Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Gammons Returns Tomorrow

The Commenters are right: Why give an item to Pete Rose? He ain't worth it.

Here's someone who is: Peter Gammons, reportedly coming back to the air tomorrow.

So who is your favorite on-air sports-TV personality? Maybe "favorite" isn't the right question. That's like "valuable" in the MVP debate. Let's expand "favorite" to include the one you like best, the one you enjoy most, the one who's most informative or, yes, "valuable."

This could be an interesting comments string. I'm not sure I'm ready to weigh in with my pick yet. I just thought of the question, but haven't had time to really consider it yet.

(I almost need to break it down to categories like "host," "studio analyst," "play-by-play person" and "color commentator." But that's such a hedge! Nope: Single favorite. Any category.)

And, no, saying "Dan Shanoff on 'Around the Horn'" will not earn you any special favors. Though it will earn you my lifetime gratitude.

-- D.S.


Sheldiz said...

dick vitale.

yeah, i said it.

FreKy J said...

Unfortunately, due to the time it always took me to drive home, I missed Around the Horn almost daily, and only saw you on there once DS, and you looked far too happy.

My favorite TV sports personality is Michael Wilbon, because he's jaded enough being from Chicago to give a realistic view on things, but not so much that he doesn't have his own hopes and dreams of the way things SHOULD be. Unlike Kornheiser, he doesn't really go out of his way to say something funny.

Dan Shanoff said...

I'm toying with the idea of Bill Raftery -- he's always struck me as this best-available combo of schtick and analysis.

But I've got another choice I'm considering: Kirk Herbstreit, who doubles as a studio analyst AND a game analyst -- and he's pretty freaking good at both.


Perks said...

If I can't use Joe Namath (I had to), I'm going with one of two answers because the first one might not count.

1.) The tandem of Wilbon and Kornheiser. They feed off each other impeccably, and so much passion between them. When one or the other has a day off, the show is obviously different, and the breakdown of things isn't nearly as good.

2.) Bill Simmons.
Ok, that's a lie.

Jerry Remy is my singular choice. He's funny, witty, knowledgable, and not overbearing.

Trent said...

Best: Colin Cowherd (hey, he's on SportsCenter sometimes).

Worst: Anyone not named Chris Rose that has appeared on The Best Damn Sports Show Period.

scott (austin, tx) said...

grew up on the west coast and saturdays aren't the same without hearing keith jackson's voice.

Brien said...

Let's see ... who are some of the best ... let's start with the play-by-play guys:

Football: Dick Stockton, Tom Hammond, Mike Patrick

Olympics: Al Trautwig (he just has that great, easy voice), Don Chevrier (esp. if he's doing curling)

Baseball: Harry Kalas (Philly bias showing through), Sean McDonough, John Rooney, Pat Hughes

Hockey: The late Gene Hart, Mike Emrick, Pat Foley, Mike Lange ("He left him standing like a bottle in the ocean!")

And ... the "color men" ...

Bill Clement, Bobby Taylor, Dale Tallon (hockey), Richie Ashburn, Al Leiter (baseball), Merlin Olsen, Dan Dierdorf, Troy Aikman (football), Don Duguid (curling), Dick Button, Bob Beattie (olympics)

That's about it for me ...


Jon said...

Dicky V? He was ok back in the day until he totally stuck Coach K and the ACC down his throat. Now he's just awful.

Best host is a tie. Rece Davis and James Brown. Both are fun to listen to, know what they are talking about and for the most part can handle their analysts.

Best analyst? Well I thought it was Harold Reynolds, but he seems to have disappeared. So, I'll go with Tom Jackson...but only cause he called Irvin retarded.

Play by play man. I'll take a pass on this one.

Color Commentator was Jim Kaat. Good listening there.

5 worst tv guys/teams are: White Sox tv announcers, Dicky V. and Mike Patrick tag team, Michael Kay, Stuart Scott, NBC Football Night in America crew.

Big D said...

I really enjoy James Brown, on whatever show he happens to be hosting.

Michael Smith never disappoints, whether in print or on TV (or the occasional radio fill-in gig here in the Boston radio market)

Wilbon & Kornheiser are obvious, though I still don't know how much I'd enjoy one without the other. Kornheiser is kind of subdues with Tirico & Theisman stepping all over him.

And, personally, you cannot beat Jerry Remy for Red Sox color analisys. Seriously - I doubt any other color personality has as much fun with the in game comments as the RemDawg.

* Notice the distinct lack of praise for Joe Morgan, Tim MacCarver, Dick Vitale, and others? That's not by accident. *

Unknown said...

Couple of quick thoughts on this one - great question btw Dan.

I used to love Jerry Remy and Sean McDonaugh doing Red Sox games - D.O. has grown on me but Sean and Jerry were fantastic together. The only good thing that came out of Sean "leaving" NESN was that first year Jerry and D.O. did games they clearly did not get along - anyone in Boston will remember this.

I also love turning on afternoon radio and hearing Michael Smith. I dont care for him on Around the Horn but I think he does a great job on the radio.

Finally I'll go with Phil Simms when talking about the Tampa Bay Bucs. Is there anything funnier then him trying to figure out how to nicely say his son is in the toilet right now.

Trent said...

Ah, that reminds me of, by far, my favorite announcer in all of sports.

John Morgan. He only surfaces once every 4 years as the bobsled announcer on NBC but he gets me pumped up.

Mega said...

My favorite would easily be the guys on PTI. The compliment each other very well and they seem to know their stuff (plus I like that they're fact-checked at the end of each show). The added bonus is when they argue like 2 old women. Whenever Shanoff makes it on TV is good stuff too. Too. Bad. He. Can't. Talk. Like. This. Though. =)

TBender said...

Best Analysts:
Gameday Crew - Fowler, Corso, Herbstreit.

Analyst - Hershisher (Smart and avoids the McCarver drone)

Wilbon and Kornheiser

The heroin sheik said...

For college football I would have to go with Mick Hubert and scott brantley. I think mick hubert's "oh my" ranks right up there with keith jackson's "whoa nelly" Gene deckerhoff (fsu anouncer) is also great on the bucs broadcasts.

For baseball I always loved vin scully even if I hated the dodgers. There was something about listening to him call the braves dodgers spring training games from dodgertown. Fishing with my granddad on easter vacation. A great childhood memory.
For ghetto golf I love charles barkley because you never know if he is going to fly off the handle and call someone an asshole before kicking his ass or simply taking a fans cheese fries and eating them to feed his fat ass.

For soccer I love tommy smyth and his auld onion bag references and julie foudy simply because she is hot.

The heroin sheik said...

oh yeah chris collinsworth is a douchbag and that hurts me to say knowing where he went to college but I hate thim. Just wait in another ten years chris doering will be the next collinsworth. Which is a shame because the best former gator who is an announcer is james bates. Anyguy who shows up to a press interview with a jackolantern on his head is the man.

Brien said...

* Notice the distinct lack of praise for Joe Morgan, Tim MacCarver, Dick Vitale, and others? That's not by accident. *

I have an intense dislike of Tim McCarver, for many reasons, but the one that I'm about to mention (and one I had forgotten for over 25 years) in particular:

I have vivid memories of the Phillies' 1980 World Series win. One memory that seemed fuzzy was trying to recall the exact call that Harry Kalas made when the Phils won the pennant over Houston.

Well, I purchased the commemorative 25th Anniversary DVD collection last year, which included the full broadcast of the pennant-clincher. When I watched it, I remembered exactly why.

When Garry Maddox caught the final fly ball to clinch the pennant, Harry's game-ending call was drowned out entirely by Tim McCarver's cackling ... he was as giddy as a schoolgirl, whooping and hollering right over what I can only imagine was Harry, saying:

"And the Phillies are champions of the National League!"

Again, I can only imagine it, because McCarver, self-centered as always, decided that fans wanted to hear him whoop it up, rather that to hear the words they'd waited 30 years to hear.

Brien "Yeah, I am *still* bitter about it ..."

Dan Shanoff said...

Anyone see the McCarver joke on Family Guy on Sunday?

Mega said...

Oh my gosh- how could I forget Bob Uecker?

Not only may he be the best play by play guy out there, who can forget his role as Harry Doyle in the movie "Major League"?

Brian in Oxford said...

I love Bill Raftery.

I would argue that the easiest way to tell if an analyst is good, is how easy is it to listen to as a fan of the OPPOSITE team, or how easy is it to take it when YOUR team is being dissed.

For instance, as great as Vin Scully is on radio, pretty much me and all my Red Sox fan friends will not live down his giggly love for the Mets in '86. On the other hand, Joe Buck/Tim McCarver don't give me that same nausea....even though Buck's technically a "Cards guy".

I remember growing up hating Tommy Heinsohn for being anti-Celtics on CBS telecasts....only to realize later that he was bending over backwards to hide his true loyalty! (Once I could afford my own cable subscription.)

Bob Costas is very good. James Brown is good. It was very interesting to watch Harold Reynolds grow as an analyst from his first days a decade ago....now we can sort of see the same growth in John Kruk. Dan Dierdorf is actually pretty good....

What's really interesting to note is that there is SO LITTLE TURNOVER at the highest level of network broadcasts. Billy Packer, John Madden, Tim McCarver, Dick Vitale....there is no room for a really good analyst to get a chance to do a really big game.

William Joseph said...

The Ron McLean & Don Cherry combo on Hockey Night in Canada is the best! However in games the crew on TSN are way better, I love Gord Miller and Pierre Mcguire!

Jingoist said...

See, this is going to get very subjective if you take into account local analysts, play-by-play, commentators, personalities, etc. Like around New England everyone will jump on the local game broadcast bandwagons- Don Orsillo/Jerry Remy (NESN), Gil Santos/Gino Capeletti (WBCN), Jerry Trupiano/Joe Castiglione (WEEI) and the like. But I think you don't get much better than the former duo for NHL broadcasts of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement.

Of course, I'll never forget Bruins games with Derek Sanderson broadcasting from my childhood on Channel 38 out of Boston.

I'll refrain from picking my favorite persona(s) outside of the actual game broadcast category for fear of making this post waaaaay to long.

rob (warwick)

Christian Thoma said...

The two Tour de France dudes. Calm and understated like golf announcers, so when they start getting excited, you know something important is happening. The gaggle of Screamers could learn something from them.

Lucas Punkari said...

I really like Brad Nessler for some reason, along with the PTI gang (Even Whitlock and LeBatard), and of course Corso, Herbie and Keith Jackson. But Nessler I feel is vastly underrated.

Also Jay Onrait on TSN's Sportscentre in Canada, the only redeeming factor on the network.

Marcus T said...

The best by far has to be Bob Costas, why can't NBC have the World Series anymore? He is an amazing baseball man.

I am also partial to Kornheiser, and it hurts to see him flounder on MNF. I don't blame him so much, cause its not the PTI format, but I wish he would be more agressive and talk over Theisman who annoys the hell out of me.

The rest are either just average or annoying. Well, unless its Berman and TJ on Primetime. How I miss thee. Last night, my friend sent me 5 different music themes they ran during the highlights of games. Gave me chills.

Jen said...

I loved when Keith Jackson did college football games. I hear his voice in the Gatorade commercials and miss those Saturdays as a kid. I really like Kirk Herbstreit too.

Tom Hamilton does the Indians' radio broadcasts here...he's awesome. Paul Keels does the Buckeyes' radio and I like him too.

Buck, McCarver, Morgan....they are all horrible. Most of the time they are so one-sided.

Anyone ever watch TBS' Braves' games!? Those guys are the WORST. B-O-R-I-N-G.

Bob Davies is pretty bad. I love Chris Spielman so I can't say anything bad about him.

SF said...

Let's be real here...The Man when it comes to Sports T.V. personality is the ONE AND ONLY: Vin Scully.

1. Vin Scully: In a league of his own.
2. Peter Gammons: The sage of all baseball wisdom.
3. Kenny Mayne: Always reliable for a good chuckle.
4. Chris Berman: I guess I am a Traditionalist (if that is a word?).
5. Scott Van Pelt: Hit the scene hard and blances comedy and effective news-reporting excellently.
6. *Bonus*: Unintentional Comedy Scale Favorites: Michael Irvin and Woody Paige: A dead-even tie.

Kleinyy said...

Analyst I would say Hubie Brown
Personality I would have to go with Stat Boy or Wilbon

Worst: Stephen A. Smith hands down

SF said...

Sorry, I am remiss to have overlooked Brent Musberger in the "Unintentional Comedy Scale" section of my prevous post.

He is f@#$in' hilarious. And if you do not believe me...attend the University of Michigan for 4 years, and watch how he can turn any event into a promo for his beloved Michigan vs. Ohio State showdown. I have seen him successfully pull this off during a College Woman's Softball broadcast.

Simply Amazing...

Unknown said...

I like folk that a)know what they're talking about and b) have a passion for the sport.

Herbstreit - knows his stuff
Spielman - He's GREAT. No analyst has more passion for football than he does. He just needs a better play by play guy. Pam Ward doesn't fit his style.
Nessler - He's got the voice for it.
Howie Long - should really get more airtime on fox.

The worst are: anyone on the CBS telecasts...gawd awful.

Others I like:
Marty Brenneman - hall of famer.
Clement - NHL's solid voice

I really, really, really can't stand Stuart Scott. There are other black sports personalities on espn...does he have to be the only 'booyah' guy? does he realize how old that is??

darprice said...

NHL - Ron McLean (met him too, nice guy)
NHL Color - Don Cherry - funniest commentator BAR. NONE.
NHL Play by - Mickey Redmond (might be the Red Wings flavor, but he KNOWS hockey)

NBA - Marv

NCAA BB - Dickie V.

NFL - toss-up. Bradshaw always has an interesting perspective.

General - I'll take Costas over Gumbell, Wilbon

Badass Of The Year said...

I miss Madden & Summerall together, growing up they were the big game guys. I thought they balanced each other really well.

Love the PTI guys, edge to Wilbon though.

I like the Fox NFL crew with JB, I hate that they replaced him with Joe Buck, it's bad enough we have put up with him in the booth, we don't need him pregame too.

Oh also love Marv & Clyde Frazier. Marv is the voice that reminds me when basketball was good, Sundays at MSG really meant something. And Frazier's vocab is just hilarious.

Other dream pairings would be:

Moose & Aikman: Okay that would make non-cowboy fans sick, but I think they'd be great together. Fox should do this at least once a year for our Thanksgiving day game.

Stephen A. Smith & Michael Irvin: I'd like to see this just to see who could actually get a word in.

Which leads me to the list of sports personalities that I'd like to ship to Abudabi:

Joe Buck
Tim McCarver
Either of the Sharpes
Collinsworth - he knows his stuff, but something about him makes me want to punch him in the face.
Keith Hernandez -I'm a mets fan, but his ego makes me roll my eyes out loud.
Jim Rome
Stephen A. Smith - he so reminds me of Tim Meadows on SNL in the "Ladies Man" sketch

I'm not sure where I'd place Dicky V. I either love him or am annoyed by him, but I always wondered what it would be like to be his kid and get lectured.

Big D said...

Wait a second. Two comments above this... did "drucifer" just put Chris Berman between Al Michaels and Bob Costas?

Wow, I must be missing something here...