If there’s anything football fans can agree on, it’s that color commentary in the game is lacking enormously. Whether biased commentators are blatantly kissing the asses of their former colleagues or favorite teams or whether announcers are saying one thing while replay CLEARLY shows something different. I think we all have our pet peeves…I hear a lot about what we all don’t like but what about the color commentators we do like?
I make no secrets of how much I love Jon Gruden and Chris Collingsworth–they’re easily my favorite color guys. Though, admittedly, I think Chris Collingsworth is the ultimate SHADE ARTIST. For those aren’t familiar, the term “shade” is used to describe a circumstance in which one person actively seeks to prevent another person from shining fully. No matter what that person has done, the other person will find a way to put a damper on it. If you want to hear some Collingsworth shade, listen to him call a Bengals game and analyze the performance of Chad Ochocinco. He will try to be kind. Then he will fail. Repeatedly.
In terms of writers, I enjoy Sally Jenkins at the Post and Michael Wilbon. I have no interest in seeing Wilbon on television though. When it comes to show hosts, I’m one of the few who love Bob Costas–even though I know his propensity to make EVERY GAME sound historically significant can be very annoying. I don’t listen to much radio, but when I do, Bomani Jones is top for me–though he covers all sports. For an exclusive football experience, LaVar Arrington’s show is my choice despite the fact that there is an emphasis on the Washington Redskins.
My biggest pet peeve about sports commentary is how easily biased commentators can drive story lines. For new fans and casual fans it really affects how they view the game no matter whether it’s during-game commentary or Pardon the Interruption or any other number of sports shows, blogs, and writing.