Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Worst Broadcasters in Sports

Watching Sportscenter last night led to this: Who are the worst broadcasters in sports? Bryant Gumbel comes to mind. Tony Kornheiser and Tim McCarver are bad. Bob Cousy has the worst voice in broadcasting (at least I think that's who it is). Billy Raftery and Billy Packer are terrible, especially in combination. Keith Olbermann just tries way too hard to be funny. He'd definitely make a top ten list. I don't feel like doing ten, so here are my five least favorite broadcasters in all of sports. As always, I welcome feedback.

5. Bill Walton/Whomever it is on ESPN who keeps saying “winner, winner, chicken dinner”
I was going to go on and on about how annoying Bill is, but I need to give credit where it is due. Walton has overcome a severe stuttering problem and become a relatively prolific announcer. I have to respect that. That said, he still sucks. The guy on ESPN who drops the chicken dinner line at the end of the lead highlight really sucks. He gets me in a bad mood from the get-go, and I don’t like it. I don’t know who it is, but I hate him.

4. Stephen A. Smith
I really liked Stephen A at first, but that wore off quickly. He is similar to Dick Vitale in that he can’t say anything without yelling. He cuts people off all the time and he can’t take it when someone argues with him. Stephen A is a prime example of the tough guy/instigator – he just tries to yell and intimidate to make his point. Right before the NBA playoffs last year he was debating with Tim Legler about who would win the East. After Legler said he liked Boston to make it out of the East, Stephen A yelled at him, “I don’t care how good the big three is, the Celtics need a point guard.” He went on to pick Detroit. We all saw what actually happened. Not that this makes him a bad broadcaster, but it proves the point that Smith isn’t quite as infallible as he would have us believe. People generally don't like this guy. He had a comment at the bottom of a recent article that said: "If I could kill you or Osama Bin Laden, I would kill you and then Bin Laden and I would go have drinks to celebrate." Wow. Plus, when people make fun of him he continuously tells them to “get rid of the Haterade.” Good one, Stephen A! That’s almost as awesome as Ma$e rapping about people have their Ph.D. – player hating degree. Almost.

3. Dick Vitale
Vitale was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, so apparently I’m in the minority here, but Dickie-V is the most annoying sports announcer/analyst/play-by-play guy in all of broadcasting. I don’t understand why Vitale can’t just say what he has to say without yelling. He puts on an elaborate show that's as fake as Marky Mark's unit in Boogie Nights. I thought Dick's recent throat surgery would make it easier for me to enjoy college hoops on ESPN – that would be “awesome baby” – but he came back sooner than I’d hoped. The only saving grace is that CBS doesn’t have Dickie-V doing tournament games. Who helps this guy come up with his nicknames? Diaper Dandy? Dipsy-doo dunkeroo slam-jam-bam? Vitale not being on my TV anymore would be "super, scintillating, and sensational!"

2. Kevin Harlan
Kevin Harlan is my least favorite play-by-play man in all of sports. Period. He goes Gramatica on everyone when a player hits a 3 in the first quarter of an NBA game. “Right between the eyes – he’s an assassin!” I’d like to give Harlan one right between the eyes. He should have been on PlayBoyd’s fight list. Boyd could take Harlan, easy. Or how about when Kobe hits a shot to extend the lead in an important game – Harlan goes with the ever-popular, “Kobe, with no regard for human life!” He also used this line when LeBron threw it down on KG in the playoffs last year. All this did was serve to remind me why I hate Harlan so much. The fact that he does many of the playoff games on TNT makes it even worse. I would love to see Harlan in the octagon with whomever it is that gave Kimbo Slice the business last week...

1. Stuart Scott
Let me make this abundantly clear – Stuart Scott is not as cool as the other side of the pillow. It’s not just that he can look East and West at the same time, the interesting fashion sense, or the fact that Scott seems compelled to mention his alma mater (UNC) in every broadcast. I realize that Scott is trying to hit the “hip-hop youth demographic” that is important to Sportscenter, but he just comes off as idiotic. Scott using slang is about as natural as a White man's dialogue in a Spike Lee movie. Scott is famous for terrible lines such as “holla at a playa when you see him in the street.” What does that mean Stuart? You’re losing the 20-29, White, Mormon demographic with lines like that. I just don’t understand the message. Or how about his impressively clever, “break out the Noxema because [insert player name here] is giving out free facials” when a player dunks on someone else? Wow, Stu, that's really hood. My dislike for Scott knows no bounds, and in the words of Chad Ocho Cinco – Boo No. I watched him on Sportscenter last night and I got sick of hearing “have some” every time someone hit a J in preseason basketball. Meatloaf has some for you, Stu.


Rich said...

Listening to Dickie V makes me wanna choke the life out of him every time he speaks.
In general I don't mind the local guy Craig Bolerjack, particularly when he calls a college football game for CBS,(I once walked up to Craig and another local sports guy at a Mexican restaurant and sat down at their table and started eating their chips and salsa...true story) But his signature "MONEY" when Memo Okur makes a triple. That makes me wanna choke the life outta him too.

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts ...

1. The phrase/thought of "taking someone/thing 'in the octagon'" has, of this exact moment, been used one too many times in your posts.
2. In my humble opinion, it's your best entry to date. Nice job.


Anonymous Coward

Rob said...

I actually like Kevin Harlan. He makes me laugh with his little outbursts.

I have to say, may favorite sportscaster duo was Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann back in the day on Sportscenter. Keith is hilarious and Dan's dry personality and sense of humor was a perfect compliment. I almost cried the day Keith left the show.

Like I said last night, the worst sportscasters are the homer-types who do the local broadcasts. If you have NBA league pass or something similar in other sports you will get to know these folks. The WORST are the Celtics sportscasters. Their team does no wrong and everyone just sucks in their world. Idiots.

Boyd said...


Before you go after the Celtics legendarily homer announcers, don't forget, as Laker Fan, you had Chick Hearn. No one was worse(and therefor better)than that guy.

Nice post, boner.

Taylor said...

Anonymous Coward,

I will be sure to use a "squared circle" or "in the ring with Hulk Hogan" reference in the next post. Thanks for the input - I use the word stud a lot too. Anyhow, I appreciate the feedback...

Boyd - Chick Hearn is amazing. I haven't heard the Celtics announcers (can't afford league pass), but if they are anything like Hearn they must be great.

Anonymous said...

I would rather get repeatedly punched in the nuts that listen to Dick Vitale.

Che said...

I HATE Bolerjack! He's got 5 college-sports-done-to-death-phrases: "Money", "Tough Shot", "Can't find the handle", "Would like to have that one back", and "Buckle up" on rolodex, and he just goes through the cycle all game long. And I know Hot Rod has his played out phrases, but it was a dark day in television when they forced Hots to choose radio. And yes, we did eat at Hot Rod Hundley's Restaurant for my brother's 10th birthday. And yes, we did see Hots walking in a little tipsy as we were leaving. And it's true, my grandma did stop Hots and tell him what a great restaurant he has and that it was her grandsons birthday. And it's only speculation Hots was too drunk to remember, if you ever asked him, of course.

- Stay sweet

Joe B. said...

I hate Scott...the others are pretty bad, but I like harlan alot. IMO

Che said...

For the locals, let me clarify one thing. As much as I HATE Bolerjack, and believe me, it is a deep burning hatred. . . I can hardly lift my arm, the burn is so deep, he is Dan Patrick (aka the greatest announcer) compared to Steve Brown. Not only does Brown spit completely retarded comments, but this horses ass gives the viewer the added enjoyment of not calling the same game the viewer is watching. A small but effective example is in the Jazz v Suns preseason game I am currently watching. The Jazz led the entire first quarter with the Suns tieing it at the end and taking the lead in the second. Butthole Brown breaks from his brainnumbing banter(yes, that was alliteration)to declare that the Jazz have "been playing from behind for the vast majority of this game." Jackass! It's half way through the second! I'm tempted just to watch the damn thing on mute. I hate him soooooooooo much!! Plus, I heard he's totally racist.

- Stay sweet

Anonymous said...

"He's got a hell of a body. Just look at his long sinuous body. This guy has the absolute perfect body. I just love his enormous body."

-Calvin Murphy (best color commentator in the league, until the Rockets fired him). Plus, I heard he's totally racist.


Anonymous said...

"Scott using slang is as normal as a White man's dialogue in a Spike Lee movie." That is a beautiful line.