broadcast.

Kevin Harlan

He’s blessed and has naturally called games with perfect inflections. His sweeping voice is  magical. Some thirty years into his play-by-play career, he broke with tradition. Instead of shoving ugly  incidents under the carpet, Harlan paints golden pictures of those who misbehave behave liked nutcases. 

Ernie Johnson, Jr. 

He’s a beloved voice and figure who keeps the stage stable and sets up the producer. They’re funnier than you can imagine. Ernie J. seems to know when it’s time to tighten and when to loosen the stage. Ernie and the production crew can be whacky and free with the language

Pat McAfee

Frankly, he comes across sounding like hell and often presents himself bestially. He wears little cover, when spreading of off-the-shoulder, making him appear brash. He was allowed to intertwine curses on his SiriusXM and he did. I’m not sure that 

Sean McDonough 

This man is as good as anyone. He puts his intonations together like a maestro. When he’s on, he presents rave revues. It’s his diversity. He’s been on ABC, ESPN, CBS, Monday Night Football, the Olympics and so much more. Many consider Sean a true mentor. He also does Red Sox on radio.  

Tony Romo

He’s so unpredictable, who’s funny and a voracious reader, more like a kid in the playpen. He and partner Jim Nantz make an entertaining duo. Tracy Wolfson the network’s longtime sideliner are a classic act. The terrific mix of this threesome was grouped by CBS’ CEO Sean McManus, who’s retiring after the Final Four. He deserves acclaim.

Tom Verducci 

His passion for baseball analysis, drips with love of the game. Between his enormous ability to paint the perfect word picture, Verducci commands baseball’s print ink in the pages of Sports Illustrated. With MLB Network and Fox, there’s a special appreciation for Tom. 

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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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Barry Kipnis
1 month ago

Not a fan of Kevin Harlan who screams virtually all the time plus since he’s doing a national broadcast, he needs to show more impartiality. I don’t think any Detroit Lions’ fans who were about to suffer a very tough loss would appreciate hearing Harlan bellow: “the 49-ers have ripped the heart from the Lions.” In general, I would like to hear the announcers be critical of “dumb” penalties. In the Packers-49-ers playoff game, the Niners, who were losing at the time, had a long kickoff return negated by a personal foul against Trent Williams, a long-time All-Pro lineman, who… Read more »