The Worst Talking Heads In Sports

Dan SmithCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2009

Jay Crawford and Skip Bayless during a broadcast of ESPN's Cold Pizza from the Super Bowl XL Media Center at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan on January 30, 2006.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

ESPN has a lot of time to fill between their numerous channels and a 24-hour radio station. They do employ most of the worst talking heads in sports, but that is due to the volume of their staff.

Skip Bayless, whose head you see at the top of this article, is a painfully average analyst with an assortment of unique takes.

He is so far out in left-field with a lot of his takes that his main forum, ESPN2's First Take, actually created a way to slam Skip on their website.

Skip Bayless has to do the most talking on this list simply because he is always defending his stance on people like LeBron James and Tiger Woods. Recently he called Hank Aaron "wrong-headed." A clear case of the pot calling out the kettle.

Chuck Booms was a rare miss employed by Fox Sports Radio. An absolute disgrace to talk radio's format of opinion-driven shows, Chuck Booms has been fired twice by Fox Sports and has not been heard of for some time.

This has-been is still on my list of worst talking heads because of an on-air meltdown he had one Sunday evening a few years ago.

It was over, of all things, the latest Superman movie and it was an epic meltdown that seems to have kept him off of the airwaves ever since.

Colin Cowherd is a brutal morning host on ESPN radio. He uses odd analogies to express himself and half of the time his guests contradict his well thought-out, albeit hard to understand, alliterative takes. Shockingly, he is now the host of SportsNation, so ESPN has decided to give him more airtime.

Scott Van Pelt, to use a Cowherd analogy, is like a character in an Elmore Leonard novel. Like George Clooney in "Out of Sight" and Samuel L. Jackson in "Jackie Brown," Van Pelt talks tough and you keep hoping that something bad will happen to him.

Clooney wound up in jail and Jackson wound up shot in the head and those extremes I do not wish upon Van Pelt.

Maybe ESPN could just give him the old Chuck Booms treatment.

Mike Golic was educated at Notre Dame. He is the jock in the tag team of Mike and Mike in the Morning with Mike Greenberg acting as the fan.

After a long career in the NFL, the number of blows to the head is evident in the dim-witted Golic. On occasion, Golic will come across as a bully to the smaller and smarter Greenberg.

Anyone who has the NFL Network and has heard Bryant Gumbel do play-by-play knows that he is not good at it. An eloquent thinker on his HBO Real Sports Show, none of that charisma comes across as he stumbles and stammers through a game telecast.

The inverse apex came when he wished Chris Collinsworth a happy holiday season and Collinsworth did not even feign a cordial wish in return.

It was as awkward as a Skip Bayless take using a Colin Cowherd analogy.

Tiki Barber pushes the envelope on NBC's Football Night in America. His problem is that he sets out to do that, so it comes off as a smug attempt to use big words.

Kinda like my Bryant Gumbel paragraph from earlier.

Tiki was critical of Eli Manning, and Manning, who usually does not engage the media, spoke critically of Tiki in return. Then the Giants went and won the Super Bowl the year after Barber retired.

The CBS NFL Pre-game Show is full of quality guys, well not so much Boomer Esiason, but the whole is much less than the sum of its parts in this case.

CBS seems to try to capture the synergy that the Fox Pre-game Show has, going so far as to hire James Brown away from Fox to host their show. Yet they fall on their collective faces each and every week before a national TV audience.

This collection of worst talking heads do succeed in one area. They make sports fans like myself feel that they might have a chance to be a talking head in sports one day.

Perhaps one day, I will make the worst list of sports talking heads on some hack writer's Internet forum.

Shoot, some of the comments I have received here at Bleacher Report were not subtle in their distaste for the stuff I write and like Skip Bayless, I pounded my palms on the desk and wrote a ton of words to defend my stance on the Raiders, Mike Vick, this year's NBA free agents and the BCS.

To end this worst of articles on a positive note, my favorite song by the Talking Heads is Burning Down the House. I also like the song from Down and Out in Beverly Hills, although I didn't like the movie too much.