Do Football Color Commentators Suck? Or Are We Just Mean?

Posted by J Dan in Analysts, Bob Costas, Chad Ochocinco Johnson, Cris Collingsworth, LaVar Arrington, Michael Wilbon, Players

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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.

If someone writes an opinion editorial in the Washington Post expressing conservative political views, you can look at the byline and know that the person works for a conservative organization or is a conservative politician.  In football, there’s no such notifier to remind people that Matt Millen is only praising Rod Marinelli because they used to work together and Millen has a vested interest because complimenting Marinelli makes him look like a good decisionmaker. So what you get is a lot of people repeating narratives they’ve heard but not really aware of the history behind the opinion.

I’m interested to see who your favorite football announcers, writers, and commentators are. Also, what is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to football commentary? I have a feeling NO ONE is going to vote for Joe Theisman or Matt Millen as favorites-I don’t know anyone who enjoys that duo especially not Bob Papa.

TaggedAnnouncing and Commentating,
About J Dan
Football-obsessed Writer and Blogger. I'm the Goodwitch of the NFL.

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