Believe it or not, I'm tired of reading, and listening, to all the Super Bowl hype. I've had enough, it's time to play the game. Anyway, I was surfing my way through Yahoo Sports earlier today and I found an article listing the 50 best sportscasters of all time, as well as the 50 worst. Two things jumped out at me. First, they listed Howard Cosell at the top of the 50 best list. That man annoyed me to no end back in the day, and I'm still amazed that I never shot the television, threw a brick through the screen, or shoved a pencil in my ear every time he opened his mouth. Second, when you're making a list of the 50 best and 50 worst of whatever it is, it seems to me that you can't have the same person, place, or thing on both lists. Something is either good, or bad...right? This article had four of five broadcasters named on both lists. Needless to say, after reading this article I found myself going, hmmm.....
Therefore I've decided to come up with my own list. It is not scientific by any stroke of the imagination...it's really just for fun. Here we go.
10. Dick Enberg.
Dick doesn't know how to call a bad game. Dick makes the bad games sound good. Dick enjoys his work so much you can actually hear him smile. (Think about that one for a minute) Another added treat is when Dick hollers "Oh my" over a big play. It's got to be good to get an oh my out of Dick.
9. Jim McKay.
The voice of ABC's Wide World of Sports, and for me, the ultimate host of the Olympic Games. Jim was professional, polished, and personable. He was also a Maryland boy! It was his sad duty to bring us the news of the terrorist kidnappings at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Among his other duties was to help cover the Triple Crown each year, and I'm glad, because I generally find horse racing boring, but Jim made it interesting.
8. Vin Scully.
One of the best baseball announcers to ever come along. And with a voice like aged Kentucky bourbon, listening to Vin reminds me of sitting with a favorite uncle while listening to him tell a good story.
7. Jon Miller.
Another one of baseball's best announcers. Jon's smooth delivery style, sense of humor, and knowledge of the game, makes even the most boring game sound like game seven of the World Series. And he's a snappy dresser!
6. Joe Garagiola.
Another baseball announcer, and maybe the funniest. Joe used to be a catcher with the Cardinals and played with Stan Musial. He brought every funny story and joke from his playing days to the broadcast booth with him. Growing up, I never missed NBC's Saturday game of the week as long as Joe and partner Tony Kubek were in the booth.
5. Keith Jackson.
The golden voice of college football. Keith called every big game there was...more then once. He told it like it was and made fall Saturday afternoons a blast, with his trademark 'Whoa Nellie,' exclamation following a big play.
4. Mike Patrick.
How can you not like a guy who starts every broadcast with "Good evening, it's great to have you with us." Mike started out locally for one of the Washington DC stations and moved on to bigger and better things. For a time he did ESPN's Sunday Night Football with Joe Thiesman and Paul Maguire. Mike's also done the NCAA Women's basketball National Championship several times, and currently does college football and basketball for ESPN. He just makes things interesting, and I love it when theres a big play and he'll exclaim "Are you kidding me."
3. Curt Gowdy.
I loved Kurt no matter what event he was covering. He had a down home charm that invited the audience to sit down and enjoy. He called the World Series on numerous occasions, as well as six or seven Super Bowls. And for a time, Kurt hosted The American Sportsman on ABC, I think it was ABC.
2. Pat Summerall.
The absolute dean of football announcers. After watching one of his games you walk away with the feeling like you've been sitting in his living room for the last three hours listening to him tell one great story after another.
1. Al Michaels.
I've been a fan of Al's work for years. Be it baseball, football, or someother sporting event, Al is always prepared, doesn't talk over or down to the listeners and is genuinely funny. Al gets the number one spot on my list for one reason. Click on the video and you'll see why.
Over the years I've rooted the Steelers to 5 Super Bowl wins, (soon to be 6), the Pirates to 2 World Series, Richard Petty to 7 Daytona 500 wins, the Lady Vols to 7 National Championships and watched Secretariat thunder into the history books, but what Team USA did in 1980 is my single favorite moment from any sporting event. And Al Michaels call at the end was perfect...like the cherry on top of the whipped creme.