The Worst Announcers in Sports

Paul Grossinger@@pgrossingerAnalyst IIAugust 12, 2012

The Worst Announcers in Sports

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    Sports are about love and fun: sitting back and basking in the pure joy of watching the game. Unfortunately, that bliss if often interrupted by the obnoxious drone of a terrible sports announcer.

    Some sportscasters, like the immortal John Madden and Harry Caray, manage to combine interesting commentary with a love of sports that actually enhances the fan's experience. Sadly, those announcers are few and far between.

    Here is the list of the 20 worst announcers in sports.  

20. Dennis Miller

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    One morning, ABC executives woke up with the bright idea to put Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football.

    Wait, not so bright.

    Miller may have been a comedy star on SNL's weekend update, but he was never meant for primetime football. Insecure with the promotion, he tried too hard with every line and was just not funny.

19. Stuart Scott

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    Stuart Scott isn't awful or abrasive—he is simply boring.

    Sometimes announcers simply lose their shtick or fail to provide anything new to fans after awhile. That's exactly what happened to Scott. 

18. Tony Siragusa

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    Every time I see him on the sideline, I wonder: How does someone that large go up and down a football field?

    Cheap joke, perhaps, but Siragusa's broadcast is no light show: he constantly tries to showcase himself when he is on screen, thinks he is the centerpiece of the game, and is, frankly, pretty boring.  

17. Dick Vitale

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    You won't find a more knowledgeable basketball man than Dick Vitale. His understanding of the college game is unparalleled, and it's great to get an opportunity to hear his thoughts on talk shows.

    But, as an announcer, Vitale can be hard to stand. He is quite loud, often drowning out his co-broadcaster, and over-uses his own knowledge by commenting on and analyzing every single aspect of a game.  

    Dick, let people watch the game!

16. Mike Patrick

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    With Patrick, there is no middle ground: He either goes on a long, praising rant of a team and its players, or seemingly goes after them for the entire game.

    Unless, of course, he is busy on a tangent about Britney Spears during overtime of a major college football game.  

15. Tony Kornheiser

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    Kornheiser is a great talk show host and his show, Pardon the Interruption, is one of the stronger segments on ESPN's programming schedule.

    However, he failed as an announcer on Monday Night Football. His jokes, which sound hilarious coming next to Mike Wilbon in the familiar confines of his studio, usually fell flat during the football broadcast.  

14. Joe Morgan

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    Morgan is another sad entry into the "great player, terrible sportscaster" category.

    The former great always seems to compare players to his era, carries grudges from three decades back, and never embraced any form of baseball statistics.  

    When fans are looking for occasional, spot-on analysis while they enjoy the game, Morgan provides a constant stream of drivel.  

13. Bill Walton

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    Bill Walton remains one of the best, most underrated NBA centers of all time.

    Sadly, he was as overrated as an announcer as he was underrated as a player. Announcing is all about the proper mix of voice, inflection, delivery, and occasionally refraining from comment.  

    Walton was very difficult to understand and never quite delivered his thoughts at the right moment.  

12. Billy Packer

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    Billy Packer was famous for bringing an angry old man's attitude to the most fun event in sports, the March Madness NCAA tournament.

    His constant gripes about players' actions, mid-major performances (even as they became ever better), and the energy surrounding his games finally got him booted into retirement.

    Now, everyone can actually enjoy the tournament.   

11. Jim Gray

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    Jim Gray may give the worst interviews of any major sports journalist.

    His most infamous moment came during the 1999 World Series, when he relentlessly prodded Pete Rose to admit he bet on baseball. Right question, wrong setting.

    And, was there anything worse than the LeBron James "Decision" interview, which will stain Gray's career forever?

10. Colin Cowherd

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    After Redskins safety Sean Taylor was brutally murdered inside his home by two robbers, Colin Cowherd actually blamed it on Taylor's past and said, "sometimes you have got stains, stuff so deep it never, ever leaves."

    Yes, that's Colin Cowherd. Does anything else need to be said?

9. Chip Caray

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    Chip Caray's voice always reminds fans of his beloved grandfather, the immortal Harry Caray.

    Sadly, Caray makes constant mistakes while calling baseball games. As nostalgic as the experience is, Caray needs to learn to get the calls right.  

8. Pam Ward

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    Pam Ward is always, always talking, and her analysis never leads to genuine insight.

    Perhaps it is insecurity because she was Awful Announcing's pick for worst sportscaster on television, but Ward needs to let college football fans actually watch the game without constantly interrupting with her verbal drivel.

    Seriously, since when is saying, "a hundred-yard touchdown return for the touchdown!" ever necessary?

7. Tim McCarver

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    Tim McCarver shows why over-analysis makes bad sports announcers.

    McCarver knows baseball as well as anyone around the game and is a pleasure to listen to in post-game analysis or talk show breakdowns of major sports events.

    But, during the game, his mix of constant analysis of everything going on, feeble attempts at wry humor, and a tendency toward grandiose verbiage that makes the eyes roll, is enough to push viewers to turn off the television.  

6. Magic Johnson

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    I love Magic. Everyone, more or less, loves Magic. But he still can't analyze a basketball game.

    Since joining the TNT analysis crew, it's hard to say whether Johnson has provided any genuinely insightful analysis into a basketball game. His comments are quite general and never lead to any genuinely interesting interplay with the other announcers.

    Keep smiling Magic. You may not be a great commentator, but we'll always love you anyway.  

5. Bill Russell

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    Bill Russell is one of the great, out-sized personalities in NBA history. As the Boston Celtics franchise center, he won 11 NBA titles and changed the history of the sport forever.

    None of that saved Russell's career as an announcer.

    Hard to understand over the television, Russell also often bumbled lines and never delivered punchy analysis on cue. He remains one of the worst basketball announcers of all time.  

4. Mark Jackson

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    Like many former players, Jackson knows a lot about the NBA game.

    Unfortunately, his monotone voice and off-cue delivery on-air make it difficult for fans to appreciate his insights. Sometimes, he is so far off on his delivery that you can even see his co-announcers cringe.  

    Thankfully, he is now on the sideline and the only time fans have to hear him is when he is caught on-mike screaming at his Golden State players for their bad defense.  

3. Brent Musburger

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    Famous for his days alongside "Jimmy the Greek" while dinosaurs still roamed the earth, Brent Musburger has become quite the dinosaur himself.

    Senility catches all of us but Musburger took it to another level when, during a USC-Nebraska game in 2008, he actually revealed the meaning of a hand-signal as the game was playing.  

    It's time to hang it up.  

2. Cris Collinsworth

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    I know, it's hard to replace John Madden.

    Cris Collinsworth suffers so strongly by comparison that he ranks as one of the worst announcers ever in sports.  

    While he certainly knows the game, the former Cincinnati Bengals star simply lacks Madden's joy and charisma while broadcasting and it shows each and every game.  

    Worst, fans of the Madden video game series now have to listen to a Collinsworth voice-over instead of their beloved icon. Was making that switch the worst decision by a video game maker in history?

1. Joe Buck

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    Is it even possible to create a complete "Joe Buck list" of things he does to make baseball fans mute the television?

    Is it the rank lack of enthusiasm with which he calls the game? Perhaps, though many long-time announcers have that problem. 

    Or perhaps it is the rank bias against certain teams and players that colors every game he covers? And the constant references to personal slights dating back to the 1990s?

    It's all of the above that make Joe Buck the worst announcer in sports.

    So, who is on your list?


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