Traina Thoughts: With Legends Gone, College Football Broadcasting Has A Void
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1. The college football season begins this Saturday, with Oregon St. visiting Colorado St. at 2:30 pm. ET. Sadly, for the first time in a loooooong time, we will have a college football season without Verne Lundquist and Brent Musburger behind a microphone. Each of the legendary broadcasters called their last college football game in 2016, with Lundquist choosing to just remain on CBS's golf and college basketball coverage, while Musburger left ESPN to spend time with his friends in the desert and focus on a new gambling venture.
That leads me to this season. Who will become the voice of college football?
Chris Fowler is the No. 1 guy at ESPN and gets the best game of the slate most weeks. He does a very professional job, he is passionate about the sport and he doesn't get stuff wrong. But something always seems flat when he and Kirk Hebstreit are calling a big game. It's impossible to pinpoint or articulate what it is, but something just seems ... off.
Gus Johnson has been FOX's lead play-by-play man for a few years, and is a fan favorite, but most of the time, except for maybe once or twice a year, he's stuck with bad games.
Veteran Brad Nessler takes over the lead duties at CBS and gets the benefit of calling the top SEC game each and every week. He has big shoes to fill because Uncle Verne became synonymous with the SEC, but Nessler is very good.
Mike Tirico is the new voice of Notre Dame football on NBC. It's hard to become the voice of a sport when you're only calling one team. Plus, Notre Dame football doesn't have nearly the cache or interest that it once did.
The sport features many other talented play-by-play people, including Joe Tessitore (who usually gets the second-best ESPN Saturday game), Steve Levy and Dave Pasch from ESPN, Tim Brando at FOX and Carter Blackburn at CBS.
Let's hear from you on this subject. Vote in the poll below and hit me up on Twitter with your thoughts on who you think will become the voice of college football?
2. I really don't want to skew the voting above, but since the college football season is just about here, we should enjoy a little Gus.
3. Rob Gronkowski stars in many commercials, but his newest performance, in this spot for Tide Sport Pods, might be his best yet. Trust me, you'll want to see Gronk in pigtails.
4. Speaking of Gronk, the Patriots' tight end, along with Timberwolves star, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rich Eisen and Bill Walton, appears in Katy Perry's new video for “Swish, Swish,” which came out today.
4. Pretty interesting that Perry would release a new video on the same day her mortal enemy Taylor Swift is dropping a new song. We're celebrating the release of T-Swift's new single by looking at her popularity among star athletes, from Russell Westbrook to Clayton Kershaw to Gronk.
5. Aaron Rodgers's ex-girlfriend, Olivia Munn, doesn't look like she'll be rooting for the Packers this season. Quite frankly, this is just rude.
6. FS1's Chris Broussard, who has a long history of being wrong, reported that Celtics players weren't too fond of the now-departed, Isaiah Thomas. This didn't sit well with two Boston players, who took to Twitter to blast the story.
7. Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar is 6-foot-3, 250 pounds. And thanks to teammate Eric Thames, we now know that two Brewers can fit into one pair of Aguilar's pants at the same time.
8. If you haven't had enough Robert Lee coverage, I joined my colleague Richard Deitsch on his podcast to discuss the ridiculous controversy.
9. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Today is Vince McMahon's 72nd birthday. It's impossible to pick one Vinny Mac video to highlight. Sure, he's responsible for one of the most popular GIFs on the Internet,
But when it comes to a video clip, for me, his greatest moment will always be the time he always decked Bob Costas.