Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth


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The first spot on our official rankings goes to homer radio announcers around the country. Cope's craggily voice may never work in today's media world, but it made him as much a part of Pittsburgh sports as the players themselves. Reese is a legend in Philadelphia for his exuberance, even at the expense of detail. Watch this play and notice all the things that happened from the snap to the score. Did Reese explain any of them? Nope, he's too excited counting yards.


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Merlin Olsen's impact on the game, both on the field and calling the game, certainly warrants recognition. From his March obituary in the Los Angeles Times :.

From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth

It was just unbelievable that any one person would be gifted in so many ways. NFL Lead Writer Ty Schalter added, "Mayock is fantastic in small bursts, and is willing to actually provide analysis rather than advance narrative. He still gets lost in his own world sometimes, though. Mayock is a picker of nits his term, not mine , which draftniks love, but it can get a bit overwhelming during a live event.

Still, he is one of the best analysts going today, for sure. Let it be known that this is the best video I could find after searching for nearly an hour. There are some times when I understand the leagues controlling their content online, but there are other times when it's incredibly obnoxious.


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Let us help you promote your league by throwing us a few of your best in-game clips, please. I have had the good fortune to spend time with Mike Tirico on a number of occasions, and rarely have I come across someone as thoughtful and likeable. Hell, I once interviewed him from inside the Monday Night Football booth an hour before kickoff, and he gave me the time like we were sitting in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning.

But that's not why he's on this list. Having a chance to witness Tirico's preparation come through in his game call is why he's on this list. Hopefully being on this list will suffice as an honor. But did you know the Dodgers' broadcasting legend also called a ton of football games in his career? Imagine how different things might be if Scully did Monday Night Football when it began. Imagine how different things might be if CBS picked Scully to be the permanent partner for John Madden, instead picking Pat Summerall after each had a four-week stint with Madden during the season.

Charlie Jones made our list of top college football announcers one of five men in the top 20 of this list to be on that list as well , but he was probably best known for his work calling games from the professional football booth. Jones never really ascended past the second or third announcing team for NBC, but his long tenure and signature voice made him someone who was difficult to exclude. Lindsey Nelson, high on our college football list, was a key voice of the college bowl season for more than 30 years. He was also a broadcaster of the New York Mets for nearly 20 years, starting with the team in Nelson covered NFL football for CBS from through the season, serving as the play-by-play man for the Cowboys and Bears before moving to national and regional coverage in the s.

Nelson also called games on Monday night on radio, a true throwback to a bygone era of sports broadcasting. It's interesting that with a career as long and storied as Nelson's, he really didn't get much national recognition until he was in his 50s. He surely made up for whatever time he may have lost in the national spotlight, being named to nearly every major announcing Hall of Fame in existence. Jim Nantz is an excellent broadcaster, and perfect as the lead representative for a buttoned-up network like CBS.

It's just that—like his lead announcing counterpart at Fox—it's very easy to suffer from "Nantz fatigue," especially for fans of more than just professional football. I'll admit that Don Meredith predates my era of prime-time football viewing, so this ranking is purely based on those who are old enough to remember him and on the hundreds of clips available online. Meredith was seen as a bit of a jokester in the booth, often playing off the demonstrative and bombastic Howard Cosell more on him later , but clearly he knew his football, having played nine years at quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, which included three trips to the Pro Bowl.

I asked my father about Meredith, and he balked, suggesting he was more of a character than an analyst then what would that make Cosell, one might wonder. He changed the whole profession. He probably talked more about football than people recall.


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There are a lot of MNF names still to come, but it would feel odd to have this list without one of the first, and longest tenured, characters. It must have been interesting for Gifford, sharing a microphone with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith—in the old pregame stand-ups, they literally shared a microphone while on camera—something that helped cement his reputation and stature in the NFL booth. But, wow, it must have been a difficult road to navigate with those huge personalities.

In the s, after Meredith left the booth, the powers that be shifted Gifford into the role of color analyst, teaming him with Al Michaels and, for most of his tenure in that position, Dan Dierdorf. Unburdened by the structure of down and distance, Gifford was able to inject his expertise as a former player into the experience of calling games for 15 years, creating a favorable situation for him to shine on TV. Like with any announcer who spends more than two-and-a-half decades in the same television booth, time was not entirely Gifford's friend.

His role as a game analyst morphed into more of a game host , with Michaels shouldering far more of the load and Dierdorf providing post-play analysis. In a way, those years were some of the best in the history of Monday Night Football , but the three-man booth—which Gifford helped establish as a weekly staple—eventually began to marginalize his contributions.

Throughout his tenure, however, those contributions were massive.

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Tom Brookshier was born in New Mexico and went to college in Colorado, but he was as revered in Philadelphia as any sports personality could be. Brookshier played for the Philadelphia Eagles from —he missed the and '55 seasons while serving in the Air Force—starting in the defensive backfield for the NFL Championship team. His career ended because of injury a year later, and in , Brookshier joined the ranks of local radio and television for three years before signing with CBS as a color analyst in the mid-to-late s.

Brookshier hosted This Week In Pro Football with Pat Summerall in the early s, and the tandem worked so well together that CBS decided to pair them in the booth, with Summerall—a former player himself—handling the play-by-play duties and Brookshier providing analysis. Brookie, as he was known, worked three Super Bowls in the booth and several more in studio. He eventually got replaced in the lead booth by John Madden, taking on the role of play-by-play announcer for less prominent games at CBS. Brookshier was also a pioneer in sports radio as one of the first morning show hosts on Philadelphia's WIP, teaming with upstart Angelo Cataldi in the station's early years.

Of Mikes and Men

For those who know Philly radio, I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing to remember Brookshier for. Not A Member? Sign Up Now. Email Address Enter valid email address. First Name. Last Name.

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Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth

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Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth
Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth
Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth
Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth
Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth Of Mikes and Men: From Ray Scott to Curt Gowdy: Tales from the Pro Football Booth

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