I feel like the best-case scenario for the vast majority of sports announcers & color commentators is for me to not know who the fuck you are. If I don’t know your name, that means you’re fine. You bring to the game what I expect to be brought, without annoying me or otherwise getting in the way.
And, I would say the vast majority of these people – across all sports, at least from a national perspective (there’s just no getting into the weeds on the broadcast crews working for individual teams; those people are generally nuts) – are just that: they’re fine. Nondescript. Workmanlike.
Then, there are the outliers, and they land on both sides: there are the truly abysmal, and there are the truly great. These are the guys whose names you know, for one reason or the other.
I should probably point out at some point that this is obviously a matter of opinion. My opinion is going to differ from yours, and that’s okay. I’m not trying to change your mind; you don’t have to feel like you need to change mine. I’m not making an argument here and presenting facts to try to say that one guy is the best …
(for what it’s worth, that argument has been over for a while now; Gus Johnson is the best sports broadcaster and it’s not even close. FIGHT ME YOU GOONS!)
I’m just saying that I like Tony Romo as a color guy for the NFL. I think he’s entertaining, I like that he’s energetic and excited about what’s going on, I think he brings a lot of insight you don’t get from a lot of other guys in his position, and I’m generally intrigued by his working relationship with Jim Nantz (who I also greatly admire). Are they really friends? Do they even speak a single word to one another when the mics aren’t on? I can’t tell and it’s driving me crazy!
There were rumors that ESPN was looking to poach Romo away, which would’ve been a complete disaster. If it’s to be a roving analyst on their various shows (Sportscenter and whatnot), that sucks because I never watch those shows. If it was to be in the booth for Monday Night Football, that’s just as bad! MNF is a wasteland! The matchups are usually terrible, there’s no way to flex them out, and by Monday I’m usually footballed-out unless the Seahawks are involved.
In fact, I don’t watch Monday OR Thursday Night Football unless the Seahawks are playing; I have to go to bed early for work, so it just isn’t convenient for me (plus, nothing ever seems to go right for my fantasy football team on these nights, so I’d rather avoid it altogether if that’s all right with you). I’ll watch the Sunday Night game sometimes, depending on the matchup (and for the record, Michaels and Collinsworth are my favorite duo working today).
But, I ALWAYS watch the Sunday morning and afternoon games, regardless of who’s playing or how bad the matchup is. And, since the Seahawks are usually on FOX, whatever ends up on CBS either needs to be compelling football, or the announcers need to keep my interest somehow. Tony Romo does that for me.
It’s not football season anymore, so my mind is a little rusty. But, I like Nantz & Romo and Buck & Aikman about the same; they’re all great and the #1 teams for their respective networks for a reason. Beyond them and the NBC guys, I’d say everyone else is fine.
I thought it was funny on the Brock & Salk podcast this week, Salk talking about how he liked Phil Simms and Booger McFarland, because I’m sorry, but I’m out. I think Simms is great on the pre-game/halftime panel, but I don’t need 3 hours of Simms every week. That “Better in Small Doses” theme extends to someone like Bill Walton, who could probably hang ’em up at any point now and I’d be okay with it. No one’s ever going to top Tim McCarver, though, for just the dumbest, most annoying announcer of my entire life.
Anyway, I just thought I’d show my appreciation for not having my Sundays ruined for the next decade (maybe that’s overkill, but they would’ve definitely taken some sort of a hit). Long Live Tony Romo At CBS!