The top ten least favorite sportscasters list was so “discussion-provoking” that I decided to do a ten best sportscasters list. The one mistake I made on the worst list was not dividing it up into two parts: local sportscasters and national sportscasters.
There were too many omissions.
Even with this list now broken into two installments, there will still be plenty of omissions. So feel free to add in those who you believe were left out in the comments section. And of course, the sportscasters list is broken down as if it were a basketball team format. Basketball being the second best game ever invented.
No broadcast reporters who work for a network owned by a team or a league are eligible for this list, as those people are not journalists. You can’t be a journalist when you report on the very same entity that pays your salary. However, play-by-play and color analysts are eligible.
The national sportscasters list will hopefully be published by the end of the week.
Local sportscasters first team
F Mark Giangreco, ABC 7
I love this quote, from his Ring Lardner awards acceptance speech:
"I think with leagues and teams controlling their product to a point where they have their own television studios, their own cameras, their own reporters, their own websites, pumping out video- a lot of it is propaganda. I think it’s our duty to take a few shots across the bow just to keep ‘em honest.”
“And I’ve had a good time doing it,” he added.
F Bruce Wolf, WLS
If you’re not getting suspended and/or having to issue a public apology, then you’re not telling it like it actually is. As you’ll see, my team is largely comprised of those who have, and continue to, push the envelope.
C Marc Silverman, WMVP
If you can make one of the three local major network Sunday night talking head shows watchable, then you can make any show entertaining.
G Terry Boers, WSCR
What’s the mark of a great product? If that product gets you to consume the actual product category. I never cared at all for sports talk radio until 2003. My friend, and attorney-at-law Mark J. Kmiecik tuned me into Boers and Bernstein. I’ve been a loyal listener ever since, and he transformed the way I look at the genre. Today, I think that sports talk radio is the most entertaining, and the most fun sports medium there is. And I've enjoyed "Shirtless Driving Season" and hating the city of St. Louis even more these past ten years. Terry is the best misanthrope around.
G Dan Bernstein, WSCR
The “leading vote getter” or only “unanimous selection” on my team. I disagree with a lot of what he says. However, on the issues in sport that transcend the game (Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Steve Alford, college sports corruption, people who chant U-S-A U-S-A, the utter brokenness of the NCAA to name just a few), he’s always right. And I usually wholeheartedly agree. Most importantly, he hates it when you waste our time talking about your fantasy football team even more than I hate it.
Local sportscasters second team
F Tom Waddle, ABC 7, ESPN Radio NFL Network
hardest working man in local broadcasting
F Josh Mora, left broadcasting for education
Sentimental but very important pick. When the Hawks won it all, I raised a glass in celebration. The toast was simply “For Josh.”
C Pat Hughes, WGN Radio
I have zero interest in the Cubs, but his voice is just so…no human being should have a voice that good. It’s ridiculous. He could talk me to about his fantasy football team, and I would still listen.
G Teddy Greenstein, Tribune, The Score, BTN
Big Ten Network is horrible, but Teddy is interesting and informative when he appears there. And on Mac & Spiegs. Definitely, one of my biggest influences in sports media and a great role model for young journos. I haven’t harshly critiqued him yet, but I think Teddy knows that day is coming very soon! And it will be hilarious when it happens.
G Ed Sherman, Sherman Report, The Score
The back court is filled out by Greenstein’s former tag team partner and the other half who served as my partial inspiration to write this thing on Chicago Now. I really should write a lot more like Sherman. He knows how to report on and critique media personalities with fairness and class. And media personalities are much more thin-skinned and sensitive than you might think, so that’s important.
Local Sportscasters Honorable Mention:
Laurence Holmes (only reason he didn’t make second team is because I hate Sports Sunday and all those Sunday night shows so badly. His work on The Score is fantastic) Pat Foley, Eddie Olczyk, Rafer Weigel, Dan Pompeii
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 for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook