College Basketball: Most Hilarious Color Commentators in College Hoops
Anyone who knows college basketball knows Dick Vitale. He has become synonymous with College Basketball, thanks to his enthusiasm and colorful comments and that hilarious way he says "baby!"
While the focus of sports is always on the players, for viewers at home the commentators are just a slight step down in importance. If the game has a good pair monitoring the action, it makes the contest all the better for the viewers. But if the game features a bad commentator or two, it could ruin the whole show.
And while the lead commentator is responsible for telling the viewers what is happening, the color commentator is often the most beloved. A good color commentator needs to be energetic, knowledgeable, and most importantly, humorous.
Who rank amongst college basketball's top ten color commentators? Let's take a look.
No. 10: Pete Gillen
Pete Gillen, former coach of the University of Virgina, was caught on CSTV doing the shuffle and getting ludicrous over Ludacris at the Final Four (see above video).
He's pretty ridiculous.
No. 9: Brent Musberger
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Folks, you gotta understand something. When a man has a drinking game based on his broadcasting lines, then he's gotta be a pretty funny "Pardner".
The sheer number of quips and hilariously phrases that come out of Musberger's mouth is astounding. And no one else on this list has a drinking game named after him, either.
No. 8: Rick Majerus
It's a shame Majerus didn't spend more time as an announcer, because he gave us some pretty memorable quotes.
Here are some of Majerus' best liners:
On his new diet:
"I'm munching on a celery stick. I never thought that would be the case. Like I always told Bobby Knight, 'Nothing good happens around a salad bar.' My favorite meal used to be dead animals on the grill. Now I'm there at the salad bar much too frequently."
On ballplayers wearing earrings:
"I was really old school. I used to tell our guys we’re not running a pirate ship. We’re not having these earrings and bandanas. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad kid, but I can guarantee you [the late] Sam Walton doesn’t have guys in [Wal-Mart’s] offices that are wearing earrings."
On his adjustment to life as a basketball commentator:
"When I did TV and went to Wake Forest for example, all I did was talk about X's and O's and basketball. They laughed at me when I came to my first game with 38 pages of notes. I had looked at all of this tape. The guy said `you don't have to win the game for both teams, you just have to talk about it'"
No. 7: Doug Gottlieb
Doug Gottlieb is an excellent analyst on ESPN Radio, but he truly isn't a top color commentator, but he cracks this list because he has such a light fuse.
He's good at breaking down footage, and when he has a while to collect what he's going to say he is one of the more informative figures at ESPN Radio.
But when he has to talk on the fly as a color commentator or TV analyst, he's not quite so smooth. Watch the above video and see him falter under pressure.
Nothing on Gottlieb's resume is quite as funny as the argument he got in with some fans during an ESPN chat in 2007. Take a look:
Mike Indiana: How did your mediocre basketball career prepare you for a mediocre broadcasting career?
Doug Gottlieb: (4:04 PM ET ) So your mediocre life can prepare you for a mediocre afterlife...and by the way, which one of us works for ESPN...hey and next time...when I you say 30 minutes or less...get here on time with my pizza.
No. 6: Clark Kellogg
Clark Kellogg is the lead analyst at CBS and still works the biggest month in sports, March Madness. He is one of the more iconic voices in the commentary world and he deserves all the respect he gets.
He's pulled off some pretty funny lines, including this gem: "That would be a basketball fan's dream. It's got all the ingredients to create buzz and attract eyeballs, and it would just be fun to see."
Another gem: "I think Indiana has those things in place but not necessarily so much more than a lot of other places."
But he's also the only one on this list to play HORSE with (and lose to) a United States President.
No. 5: Gus Johnson
There isn't a college basketball announcer who better captures intense moments than Gus Johnson. There simply isn't.
Watch the compilation video above. When you're in the moment, Johnson's exuberance helps capture the moment. But when you listen to him away from the game, he's simply hilarious.
No. 4: Jay Bilas
Jay Bilas is at his best when he's at his most serious, mainly because when Bilas is trying to be serious, it's hard to take him seriously.
Most of the time, Bilas is informative, and he's one of the better studio annalists in the business. He's been involved in basketball his whole life, spending four years at Duke and even playing in a national championship.
But then he says something like this that just cracks you up; "It's amazing how much better the offense looks when you make shots."
And then he goes off and quotes Young Jezzy in his telecast (see above video).
No. 3: Bob Knight
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Bib Knight went from being a terrifyingly angry coach to a very informative color commentator.
When he's working a game, Knight is one of the most educational commentators to listen to, which isn't really a surprise. You don't become one of college basketball's winningest coaches by determination alone.
But given his history, listening to Knight is quite the hilarious experience. It's like a pile of TNT (very intelligent TNT, mind you!) is talking. You keep expecting it to explode because it has hundreds of times before.
But underneath that explosive exterior lies one of the sports greatest philosophers. To quote Knight himself, "You don't play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball." Yeah, chew on that one.
No. 2: Billy Rafferty
Let that sink in. Billy Rafferty has said many odd and humorous things in his career, but major onions takes the cake.
"Look at the clock!...When you're sleepless in Seattle, why not get...a little KISS?!...Major...ONIONS!"
It takes major onions to be able to come up with stuff like that.
No 1: Dick Vitale
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To quote Dicky V himself—"It is absolutely wacky, baby!"
Vitale and his voice are easily amongst the most memorable in all of sports, but he continues to be one of the most well informed and intelligent commentators out there. It's hard not to watch a game voiced by Dicky V—even if it's a snoozefest defensive battle—and not be excited.
After all, he's the one who game us "showtime baby!" and "diaper dandy".
But perhaps the funniest thing about Vitale is how no one can do his accent properly. Have you tried it? Hilarious.