THE PICK:Mike Pereira (Fox Sports).
Revolutions in sports television sometimes come with little fanfare. Fox initially thought Pereira, the former vice president of officiating for the NFL, would make his biggest impact on the web. But the opening week of the NFL season featured one of the more controversial plays of the year -- Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson's apparent game-winning catch against the Bears, and Pereira's insight on the play proved invaluable. "Most people thought it was a touchdown but when they came out of replay, I predicted they would leave it as an incomplete pass and they did," said Pereira, who works out of Fox's NFL studios in Los Angeles. "That play generated more talk than I could have imagined and I think Fox recognized the value of addressing this immediately on television."
Viewers have longed for broadcasters to provide accurate explanations from the NFL's byzantine rule book, and Pereira, thankfully, has taken the burden off ex-jocks and announcers, who can come off as befuddled as fans. He has correctly predicted the outcome of 49 of 50 replay challenges this season (he disagreed with the judgment of the refs on a Jeremy Maclin reception that was ruled a catch and fumble; Pereira predicted the refs would overturn a play to an incomplete pass), but more importantly, he has imbued viewers with added knowledge.
"My goal was not to be controversial, but to be educational," Pereira said. "I have been somewhat successful in letting the fan know what the referee is looking for under the hood, but have I educated people as much I would have liked in rules? I probably have not done that as well as I would have liked yet. But I'll work into that as the years go on."
Pereira has been added to Fox's coverage of the Cotton Bowl and NFL playoffs and will sit behind broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman during Fox's coverage of Super Bowl XLV. His pioneering role will assuredly prompt another network to add an officiating analyst, whether in football or another sport.
"The fan has become so much more sophisticated, and has much more invested in the game," Pereira said. "Fans deserve the right to know the rules. They deserve to know when officials are right and deserve to know when the officials are incorrect."
HONORABLE MENTION:Ian Darke (ESPN), Bob Ley (ESPN), Mike Mayock (NBC, The NFL Network), Dan Shulman (ESPN and ESPN Radio).
THE PICK:Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth (NBC).
Michaels and Marv Albert remain the gold standard for television play-by-play broadcasters: They prepare, understand the moment and allow their partner the freedom to express himself. Collinsworth remains the best in the class of ex-players-turned-NFL analysts because his opinions carry the objectivity of a man not beholden to the league apparatus. He's also not fanatically smitten with certain players (Yes, I'm talking to you, Jon Gruden) or the institution of football. Such skepticism is a good thing for announcers.
HONORABLE MENTION:Marv Albert and Steve Kerr (TNT), Jim Durham and Dr. Jack Ramsay (ESPN Radio), Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts (CBS), Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell (ESPN Radio), Dave Sims and James Lofton (Westwood One Radio).
THE PICK:Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson (ESPN and ABC).
The three-man booth, especially in basketball, can be a lot of noise, signifying mostly ego. But this trio produced humor, insight and a big-game feel to each broadcast, even with Jackson's over-the-top hysterics for his favorite players (Kobe Bryant and LeBron James) and Van Gundy's uber-fondness for all things coaches.
Breen said the reason for the chemistry of the group is the length of the relationships. (Breen called Knick games when Van Gundy was the head coach of the team and coaching Jackson). "Jeff is passionate about the game and the NBA so much that he will not cheat it with his comments," Breen said. "He feels the need to be honest, whether it's about players or coaches -- well, maybe not coaches so much because every coach is a great coach -- but his love for the game keeps him to high standard."
Added Van Gundy: "I don't think there is much we could say to each other on the air that would offend each other. As a secondary career, you want to enjoy your work with the people that you are doing it with."
HONORABLE MENTION:Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery (ESPN).
THE PICK: ESPN's CollegeGameDay (Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard).
When a show creates news merely by its appearance at a locale, it's reached significant cultural relevance. Unlike some of ESPN's college football studio analysts who specialize in vapidity and coach-friendly speak (Craig James and Lou Holtz), the GameDay crew is unafraid to offer opinion that scolds some sacred cows. Most impressively, ESPN allowed Corso to work himself back into to the show following his stroke. Both the network and Corso deserve praise for that, and the broadcaster was at the center of one of the best moments of the year, his colleagues in tears when he was awarded a contribution to college football award as part of ESPN's College Football Awards show.
HONORABLE MENTION: Inside The NBA (TNT) Football Night In America (NBC), NHL Overtime (Versus).
THE PICK:Ian Darke (ESPN).
He's not exactly a newcomer in the business, but Darke's exceptional work during the World Cup further confirmed the thesis we've urged ESPN to follow for the last decade: Soccer fans don't need an American voice in the booth. They simply want a broadcaster who understands the rhythms and pace of the sport. Darke does, and ESPN wisely signed him up to be the network's signature soccer voice.
HONORABLE MENTION:John Smoltz (Turner Sports), Matt Winer (NBA TV).
THE PICK:Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison (NBC).
Dungy and Harrison have become more comfortable broadcasters this season, engaging each other in discussion often without the help of facilitator Dan Patrick (whom both Dungy and Harrison praised for aiding their development). Dungy is a much more provocative voice than anyone expected and Harrison seems committed to working to become a quality broadcaster. His comments on illegal hits helped provoke a national debate.
"Last year I felt like a total rookie just like my first year in the NFL, and it was almost worse because when I entered the NFL, I felt like I knew something about how to play football," Dungy said. "I really did not know anything about broadcasting. But we have a great group and they've taught us a lot. Most people make a big improvement between their first and second years playing and I feel like that we have made an improvement there, too, but we still have a long way to go."
HONORABLE MENTION: Bob Davie (ESPN), Jesse Palmer (ESPN), Chris Webber (TNT).
THE PICK:Jay Bilas (ESPN, CBS).
Bright, thoughtful and always prepared, Bilas never cheats viewers with his analysis. His opinions can be polarizing but he backs them up with substance. Last month he called for Bruce Pearl to be fired from Tennessee, a remarkable stand by a broadcaster on a network so closely aligned with a sport. "I have serious concerns about some of the NCAA's rules and the fairness of the process," he said at the time, "but not in this case. I believe the NCAA is likely to hit Tennessee harder with Pearl still in place, and if I were in charge in Knoxville, I would not put short-term wins over the long-term best interests of my athletic program."
HONORABLE MENTION:Hubie Brown (ESPN), Darren Cahill (ESPN), Collinsworth, LenElmore (ESPN), Fran Fraschilla (ESPN), Herbstreit, Ron Jaworski (ESPN), Clark Kellogg (CBS).
THE PICK:Doug Brown, Mark Kestecher, John Stashower and Chuck Wilson (ESPN Radio).
One wishes the ESPN Communications Department would blow some of its famous and voluminous hot air toward these gentlemen instead of some of the network's higher profile and higher volume radio talents. You can hear this quartet throughout ESPN Radio, including on the flagship SportsCenter Nightly show. Along with the quality of their voices, what stands out here is the diligence and professionalism that each man delivers daily. Names are correctly pronounced, setups are done intelligently. It's a pleasure to listen to radio professionals who care about quality.HONORABLE MENTION:Jeff Rickard (Sirius XM and ESPN Radio)
THE PICK:The Two Escobars (ESPN) and The Tillman Story (tie).
The Two Escobars was spectacular filmmaking, a thrilling exploration of the rise and fall of Colombian soccer during its era of narco-fútbol, the deadly marriage of the country's cocaine cartels and soccer clubs that contributed to the death of Andrés Escobar, a defender for the 1994 Colombian World Cup team (and no relation to Pablo). It was the most ambitious of ESPN's terrific 30 for 30 series.
"From the onset, we were less interested in who pulled the trigger that fateful night for Andrés in Medellín than in the question: What circumstances could lead to a beloved athlete and national hero being murdered for a mistake made on a playing field?," said co-director Jeff Zimbalist, who made the film with his brother, Michael. "We feared ESPN wouldn't get behind a 100 minute, subtitled, Spanish language documentary that was arguably more about politics and national identity than it was about sports, not to mention that the sport was soccer. To our surprise, ESPN loved it and approved a primetime airing of the full 100 minute cut."
The Tillman Story was a searing look at the murky events surrounding former NFL player Pat Tillman's killing by friendly fire in the mountains of Afghanistan. "The Pat Tillman that Americans are familiar with is a slo-mo of his face, superimposed with the falling twin towers and Old Glory, smoke and soldier silhouettes and martial music underneath," the film's director, Amir Bar-Lev, told SI.com earlier this year. "It's an image Pat would have laughed heartily at, but the more serious truth is that we do a great disservice to our heroes when we depict them this way."
HONORABLE MENTION:Baseball: The Tenth Inning (PBS), The Best That Never Was (ESPN), Broad Street Bullies (HBO), June 17th, 1994 (ESPN), Once Brothers (ESPN).
THE PICK: The Children of Bhopal (ESPN's E:60).
In November E:60 aired a disturbing report on children playing cricket on the contaminated playgrounds of Bhopal, the site of the world's worst industrial accident, the 1984 gas leak that spewed from a storage tank at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. Co-producer Yaron Deskalo (ESPN feature producer David Picker was the other producer) and correspondent Jeremy Schaap traveled to Bhopal to report the piece. The reporters, with the help of SGS, a global environmental testing firm, found massive levels of contamination in the playing fields. The feature was an example of ESPN at its industrious and passionate best.
HONORABLE MENTION: E:60 on Haiti's U-17 girls national team (ESPN), Outside The Lines on dismissed Belmont University women's soccer coach Lisa Howe (ESPN).
THE PICK:Matt Taibbi, contributing editor, Rolling Stone magazine.
"The Decision" was simultaneously the most painful and most hilarious television show I've seen in a long time. Its entertainment value rested almost entirely in its scope -- the same way a person goes to the Niagara Falls or to the Grand Canyon for that take-your-breath-away moment when the heretofore unimaginable vastness of the vista is first perceived. I watched "The Decision" in breathless awe of the sheer scale of the narcissism involved."
THE PICK: Colin Cowherd, ESPN Radio.
In a misguided and spectacularly irresponsible character assassination of a quality kid, Cowherd went off on Wizards rookie guard John Wall, a 20-year-old praised by teammates and management alike for his professionalism and unselfishness. His take below was reckless, without research and met with silence by ESPN executives and most on-air people in Bristol with the exception of ESPN Radio host Doug Gottlieb, who prefaced his objection with man-love for Cowherd before illuminating why his colleague was so wrong. Thankfully, some media members, led by the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg and Sporting News's Mike DeCourcy, took the radio host to the woodshed. Remember, Cowherd's asinine take came after Wall's third career game. Behold, the inanity:
"Much like I called out Greg Oden, I'm gonna call out John Wall....Before the game started, he spent 34 seconds doing the Dougie. That tells me all I need to know about J-Wow. Then he opened his mouth later and confirmed it: not a sharp guy. All about him. In that line last night, that 29-point line, when he was out of control, he had 8 turnovers. By the way, Rajon Rondo had 17 assists last night, 0 turnovers. Rajon's got rings, Wall will never have one.
"Folks, when you rob a bank, it's not just the act of it, it's that you sat down for weeks and planned it. That tells me you're an idiot. The act is just the final icing on the cake. The cake is you sat down for weeks and planned it. I always give people credit just for getting a job. If you interview with 300 people and get the job, you beat 300 people out for a job, you've got to have some skill-set.
"Oh, I'm gonna get a lot of callers -- Colin, he's just having fun. What he did last night, Rondo never would, Isiah never would, J. Kidd never would, Stockton never would, Nash never would, Magic never would. Point guard is like the quarterback. it's an IQ-judgment position. The great ones are not about themselves. They're about the others. Leadership is IQ, it's not skills.
"J Wow's 37-second Yo dawg look at me I'm the man [dance], and his wild, out-of-control style, everybody else is buying his stock, and it told me all I need to know. He's gonna end up on the Iverson, Francis, Starbury [side]: great stats, nine All-Star teams, never play with good smart players and an elite head coach. He's gonna drive people nuts.
"It's not robbing the bank, it's that you planned it. It's not just doing the Doggie (sic) for 35 seconds, it's that you really thought before the game, this is gonna be super cool and people will like me. The wrong people. You all, go read the John Wall box score. Everybody's fascinated. ESPN SportsCenter will probably do like 9 minutes on it. I'll take the Rondo box score: 3 boards, 9 points, 17 assists, 4 steals, no turnovers....
"You could see it before the game started. Magic would never consider doing that. It's just who he is. And you think he's gonna change now that they gave him $75 million? Oh yeah, I'm sure he's gonna life change now. It's not robbing the bank, partner; it's that you planned it. It's not just the act, it's that you thought about it and thought it was a great idea....
HONORABLE MENTION: Colin Cowherd. The host followed his initial anti-Wall screed by asserting that there's a correlation between leadership at point guard and coming from a strong family with a father figure. Like Bill Clinton, Frederick Douglass, Andrew Jackson and Barack Obama, Wall did not have a father figure growing up. Behold, the inanity:
Let me tell you something: I'm a big believer, when it comes to quarterbacks and point guards. Who's your dad? Who's your dad? Because I like confrontational players, I don't like passive aggressive. Strong families equal strong leaders. Talent? Overrated. Leadership? Underrated. And you can say, well, Colin, can you just go out and say anything crazy and get people to e-mail. That's not the point. You wouldn't e-mail if I was an idiot, because you wouldn't listen to the show. You listen to the show because we make good points."
THE PICK:Stan Van Gundy (Orlando Magic) vs. Mike Wilbon (ESPN).
After Wilbon suggested Van Gundy might lose his job if the Magic lost to the Celtics, Van Gundy responded with the ultimate insult of a former print guy: He called Wilbon a "talking head" in an interview with AOL Fanhouse. Said Van Gundy: "I'm not worried about my job security, and I'm even less worried about what Michael Wilbon would think about anything. "He's just ... a talking head. I have refused to be on PTI (Wilbon's television show) for years, for five years. I follow that stuff. If you go on guys' shows, they don't criticize you. If you won't go on their show, they do. That stuff is never known. There's a lack of integrity in that business.'' Wilbon defended PTI and said there was no favoritism toward certain guests.
HONORABLE MENTION:Bill Simmons (ESPN) vs. Keith Olbermann (MSNBC), Bill Simmons (ESPN) vs. Charles Pierce (Boston Globe), Jason Whitlock (Fox Sports) vs. The Kansas City Star, Gregg Doyel (CBS Sports.com) vs. Jay Mariotti (unattached).
• It's worth repeating what I wrote about ESPN's broadcast of "The Decision" last July because it remains true six months later:
"In all my years of writing media columns for SI and SI.com, I have never been contacted by more ESPN staffers than I was last week, all of whom were universal in their message: They were disappointed (some used the term disgusted) with the program above. I've always tried to be measured and reasoned in this column. So I say this with much thought and contemplation: The Decision is the worst thing ESPN has ever put its name to, and it will take a long time for some viewers to get over it...Plenty of great work gets done by people every day at ESPN, especially on the newsgathering and production side. Even more so than viewers who endured this self-aggrandizing, selling-out-our-journalistic-soul, narcissistic shamathon, those ESPN staffers are the ones who deserve an apology."
In a fitting coda to this nefarious untidiness, the broadcaster Jim Gray sat at the edge of the Miami bench during the Heat-Lakers game on Dec. 25. If a single viewer remained who thought Gray could remain objective with his reporting of James -- and I'm not sure there was --this Rashadian moment of Zen ended all such thoughts.
• Sports writer Jay Mariotti'scareer imploded after he was arrested for domestic battery. What other national sports writers should take from this cautionary tale is how quickly disposable you are as a "voice" on sporting matters. Whether you like Around The Horn or not -- and that's a conversation for another day -- Mariotti's departure has had zero effect on the show.
• Showing an inexplicable tin ear for its audience, The NFL Network added Joe Theismann to its Thursday Night telecast to partner with Matt Millen. The partnership, not surprisingly, produced a weekly torrent of criticism from fans. (The writer Norman Chad described the problem perfectly, calling the NFLN's three-man announcing team"a four-and-a-half-man booth.") Fans simply don't like Theismann as an analyst, but NFL broadcast executives do. So don't expect changes in 2011.
• With NFLN's draft coverage improving annually, ESPN's first-day NFL Draft coverage needs a makeover. Those who worked the second and third day of the draft provided viewers with the best insight and content. Again. As this column stated earlier this year, the network should make the quintet of Trey Wingo, Jaworski, Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, (and perhaps) Jon Gruden its main draft team for the 2011 draft in addition to its armada of information reporters. Wingo lives and breathes the sport 365 days a year as the host of NFL Live; he runs an efficient and professional show that allows the analysts next to him to make their points. Unlike Chris Berman, he's avoids the endless backslapping of NFL executives. Jaworski, Kiper and McShay do their homework and it shows.
• Mike Wise, please never do this again.
• Having lived in Michigan in 2009, I know firsthand the animus the sports base has for Millen, the former GM of the Lions and current ESPN analyst. I don't subscribe to the notion that a failed GM can't be a good broadcaster --- the skills are not parallel -- but that ESPN assigned Millen to multiple University of Michigan college football games this year goes down as one of the strangest personnel decisions in some time. One of the sure things of 2010 was typing "Millen" into Twitter Search during a Michigan game and watching the venom fly.
• The MLB Network (with an assist from Bob Costas) landed Mark McGwire's first interview in years, with the slugger admitting he used performance-enhancing steroids (but also adding he did not need PEDs to hit the long ball.)
• In what might be the first (but won't be the last) example of a fan-based Web site leading the coverage of a national story, Orangebloods.com, a Rivals-owned site that focuses on the University of Texas football and recruiting, owned the Big 12 realignment story thanks to columnist Chip Brown, starting with its June 3 report that the Pac-10 planned to invite six Big 12 teams to join its conference.
•Emmet Smith, the deputy design director for news for The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Michael Tribble, the paper's design and graphics director, delivered the most memorable front page of 2010: LeBron James walking out of the frame, flanked by a single word headline: GONE. Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post called it one of the greatest front pages in newspaper history.
• ESPN's Tony Kornheiser, on colleague Hannah Storm's choice of dress (Feb. 15): "Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She's got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt ... way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now... She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point."
• CBS Sports president Sean McManus, predicting the ratings on when Tiger Woods returned to golf: "I think the first tournament Tiger Woods plays again, wherever it is, will be the biggest media event other than the Obama inauguration in the past 10 or 15 years."
• CBS announcer and golf enthusiast Jim Nantz, to Newsday reporter Neil Best (April 7): "I am in love with the Masters, OK? That's the way I feel about it. Nobody is putting those words in my mouth. Why would I want to tailor my way of approaching the Masters tournament to some guy who's a blogger who doesn't watch the Masters, or to someone like you who doesn't understand the difference between a birdie and a bogey? Why would I care what you think about it?"
•ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., to the Washington Post, on whether he rates players of certain agents higher than others (April 18): "I have so many friends who are agents: Tom Condon, Joel Segal, Tony Agnone, Gary Wichard. Ask them how many battles we've had on the phone over players that they've represented. I don't shill for anybody."
• Fox Sports reporter Chris Myers, on the city of New Orleans response to Hurricane Katrina (May 17): "It's a great country here. We have disasters issues when people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike -- I'm not going to name names -- when a natural disaster hits people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, OK. They helped each other out through this." • ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson, prior to Jim Gray hijacking the broadcast of "The Decision": "We have complete editorial control and direction with the exception of what will come out of his [LeBron James] mouth."
• Longtime sports writer Dave Kindred, expressing severe criticism with the Associated Press Sports Editors after the organization awarded Mitch Albom with the Red Smith Award, the APSE's highest honor (July 16): "That meant Albom had written as fact on Friday a Sunday column leading with events of Saturday that never happened. Note to journalism students: This is known as fiction. It can get you expelled."• Former Nationals broadcaster Rob Dibble, doing what Rob Dibble does (Aug. 11): "There must be a sale tomorrow going on here or something. Their husbands are going, 'Man, don't bring your wife next time.' "
• Rex Ryan, addressing his team on HBO's Hard Knocks (Aug. 11): "You guys know me, that I'm about as positive a guy as there is. I believe our team is better than every f------ team in the league. I believe our players are better than any players in the league, right? Those are true statements. That's how I believe. But, the team's only going so far if I'm the only guy that leads. The team is only going so far. I'm not a great leader, okay? I'm not a great leader, I can't lead myself, this whole group of men. We ain't gonna win guys if it's about me. I'm sitting back waiting for us to understand the team that we said we were gonna be.
What the hell are we waiting on? What are we waiting on? Do you want it or not? Do you understand there's a price to pay? Can we have fun? You're damn right! I demand that we have fun. Now there's a difference between having fun and being a jackass.
Our defense was a jackass when we went to Hofstra, eating a bunch of f------cheeseburgers, before we go stretch and all that. That's being a jackass. You'll be a world champion but not like this. We won't win it. We'll sit back and say 'Why didn't we do it?' We didn't do it because where were our f------ priorities?
How about our offense? When are we gonna put it together? When are we gonna put it together? Can we not run the ball down their throats every snap? Can we not throw anytime we wanna f------ throw it? Let's make sure we play like f------ New York Jets and not some f------slap---- team. That's what I wanna see tomorrow. Do we understand what the f--- I wanna see tomorrow? Let's go eat a goddamn snack!"
• CBS Sports.com's Gregg Doyel, explaining his endless series of anti-Jay Mariotti tweets after the former AOL Sports columnist and ESPN Around the Horn contributor was booked on suspicion of felony domestic assault, according to authorities (Aug. 23): "Nobody in our business makes me angrier, consistently, than he does, and not because his columns evoke such feeling. It's the way he does his business, even the way he carries himself, that ticks me off, and this news was just awful. So I got angry, and it bubbled over, and that was a flash flood. I'm getting angry again thinking about it."
• NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin, showing his usual flair for NFL predictions (Sept. 26): The Dolphins match up well with every team in the AFC East. They can win it and be a contender for the Super Bowl."
• ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown analyst Keyshawn Johnson, comparing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to Rick Mirer (Sept. 26): "Matt Ryan hasn't been as sharp as you would like since his rookie year. Watching him in preseason and then watching him in the first two games this year makes me think, are we looking at a guy with a great rookie year like Ricky Mirer did, and then things start stopping up?"
• ESPN and ABC broadcaster Brent Musburger, inexplicably endorsing steroids (Oct. 5): "I think under the proper care and doctor's advice, they could be used at the professional level"
• CBS The NFL Today analyst Shannon Sharpe, predicting big things for Randy Moss (Nov. 14): "Second half of the season, he [Randy Moss] will score six touchdowns. This team, the Tennessee Titans, win the AFC South."
• ESPN's Williamson, on the future of ESPN broadcaster Jon Gruden (Dec. 2): "Jon will be with us at least through the 2011 season. He has made that commitment."
THE PICK:"Something about Braylon's [Edwards] routes this series seem more humble, mature. Looks like sitting that quarter really did have an impact! #Jets"
-- ESPNNewYork.com reporter Jane McManus, oozing with sarcasm about the penalty (or lack thereof) imposed by the Jets, after Edwards was arrested for DUI.
Non Media category
THE PICK:"I'm keeping my 2 yr old up to watch the LeBron James Special. I want her to see the exact moment our society hit rock bottom."
-- Eric Stangel, head writer and executive producer for The Late Show with David Letterman.
106.5 million Number of total viewers for the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV between the Colts-Saints, the most watched broadcast in the history of U.S. television. 45.4 million viewers (on ESPN, ESPN2 and NFL Network) who watched the 2010 NFL draft, an increase of 16 percent from 2009 (39 million viewers)
16 Questions asked by reporter Jim Gray over six minutes before asking LeBron James what his decision was.
Jack Craig (Boston Globe sports writer, the first full-time newspaper critic of sports on TV), Bill Gleason (Chicago sports writer), Bud Greenspan (Olympic filmmaker), Ernie Harwell (Tigers broadcaster), Phil Jasner (Longtime NBA writer), Jim Kelley (Longtime NHL writer), Jay Larkin (Showtime executive), Dave Niehuas (Mariners broadcaster), Don Meredith (NFL broadcaster) Bob Sheppard (Yankees public address announcer), Leah Siegel (ESPN producer), Ron Santo (Cubs broadcaster).
Eleven Broadcasters Viewers Deserve More of in '11 (not listed above):Doris Burke (ESPN), Heather Cox (ESPN), Jeannine Edwards (ESPN), Marshall Faulk (NFL Network), OrelHershiser (ESPN), Johnny Miller (NBC), Kelly Naqi (ESPN), Dave Resvine (Big Ten Network), Joe Tessitore (ESPN), Jeremy Schaap (ESPN), Tom Rinaldi (ESPN)
Six Broadcasters We Need Less Of In '11: Jim Gray, Michael Irvin (Hall of Famer in this category), Craig James, Joe Morgan, Tony Siragusa, Joe Theismann.