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This Is the Golden Era of Lead NFL Broadcast Teams: TRAINA THOUGHTS



1. While watching the great Niners-Saints game called by Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis on FOX on Sunday, I threw out this tweet.

CBS, like FOX, also has an excellent No. 2 broadcast team in Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, mainly thanks to Eagle.

The issue for those No. 2 teams is that the No. 1 team for each network is so strong that they may never get a chance to move up the ladder. Viewers, however, are benefitting greatly from that problem.

While many fans like to hate on announcers, the truth is, we are in very good hands each and every Sunday when it comes to who is calling the best games of the day.

CBS's Jim Nantz and Tony Romo are simply excellent in all facets of calling a game and Romo is still far and away the best analyst in the sport.

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman do a great job on Thursdays and Sundays for FOX. Aikman doesn't get the credit he deserves because Romo came onto the scene like gangbusters two years ago, but Aikman isn't afraid to speak his mind, call out the league and knock players and coaches who deserve it. He seems as comfortable as ever in the booth and it shows. 

NBC closes out every Sunday with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth calling what is always one of the best games of the week. Michaels, at 75 years old, is still as good as it gets when it comes to play-by-play. There has been ZERO slippage when it comes to quality with the veteran broadcaster.

To have three of out of four lead broadcast teams be this good is something special.

There are other solid announcers doing excellent work each Sunday. For example, Kevin Harlan, of course, is always a tremendous listen for CBS. And Adam Archueta is a very underrated analyst who should be in a more prolific role for CBS. However, with the top-heavy talent at each network, these guys tend to fly under the radar.

While old school viewers will always have a special place in their heart for the days of John Madden and Pat Summerall and Dick Enberg, you could easily make the argument that this is the golden era of lead NFL broadcast teams. 

Will fans appreciate that in the social media era? No. But they should.

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It's harder than ever to be in an NFL booth thanks to social media. Every single mistake, gaffe, flub and corny comment is recorded, spread all over the internet and dissected. Announcers have never been under a microscope they way they are now. 

If fans stepped back and judged their body of work fairly, they should be more than grateful to have Nantz, Romo, Buck, Aikman, Michaels and Collinsworth calling games every Sunday.

2. You knew Good Morning Football's Kyle Brandt would come up with a big effort for this week's "Angry Runs" after George Kittle's insane play on Sunday, and he did. If you're a wrestling fan, you'll love Kyle calling out a slew of vintage WWE finishing moves during the segment.

3. Pistons guard Derrick Rose got his clichés mixed up during his postgame interview Monday night and the result was fantastic.

4. Philip Rivers did some trash talking while the Chargers were blowing out the Jaguars on Sunday and it was unlike any kind of trash talking you've ever heard before.

5. He's also 41 years old.

6. The newest SI Media Podcast features an interview with Pro Football Talk founder Mike Florio.

Florio talked about why he started the website, how it's grown over the years, why he won't redesign the site, the differences between him and other NFL insiders, why it's hard for him to cover broadcasters, the NFL's TV future and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: With the WWE announcing Tuesday that the NWO will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year, it's worth rewatching the night the group was formed. All these years later, it still amazes me that Bobby Heenan sort of spoiled Hogan's heel turn by screaming, "Whose side is he on?" as Hogan came to the ring.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.