The 10 Most Obnoxious Analysts and Commentators in Sports
If you are anything like me, you spend a rather large chunk of your life watching live sports and commentary of these events.
Unfortunately, not everybody can be good at this (or even bearable in some cases), and it can make you want to rip your ears off.
This is a list of the people who exemplify this idea.
Part of this list was fun to write, some of it was so infuriating because it involved me thinking about these people.
Either way, by writing this article, I have effectively guaranteed that I will never get a job working for these men—or women.
Hall of Fame (Retired but Still Deserving)
While he will inevitably be remembered for his video game or the six-legged turkey, Madden was the king of saying things that were about as helpful as a bat to the head.
Madden was the king of statements like “I think that the team with the most points will end up winning the game.”
Eventually, we all just stopped listening—or, if you were like me, you made a drinking game out of his endless geyser of useless banter.
This guy is the perfect example of why good players don’t always translate into a good analyst.
I don’t think that Emmitt had an original point in his entire tenure on ESPN. Whenever anyone asked his opinion, he would defer to Tom Jackson and then agree with him.
Smith used grammar that only a kindergartener would think was correct and was eventually let go for just being utterly useless.
10. John Clayton
I don’t harbor any animosity towards Clayton for what he says or does, but rather because he gets to be on television in the first place.
His pin-head is the reason the expression, “a face for radio” came about, and I’m not exactly sure what ESPN’s idea for putting him on the air was.
The best thing to do when watching John Clayton is to look for the rumored ponytail that Deadspin continues to insist exists. While I can’t be 100 percent sure, the evidence of its existence is pretty good.
If it does exist, why does ESPN go to such great length to hide it?
9. Suzy Kolber
I can’t exactly pinpoint why I hate Suzy as much as I do, but it doesn’t matter.
Her voice is worse than nails on a chalkboard and her hair is utterly ridiculous. I know that every sideline reporter can’t be Erin Andrews—wouldn’t that be awesome?—but Kolber is just the worst.
What makes it worse is that she also finds a way onto my television screen when the game isn't even on. So even if I choose not to watch Monday Night Football (which is a sin for sports fans), she fins a way into my house anyways.
During the NFL season, Suzy’s voice haunts my dreams.
8. Jesse Palmer
I was always baffled at how Palmer possibly got this job in the first place. When being on The Bachelor is the most impressive part of your resume, being a college football announcer should be a ways down on the list of possible occupations.
In a Boston College game a few years ago, I witnessed Palmer criticize BC for having too simple of an offense. However, Palmer complimented them for using “unorthodox tactics” no less than a minute later once the Eagles scored.
Is this guy serious?
7. Stephen A. Smith
I’M RIGHT, AND YOU’RE WRONG. DON’T BOTHER ARGUING WITH ME, BECAUSE I AM BEST FRIENDS WITH ALLEN IVERSON!
I swear, that is the idea behind everything Stephen A. Smith has ever said. Smith is one of several analysts who dominates ESPN not because he is insightful, but because he has the ability to yell his opinion at you, until you are willing to concede just so he will shut up.
The fact that I agree with a lot of what he says, and he still finds his way onto this list shows you how annoying his little act is.
If I didn’t agree with most of what he said, he might be No. 1 (no one can dethrone No. 1…ever).
6. Charles Barkley
TNT has Charles Barkley on television to do one thing—be controversial. Eighty-three percent of what he says on television is completely fabricated (according to a study I made up), and he is straight up ignorant of facts.
As an entertainer, the man is hilarious, but if you are expecting actual insight as to what is happening in a game, Barkley’s commentary at halftime will be the last thing you will want to focus on.
Barkley couldn’t be left off this list, but he doesn’t make the top five because of his T-Mobile commercials.
With the exception of SportsCenter ones and Nike’s Most Valuable Puppets campaign, Barkley’s commercials are the best in sports.
5. Jeff Van Gundy
If you have watched any of the TNT coverage of the NBA playoffs, you have to know what I’m talking about.
Earlier this season, he advocated for the abolishment of the foul-out rule (even though before that rule was in place, NBA games took four hours and had an average of 80-plus free throws).
On Monday night, he said that Vince Carter should get the Magic’s final shot, despite being one-for-nine with three points.
He is a bad analyst with terrible attempts at comedy, and I can’t believe that there isn’t another person who should at least get a try.
He is so bad that Charles Barkley at halftime is a welcome thing for me—he, at least, is ignorant in a funny way.
4. Lou Holtz
“He had shoulder surgery on his elbow.”
Yeah…Holtz actually said this.
While no one will disagree that he was once a great coach and a terrific motivator, the man gets more and more senile every year.
Very little of what he says makes any sense in today’s era, and I would spend more time harping on this, if I could understand anything he says.
I know it is a low blow to poke fun at someone because of a lisp, but have you seen him talk on a high-definition television? His spit looks like it is coming at you as if it were a projectile.
My question is whether or not they have somebody squeegee the desk off during commercial breaks.
3. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver
I don’t know if this dynamic duo was ever bearable, but it certainly hasn’t been ever since I started watching baseball.
All you need to know about Joe Buck can be learned by watching his epic fail of a talk show. He conducts some of the worst interviews in the history of sports and infects numerous sports.
Meanwhile, McCarver has provided us with more content to make fun of him, than actual, useful information.
There is an amazing website named shutuptimmccarver.com that has hundreds of his gems.
Just to give you an example of his in-depth analysis, this is the man who once said, “On most teams, the setup man has become more valuable, on others, not so valuable.”
2. Dick Vitale
DICKIE VEE BAY-BEEE!
Yea, this guy is the definition of annoying.
First of all, he could not be more in love with Coach Krzyzewski, and as a Maryland and Virginia Tech fan, this repulses me. I’m going to keep my language at a PG rating here, but I’m sure you can use your imagination as to what I wanted to say.
Second of all, even if you do take stock in what he says, I don’t know how you can bear listening to him.
I honestly don’t know if I agree with anything he says, because quite frankly, his voice prevents me from trying to understand anything he says.
What was once endearing to me as a kid has become one of the most painful experiences I can endure.
If my opinion isn’t enough for you, watch Bob Knight’s face when he is forced to be on television with Dicky V. He looks like he is one word away from strangling Vitale for the entire telecast.
1. Skip Bayless
Bayless doesn’t just top this list, he sits at the top of my list of “most hated people in the history of the world.”
Joined by Hitler, Dickens, and the person who made men wearing skinny jeans socially acceptable, Bayless tops this list with as much separation as Uma Thurman’s eyes.
Skip is the king of the “I can yell louder than you, so I must be right,” argument technique, and what makes this worse is that I don’t think he has ever been right.
The only reason I can think of as to why ESPN keeps him is that he is the only person on earth to take the side against LeBron James.
If I could be the man who debates with Skip Bayless on “First and 10” every morning, I would start the show with every hilariously wrong exclamation Skip has ever uttered, and wouldn’t stop poking holes in his ill-constructed arguments until he cried.
It wouldn’t be about winning the discussion, it would be about destroying his ego to the point that I would never be forced to hear his voice again.