Some things are just perfect together.
Like peanut butter and jelly or apple pie and the Fourth of July.
Another perfect combination is football and television—a duo that was made for each other.
Ever since the live broadcast between the Colts and the Giants during the 1958 NFL Championship Game, the two have been joined at the hip.
Television helped the NFL grow and vice versa. It's been a perfect marriage with hardly a hitch.
Some of my most cherished childhood memories involve watching football with the family.
And with the growth of the game came the advent of the pregame show.
CBS started the pregame format all the way back in 1961 with the show—Pro Football Kickoff.
But it was the NFL Today that set the standard for pregame shows when it debuted in 1975.
The NFL Today on CBS with Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Jimmy the Greek, and Phyllis George, made the pregame show a part of our national culture.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
With that in mind, I decided to rank the NFL pregame shows currently making the rounds on television from worst to first.
All of them have their good and bad points, so the rankings are based on personal preference, and they also include Monday and Thursday pregame shows from ESPN and NFL Network.
NBC picked up Sunday night football when ESPN took over broadcasting Monday Night Football from ABC.
Debuting in 2006, the show's ratings skyrocketed, thanks in no small part to the broadcast team of Al Michaels and John Madden.
The current studio team consists of host Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, and Peter King.
The good: Costas is the ultimate pro. Dungy and Harrison are great analysts, and King is well-connected in NFL circles.
The bad: Olbermann and Patrick are two of the most annoying broadcasters of recent memory, especially when doing the highlight package. Tom Brookshier, Pat Summerall, or Howard Cosell they're not.
Olbermann is so full of himself and listening to him drone on, is painful. I'd rather have my eardrums torn out than hear his voice. Enough said.
The NFL Network started broadcasting Thursday and Saturday night games in 2006.
The current personalities on the show are host Rich Eisen, Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders, and Steve Mariucci.
The good: Mariucci and Faulk are excellent analysts. Mariucci is a natural who sprinkles plenty of humor in with his analysis. Faulk's knowledge of the game is immense. He would make a great NFL general manager.
The bad: Eisen's tongue-in-cheek humor isn't funny; it's annoying. Some of the questions he asks are borderline idiotic. Sanders only talks about himself or the player’s he personally knows.
The NFL Today is the granddaddy of all NFL pregame shows.
It's roots go back to 1961 and the show officially debuted with the NFL Today moniker in 1975.
Some of the best in the business have started with the NFL Today and the current cast has a good mix of football analysis and entertainment value.
The good: James Brown is one of the best studio hosts in the game and the analyst team of Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason, and Shannon Sharpe are some of the game's greats.
The bad: Not much. Although sometimes it feels like the show has no direction and the guys tend to yell over and interrupt each other quite a bit.
The Sunday NFL Countdown show began back in 1985 and has since gone on to win seven Sports Emmy Awards.
The Monday Night Countdown show debuted in 1993.
Both shows are cutting edge for graphics and studio production and Chris Berman is the best studio host in the game today. His nicknames have become a part of pop culture.
Tom Jackson has been with Berman since 1987 and the two complement each other perfectly.
Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter are on the inside of all the NFL news before it breaks. Their segments are some of the best on pregame TV.
The good: Berman and Jackson are the epitome of professionalism. Mortensen and Schefter are solid reporters and the show is awesome production wise. Steve Young is solid on Monday Night Countdown.
The bad: Aside from Jackson, the analysts are weak. Mike Ditka was a great coach with an even better personality, but he looks uncomfortable at times in the studio. Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson are alright, but they don't make you want to watch.
Perhaps the biggest reason Countdown isn't No. 1 is the length of the show. Two hours is too long for a pregame show.
Love it or hate it, there's no denying the influence Fox NFL Sunday has had on pregame shows.
Almost every NFL pregame show has patterned themselves after Fox.
The show debuted in 1994 and broke ground by being the first to run an hour long on network television. The other shows before that ran for 30 minutes.
Since its inception, Fox NFL Sunday has won four Emmy Awards and is the No. 1 rated pregame show in the country.
The current cast includes host Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan, Jay Glazer, and Jimmy Johnson.
The Good: The production is outstanding and the cast has great chemistry and gets along very well. That dynamic shows up on camera and makes people watch.
The Bad: Frank Caliendo, the lack of a complete analysis compared to other pregame shows, and Jay Glazer likes Jay Glazer just a little too much.