Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mr. TV Announcer

The title of this entry is a tribute to the late, great Ernie Ladd, of football and pro wrestling fame. The Big Cat used to throw in the phrase during the course of his wrestling "interviews."

Ladd, at least in the world of simulated mayhem that is pro wrestling, had the same general opinion of announcers that most fans do: toleration at best. Every fan, it seems, has a few announcers that they can't stand and would turn down the volume of the television or radio to avoid if they possibly could. Note: Vin Scully is never one of them, but otherwise the list of universally liked sportscasters is a short one.

This always struck me somewhat oddly, since most announcers do their homework and try to come up with a good description of the game. The biggest problem, I've always felt, is over-familiarity. In other words, we know an announcer's style almost too well. Chris Berman's enthusiasm for the world of games was refreshing at the start. Now that he's been on the air for 30 years, we're looking for something different. You can go to Dick Vitale for another example of this.

What prompts all of this is that Jay Busbee on Yahoo! Sports blogs has come up with a list of the 50 worst announcers. It's interesting that number one is Billy Packer, who isn't working for CBS any more. Personally, I thought Billy became a bit overexposed as well, but I always thought he'd be an interesting guy to meet for lunch and a little hoops talk.

Here's the column:

Say, how can you not like Gus Johnson? "The slipper still fits!" And what's not to like about Dick Enberg?

1 comment:

Glenn Locke, The Tall Thin Guy said...

Packer is a great pick at #1. He was a dinosaur years ago when he railed about foreign players. He was tolerable with Al McGuire there, but he is the reason I took to watching the big games with the stereo on years ago. And Tim McCarver deserves a close second. Unbearable. I watch the world series with music playing too, thanks to Tim. Amazing really how little you need these guys if you understand the game, especially with modern graphics giving you any stat you want on screen.