NFL Announcing Schedule, Rankings for Week 5

A Sunday afternoon with Gus: What could be possibly better?

1. Gus Johnson-Steve Tasker (CBS), Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills: Dynamic duo. Gus is the most thrilling play-by-play man in sports today, maybe of all-time.  Scintillating.  You have to admire Tasker’s intelligence and command of the mic as the color guy.  The former Buffalo Bills headhunter compliments Johnson nicely, making good use of his words/time.  Powerful 1-2 punch of voices -one’s a former gunner who performed with reckless abandon, the other a one-of-a-kind phenomenon with a booming set of pipes.  So many “go-to” catchphrases for Gus.  Unreal.  “YouTube” him now!  Can I have Gus in “Acapella” without the game?  On that note, I’ll tune in for Gus, not the game.  All is well and right in the world when Gus takes center stage.

2. Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots (CBS), San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders: If Gus is 1a, then Harlan is 1b.  I can listen to Harlan announce a play-by-play Connect Four tournament.  Wilcots is certainly solid.  Very insightful.  Harlan: another worthy candidate of your “YouTube spending time”.

3. Ian Eagle-Dan Fouts (CBS), Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens: If Gus is 1a, and Harlan is 1b, then Eagle is 1c.  Eagle has such an entertaining voice.  You are sucked right into the game when he’s on.  How can you not be?  He makes the game watchable and sound important.  As for Fouts, he knows the game inside and out.  I know what I’m getting from Fouts, he’s consistently spot-on.

4. Thom Brennaman/Brian Billick (FOX), Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cincinnati Bengals: Never used to like Brennaman.  So much, I would despite watching any game he did.  Now I appreciate him.  Very complete in all his descriptions.  All-around reliable and on top of the ball.  Billick is the best NFL color guy in the biz.  He is so in tune to the game and sheds light on everything.  Very simple, and easy to follow.  He will give the inside scoop on every play.

5. Jim Nantz-Phil Simms (CBS), Tennessee Titans @ Dallas Cowboys: If you’re looking for a “safe” thing, a “sure” bet, there isn’t a better combination than Nantz/Simms.  Right on the money.  Nantz is just loud enough.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Nothing over the top, yet not quiet or unenlightening.  Same with Simms, isn’t boring, yet isn’t flattering.  He’s precisely accurate and it’s almost like your friend is talking to you about the game.  Razor sharp and crisp relaying the ins and outs of the game.

6. Mike Tirico/Ron Jaworski/Jon Gruden (ESPN), Minnesota Vikings @ New York Jets: Waitress, can I order a large entree of Jon Gruden, with a tiny, extra small side of Ron Jaworski, actually, no, make that a sliver of Jaworski, with a hint, no, make that a sprinkle, no, just a touch of Mike Tirico.  No, come back, acutally I just want a super big order of Gruden with nothing else -nothing on the side, just Gruden, and Gruden alone, that’s it -Thank you ma’am.  Also, just to make sure dear, have the cooks know I want nothing to do with Jaworski or Tirico with my huge order of Gruden.  All Gruden is all I need.  Gruden.  Gruden.  Gruden.

7. Sam Rosen-Tim Ryan (FOX), Chicago Bears @ Carolina Panthers:

Rosen is so clear and over-engaging.  He puts his all into a game.  Ryan provides a strong, powerful presence; undoubtedly one of my favorite color guys.  Ryan makes Rosen.  A case where the #2 guy makes the #1 guy look good.

8. Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston/Tony Siragusa (FOX), New York Giants @ Houston Texans: Albert is decent.  Daryl Johnston can flat out go to work.  Very straight to the point and ridiculously smart.  You know he’s not going to shortchange you.  “Goose” is the man.  Can’t tell me otherwise.  Enough said.

9. Ron Pitts-John Lynch (FOX), St. Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions: Pitts is another “just good” play-by-play man.  Lynch is progressing.  I like a “new” tandem that won’t just kill you with overused catchphrases that don’t work.  Fresh faces always a good thing.

10. Joe Buck/Troy Aikman (FOX), Green Bay Packers @ Washington Redskins: Buck is “what you hear, is what you get” play-by-play guy -and I like that a lot.  Aikman will give you the “411” at a good clip.  They don’t rank high because nothing stands out and strikes me as special with this combo.

11. Chris Meyers-Charles Davis (FOX), Atlanta Falcons @ Cleveland Browns: I really, really, really like Meyers.  As for his partner Charles Davis…not as much.

12. Chris Rose/Kurt Warner (FOX), New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals: Talk about inexperience.  Nice guys, however.

13. Al Michaels-Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers: Double C-note isn’t as bad as many tend to think.  I believe Al is missing his boy, John Madden.  Time to move on NBC.  Bring in the youngsters.

14. Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf (CBS) Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts: Game of the week gets tagged with worst announcing pair of the week.  Mute button.  Don’t want to hear “background noise”, rather hear the crowd noise and Peyton’s cadences.  Similar to a bad rapper with a good beat, let me hear the beat not the rap.  The bad rapper’s lyrics = Gumbel/Dierdorf and good beat = Kansas City Chiefs-Indianapolis Colts.

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9 Responses to “NFL Announcing Schedule, Rankings for Week 5”

  1. The Wolf says:

    This was written by a 10-year-old? OK, maybe 11.

  2. Russ Loede says:

    Give your reasoning foolish one…

  3. mark george says:

    youre an idiot. i have been watching football since the early 70’s and have heard the best announcers in the business (in all sports). YOU HAVE THIS LIST BACKWARDS. al michaels, gumbel, nantz and buck are from great to pretty good. Gus johnson??? enthusiastic yes. informative no and he waits til after the play to describe what happened in a loud screaming teenage voice. i guess if youre not tucking your shirt and not combing your hair, still living with mom and dad and under 30, all you know is the hip, excitable, bad Gus Johnson.

    he is annoying at best. ever heard of don criqui, summerall, dick enberg, merlin olsen, charlie jones, vin scully, and curt gowdy? these were the best announcers ever (yes scully did football in the 70s and 80s). you wouldnt think he was so great if you ever heard these guys in their respective primes and scully is still great in his 80s. youtube them sometime…and whats with the side of gruden crap? cmon dude, youre not jim murray or jason whitlock or grantland rice (hint: they’re all sportswriters).

  4. Russ Loede says:

    Love me some Gruden.

    As for Gus, I’ll take him any day over boring Al.

    Buck? Are you serious? Gumbel? You lost ALL credibility with me on that one. How can you say he’s a top announcer?

    Have you ever heard of the saying: “Out with the old, in with the new”?

    You should try that every so often, it works. I don’t care how old you are and how long you have been watching football Mark, that’s irrelevant. How can you use that to say your insight is so superior than mine and that I’m inferior when it comes to this just because I’m younger than you are. I’ve listened to ’em all via NFL Films. All the big games, especially the Super Bowls I know ’em all. Give me John Facenda, I wish he was more than just a narrator back in his day.

    Aside from all of that, the fact of the matter is this: Football is supposed to be ENTERTAINING! Why do you watch? To be entertained, right? That’s why I watch.

    Gus Johnson is ENTERTAINING! Not Michaels, not Buck, and definitely not Gumbel! I want someone who surprises me and pulls out something from his new, fresh bag of tricks. Why do I want Michaels, Buck, and Gumbel? Just like Madden, they didn’t tell me anything I already didn’t know, so I’ll go with the loud, yet entertaining, scintillating sensational Gus. The older guys say the same stuff over and over again. Gus is ORIGINAL. One-of-a-kind, unique, creative, innovative, call it what you want but call it, it is what it is -he’s just so out of this world. I love it!

    Ok, I’ll give you Nantz, I had him ranked high. He’s as solid as it gets. Does college hoop as well. As good as all get it out in that realm as well. Him and Simms are some of the best in the biz. They are as insightful as they come as an outstanding 1-2 punch.

    Give me Harlan and Gus any day of the week.

    Don Criqui – one of the best of all-time. Loved Criqui. I believe you can still hear him from time-to-time, along with Pat Summerall, he does the Cotton Bowl game. Oh, Pat Summerall, absolutely one of my favorites. Love me some Summerall. Liked him WAY more than Madden.

    Dick Enberg, another GREAT. Can’t disagree.

    Merlin Olsen, another excellent call, agree with you 100 %. Oh, I wish he stilled did games with Enberg. I wish he, Criqui, and Enberg would be on all the time like the golden days. What an era for football.

    Not all that familiar with Scully. Not too in tune with Gowdy either.

    I know who Jason Whitlock is.

    I was going for some laughs with Gruden, mainly, trying to blast Tirico and Jaws – can’t stand ’em. Gruden is the ONLY one WORTH anything on the MNF crew. That trio needs to be: Harlan, Gruden, and Theismann. Patrick is really good too. Gruden, however, is THE MAN! Can listen to him talk football all the time!

    Gus on MNF? Oh yes!

    I do have to admit, Gus is MUCH better with College hoop than he is with the NFL.

    How about College announcers? Some of the best in the biz. College Football/NBA have the best announcers. I can give you such a long, lengthy list of quality College announcers.

    My favorite: SEC on CBS with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson. What do you think Mark?

    • mark george says:

      yes i can say that and it has nothing to do with age my friend. I know sports and its majesty. i have read the great sportswriters and listened and watched the great sportscasters and Gus Johnson aint one of them. This is the time we live in: holler loud and tell us what we just saw without much insight, criticism, or foreshadowing. Tell us about the history of the game Gus. I am a huge Dodger fan and all I know is Vin Scully: simply the greatest sportscaster ever. He makes every pitch interesting and knows the quirks of every player and reveals them at just the right time. Its become his trademark to get loud when an exciting play happens and now Johnson cant outrun it; he has to do it. He is decent in basketball but is terrible at football. Buck and Gumbel are good announcers and you cant deny that. They’re smooth, seamless and error free and anticipate the play and outcome well. It doesnt matter that they may care little about the sport they’re broadcasting but they are good at it.

      I watch the game to see my team win. Of course it will be entertaining regardless of the outcome. Ok out with the old? That doesnt fly with me. I want something thats good and if its old thats great. New doesnt guarantee good. John Facenda was phenomenal and you will never find his like again. I want an announcer to tell me about the mood of the team, their past history, and their future prospects for the game and the season. I dont need someone trying to get me excited about a game that I am watching; i am excited enough.

      Al Michaels is right now, the best there is as far as football. Dick Stockton is great, Gary Bender is great and Mike Patrick is great. Everything you want in preparing you to watch the next play Michaels delivers. Youre not saying Madden was a poor color guy are you? you would be dead wrong. His explanation of the play you just saw and telling us who a good player was and what team was going to be great were fantastic. I listen to Gus Johnson every week on NFL Sunday ticket and he doesnt say anything new or informative…he just hollers loudly. See thats what your generation believes: creative and different will entertain me. Thats why you like rap, tattoos, skateboarding and not tucking your shirts. You name your kids crazy names and make up slang daily. Your top music star is Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus??? Who? Just because he says rise and fire and other stupid stuff that no one else would dare say, doesnt make him good.

      I listen to Brad Sham on the Cowboys Radio Network and he is pretty darn good. Why? Criticizes and praises the team at the same time while providing updates on strategy, and insight into what may happen in the game and where the team would be emotionally if it lost or won. Keith Jackson was the best college guy and its probably passed on to Lundquist (former Cowboys guy), Ron Franklin, and Nessler. Ian Eagle? He’s ok and bit better than Harlan

  5. Russ Loede says:

    Oh, what do you think of Ian Eagle? Forgot about him. Huge fan.

  6. Russ Loede says:

    Not big on Nessler, he’s ok. Just average. Good enough for me, I guess.

    Ron Franklin! So GLAD you brought him up! I was going to. He and Ed Cunningham are one of the best tandems in the sport today. Can listen this duo call any game, no matter what the team(s) may be.

    Surprised you are not that in tune with Harlan. He and Eagle are spot-on as solid play-by-play deliverers. Very precise in their delivery. Best in the biz in my “new generation” mind.

    As for your love for conciseness, I understand, repsepct, and appreciate that -I do too as well. It’s something announcers need to possess and learn to exectue consistently.

    Keith Jackson-Dan Fouts combo doing the Rose Bowl. Classic.

    Dick Stockton, forgot about him! Another outstanding gem! Excellent call!

    John Facenda, old NFL Films/Super Bowls -right up my alley! The glory days, oh how I love to reminisce! The “old” in some ways is better than the “new” without question my friend.

  7. Russ Loede says:


    I can truly say you are quite the insightful guy. Respect you a ton.

    To reminisce: Indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events; oh how I wish we could revive some, if not all of the enjoyable past events, announcers. Timeless brilliance.

    NFL Films: Personally, what makes the game so entertaining. Such a blast to revisit the past!

    • mark george says:

      russ you have gained my respect as well my friend. i just have a good memory and a love for sports history. maybe i will give Gus Johnson the benefit of the doubt