Do TV Sports announcers annoy anyone else?


Apr 26, 2012
I find most TV sports announcers to be annoying. Why must they use every second between plays to share their opinions about why a particular play was called or why a particular pitch was thrown? If they must tell a story that somehow relates to unfolding events, perhaps the pace of the story could be slowed and the tale be stretched out over several plays. I find little value in their talking for the sake of talking.
Why is Phil Simms constantly yelling?
Why does Troy Aikman use 'defense' as a verb?
Why is Tim McCarver still talking?
Hey, they can't have dead air!

Dead Air leads to tiny stirrings of Mental Activity. Mental Activity leads to Changing the Channel. Changing the Channel leads to Lower Ratings. Lower Ratings leads to Death for Persons in Suits!

I think that explains a lot about American TV!
The next piece of relevant information reported by a sideline reporter that could only have been obtained by that sideline reporter will be the first such piece of information.
Another thing many announcers do is this: When some big moment comes along, they get too wrapped up it in and end up screaming their heads off. I hear it more on the college level, but it's really all across the board. They don't pace themselves and stay focused on what they're doing, and the next thing you know they're screaming, running out of breath, throwing in whatever favorite cliche line(s) they rely on, gagging, banging the table, blowing out the eardrums of their team in the booth or the truck, and it all winds up in a distorted mess. It's the reason why I usually keep the volume on sports coverage very low.

So many of these people seem to think they're the Next Big Thing, but they may be mistaken.


P.S. - No offense intended here, but IMO all of the female sidelines 'reporters' EXCEPT Pam Oliver can go back wherever they came from. Asking a coach or a player an insipid question in the heat of the moment of a big game serves no purpose other than to make the questioners themselves appear more clueless. Asking a coach whose team is behind at the half of a playoff game 44 - 3 'how he feels' or 'what he plans to do' is asking for a painful dropkick in my book!

Please, honey... Do us ALL a favor; take your hair brushes, your scarves, your puffy coats, and the cute little hats you found on the bargain shelf at Target, and GET OFF THE SIDELINES! That's how much the Women's Liberation movement has advanced your cause in all these years? Made it possible for you to stand on a freezing sideline in single digit winter weather and make yourself look stupid by asking dumb, pointless questions of people who are busy working? Please...

For the sake of the board and the mods, I again state that the above sentiments are MY OPINIONS ONLY. I am speaking only for myself, and there is no offense intended to anyone. Especially Pam Oliver; she's intelligent, funny, witty, beautiful, seems to do her job well, and comes across as a very nice, well-qualified lady.
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They don't bother me because I always have the sound off. For most of the reasons mentioned.
Asking a coach whose team is behind at the half of a playoff game 44 - 3 'how he feels' or 'what he plans to do' is asking for a painful dropkick in my book!

Here's the problem: The halftime questions for the coaches are a bad idea, but they're supposed to add drama to the game, and they are network policy on all the broadcasts.

The sideline reporter is required to ask the coaches a question on the way into the locker room. The coaches are, by contract, required to answer the question. Sometimes, there really isn't much to talk about; what's a good question for a coach who is getting clobbered and whose team is clearly outmatched? They really can't ask the coach, "So what jobs is your agent working on for when you get fired at the end of the season?"

A few years ago, Lloyd Carr, then Michigan's coach, got asked a pretty foolish question by one of the sideline reporters; he was clearly annoyed, and answered, "That's a really dumb question." There was a lot of hoopla in the press about it at the time. I'm sure he got called on the carpet for the remark.

I agree that some of the sideline reporters aren't very good, but really, the announcers in the booth have pretty much covered anything. The only questions left are sometimes, "Is so and so going to be able to play in the second half?" and "What do you think you'll be able to do to come back in the second half?" As for the coach that's winning, the stock answer to the inevitable, "What's your team doing right?" question is, "We still have a half of football to play, and I just hope our guys are able to keep it up blah blah."

It's so predictable, and it's the inevitable result of really stupid network policy. We simply learn nothing from these sideline interviews, and they're not entertaining.

I'll go a step further, and say that we don't really need sideline reporters at all, it's a goofy distraction. And I think it has very little to do with the sex of the sideline reporter; I've seen former NFL players ask the same dumb questions.

As to the constant talking, it's a tradition from radio. Dead air was never allowed, so the trick was to have the game caller describe everything that was going on, and to have a "color man" banter and go into backgrounds. I was thinking what might happen if on TV, there was no commentary at all, you watch the play, and then maybe there's a comment or two, replicating the actual stadium announcer. I think it might be really, really weird! But it might be good.

Or you could have music so there's no dead air. LOL!! That would be a huge deal! I'm in! I'll score football games instead of commercials!! Then we could all complain about the bad music... ;)

I think we're going to see a lot of changes in football in the coming years to minimize head and spinal injuries, as people have become aware of what can happen to these athletes later in life. I realize this has nothing to do with announcers, but my point is that stuff changes.
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I look forward to the day when Tim McCarver retires.

Dick Vitale is one reason I don't watch basketball.

When Chris Berman speaks (yells?) I change the channel.

My big pet peeves, with any sport or sportscaster, is when they pointlessly over-analyze replays or interject too much of their personal opinions. I respect the analysis and the expert insight, but you get to a point where enough is enough.
I'm not going to quote everything relevant from above, but...

Female sideline reporters are there to be eye candy. They're not going to break any news with their presence. Just about everything they come up with could be done with either a spotter or an intern - do we really need a Rachel Nichols to stand on the sideline to tell us Tom Brady has a twisted wristband and has gone to the locker room to get a replacement? And despite their lack of relevance, I've read articles where they've been treated really poorly by fans, which, while unfortunate, is something that should have been easily foreseen.

Some years ago, NBC did a Jets game with no announcers. Pure stadium audio. It was a bit odd to see. NBC also had a couple female play-by-play announcers - Gayle Gardner was one. While certainly no worse than their male counterparts, a problem I hadn't expected was that you couldn't hear her. Her voice blended into the crowd noise. Thinking back, that may have been sabotage by the audio guys - if you've read the ESPN book, women were treated pretty miserably there, so the thought that it might have happened elsewhere isn't unreasonable.

Back to current announcers, the Pittsburgh Penguins use Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey on their TV broadcasts. Horrible. Errey makes Ralph Kiner look like a Mensa member. Steigerwald sometimes gives you the impression that he's not really paying attention to the game. Steigerwald was a decent analyst, but for play-by-play, not so much. My favorite Steigerwald moment was when he was an analyst. He grunted during a sentence, and when the game went to commercial, the director must have asked him what happened (this was in the days when the games were sent back via satellite and you could get the feeds from the arena on a big dish). Steigerwald yelled, "The godd@mned monitor fell and hit me in the head!" Oh, and while these two clowns are on TV, the Pens have Mike Lange doing the games on radio. That's HOCKEY HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCER Mike Lange.

Pierre McGuire is another one - totally in love with his voice, and he loves to throw questions at the other announcers that seem like he's trying to gather information, but he's really trying to show how insightful he is. I root for him to get smacked in the head when he's between the benches - it's happened once. I root for the same thing when Errey's in that spot. I would not shed a tear if I found out that Steigerwald, Errey and McGuire were boarding a plane with a Buddy Holly CD.

And if you want to see how it's done, check out Vin Scully's call of Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1998 World Series.

Shut up and let the moment speak for itself.
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I made the mistake of turning on the ESPN recap of the Super Bowl this morning. IMO, Stuart Scott is far and away the absolute worst of all of the announcers in the business, regardless of the network. He's even worse than the female sideline wannabes mentioned in my earlier post. He is so predictable, so pathetic, and so inferior at his job. The lame 'street' or 'ethnic' phrases he uses are tedius and asinine, but on the positive side they're only about twenty years out of date. The day Stuart Scott is shown the door is the day that to me will be 'as cool as the other side of the pillow, Dog!'

I drown them out with anti social guitar.

That is exactly what I was doing. I was cranking some geetar/amp and watching the game...much more enjoyable that way.

And yes - they always annoy me. I usually pause the game to match the local sportscasters and mute the TV.
The only announcer that really, really bugged me was Bud Collins. He was just so over dramatic and ridiculously cheesy.