Top 10 Worst NFL Commentators
Most of us would rather listen to Owen Wilson than Joe Theismann
The world of NFL football can be just as much about entertainment for the viewers as it is the playing of the game itself. Television commentators can have a huge affect on the viewership of a game, and it’s not always a positive one.
In any NFL broadcast, you have a team of commentators. Usually one seasoned broadcast journalist doing play-by-play, and then a former player or coach to chime in with color commentary and analysis.
If one of those two parts isn’t working, it can drag the entire broadcast through the mud. Finding a team that works successfully together in tandem can be a tough task. There was probably no team as well known or as fun to listen to as Pat Summerall and John Madden, who graced the airwaves for both CBS and FOX for 22 seasons.
But broadcasting teams like Madden and Summerall are few and far between, and seldom do a pair go on broadcasting together as long as they did.
Today broadcasters at times seem to forget that they are there to add to the enjoyment of the broadcast, and aren’t supposed to be the focal point. They ramble on endlessly on non-game related tangents, or interject opinions on topics that are best left out of the press box.
Every network has their broadcasting jewels, like CBS Sports Greg Gumbel or NBC Sports Al Michaels, and every network has their duds.
On the subject of the latter, here are the 10 worst NFL broadcasters, both play-by-play and color commentary, currently on-air.
Honorable mentions to: Troy Aikman, Joe Buck, and Mike Martz
#10: Chris Myers - FOX
Chris Myers has bounced around a few different networks in his broadcasting career from ESPN to dugout reporter for FOX Major League Baseball coverage and everything in between. But he's just not suited for play by play work, especially NFL He's one of those guys that needs time to look at the film a few times and decide what he wants to say. He's great on a panel show or highlight reel type show, but please get him out of the booth FOX.
#9: Ron Pitts - FOX
Usually former players end up doing the analyst work in the booth. Ron Pitts attempts play-by-play. He's about as successful at it as he was in his brief nondescript NFL career. A completely unnerving voice, and more verbal miscues than you can count, along with a shoddy analyst by his side (Mike Martz) just add up to a horrible broadcast experience. Do yourself a favor if you see Pitts and Martz are calling your game...find an AM Radio broadcast and hit the mute button on your TV.
#8: Dan Fouts - CBS
Dan Fouts is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Unfortunately he's one of the worst broadcasters to ever call a game. The Beard made me long for the sound of Dennis Miller's incessant whiny voice on Monday Night Football when he was in the booth. As long as Fouts is talking about a quarterback, he's worth listening to. The rest of the time it's just another talking head with great need for a Braun. Isn't there a team that needs a QB coach out there?
#7: Kevin Harlan - CBS
Kevin Harlan is tolerable when he's calling a basketball game, mostly because he's got Reggie Miller talking next to him, which will make just about anyone sound good. But in his NFL work, Harlan is the equivalent of a 3-hour long Emergency Alert System test. Just tell me where to go and what to do so I can make it stop!
#6: Marv Albert - CBS
Marv Albert....NBA? YES!!!...NCAA Hoops? Yes!...NFL? NOOOOO! Just think of your reaction if you see Shaquille O'Neal sitting six feet beyond the 3-point arc, heaving up shots from downtown. That's how fans feel when they hear Marv Albert's voice accompanying their NFL game. His brother Kenny, who no doubt doesn't have a lot of NHL broadcasting going on right now, would even be preferable at this point.
#5: Matt Millen - NFL Network
After a pretty successful NFL career, is there anything Matt Millen has been able to do without being completely full of fail? He's currently listed as a lead analyst for the NFL Network Thursday Night Football broadcasts, but we've seen surprisingly little if any of Millen this season. Thank goodness for small miracles. Millen should really try to avoid any career that involves him talking, as usually he ends up saying something regrettable.
#4: Jon Gruden - ESPN
It's hard to believe that a guy with a tough-as-nails reputation like Jon Gruden could end up sounding like the Crispin Glover of the broadcast world. I mean seriously, sometimes Gruden says things that make me cock my head like a Labrador trying to figure out what the heck he's talking about. Thankfully there are lots of rumors circulating about Gruden returning to the sidelines to coach.
#3: Mike Mayock - NFL Network
Mike Mayock actually makes me feel sorry for his partner, Brad Nessler. This guy is vocal NyQuil. He called Canadian Football League games. Enough said.
#2: Michael Irvin - NFL Network
Although this list is actually dealing with guys in the booth calling games as they happen, there was no way I could do a list of ridiculously bad NFL voices without having Michael Irvin be a part of it. I was thrilled when I found out that ESPN had not renewed Irvin's contract as a member of the ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown show. Then I tuned in to Thursday Night Football and saw his voice (yes, saw it). If mumbling into a microphone is bad, then yelling and over-enunciating should be considered a felony, and Michael Irvin would have multiple life sentences.
#1: Cris Collinsworth - NBC
NBC Sports only has one NFL slot, the coveted prime-time Sunday Night Football slot. Until now, NBC had avoided putting anyone on this dubious list. But if you give us Cris Collinsworth, we'll give you the number one spot on the worst NFL announcers list. Collinsworth has a grating, annoying voice that could drive a deaf person to jamming a sharp object in their ear. That could almost be forgiven if it weren't for his blatant favoritism for one team or another in practically every single broadcast. The worst part is...no, nevermind...listening to Collinsworth IS the worst part.