Al Michaels, Ron Jaworski Named Best NFL Announcers In USA Today Reader Poll
USA TODAY has released the results of its third annual NFL TV announcers poll as voted on by readers, and the paper's Michael McCarthy noted there were some "surprises as the online voting went down to the wire Thursday night." ESPN’s Ron Jaworski “made a charge at the end to nab best game analyst for the first time,” beating out NBC's Cris Collinsworth by a 23%-22% difference. NBC's Al Michaels earned 39% of the vote for best play-by-play announcer, winning the category "for the third consecutive year” CBS’ Jim Nantz finished second with 19%. NBC's "Sunday Night Football" team of Michaels, Collinsworth, and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya "won best game crew for the third consecutive year (34%), with ESPN's 'Monday Night Football' crew of Jaworski, Jon Gruden, Mike Tirico and Suzy Kolber coming in second (22%).” "Fox NFL Sunday" won best pregame show for the third straight year with 33%, ESPN's Chris Berman with 26% “won best pregame show host for the third consecutive year” and ESPN's Adam Schefter with 33% “won best ‘insider’ for the third consecutive year” (USATODAY.com, 11/17).
EXPERTS PICKS: USA TODAY’s McCarthy and Michael Hiestand listed their personal picks for the NFL TV announcers poll. Hiestand is "with the voters’ pick" of Michaels for best play-by-play announcer, while picking Fox’ Troy Aikman as best analyst, "although NBC’s Cris Collinsworth brings desperately needed glib humor to coverage of America’s secular religion.” Schefter is his choice for best reporter “mainly because he churns out on-air tonnage all week, although runner-up Jay Glazer of Fox has the most memorable TV presence and scores scoops.” McCarthy picks CBS’ Nantz "by a nose" over Michaels, as both "give games a big-event feel.” CBS' Phil Simms is the "top game analyst in my book,” as he “rips players and coaches when they deserve it and points out what they’re doing right without using TV jargon.” Glazer is McCarthy's pick for best reporter, as he "consistently gets the most scoops.” ESPN's Schefter, Chris Mortensen and John Clayton “split the insider vote three ways," the same with NBC’s Peter King and Mike Florio (USA TODAY, 11/18).