SBD/October 14, 2013/Media

Does A Third Analyst In NFL Broadcast Booths Enhance or Complicate Telecasts?

Cowher did not deal in coach-speak during yesterday's broadcast
The three-man NFL broadcast booth typically "is a bad idea," which makes CBS analyst Bill Cowher’s "performance Sunday working Steelers-Jets so impressive," according to Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Cowher performed "as if he had worked with CBS’ No. 1 team of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz, for years." He "didn’t sound like someone trying to prove he belonged." Cowher has "no previous booth experience," but he still "enhanced the telecast." Cowher did not "deal in coach-speak," but he "succeeded -- big-time -- in bringing that particular perspective to the proceedings." His one "shilly moment came late in the fourth quarter" when he mentioned the NFL has "a history of teams like the Steelers, who came into the game winless, going through bad stretches" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/14). But in N.Y., Phil Mushnick asks if Nantz, Simms and Cowher could have "more softly or briefly spoken" of Jets TE Kellen Winslow’s PED suspension? He had "been the Jets’ leading receiver, yet not a word of condemnation!" (N.Y. POST, 10/14). Meanwhile, in Denver, Dusty Saunders writes Shannon Sharpe, who served as the third analyst alongside Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts for Jaguars-Broncos, "didn't attempt to masquerade as an accomplished analyst." Saunders: "Keep the Sunday morning studio job, Shannon" (DENVER POST, 10/14).

MIXED REACTION ON TWITTER: ESPN's Mike Greenberg on his Twitter feed wrote, "I enjoyed having Bill Cowher in the booth with Nantz/Simms. Thought that was a good idea."'s Dave Lozo wrote, "Having Bill Cowher in the booth to tell Phil Simms when he's wrong has made this game quite the unexpected delight." But the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero wrote, "Sorry CBS, this three-man booth is too much. Send Cowher back to the studio, please." The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre: "Only been 1 quarter, but CBS, please nix the Cowher-in-the-booth thing. Cowher way too chatty. I actually enjoy the Simms-Nantz chemistry." Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski: "Your regularly scheduled coverage has been postponed. In its place, CBS is proud to present 'Steelers Memory Lane Starring Bill Cowher.'"
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