How do Al Michaels, Joe Buck, Jim Nantz and the rest of the NFL's announcers stack up?

By Jimmy Traina
August 17, 2017

The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts. And check Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board," on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.

1. Earlier this week, CBS and Fox announced their respective NFL broadcast teams for the upcoming season. There are significant changes for each network this season, with the biggest being Phil Simms going from CBS's No. 1 crew to their NFL Today studio show. Fox was supposed to have a huge change, with Jay Cutler joining Kevin Burkhardt on the No. 2 team, but Cutler is now the Dolphins starting quarterback, so it'll just be Charles Davis replacing John Lynch, who left TV to become the Niners GM.

With the season quickly approaching, we've ranked each broadcast team based on listenability.

1. Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, NBC: Al Michaels is the GOAT. Plain and simple. And he's all about keeping viewers up to date on the two most important things in an NFL game: the point spread and the over/under.

2. Joe Buck Troy Aikman, Fox: Don't tweet me. Don't e-mail me. Don't Instagram me. Don't Facebook me. I don't want to hear about your irrational Joe Buck hate. The truth is, the man has become a great NFL play-by-play man, who has improved immensely over the years. The passion, voice and humor is there each and every week.

3. Ian Eagle Dan Fouts, CBS: Ian Eagle is the most underrated broadcaster in sports. He could easily be the No. 1 voice of the NFL and NBA

4. Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Fox: Burkhardt was great with John Lynch, who left Fox to become the Niners GM. Charles Davis is a solid analyst who will never annoy you. That's a big plus.

5. Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, CBS: Kevin Harlan = best pipes in all of sports broadcasting.

6. Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Fox: Brennaman is a very good play-by-play man and Spielman is not the typical, cookie-cutter analyst. He also seems to give viewers something different. This is a new team with a lot of promise for Fox.

7. Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, CBS: Greg Gumble is the definition of a solid pro.

8. Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Fox: Albert was always an enjoyable listen, but was saddled for many years with Tony Siragusa and Daryl Johnson, which made for a bad listen since it was a three-man booth and Siragusa was brutal. This pairing should be very good for Fox.

9. Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, CBS: Catalon usually gets stuck with an awful game, but he spends the entire days screaming his head off. You have to admire that kind of passion.

10. Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Fox: Dick Stockton gets about a million things wrong during each game, but he's a throwback who's been around forever. You have to have a soft spot for him. This will be Schlereth's first year calling games, so we'll have to see what he brings to the table.

11. Sam Rosen, David Diehl, Fox: This just a basic, no frills team.

12. Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Fox:  Same as above.

13. Spero Dedes and Adam Archuleta: Nothing against Spero Dedes, but he's the announcer who, when you see him doing the intro to his game each Sunday, you know it's going to be a pig.

14. Tom McCarthy, Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein, CBS: Just say no to three-person booths. In all sports

15. Jim Nantz, Tony Romo: We are very intrigued by Romo, who has never worked in television. However, the poor guy is paired with super corny Jim Nantz, who treats a football game with the seriousness of open heart surgery.

16. Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden: Jon Gruden is impossible to listen to for a full game on a Monday night. He sounds like he had about 12 Red Bulls, says every player is the greatest ever and spews some stuff about Y Spider Banana or some nonsense. It's a three-hour assault on the senses.

N/A. Beth Mowins and Jay Feely: Neither has called an NFL game yet, so I don't have an opinion.

2. In honor of SummerSlam this Sunday, which you can watch worldwide on the WWE Network at 7 pm. ET, WWE Superstar, Roman Reigns, joined this week's Off The Board podcast. You can get a full recap of the interview here, including quotes from Reigns breaking down his famous post-WrestleMania promo from this year. Listen below or download the podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher.

3. John Cena was a big topic on my podcast with Reigns. Here's just another reason why John Cena is the best.

4. We told you yesterday that future NBA Hall of Famer, Steve Nash, had the best athlete tweet following Donald Trump's unhinged press conference on Tuesday. Nash didn't rely on his laurels and fired out another gem last night.

5. You've never seen a Major League boxscore quite like this one from last night's Yankees-Mets game.

With injuries to Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores, the Mets were forced to play catcher Travis d'Arnaud in the infield, so they kept moving him based on whether the Yankees batter was left-handed or right-handed, so he'd be in the position with less of a chance of a fielding opportunity.

6. This parody about the relationship between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving set to Eminem's Stan is outstanding.

7. Today is Robert DeNiro's 74th birthday. We honor the great actor by remembering his legendary performance not in any movie, but in Jimmy Kimmel's Mean Tweets.

8. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Since we're in the middle of summer, this seems like a good time to remember the time The Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase, bought out a public pool just for himself.

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