Grades for the Gridiron Gurus:

Brent Musberger & Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN/ABC): Hands down, the best broadcasting tandem calling football games today. Musberger is a legend. He has made some memorable calls over the years. And just hearing his voice means the game you are watching carries importance. Herbstreit, the former quarterback who could still pick up co-eds on any college campus, has a way of exhibiting his vast football knowledge without coming off as a know-it-all. Grade: A

Greg Gumbel & Dan Dierdorf (CBS): This isn’t even the top team over at CBS, but they should be. Gumbel is quite possibly the most underrated football announcer out there. His calls are always spot on, and his energy matches the flow of the game. Dierdorf is a nuts and bolts analyst who has never tried to be anything he’s not. He breaks down the game the same way he played it. Tough and to the point. Grade: A-

Mike Patrick & Todd Blackledge (ESPN): While Musberger and Herbstreit are calling the headline college football game on ABC, Patrick and Blackledge make the call for sister station ESPN’s primetime affair. Patrick, who was solid in his former role on Sunday Night Football, is even better on the college game. Blackledge, who you can tell just loves college football when he speaks, is a very insightful color man. Although Blackledge’s weekly “Taste of the Town” segment may be a tad much. Grade: B+

Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer & Craig James (ESPN): You may be getting the idea that I’m a big college football fan, but they simply have better broadcasters than the pros. This trio, who call games on Thursday nights, are a great compliment to each other. Fowler is a seasoned pro while Palmer is a solid up-and-comer who will probably get bigger assignments in the not-to-distant future. It is hard to have a three man booth that doesn’t trip over each other, but this is that group. Grade: B

Jim Nantz & Phil Simms (CBS): The AFC’s top game gets called by this duo. They’re not bad, but they’re not great either. Nantz is a terrific golf announcer and is good on college basketball. But football is a distant third. Simms, whose hair is still stuck in the 70s, often seems like he’s trying too hard. And he loses points for his All-Madden rip-off Iron Man Awards. Grade: B-

Joe Buck & Troy Aikman (FOX): The so-called “A” team of FOX’s NFC package, Buck and Aikman are only slightly better than average. Buck lacks enough enthusiasm to be calling premiere football games. His style and delivery are much more suited for his natural sport of baseball. Aikman is a solid analyst, but often times gets repetitive in his analysis. Not to mention, he loses points for being a Cowboy. Grade: C+

Al Michaels & John Madden (NBC): John Madden is a groundbreaker in the world of football analysis. He was followed by a laundry list of wannabes who couldn’t match the original. But isn’t his schtick getting a tad tired? The answer is yes. Michaels calls a good game, but he just oozes arrogance. Grade: C

Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski & Tony Kornheiser (ESPN): Ron Jaworski may be an upgrade from Joe Theisman, but the compliments for this team end there. Tirico is not ready for primetime. And Kornheiser brings less than nothing to live football. It’s a shame because he is terrific in his role on PTI, but his doofus approach to the broadcast booth is annoying. Grade: D

Kenny Albert, Moose Johnson & Tony Siragusa (FOX): Kenny is a lesser version of his brother Marv. Moose is a lesser version of Aikman. And as for Siragusa, I just want less of him.Grade: D-

Pam Ward on college football (ESPN): No offense to women, but Pam Ward does no favors for female sportscasters of the world. Her manish voice—and look—are more suited for WNBA coverage. Grade: F


eleanor the dog said...

Mike Tirico is good (real good), Jaws is a vast improvment from Theismann. Tony sucks on MNF and is awesome on PTI. I think he knows he sucks on MNF. They should get a better grade, I say "B"

Anonymous said...

Joe Buck is a fag.

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