The Top 10 Worst Broadcasters Today

Jon AlbaCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2009

When one decides to watch or listen to their favorite sports team’s game, they do not only expect to see a game; It is also about the commentary that comes alongside the game. They have people for these jobs, and they are called Sportscasters.

Not only is it the job of the caster to provide play-by-play, but it is also their duty to educate the audience about what is going on, usually using stories or past experience to do so.

We have had many great broadcasters in our time (Mel Allen, Bob Costas, Al Michaels, and so on), but we have also been cursed by having to listen and process the “information” given by others. Here is a list of those Sportscasters that the world might be better off without:

10. Rick Jeanneret—The longtime hockey play-by-play man has been worshiped by Buffalonians for many years.

However, his extreme outburst of emotion has provided for many viewers to hide under their couches, as well as for some awesome Youtube videos. He has been recorded saying and holding the phrase, “SCORE!” for more than 15 seconds!

Rick also has the annoying habbit of repeating a player’s name more times than is necessary during a play, something that often aggravates the viewer.

9. Charles Barkley—If I may use one of his own phrases, Chuck is just “Turribul.” While Barkley enjoyed an extravagant NBA Career, his mistake to move to the TNT NBA Crew was a bad idea. While he does provide for comical moments at times, he is also known for his use of hyperbole much too often.

He frequently will disrupt quality analysis from his colleagues to present the viewer with useless information. During the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Barkley made over 10 references to Dwayne Wade’s Red Suit rather than paying attention to the actual event.

8. Joe Buck—I am sure to draw some fire with this one. While Joe Buck has won numerous Emmy’s (which I have the utmost respect for), he has also been known for his bleak attitude during a game.

While it is important for a broadcasting personality to not show bias, it is also necessary to show enthusiasm, something he will rarely do. Take Super Bowl XLII, Giants vs. Patriots. David Tyree makes what is regarded now as one of the best plays in NFL Super Bowl History.

Buck began by painting the picture of Giants QB Eli Manning rolling out, but then only to follow with, “Tyree makes the catch.” Buck even stated he has no passion left for baseball on numerous occasions. He has also been marred in controversy with former Giant Barry Bonds, as well as with the Minnesota Vikings for an on-field incident in 2005.

7. Keith Hernandez—Hernandez is a very smart man, don’t get me wrong. He was an All-Star many times over, and will often provide good insight. However, it is the stupid things he says that make you want to do a face-palm.

During a game in San Diego, Hernandez spotted a girl employee in the Padres’ dugout. Upon realizing herself as an employee, Hernandez stated, “I won’t say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don’t belong in the dugout.” Why Keith, why? This brought large amounts of criticism to himself, which he may never recover from.

It is said to “Have a Keith Hernandez Moment” when you have a sudden realization of what you have done, all in reference to his appearance on Seinfeld.

6. Tim McCarver—Another Emmy Award winning Broadcaster finds himself on the list. Now you may be calling me crazy right now, but I know for a fact I have this one right. McCarver has been known to cause a lot of problems with players.

For example, Tim often used to criticize Deion Sanders for playing two sports, baseball and football. When Sanders’ Braves won the 1992 NLCS, Sanders dumped three buckets of ice water on McCarver’s head, while he was still on assignment. Many think of this as Tim’s punishment for making the remarks.

He's also been known to flub his fair share of names, recently pronouncing Yankees Pitcher Joba Chamberlain’s name as J-OH-BUH. SI’s Norman Chad once said, “When you ask Tim what time it is, he will tell you how a watch works.” This is in reference to him over-analyzing everything.

His work has been mentioned on FOX’s hit show Family Guy, saying that, “…well, at least he couldn’t be any worse than Tim McCarver is at sports casting.”  Enough said.

5. John Madden—Madden is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable men in the NFL. He coached the Raiders to a Super Bowl title, and in case you didn't know, he has a line of video games.

However, Madden will often find himself on the end of ruthless, tasteless (and often hilarious) jokes about his actual broadcasting ability.

During Super Bowl XL, Madden said the word “bootleg” 10 times in a span of 30 seconds. He will often fumble over his words in mid-sentence, sounding almost like he is “eating” his own words (not a joke at his weight).

His willingness to endorse almost anything is parodied by comedian Frank Caliendo,  having portrayed Madden in a skit endorsing the women’s product Vagisil.

It has also been known during the broadcast for John to overuse the telestrator, drawing things numerous times during the game. He is also known for his sudden outbursts of “Boom!” during big plays.

4. Joe Morgan—Joe Morgan is arguably the most indecisive and irritable announcers in sports history.  The combination of himself and Jon Miller has turned Sunday Night Baseball into an absolute drag. 

Regardless if it is him criticizing a player three innings after he made an error, or him rambling about playing with heart, nothing gets more tiring than Joe Morgan.  Don’t forget to mention how he looks like droopy-dog out there during a cast.

3. John Sterling—In no attempt to brag, I have held my own as a Yankee fan for all of these years. What I am about to say will anger any true bandwagon fan. John Sterling is the worst play-by-play announcer in the history of sports.

Working for the Yankees Radio Affiliate WCBS 880 AM, Sterling has covered New York Sports for years. As a matter of fact, he has never missed a Yankee Game (including Spring Training) in all of the years he has covered them, which is more than 19 years. I 100 percent praise him for this.

It is his handling of the game and EXTREME hyperbole which can agitate any sports fan. He will overuse the phrase, “theeeee pitch…” when a pitcher is ready to deliver a ball. However, his home run catchphrase, “It is high, it is far, it is...gone!” is by far the most frequently spoken of them all.

On one occassion, Sterling exclaimed the above phrase four times in a game, none of which resulted in an actual home run (obviously excluding the “gone” part).

He has accomplished the task of aggravating the entire sports world with his, “Yankees Win. TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIN!” call after every Yankee win.

I was once at a sports broadcasting lecture given by an NBC sports personality.  One of the lessons taught: don't be like Sterling.

2. Stephen A. Smith—Will someone get me some cheese doodles (you will have no idea what I am talking about if you have never seen the hit Stephen A. Youtube video)?

“Stephen A.” is by far the most opinionated sports analyst in the entire nation. In fact, Smith used to have his own talk show, Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, which failed miserably on ESPN.

He would often hold a Q&A with fans, bashing almost anything asked.

Smith brings a new meaning to the word “hyperbole.” He is known to shout words such as “How-evuh!” or something along the lines of “The New York Knicks of New York are…” In fact, Smith once stormed off the set of an ESPN NBA Halftime show after ranting on the Knicks.

Smith regularly hosted a radio show on ESPN Radio, which was canceled due to lack of viewers this year. 2008 continues to be dismal for Stephen A., as he has been fired from the Philadelphia Inquirer and demoted from NBA Lead Analyst to Interviewer.

Before I give No. 1, I would like to list some “Honorable Mentions”:

  • Mike Adamle
  • Jon Miller
  • Troy Aikman
  • Dennis Miller
  • Charlie Steiner
  • Mike Patrick

And the No. 1 Worst Sportscaster Today is…

1. Suzyn Waldman—Rated the worst Sportscaster in New York by the citizens of New York City, Waldman has been the Yankees color commentary announcer since 2005. Her and the aforementioned John Sterling undoubtedly are the worst duo of all-time (yes, even worse than Captain and Tenneal).

Waldman made national headlines in 2007 when Roger Clemens announced his comeback to the Yankees. Being from New England, her accent took control of her actions.


The call earned her many appearances on the popular radio show, Mike and the Mad Dog, in which she called in warning them not to play the clip again.

This was to no avail.

When the Yankees were eliminated during the playoffs last year, Waldman cried—on air—after fearing manager Joe Torre would leave.

This earned her much criticism, as it is widely known not to express personal emotion during a broadcast. She has also been involved in minor run-ins with players, such as an incident with former Yankee Jesse Barfield.

Ultimately, the world is filled with flat-out awful announcers. These are just some of them. 

Next time you watch a game, carefully determine if the commentators belong on this list. 

Hell, some of them may already be on it!  Yet always remember that there is some good out there, and make sure to salvage that in the best way possible. 

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