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Major nominees for the Sports Emmy Awards

Outstanding documentary

Nominees: Assault in the Ring (HBO), Ted Williams (HBO), The Legend of Jimmy the Greek (ESPN), The Lost Son of Havana (ESPN Deportes), Without Bias (ESPN)

What got snubbed: Three documentaries in ESPN's "30 for 30'' series: Muhammad and Larry, which chronicled the fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes; The Band That Wouldn't Die, Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson's film about the Colts leaving Baltimore; and the best of them all, Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?

What should win: HBO's Assault in the Ring was a chilling account of a 1983 boxing match in which Luis Resto, who had padding removed from his gloves, gave Billy Collins Jr. a savage beating. This not only was the best sports documentary in 2009, but the best in recent memory.

Outstanding anthology series

Nominees: 24/7 (HBO), 30 for 30 (ESPN), E:60 (ESPN), Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Cincinnati Bengals (HBO/NFL Films), NFL Films Presents (NFL Network/NFL Films)

What got snubbed: Nothing

What should win: I like HBO's 24/7 boxing series, but Hard Knocks, an annual HBO production, is addictive.

Outstanding daily studio show

Nominees: Inside the NBA (TNT), MLB Tonight (MLB Network), Outside the Lines First Report (ESPN), Pardon the Interruption (ESPN), SportsCenter (ESPN)

What got snubbed: Around the Horn … just kidding. That remains the worst show on TV.

What should win: PTI is my favorite, but how can you pick against SportsCenter?

Outstanding studio host

Nominees: James Brown (CBS), Bob Costas (NBC/MLB Network), Bryant Gumbel (HBO), Chris Fowler (ESPN), Ernie Johnson (TNT/TBS)

Who got snubbed: This is the most star-studded category, so it's hard to argue that one of these hosts is less deserving than anyone else. It might have been cool to see ESPN boxing host Brian Kenny on the list, but ESPN's boxing is so low profile, it's hard to make a case for his inclusion.

Who should win: It's nice to see Fowler included, but Costas, left, remains the gold standard.

Outstanding journalism

Nominees: E:60, "Wanted: Fugitive" (ESPN) and four episodes of HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. "Black in Bellaire," "Survivor," "Inside Man" and "The Swim Gap."

What got snubbed: Pretty much every story on Real Sports and ESPN's Outside the Lines wouldn't look out of place on the list.

What should win: Survivor was about former USF football player Nick Schuyler, who a year ago survived a boating accident off the Clearwater coast in which three of his friends died. But the best was Black in Bellaire, the story of Robbie Tolan, son of former major-league baseball player Bobby Tolan, who was shot by police for seemingly no reason in his parents' driveway in a Houston suburb.

Outstanding play-by-play announcer

Nominees: Mike Breen (ABC), Joe Buck (Fox), Mike Emrick (NBC), Al Michaels (NBC), Jim Nantz (CBS), Mike Tirico (ESPN)

Who got snubbed: Seems like the same names make the list year after year. It would be refreshing to see some others, such as HBO Boxing's Jim Lampley, Fox's Sam Rosen and CBS's Ian Eagle. A couple of familiar names are missing, too, ABC's Brent Musburger and basketball announcer Marv Albert.

Who should win: Michaels is as good of an announcer who has ever lived, but so is Emrick, left. The hockey announcer has been around for decades, but only recently has he been getting the praise he deserves. He deserves this honor, too.

Outstanding event analyst

Nominees: Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Jon Gruden (ESPN), Jim Kaat (MLB Network), Tim McCarver (Fox), Phil Simms (CBS), Jeff Van Gundy (ABC)

Who got snubbed: This is the most subjective category, and there's a good chance that one of your favorites is missing. A slew of analysts deserve nominations. To name a few: college football's Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), college basketball's Bill Raftery (CBS) and Bob Knight (ESPN), golf's Dottie Pepper and Johnny Miller (NBC), basketball's Doris Burke (ESPN), HBO Boxing's Max Kellerman and tennis analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo.

Who should win: One can't help but wonder if McCarver and Simms made the list more on reputation than anything else. Gruden, top left, had a strong rookie season, Collinsworth did an amazing job replacing legendary John Madden, and Kaat is the most underrated analyst. But I like Van Gundy, bottom left, who is entertaining and insightful, and doesn't talk like a typical broadcaster.

Outstanding studio analyst

Nominees: Charles Barkley (TNT), Tony Dungy (NBC), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Al Leiter (MLB Network), Howie Long (Fox)

Who got snubbed: It's stunning how thin this category has become. Maybe you could make cases for Fox's Terry Bradshaw and NBC's Mike Milbury, but overall, it's hard to gripe about anyone being left out.

Who should win: Funny how Barkley, who is loud and outrageous, and Dungy, who is soft-spoken, both offer outstanding commentary. But Herbstreit has emerged as the best.

Outstanding weekly studio show

Nominees: College GameDay (ESPN), Fox NFL Sunday (Fox), Inside the NBA (TNT), Inside the NFL (Showtime), Studio 42 (MLB Network)

What got snubbed: ESPN's Sports Reporters is must-watch TV and might have been a better choice than Fox NFL Sunday, which has lost a step.

What should win: College GameDay is the best sports show on television.

Nominees for the 31st annual Sports Emmy Awards, honoring the best in sports broadcasting in 2009, were announced Thursday and included former Bucs coaches Jon Gruden (best event analyst) and Tony Dungy (best studio analyst). The winners will be announced April 26 in New York. Here's a look at some of the major categories, including who was snubbed and who should win.

Outstanding live series

Nominees: College football (CBS), Grand Slam tennis (ESPN), NASCAR summer series (TNT), Sunday Night Football (NBC), NFL on CBS, PGA Tour on CBS

What got snubbed: Where's Fox's coverage of, well, everything? Fox covers live events as well as any network, and yet its coverage of baseball, the NFL and NASCAR is suspiciously missing.

What should win: NBC's Sunday Night Football has the best broadcasters, with host Bob Costas, analysts such as Tony Dungy and game announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.

Major nominees for the Sports Emmy Awards 03/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:52pm]
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