SBD/Issue 49/SportsBusiness Daily Exclusives

SBJ/SBD And Sporting News List Our Top 25 Football Broadcasters

Fans love to argue over their favorite football announcers. Reporters and editors from Sporting News and SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily do too, and have come together to produce their list of the Top 25 Football Broadcasters.

1. Gary Danielson
College analyst CBS
Our No. 1 combines preparation, football smarts and an almost eerie ability to make observations just as they come into play in the game. If you can’t learn something from him, you’re not paying attention.
4. Phil Simms
NFL analyst CBS
His extensive preparation shows in every broadcast. Don’t let the easy manner and the folksy charm fool you: He has no problem calling players out.
6. Troy Aikman
NFL analyst Fox
A low-key booth presence, to be sure, but he’s nearly always right on target and stays away from silly stuff that can drag a broadcast down.
8. Verne Lundquist
College PbP CBS
Avuncular, with a playful style and a distinctive voice. Always sounds like he’s having a great time calling the game.
10. Jim Nantz
He’s a versatile Mr. Smooth, with a million-dollar delivery and great control of the game. Willing to leave the strong opinions to the analyst.
12. Brad Nessler  
College PbP ABC/ESPN
Strong voice; when he’s doing a game, you know it. Calls a clean game, gets excited when it’s called for and sets up his analyst well.
14. Jon gruden
NFL analyst ESPN
Made a big splash in his first year in the booth. Has fallen off a little after a fast start, but he delivers intensity, good details and a TV-ready personality.
16. Ron Jaworski
NFL analyst ESPN
Does this guy love his job or what? The consensus was that we like him even better in the studio, but he’s entertaining and informative in the booth.
18. Sean McDonough
College PbP ABC/ESPN
Forceful voice and active play-by-play presence; not afraid to put his two cents in. Like a guy whose voice carries the drama? He’s one of your faves.
20. Dan Fouts
NFL analyst CBS
“MNF” alum ran rare crossing pattern from analyst to play-by-play on college games with ABC. Comfortable style, with a good sense of humor.
22. Mike Patrick
College PbP ABC/ESPN
Brings excitement to play-by-play, which works well on campus. “Britney moment” of 2007 shouldn’t overshadow his body of work.
24. Gus Johnson
Memorable calls make him perfect announcer for YouTube generation. Some questioned whether he should save excitement for biggest of big plays.
2. Cris Collinsworth
NFL analyst NBC
NBC made the right call on “Sunday Night Football.” He brings some attitude to the mike, but he backs it up with astute observations and a little self-deprecating humor.
3. Al Michaels
NFL play by play NBC
Nearly 30 years after “Do you believe in miracles?” he’s the gold standard for football play by play. Always accurate, with insight and some edge thrown in.
5. Kirk Herbstreit
College analyst ABC/ESPN
He’s the matinee idol of the campus crowd, but he calls a good game, too. Thoughtful analysis and a likable presence without overdoing the college rah-rah.
7. Ron franklin
College PbP ABC/ESPN
Southern gentleman with a polished delivery and a comforting voice. He has a great sense of when to have fun and when to get down to business.
9. Joe Buck
Polished, professional multisport pro. Known as a baseball guy, but brings plenty of football knowledge along with a sly wit to every game he calls.
11. Mike Tirico
He has one of the most challenging jobs on the list: traffic cop in the three-man “MNF” booth. Knowledgeable, smooth and a total pro.
13. Brent musburger
College PbP ABC/ESPN
You are looking live at a broadcaster who generates strong feelings. Backers say he’s a big-game announcer. Even his critics wouldn’t disagree.
15. Daryl Johnston
NFL analyst Fox
Former fullback adds non-QB diversity (along with ex-receiver Collinsworth) to analyst spot. Never boring; his opinions hit nearly as hard as he did.
17. Greg Gumbel
Another who gives a clean, professional call every time. Doesn’t take it upon himself to excite us about the game; that’s fine with us.
19. Todd Blackledge
College analyst ABC/ESPN
High-quality commentary, solid delivery, good sense of context.Could be more colorful occasionally. We never miss “Taste of the Town.”
21. Bob Papa
NFL PbP NFL Network
Do you know this broadcaster? Doesn’t get much play for a guy doing NFL for a national audience, but he always turns in a solid, professional job.
23. Chris Fowler
College PbP ESPN
Known more as “College GameDay” host, he also runs Thursday booth for ESPN, adding edginess to mix with nice guys Craig James and Jesse Palmer.
25. Dick Enberg
Makes more mistakes than he used to, but he’s an artist with the language and delivers his catchphrase “Oh, my!” with trademark good cheer.
Panelists from SBJ/SBD: Rick Ellington, Betty Gomes, Bill King, Rob Knapp, John Ourand,  Paul  Sanford. From SN: Marcus DiNitto, Jim Gilstrap, Dan Graf, Bob Hille, Vinnie Iyer, Derek Samson
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