The Top 10 Sports Analysts/Announcers of the New Millennium

Chris Faig@@ULuminaryCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2010

The Top 10 Sports Analysts/Announcers of the New Millennium

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    Have you ever begun to watch a sporting event and then instantly lowered the volume, or even changed the channel, because the individuals announcing the game were either boring or irritating?

    I know I have, as well as many other passionate sports fans.

    When an announcer paints a picture of the game, while adding excitement and their personal knowledge of the game, as do many of the great professional announcers, the viewing experience is more enjoyable.

    The most memorable announcers are the ones that have originality and unique catch phrases, such as legendary announcer Dick Vitale and his popular reference to a three-pointer, a "trifecta", which will be used by basketball analysts for generations.

    Of course, there are many sports analysts and announcers who are impressive and unique, but I have picked out a top 10 of brilliant individuals who share a habitual and individualistic passion for delivering sports coverage.

    The top 10 chosen are based on overall excitement, knowledge, uniqueness, and passion for the game that they analyze.

    Starting from the 10th best sports analyst since 2000 and continuing to the top analyst includes some of the most memorable voices coming out your TV set for the past few decades.

The 10th Best Sports Announcer Since 2000: Harry Kalas

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    Harry Kalas passed away on April 13, 2009 but will remain in the hearts of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, as well as all of his fans, forever.

    Kalas won the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. This guy had immense passion for his craft and will remain a legend in Philadelphia for years to come.

9. Jim Nantz

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    Jim Nantz has been a host and play-by-play announcer for almost every sport there is.

    From 1985 all the way to the present, Nantz has reported for CBS his entire career, covering NCAA football, the PGA Tour, NBA, college basketball, the U.S. Open, the Masters, Winter Olympics, Ryder Cup, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the NFL.

    It seems like there is no sport that this man can't present.

    Nantz has always covered big sporting events throughout his career, and he still does to this day.

    This past season he called Super Bowl XLIV, and when Tracy Porter intercepted Peyton Manning's pass and returned it for a touchdown, Nantz said in shock, "Picked off. Look out! Gets past Manning. And it's Tracy Porter taking it all the way! Touchdown New Orleans!"

8. John Madden

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    How can someone who has been around the game he analyzes this long not be on this list? Despite what most may think about this man, John Madden is a legend and will go down as one of the biggest contributors to football of all time.

    Of course he's often imitated and laughed at, but Madden certainly deserves a spot on this list because of the duration of his career and how he has helped to expand the audience of football fanatics.

    John Madden retired from broadcasting on April 16, 2009 because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

    Although he's 73, I bet we'll see him call a few more football games, mainly because it seems like he has a never-ending passion for the sport of football.

7. Dick Vitale

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    Dick Vitale is the voice of college basketball and has a personality like no other. Of course he has his haters, but who doesn't?

    Best known for his catchphrases, Dicky V adds personality to the game, while still inserting pure basketball knowledge into a broadcast delight.

    Some of his famous catchphrases are a "diaper dandy"(outstanding freshman), "PTPer"(prime time player), and trifecta (a three-pointer).

    The first time he called a college basketball game was for ESPN on Dec. 5, 1979. Ever since then he has been gracing our TV sets every week during the college basketball season.

6. Mike Breen

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    Mike Breen is a play-by-play commentator for the NBA on ABC broadcast and has done five Olympic Games in his career.

    Breen called various NBA Finals games, as well as the well-known Pacers-Pistons brawl on Nov. 19, 2004.

5. Marv Albert

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    Beginning in 1967, Marv Albert was the voice of the New York Knicks for over 30 years. Starting in 1999, Albert earned a position as play-by-play announcer for the NBA on TNT and has been doing the same to this day.

    If you're a fan of the NBA or even of the video game NBA Live, then you definitely know this man. Albert has been providing his voice for the EA Sports video game NBA Live since 2004.

    Some of his notable quotes and calls are "BOOM-SHA-KA-LA-KA!", "Oh! A facial!", and "With authority!"

4: Brent Musburger

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    Brent Musburger is currently a sportscaster for ESPN and ABC. Musburger's father was a broadcaster for college sports games from the 1930s through the 1950s. In 1973 Musburger began doing play-by-play for CBS Sports.

    Musburger signed with ABC in 1990. Since then he has been a broadcaster for various sports but is mostly recognized for his college football analysis.

    The reason Musburger is so high on this list is because he creates a certain bond with his viewers, whether they are sports fans or just watching the game. He often addresses his audience as "folks" and "partner," which gives off a sense of friendship.

    Musburger never lets the power of being an announcer get to him either. He once said, "Not for one moment do I think I'm what's important. I'm the messenger. The games are what count. Without them there wouldn't be a Brent Musburger. If I started to pontificate they'd get tired of me in a hurry. I end up on that screen so much it'd drive them crazy if I started to do that. They'd start throwing empty beer cans at me."

    His professional yet easygoing manner is the reason why he is so good at what he does.

3. Al Michaels

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    Al Michaels was been employed by ABC Sports for nearly three decades but now works for NBC Sports. Over the years Michaels has covered everything from the 1989 World Series to Monday Night Football.

    Best known for his play-by-play calls of NFL games, Michaels is one of the most prominent individuals in his profession.

    One of Michaels' most famous broadcasts would have to be when he was covering the 1980 Winter Olympics and called the Miracle on Ice between the U.S. and the Soviets.

    Michaels even stated, "When I look back, obviously Lake Placid would be the highlight of my career. I can't think of anything that would ever top it. I can't dream up a scenario."

2. Dick Enberg

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    Dick Enberg's career started in 1957, and he still announces to this day.

    Enberg has done play-by-play for Indiana Hoosiers football and Men's Basketball, UCLA men's Basketball, NCAA basketball on NBC, NFL on NBC, MLB on NBC, Wimbledon, the Rose Bowl, U.S. Open, as well as host for the 1980 Summer Olympics (NBC), PGA Tour, and some TV shows in the 1970s.

    Beginning in 2010 Enberg will be a play-by-play commentator for the San Diego Padres, continuing his great legacy.

    Enberg has collected many awards throughout the years, including 13 Emmy Awards, nine National Sportscaster of the Year awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Best Announcer/Analyst Since 2000: Vin Scully

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    This individual has been in the business for almost 50 years. At the age of 25, Scully became the youngest person ever to broadcast a World Series, which is a record that is still held to this day.

    Some of Scully's most memorable calls were:

    * The 1955 World Series, when the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first World Championship.

    * Hank Aaron's 714th home run against the Dodgers in 1974.

    * Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965.

    * The Dodgers' four consecutive home runs against the San Diego Padres on Sept. 18, 2006.

Honorable Mentions

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    Walt "Clyde" Frazier: Truly one of a kind spirit who is entertaining to listen to and watch.

    Bob Costas: If he was a little more entertaining he would have made the list.

    Howie Rose

    Mark Jackson: On the rise to being a great analyst.

    Brad Nessler