NFL: Top Five Broadcasters in the NFL Today
Football is America's game, but without the commentators and announcers calling the scores each week, it would be a very different scene on Sundays.
Think about Monday Night Football with the antics of John Madden, or some of the biggest games in the sports' history played to the voice of the incomparable Howard Cossel.
It's true that the announcers don't make the game, but they're certainly a huge part of it. Every fan has turned off at least one game in their life because they don't like the guys in front of the camera. And yet at the same time you could watch the team you hate more than any other because it's going to be called beautifully.
So with that in mind, let's check out the top five broadcasters in the NFL today.
5. Phil Simms, CBS
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Simms is the only former player on this list, and rightfully so.
He and his partner, Jim Nantz, are CBS' No. 1 team for a reason—they're simply the best on the station.
Simms particularly brings good analysis and is a great complement to the play-by-play stylings of Nantz. The two work really well together and Nantz might even be No. 6 on this list, but Simms' analysis (especially of the quarterback position) sets him ahead of his partner and into the top five.
4. Brad Nessler, NFL Network
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Nessler may be a newcomer to the NFL Network, but he's been calling football games since before I was born.
Nessler began his mainstream career with CBS in 1990, but it wasn't until 2006 that he began calling NFL games with ESPN.
Nessler was a hit.
He's surprisingly bubbly on camera without getting to the point of being annoying and he has that voice that sticks with you. Hearing him on Thursday Night Football will be a much better treat than the old days of Bob Papa and Matt Millen.
3. Jon Gruden, ESPN
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Great coach turned great color-man in the booth.
It's not an unheard of story, but Jon Gruden's is just beginning.
In 2009, Gruden replaced Tony Kornheiser or the Monday Night Football telecasts, which turned out to be the perfect choice from ESPN.
Gruden is a little bit quirky at times but it really seems that when he's on the screen or talking in the background, it's impossible to not be interested in what he has to say.
In fact, in 2011, Gruden was voted the top NFL TV commentator by a panel of 282 players, ahead of Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders and Chris Berman.
Losing Jaws will be a big loss for the MNF team, but Gruden's colorful personality and beautiful analysis can help this team along just fine.
2. Mike Mayock, NFL Network
Credit: NY Post
From simple draft analyst to the primetime booth, Mike Mayock is a rising star in the world of NFL broadcasting.
There might not be anyone on the face of the earth who knows more individual facts about a given player than the former Boston College DB.
Seriously, either this guy does some hardcore homework or he's got more memory than my MacBook Pro.
Mayock has been receiving recognition from his peers as well. SI.com voted Mayock their Person of the Year during their Media Awards special. He also finished in the Honorable Mention department in both Best Game Analyst and Announcing Team of the Year categories.
With additional Thursday Night games headed his way, the world will get a better chance to appreciate what Mayock brings to the table.
1. Al Michaels, NBC
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The consummate professional, Al Michaels is still king among the NFL commentators.
It should come as no surprise that the man who called the "Miracle on Ice" has broadcasted seven Super Bowls and countless pro football games.
In the NFL world, Michaels is best known for his partnership with John Madden on Monday Night Football, but it's not well known that Michaels beat Madden to the primetime slot. Together these two made MNF what it is today and expanded professional football beyond the point of just a Sunday game.
At age 67, Michaels will be entering his sixth season calling games for NBC on Sunday nights and shows no signs of slowing down.
I hope, for all football-lovers sakes, that Michaels won't be hanging up the microphone for quite some time.