Game-day Faves

SI plays matchmaker with the best broadcasters of 2008
December 22, 2008

NFL
Bob Papa and Ron Jaworski
Papa calls NFL Network games with a radio man's zeal, yet he's efficient enough to let partner Cris Collinsworth thrive. The encyclopedic Jaworski (above), who's a whiz at X's and O's, too often gets drowned out on Monday Night Football.

NBA
Mike Breen or Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins
Both play-by-play guys conjure the best, Marv Albert. Harlan (TNT) channels Marv's energetic delivery, Breen (ABC/ESPN) has his world-weary wisdom. Collins is a slam dunk: ultraprepared and on the money.

MLB
Vin Scully and Vin Scully
The Dodgers have all you need. The honey-voiced, ever-restrained, deftly insightful Scully (left) is your uncle unfurling a bedtime story that you never want to end.

NHL
Jim Hughson and Brian Hayward
Hughson, Hockey Night in Canada's silky new voice, blends revealing information into his call. Ducks man Hayward is clever and low key; he's also done Hockey Night and he tailors his analysis to the sophistication of his viewers.

NCAA HOOPS
Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery
No one brings the Madness like Johnson, whose quasimaniacal call of the 2006 UCLA-Gonzaga finish remains a YouTube legend. Raftery has more catchwords—"Onions!"—than any other announcer.

NCAA FOOTBALL
Ron Franklin and Kirk Herbstreit
At 66, ESPN's Franklin's homey calls—he's a Mississippian—are synonymous with college football. Herbstreit really, really knows the game.

PHOTORICH ARDEN/ESPN (JAWORSKI) PHOTOJON SOOHOO (SCULLY)
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)