BROOKLYN, NY – I was watching the USA v Netherlands soccer game the other day and was amazed when I how bad the boys in the booth were. These commentators were nothing short of awful. So, feeling it my duty to to do something now that I’ve found a worthy sports haven in MeetTheMatts.com, I petitioned The Matts for the opportunity to look into this further. They agreed, possibly because of the urgency of my message… But more likely because they had nobody to write Saturday’s column. Either way, let’s take a peek at a talent pool that’s as watered down as MLB pitching, and get the skinny on the Best & Worst Broadcast Teams in a Commentary On Commentators:
BEST: NY Mets team of Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, and Gary Cohen. As bad as the Mets were last year, these guys succeeded in making the game interesting, made us laugh and stayed professional. They’ve also got a cool site helping feed the homeless. CLICK THIS.
WORST: NY Yankees team of Michael Kay, John Flaherty and Paul O’Neill. These guys had the nerve to act like the Yankees were the underdogs against the Angels. I know it’s a siege mentality, but come on! John Sterling is even worse on the radio.
BEST: TNT Crew of Ernie Johnson, Sir Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. They win because Charles can say just about anything while Smith goes with it and Johnson plays up the set-up man role.
WORST: The Knicks team of Al Trautwig and Walt “Clyde” Frazier. These guys are up there not cause they are not professional but it is because they work for Jimmy Dolan, who forbids any negative talk about the team. So, we get stuck listening to these guys and wonder what world they are in – cause it ain’t this one.
BEST: Easily Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. They can be kiss-ups at times – not faulting Manning or Brady when they mess up and sometimes giving too much credit, but I am very comfy with these two.
WORST: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. They give way too much credit for simple plays and then downplay the great ones. And Joe Buck’s hair bugs me somehow.
NOTE I like the team of Goose, Moose and Stockton. Someone should tell the suits at Fox they have my approval. Cookie?
BEST: I haven’t seen a pair that can beat John Davidson and Sam Rosen (listen to his call of the Shootout in this). I remember him on the “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” call and that will stay with me forever.
WORST: Phoenix Coyotes booth. Never heard them but I have a blind hatred for the Coyotes because I think they belong in Hamilton or Waterloo, Ontario.
BEST: Brian Vizard and JP Dellacamera. They are pretty ruckin’ good – for the USA. They could be a lot worse… But Jim Dolan doesn’t have Rugby Fever yet, so we’re safe for now.
WORST: I was watching CSTV (College Sports Television Network) and couldn’t believe how horrible the pair doing the match was. The were so bad, I have erased their names from my brain like Bruce Wayne separated his brain from Batman. They need to hire Sue Simmons if you ask me.
The MTM Censors will love this one.
Let’s keep it local – the US&A – because there are too many worldwide. I want to say no one, repeat – no one, will ever beat the Telemundo/Univison guys. But of the ones in America here we go.
BEST: JP Dellacamera (again) and Tommy Smyth. These guys know how to call a game. JP is a seasoned vet and you gotta love the Scotsman Smyth, although he can be given a run for his money by Seamus Malin.
WORST: I will split this because they don’t work together, but individually these suck-asses bring their booth partners down. Color Analyst goes to John Harkes because he was what was wrong with the game I watched Wednesday. JP can only carry so much water and when he is with Smyth, JP is fantastic. But Harkes is impossible. Special shout to Julie Fowdy: Julie, shut the hell up! For play-by-play, can somebody please tell Max Bretos that he is not cool, nor can he make soccer any cooler. The game is cool on its own. Just call the bloody game.
Finally, here are some random ALL-ROUND Faves of mine:
Best Play-by-Play: None other than Mr. Lingerie, Marvellous Marv Albert. Eat that Bob Costas.
Best Color Commentator: Ace Hardware Hawker John Madden
Best Booth Team: Is this a question? John Madden and Pat Summerall.
That’s all for today, please offer your commentary and prep for the fabulous Rex O’Rourke, tomorrow.