SBD/December 20, 2012/Media

SI.com's Richard Deitsch Picks Best Announcers, Analysts Of '12

Buck in October called both an NFL and MLB game in the same day
SI.com's Richard Deitsch yesterday named his best and worst media awards for '12, selecting a "group of people in television, radio, print and online who were newsworthy." Deitsch chose Fox' Joe Buck for his "Person of the Year." Buck is an "exceptional baseball announcer and he's improved yearly in football." Buck's skills were "most visible on Oct. 14 when he called an NFL game (49ers-Giants at Candlestick Park) in the afternoon and an MLB playoff game (Cardinals-Giants at AT&T Park) at night, a television stunt that promoted Fox Sports but also highlighted the broadcaster's unique versatility." Deitsch wrote, "Most impressively, Buck's performance came less than a year after a virus he contracted in the laryngeal nerve of his left vocal cord nearly cost him his career." Deitsch's "Announcing Team of the Year" went to NBC's "SNF" team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Michaels is a "fanatically prepared play-by-play maestro whose game calls are flawless," while Collinsworth is "sensational at foreshadowing the action." Deitsch also noted ESPN's NBA duo of Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy and Fox' NFL tandem Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts "are both sensational teams that rated just a shade behind the top group." The "Best Game Analyst" award ended up in a tie between ESPN's Jay Bilas, Collinsworth and Fouts, while Deitsch tabbed ESPN's Doris Burke as '12's "Best Sideline Reporter." Deitsch wrote of Burke, "Retire the category now. A remarkable combination of editorial independence, professionalism and smarts" (SI.com, 12/19).

BEST & WORST: Also read what other media critics think about NFL announcers and other NFL-themed programming (THE DAILY).
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