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Tuning into Super Bowl broadcasting greats

Number of the day

16 This is the 16th Super Bowl that will be broadcast by NBC, tying the network with CBS for the most. ABC has broadcast seven, and Fox five. If you add those numbers up, that's 44 Super Bowls and this is Super Bowl No. 43. That's because both CBS and NBC carried Super Bowl I.

Super Bowl baby

NBC sideline reporter Andrea Kremer once gave birth at the Super Bowl. Her son, Will, was born on Jan. 26, 2000 — four days before Super Bowl XXXIV between the Titans and Rams. She worked the pregame show, but watched the game with Will at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. "For the first few years of his life," Kremer said, "he thought the Super Bowl was held to celebrate his birthday."

He said it

Longtime ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, a well-known fan of the Big Sombrero (the old Tampa Stadium), talking about Raymond James Stadium:

"I love that stadium. I'm a big fan of that stadium with the Jolly Roger there in the end zone. It's a great football area and I'm always excited when the Super Bowl goes to Tampa."

The Super Bowl is literally just down the road, but most of us have tickets on our recliner Sunday. But that's fine, seeing as how we might be treated to the two best broadcasters in the history of football in NBC's Al Michaels and John Madden. Of course, these lists are subjective, but here's the Two Cents' picks for the best network football broadcasters ever.

Play-by-play

1. Al Michaels

Not only does he never have a bad game, he never has a subpar game. Mistakes are non-existent and practically everything that comes out of his mouth is gold.

2. Pat Summerall

Easily the best athlete-turned-broadcaster ever because he did it by calling play-by-play, not as an analyst. Never fancy, but always good.

3. Curt Gowdy

It's hard to remember exactly what made the late NBC announcer so good, but he did every big AFC game in the 1970s (the golden age of that conference with the Steelers, Raiders and Dolphins) and if memory serves us well, those broadcasts were classic.

4. Dick Enberg

He picked up where Gowdy left off on NBC and brought class and objectivity to every game he ever did. And, of course, there was that signature "Oh, my!"

5. Joe Buck

Hard to imagine he would ever surpass his legendary father, Jack, as a broadcaster, but he's just about there. He has toned down his knee-jerk opinions of the past and evolved into the second-best active announcer going, behind Michaels.

Analysts

1. John Madden

We disagree with those who think Madden has lost a step. He changed the way color commentators did their jobs with his everyman language and remains as entertaining and informative as ever.

2. Howard Cosell

You either loved him or loathed him. We loved him. Arrogant? Sure, that's what made him great. But you had an opinion on every single sentence he uttered, and isn't a good broadcaster supposed to make you think?

3. Don Meredith

You can't mention Cosell without Dandy Don, who proved that the best schtick of all is just to be yourself, especially if you have the personality of Meredith.

4. Ron Jaworski

One of the few analysts out there who teaches you something in every game he works. Maybe the best X's and O's analyst ever.

5. Matt Millen

Lions fans might disagree, but his analysis (at least in the booth) is spot-on and you can bet every network is lining up right now for his services next season. That must tell you something.

Tuning into Super Bowl broadcasting greats 01/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 31, 2009 5:28pm]
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