Is the NFL's top broadcast team Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth or Jim Nantz and Tony Romo?
1. Shortly before the 2017 NFL season began, I ranked each broadcast team across the various networks that air the games. With the regular season just about over, it's time to update the rankings based on what we've seen over the past four months.
1. Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, CBS: No analyst has had a better year than Romo, who went straight from the field to the booth. Not only did Romo give viewers insight they hadn't heard before while bringing passion and energy, he seemed to reinvigorate Nantz. One thing to keep an eye on: The past couple of weeks, Romo has toned down his habit of calling plays before they happen. My fear throughout the season was that some CBS suit would get to Romo and suggest changes. I'm afraid this has happened, Romo has still had the best year of any analyst in the NFL.
2. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, FOX: Buck has had an outstanding year. He always rises to the occasion and gives you that big-game feel.
3. Cris Collinsworth, Al Michaels, NBC: Collinsworth has gotten a little like Jon Gruden with the constant praise of every player. I mean, he even had praise for Brock Osweiler during one game this season.
4. Ian Eagle Dan Fouts, CBS: Eagle always does a good job with the nuts and bolts, but always adds in some humor and sarcasm to make for a fun listen.
5. Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, FOX: Davis replaced John Lynch, who became the GM of the 49ers, but it didn't hurt FOX's No. 2 team one bit.
6. Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, CBS: You always know what you're going to get with Harlan -- constant updates of personnel on the field, over-the-top excitement and one of the best voices in broadcast history.
7. Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, CBS: With Catalon free from the three-man booth he was in the past couple of years, he's emerged as one of the better listens on a Sunday.
8. Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, CBS: Neither guy annoys you, and that is a big compliment when it comes to announcers.
9. Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, FOX: I don't think there's an analyst that talks more than Spielman. He says a lot of strange things and is an "old-school" guy who takes football way too seriously.
10. Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta, CBS: Archuleta is an underrated analyst. The duo did a great job during the Colts-Bills blizzard game a couple of weeks ago.
11. Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, FOX: I'd love to see Myers get a better analyst because he's a very good play-by-play guy.
12. Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, FOX: Albert will always give you a good broadcast.
13. Sam Rosen, David Diehl, FOX: They're fine.
14.Beth Mowins, Jay Feely: CBS: They've only called a handful of games this season, but Mowins is solid.
15. Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, FOX: I don't want to be mean. Let's just say Stockton's better days are behind him.
16. Tom McCarthy, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein, CBS: This three-man booth just doesn't work. Tasker and Beuerlein do a lot of talking. There isn't a second of silence, and it's pretty much a mess.
17.. Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, ESPN: We're still waiting for the first time Gruden says something bad about a player. The man simply destroys each and every Monday night broadcast.
2. It's been a year filled with controversy for ESPN. Here's a timeline of how 2017 has gone for the World Wide Leader.
3. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was salty last night.
4. Your latest example of an athlete tweeting something incredibly stupid comes from Redskins linebacke, Zach Brown.
Tell him don't play.... cause I'm always headhunting— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) December 18, 2017
5. A Reddit user made this flowchart to help explain what a catch is before the Steelers-Patriots game on Sunday.
6. I know MLB had a steroids problems, but testing a pitcher at a Subway seems a tad excessive.
So I'm in Kansas hunting. I get a call for ANOTHER drug test. I tell him to meet me at Subway(No one can know my honey hole)... he said he felt uncomfortable doing it there because of people. Bro, I have to pee infront of you what do you mean YOUUU feel uncomfortable.🤣🤣— Carlos Rodón (@Carlos_Rodon55) December 18, 2017
7. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Mean Gene Okerlund = a legend of epic proportions. If you don't believe me, just watch his performance after Hulk Hogan was attacked by Earthquake.
Traina Thoughts is 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 right here. And check out Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board."
BONUS ITEM: Steelers-Patriots on Sunday was the highest-rated NFL game of the season. About 25-27 million people watched the game. The NFL is doing just fine.