25 Most Insufferable Sportscasters
The 25 Most Insufferable Sportscasters
As polarizing as athletes can be, sometimes the on-air personalities that broadcast the games and impart their “wisdom” to us can be equally polarizing. There are so many sportscasters that we love, but there are also some that we hate and of course, there are also plenty that we love to hate. Then there are the sportscasters that we just can’t stand.
That’s what this list is all about: the most insufferable broadcasters in sports. Whether it’s their voice, their opinions, their catchphrases, or just their general demeanor, these are all sportscasters that you wish would just go away. It’s not necessarily an indictment on their skills or professionalism, but some are annoying and obnoxious, and they just seem to get under the skin of fans. That can make it difficult, and at times unpleasant, to watch games that they broadcast or shows that they host. Yes, some people may like these sportscasters as they are all employed by major organizations. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be insufferable to watch or listen to.
It’d be near impossible to come up with a ranking of these 20 sportscasters because we all have our preferences, and we all have different levels of tolerance for different people. But it’s safe to assume that a significant amount of sports fans have major gripes about all 20 sportscasters that made this list. Reasonable people can disagree all they want, but here are the 20 most insufferable broadcasters in the world of sports:
25. Stephen A. Smith
To his credit, Stephen A. knows his stuff and has a lot of NBA insight. But to listen to him speak for an extended period of time is too much. His ranting and his raving is annoying to listen to, now to mention his bickering with Skip Bayless. Also, outside of basketball, does anybody really care about his opinions?
24. Barry Melrose
If you like like hockey, you probably have no choice but to listen to Melrose, which is quite unfortunate. Melrose doesn't realize that the only people watching him and diehard hockey fans that are well educated on the sport, and they deserve someone that can speak intelligently about hockey, which is not what he brings to the table as a commentator.
23. Regis Philbin
Honestly, what is this guy doing back on television? Did Fox actually thing including him on their new network would be a good idea? If you want to start a sports network, you need sports people, but aside from being a Notre Dame fan, what does Regis know about sports? Regis has had a long and distinguished career, but he has no business being on television at his age, let alone doing sports.
22. Ron Jaworski
Jaws is a smart guy who knows football, especially quarterbacks. But whenever he speaks he sounds like he's breaking down film, which is great if it's a show about breaking down film, but not when it's during a live broadcast. He's smart enough, but he just doesn't have the voice inflection or the charisma to handle for an extended period of time.
21. Digger Phelps
Digger is essentially the Lee Corso of college basketball. He just plays to the crowd and rarely delivers any valuable insight. We get it, you like Notre Dame and you used to coach there, now say something worthwhile. Sitting next to Jay Bilas every Saturday morning, he just looks foolish.
20. Bobby Knight
To his credit, Knight knows basketball, and his was an incredible coach, but he is not meant to be a broadcaster. Like a lot of old men in this industry, he stumbles over his words, and sometimes gets lost in the broadcast. Audiences don't want lectures on how important pump fakes are, and that seems to be Knight's biggest priority during games. There's a reason why you haven't seen him broadcasting big games in a while, it's because he's just no good as a broadcaster.
19. Verne Lundquist
If you watch a lot of SEC football, then you're probably well fed up with Lundquist. He's partner Gary Danielson isn't much better, but at least he knows a little bit about college football. Lundquist is just another old man trying to call a game being played by 21 year olds and failing miserably with his foolishness, as he's so out of touch with his audience.
18. Chip Caray
This guy gets a pass far too often because his grandfather is the legendary Harry Caray, but Chip is barely qualified to be a busboy at the restaurant in Chicago named for his grandfather. He doesn't have a great voice for a broadcaster, he doesn't seem to realize the stage he's on, and wherever he goes he ends up being hated by the home town fans, and it doesn't get much worse than that.
17. Lou Holtz
We understand that Holtz was a fine coach back in the day, but he's far too old to still be on television as an analyst, as the game has passed him by. It can be fun to see him bicker with Mark May for a minute or two at halftime or at the end of a pre-game show, but he delivers nothing of substance, and can be difficult to understand, which makes him tough to listen to.
16. Chris Webber
It doesn't get much worse than calling a phantom time out in the Final Four, but Webber's broadcast career comes close. He looks uncomfortable on camera and unsure of himself, the way someone looks when their team is out of timeouts and they get trapped in a corner. When Webber is speaking, we'd all be trapped in a corner if it weren't for remote controls.
15. Gus Johnson
Johnson is another poster boy for those that need a chill pill. In broadcasting, one need to be loud and have an overabundance of catchphrases to compensate for a lack of talent, which is the case with Johnson. He was absent from March Madness this year, and the NCAA Tournament was better for it. Soon, soccer fans everywhere will be pulling their hair out when they have to listen to Johnson broadcast the World Cup. The volume and tone in which he speaks might be acceptable form a color analyst, but not from a play-by-play guy. He’s constantly speaking and constantly annoying, and it’s too much to take.
14. Mike Francesa
He was fine when it was Mike and the Mad Dog, but all alone Francesa is just too much to take for too long a period of time every single day. The only time he isn't using the same monotone voice is when he gets all bent out of shape and starts yelling. He seems like he's sick of talking about the same old things day after day, and a lot of people are sick of listening to it.
13. Stuart Scott
He used to be one of the best Sports Center anchors in the business, but now Scott just gets in his own way, and is one of the most bland and boring guys around, and fans just can't put up with him any longer.
12. Bill Walton
Walton is just a dumb jock who thinks being a good player automatically makes him a good broadcaster. He's not smart, insightful, or interesting to listen to, and he has a propensity for saying some of the dumbest things imaginable that no one in their right mind can believe or agree with.
11. Cris Collinsworth
For a guy that does nationally broadcast games, Collinsworth is just terrible. His football knowledge is easily lost by the ridiculous things he says. Whether he means to or not, he comes off as arrogant and bias, and most fans just can't stand him.
10. Brent Musburger
I won’t dispute that Musburger had a lot of good years as a broadcaster, but it’s obvious that he’s over the hill and needs to go. His comments about Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend during the BCS title game last season prove that he’s just another creepy old man, which is fine if that’s who you are, but it doesn’t mean you should be on television broadcasting a game to millions of people. That comment was the straw that broke the camel's back, turning Musburger from an annoying old man who could be tolerated to someone sports fans just can’t stand anymore.
9. Lee Corso
Corso is the Dick Vitale of college football, and no, that’s not a compliment. If you want someone that is actually knowledgeable about college football, listen to Kirk Herbstreit, because listening to Corso will not make you any smarter. He’s just another old guy who thinks he’s still young but isn’t, and whose act has gotten old. All he does is pander to a group of rowdy 19-year-olds by dressing up like their school’s mascot on game days. The rest of the College Game Day crew may grin and bear it while he carries on with his ridiculous antics, but secretly, they probably find his behavior as insufferable as everybody watching at home.
8. Doug Gottlieb
Frighteningly, he’s the best analyst CBS has during the NCAA tournament, but that doesn’t mean he’s not insufferable to listen to. He doesn’t speak to inform the audience and give them his point of view. When he speaks, it’s as if he’s trying to convince you that he’s the smartest person in the room with the tone of his voice, and not with the words that he’s speaking or the insight that he provides. Among former players that have gone into broadcasting, he probably has the least credibility; he was never a star -- not even close. He was expelled from Notre Dame and had a few good seasons at Oklahoma State, but never did anything worthwhile as a pro. Now all he does is make rash statements and ill-conceived ascertains just to draw attention to himself, which is quite pathetic and a bit queasy to watch.
7. Jim Rome
Rome is nothing but a bully that thinks his word is gospel. If you don't like a sport, don't talk about it, don't insult people by telling them how much you hate their sport. It's easy to be critical, but there's no reason to be critical for the sake of being critical. Rome is just a hater, and listening to him carry on is just insufferable.
6. Charles Barkley
I’m sure Barkley does a fine job as an NBA analyst, but every college basketball fan should be personally insulted that they have to put up with him during the NCAA Tournament. Barkley doesn’t know anything about college basketball, and he doesn’t watch many games outside of his pitiful alma mater, the Auburn Tigers. But somehow, he’s all of a sudden an “expert” in the middle of March. The rest of the NBA guys that get moved over to college basketball for the tournament aren’t any better (apparently, CBS doesn’t make enough money from the tournament to afford studio analysts that actually follow college basketball), but Barkley is the worst of the bunch. Truthfully, he’s painful to listen to.
5. Skip Bayless
He’s a yeller and a bully that’s always looking for a fight, nothing more. Bayless was once a respected sports writer, but now he’s little more than a talking head that tries to get people riled up in order to draw ratings. At least his partner in crime, Stephen A. Smith, is an NBA insider that brings good information and good insight (and surprisingly knows when to tone it down), while Bayless just wants to stir up debate and get a rise out of people. I’m all for respecting other people’s opinions, but the guy thinks Tim Tebow can be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and that pretty much destroys whatever credibility he might have as a sportscaster.
4. Chris Berman
At a certain point, hearing the same old catchphrases year after year just becomes insufferable. He’s a smart guy and he’s skilled at his craft, but he’s exactly the same person who’s saying the exact same things as he was 25 years ago. Berman’s act has gotten old, and he’s intolerable in large doses.
3. Dick Vitale
Vitale is the poster boy for people who need a chill pill. All Vitale does during a broadcast is tell us when the crowd is going wild. If you want someone to give you great analysis during a game and go in-depth about what’s going on, it’s Jay Bilas. All Vitale is good for is yelling nonsense phrases at a volume unbecoming of someone his age. At a certain point, his excitability is nothing more than shtick, and simply becomes too much to bear.
2. Joe Buck
He’s bland and he’s boring. When Buck is calling a game, it’s as if he has a pre-determined phrase to say for every possible occasion that he’s practiced over and over again. As a result, the words have lost all meaning. A broadcaster needs to show some semblance of surprise and excitement when exciting things happen. On the plus side, he’s inspired a new generation of sportscasters by imploring young people to mute their televisions and do the play-by-play themselves.
1. Tim McCarver
The only broadcaster worse than Buck is his partner during baseball games all summer and during the World Series. He doesn’t provide any valuable insight on the game; he just wants to talk about how he used to play, which the contemporary baseball audience just doesn’t care about. Luckily, this will be his last year broadcasting baseball at least on a regular basis, but the end can’t come soon enough.