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Volume 25 No. 175
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SI Ranks Fox' Joe Buck, Troy Aikman As NFL's Best Broadcast Crew

Buck and Aikman this season have added Thursday night duties to their schedule
Photo: getty images

Fox' Joe Buck and Troy Aikman top the list of's Jimmy Traina's second annual power rankings for "each regular NFL broadcast crew." Traina wrote Buck is the "best play-by-play guy in the business right now." He knows when to "give you the game," then he knows when to "drop in some levity." Aikman is "excellent at breaking down plays and explaining things in simple terms." Ranking No. 2 is NBC's Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, who has "regressed over the years and says some weird stuff during games, but so good at analyzing line play and doesn't over speak like many analysts." Michaels "makes this team No. 2, because he's superb on play-by-play and is the only announcer to reference gambling." CBS' Jim Nantz and Tony Romo rank fourth after topping the list last year. Traina wrote, "I was driving the Romo bandwagon, but clearly CBS higher ups told Tony to stop predicting plays and tone down his act." It is a "damn shame, too, because he was the best listen in the NFL; a fan favorite and unique." Coming in at No. 11 is ESPN's "MNF" crew of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten and Booger McFarland. With Witten "learning on the job since this is his first broadcasting gig and McFarland in a crane, the telecast always seems off." Every broadcaster "makes mistakes, but when you get a national game, your mistakes are going to be highlighted." That is what has happened with Witten and it "hasn't been good" (, 11/29).

CHANGE UP: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal thanks Fox for assigning Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis with Pam Oliver "to the Bears-Giants game this weekend." There is a "collective sigh of relief" that the team of Chris Myers and Daryl Johnston has been assigned Cardinals-Packers after they have "worked Fox’s last two Bears telecasts." Burkhardt and Davis do an "excellent job," though it "doesn't get much better" than the Michaels-Collinsworth team (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/30).