Every week, we as NFL fans sit down to watch our teams, and I think we all secretly are hoping for a specific broadcast team. Whether anyone realizes it or not, everyone has their rankings of which one’s they like the best, and which one’s they like the least. I’m here to give you my rankings. Now, there are some ground rules to these rankings and those rules are as follows:
- We’re only talking about the main broadcast teams for each network. So FOX is Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, NBC is Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels, CBS is Tony Romo and Jim Nantz, and ESPN is Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick.
- Factors I’m including in this list is the broadcast team themselves, the networks theme music, and the pregame shows.
- NBC and ESPN’s “Are You Ready for Some Football” and “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night”, will not be included in this list, since not all of the broadcasts have a theme like this.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
When you think about the ESPN broadcast, what exactly do they bring to the table? The broadcast team itself is fine, but they don’t do anything special. I will say this, the trio of Griese, Riddick, and Levy are MUCH better than the previous duo of Booger McFarland and Joe Tessitore. It still feels like ESPN is looking for Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico’s replacements. Now, if we were including the Manning Cast, maybe this would take ESPN up a notch, but as I stated earlier, we’re only talking about the main broadcasters. ESPN’s pregame show has also taken a hit the last few years. They used to be my favorite pregame show when they had Chris Berman, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, and Tom Jackson. The new crew of Rex Ryan, Matt Hassleback, Randy Moss, Teddy Brusci, and Sam Ponder just doesn’t do it for me. ESPN does have a classic theme song with the classic “Duh, Duh, Duh, Duh!” Outside of that, I think ESPN falls below all the other Networks.
I’ll say this right off the bat: CBS has a very good broadcast, there is just a lot of stiff competition they’re going against. CBS has a great theme song that would get even the most non-football people fired up to watch a bunch of grown men hit each other. Their pregame show is extremely solid, with Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason, Bill Cower, Nate Burleson, and James Brown. They have one of the best in the business in Jim Nantz on the play-by-play. One man is the reason that CBS falls into third place. That man is Tony Romo. Now I know, I know, I’m being biased since I’m a Giants fan. That may be partially true, and I realize this is a hot take, but I can’t be the only one out there that finds Romo to be annoying. His consistent screaming and yelling about things that simply don’t warrant it enough is too much. Romo isn’t awful, and I can deal with him, but just like his NFL career, he’s just not good enough to put his team over the top.
I came very close to putting FOX number 1 on this list, but much like CBS, two men kept me from doing it. Look, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have been doing their thing for a long time, and quite frankly I don’t hate them. When I think of those two guy’s voices, I think Football Sunday’s in the fall, BUT, their clear and concise dislike for the New York Giants, and their deep seeded love for the Cowboys could not be more obvious. Yes, I am once again being biased, but that’s why this is my list and no one else’s. Outside of Buck and Aikman, FOX don’t miss on anything else. Their pregame show is the best, bar none. Strahan, Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw, and Curt Menefee are the best in the business at bringing both comedy and credibility in their analysis. The FOX theme song is easily the best out there and makes me want to run through a brick wall every time I hear it. FOX was very close to taking the cake, but only one broadcast makes you wait all day….
NBC really is a pretty flawless broadcast. One aspect of their broadcast that isn’t great, is there pregame show. Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Mike Tirico, and Chris Simms are ok, but not great. By the way, it’s asinine that Mike Tirico isn’t doing live broadcasts on a regular basis. He is my favorite play by play man and there is a case that he is the best out there too. The guy who is his main competition: Al Michaels. Al Michael’s has been doing it forever, he’s been a part of some of the most famous games of all time, and he hasn’t missed a beat. His partner, Cris Collinsworth, is someone that a lot of people feel can be irritating, but personally I don’t feel this way. I think Collinsworth has an extremely unique voice, and has been a part of a ton of classic NFL moments. NBC’s theme music is also very unique compared to the other three. As stated earlier, we’re not talking about the classic theme song either, but NBC’s standard theme music for football just makes you feel like you are about to watch a classic NFL game. To kind of sum it all up, NBC just feels like a very professional broadcast, and that’s why they take home the crown of the best NFL broadcast.