SI.com Names Mike Mayock Person Of The Year In '11 Media Awards
SI.com’s Richard Deitsch yesterday announced his ’11 Media Awards and named NFL Network and NBC’s Mike Mayock his “Person of the Year,” noting that he is “a worthy pick for SI.com's highest media award.” Mayock “talks a lot during a broadcast but unlike many others, he speaks from a prepared place, a broadcaster with a qualified opinion about his subject matter.” Mayock also joined ESPN’s Jay Bilas and Doris Burke as the “Best Game Analyst.” The performance of the three "isn't about personality, and each has grinded out an impressive career through smarts and professionalism." Deitsch wrote, "When they do a game, I usually learn something. As a viewer, there is no better result.” The following are some more of Deitsch's honorees.
* CBS’ Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts and TNT’s Marv Albert and Steve Kerr were named the “Announcing Team of the Year.” Deitsch noted he “didn't catch Eagle and Fouts often in 2011, but when I did, I loved what I heard.” Deitsch: “It's a duo that doesn't take itself seriously but still delivers a thoughtful, smart broadcast for viewers.” Meanwhile, Albert and Kerr were “sensational on the NBA and they carried that chemistry over to the NCAA tournament when they did games for CBS and Turner.”
* ESPN’s Terry Francona was named the “Best Newcomer” for ’11 after the former Red Sox manager made his broadcasting debut filling in for Tim McCarver for Fox’ first two games of the ALCS. Francona was “insightful and genuinely funny, both valuable commodities in broadcasting.” Deitsch: “Though I imagine he'll be back in baseball sooner than later, Francona has a chance to be very good if he works at the job.”
* NBA TV and TNT’s Chris Webber was named “Most Improved,” as he has “great depth about the league and doesn't sugarcoat his opinions.” He is a “smart guy who acts like someone who takes broadcasting as a profession rather than a hobby.”
* ESPN2's “Fantasy Football Now” was named the “Best Studio Show.” There are “no fluff pieces, no over-the-top chuckling at everything Shannon Sharpe says, no Chris Berman kissing the butt of all things Roger Goodell.” It is “heavy on information and informed judgment,” and it “deserves notice and has carved out a nice niche among fantasy fans with zero promotion from its own company in relation to 'Sunday NFL Countdown'" (SI.com, 12/28).
MORE YEAR-END THOUGHTS: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones named his “Ten awesome sports things on TV” this past year. The top spot went to MLB Network’s “countdown of the 20 best games of the past 50 years.” Jones awarded the second spot to ESPN’s “PTI,” which “remains the best daily sports show on TV,” with the net's “Sports Reporters” coming in third as the “best weekly sports show on TV.” Jones wrote he has "grown tired" of ESPN’s Merril Hoge, Fox’ Gus Johnson and ESPN’s Steve Young, while he wants more of ESPN’s David Pollack, Rays TV analyst Brian Anderson and ESPN’s Trent Dilfer in '12 (TAMPABAY.com, 12/28).