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xan 12-17-2013 11:43 AM

Another reason to mute the TV
Does anyone know who we get this weekend?

Quantifying the best and worst of NFL broadcasting. | : Aaron Gordon Article

exile 12-17-2013 11:48 AM

Re: Another reason to mute the TV

Danno 12-17-2013 12:31 PM

Re: Another reason to mute the TV
Prime-time Crews

Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden (ESPN): 38

ESPN crews have a historically tough time balancing a vague mandate for general entertainment with calling an actual football game. Gruden, with his 29 infractions, can't find the sweet spot between impersonating a caricature of a football coach and being a real person. Surprisingly, I counted only one "this guy" over two games. He still leans a bit heavy on "this kid," though, with seven such utterances.

Some other Gruden quirks: He refers to third-down stops as "get-offs," which sounds vaguely sexual. Here's a deranged thing Gruden said:

"People forget Luck didn't come into a great situation. He had to succeed a guy named Picket Manning. His coach had leukemia. But he went 11-5 and threw for 4,500 yards anyways. How do you top that?"

Yes, he actually called Peyton Manning "Picket" (I'll ignore the bit about on-field accomplishments somehow mitigating his coach's cancer). Another real thing Gruden said:

"The one thing I like about Toler and these Indianapolis corners, they are going to come right back the next down. They have no conscience."

I don't think Gruden knows what a conscience is, which has troubling implications. He also makes up Olympic events:

"I think this guy can be an Olympian acrobat."

He makes terrible puns which come off as disjointed ramblings:

"My old quarterback was Gannon. This is Glennon, he has a cannon."

And my favorite Gruden backhanded compliment of all time:

"Glennon has some surprising functional movement skills."

Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth (NBC): 20

They're generally regarded as one of the best in the business, and I agree. Collinsworth is articulate and gives more useful insight than any other commentator, and it's not even close. But this metric isn't measuring that. We only want the dirt.

When this crew screws up, it's because they're bending over backwards to compliment a superstar or head coach. There's something about authority and superstardom that makes these two more excited than a creepy old man at a Pilates class. It takes away from what is otherwise a well-called game.

Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock (NFL Network): 22

In all, I charted eight "partners" between Nessler and Mayock (four each) five "kids" and one "young man." Personally, I expected more on all fronts, but this demonstrates how quickly rarely used words or phrases can become a trademark verbal crutch.

* * *

After all is said, here are your Bad Commentator Awards:

Worst Crew: Chris Myers and Tim Ryan

Least-Bad Crew: Dick Stockton and Ronde Barber

CBS vs. Fox: Fox has the less-bad crews, with 37 infractions per crew beating out CBS's 45.

Worst Prime-time Crew: Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden (ESPN)

Worst Commentator: Dan Dierdorf

The mute button is your friend.

TheOak 12-17-2013 12:34 PM

Re: Another reason to mute the TV
I can listen to Tim Ryan all day... But he is a players commentator and not full of the color commentary that some prefer.

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