After this list, I think I’ll pass up future chances to write about these gentlemen below.
Unless they do something extremely newsworthy and very important, I’m likely never to mention these names again, because everything’s been said. If not by me, certainly by you. Or someone else. Simply put- these ten guys come on the air, I immediately switch the station — or hit the mute button.
That’s it. Nothing personal, just business.
And of course, making this list is in fact a very back-handed compliment. First, it shows you’re relevant enough that people who read this care deeply about who you are and what you do. Second, it shows that you have such a big presence that I find you overexposed.
And I just have little more to say. Just “turn it off. Like a light switch” (CC Book of Mormon)
Sportscasters All-Turn It Off First Team
Forward: Hawk Harrelson, Comcast SportsNet, WGN- I understand why this guy tries so hard to make himself bigger than the broadcast of the game. Maybe I would too if I came into work everyday in a place that literally has a plaque with my likeness honoring me. Hard to stay grounded in a situation like that. Sadly, he’ll go down in history as the White Sox’ Harry Caray.
Forward: Skip Bayless, ESPN- Ann Coulter of sportscasters. No one with a functioning brain ever believes the far-out positions he adopts. Bayless just does it to get attention.
Center: Chris Berman, ESPN- Who actually likes him anymore? #YWML
Guard: Tim Doyle, BTN- Once in a great, great while he says something close to being funny. But I can’t laugh, because I’ve already heard all his jokes that fell flat.
Guard: Ryan Baker, CBS 2- It’s not that his work is so bad, it’s that he keeps getting awards and acclaim without actually being that special at what he does. It’s like Tim Tebow, but for sportscasting. He gets kudos without ever doing anything superlative. Some people have been very touchy about me picking Baker for this. There's been a backlash, and that's fine. You're entitled to think he's great at what he does, I'm entitled to disagree. Maybe it's the fact that I put him in the intro picture (credit: Project Captured) that is setting people off.
However, when you bring up the "he's a great person" argument, remember that I'm not attacking him personally. Or anyone else on this list for that matter. I just don't like the work that these people produce. Professional critique is in bounds. Personal critique is never in bounds.
Sportscasters All-Turn It Off Second Team
Forward: Chris Broussard, ESPN: Hey, what do you do when Sports Illustrated beats you on the Jason Collins coming out story? Adopt a socially regressive and bigoted position on the story in order to try and “frame a debate.”
Forward: Regis Philbin, Fox Sports 1: The emergency test alert system gets higher ratings than “Crowd Goes Wild,” and deservedly so. When it gets put on hiatus soon, both of the show’s loyal viewers will be quite upset. What is his major talent? The ability to SCREAM one word of each sentence?
Center: Darren Rovell, ESPN: He's so polarizing that critiquing him further is becoming cliche already.
Guard: Harry Teinowitz, N/A: Yes, you can currently be sans a gig and make this team. I've just never found the WMVP host to be extremely interesting, funny, knowledgeable or talented.
Guard: Mike North, AM 560: Before returning to the airwaves this Sunday, he had been AWOL for awhile. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, at least in my media universe. Then again, he’s on the far-right-wingnut channel, so that’s akin to being off the air (at least in my world) anyway.
Dishonorable Mention: Stacey King, Comcast SportsNet- if he keeps doing the FAKE EXCITEMENT, poor man’s Gus Johnson routine he'll move up to the second team. Lou Holtz, ESPN- mush-mouthed, unlistenable and says a lot of crapola on the air. Notre Dame homering is pretty insufferable, too.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. Follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)
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