You know what's fun? Watching or listening to sports. It's an entertaining distraction from everyday life, when you can just lose yourself in the impressive performances of gifted athletes.
You know what isn't fun? Watching or listening to sports where the broadcasters sound like Neanderthals who are just stumbling onto spoken language for the first time. That can be a real downer for any sporting event.
Here are the top ten worst sports broadcasters.
10. Colin Cowherd
Colin Cowherd is not a good sports radio broadcaster. Colin Cowherd is not a good sports radio broadcaster. Colin Cowherd is not a good sports radio broadcaster.
Repeating things over and over is annoying and doesn't make whatever you're saying sound more accurate or insightful. Yet Cowherd employs this technique regularly on his ESPN radio show. In any given hour of on-air time, you may only get one or two actual points from Cowherd. The rest is just a loop of regurgitated opinions again and again.
9. Walt Frazier
You know that scene in "The Matrix Reloaded" where Keanu Reeves' Neo is listening to The Architect and you have absolutely zero idea what the guy is talking about? Yeah, that's kind of how it is whenever Walt Frazier is announcing. Frazier seems determined to cram in as many big, intelligent-sounding words to every nightly broadcast as he possibly can. People don't want to be consulting their dictionaries while watching a basketball game. Nor do they need any corny rhyming catch phrases like "posting and toasting" or "dishing and swishing."
8. Suzyn Waldman & John Sterling
The radio voices for the New York Yankees have become borderline unbearable. Suzyn Waldman can't help but point out the obvious (yes, Suzyn, we know that Derek Jeter is swinging a bat in the on-deck circle, thank you). John Sterling loves to come up with what he perceives as clever puns and play on words for home run calls ("a text-message from Teixeira"). Combine the two and you have an endless stream of annoyances peppered with brief baseball insights.
7. Magic Johnson
You rooted for Magic Johnson. You like Magic Johnson. You just can't stand to listen to Magic Johnson. For all of his positive attributes, analyzing basketball isn't one of them. Johnson offered blatant bias and close to no actual basketball insights while on ESPN. Johnson would say something incorrect and then crack an unfunny joke, to which the rest of the broadcasters would agree and laugh along because that's what you do when a Hall of Famer makes a wisecrack. Let's all be just be happy that we can appreciate Magic's magic from a distance now.
6. Dick Vitale
Dick Vitale absolutely loves college basketball and his passion for the game is palpable. Unfortunately, his inability to properly explain anything is also quite noticeable. Most fans want to learn something from the announcers while they watch a game. Vitale seems more interested in screaming "baby" after every play instead of offering poignant observations. He's the hoarse Austin Powers of sports broadcasting.
5. Chris Berman
Chris Berman deserves credit for creating a unique shtick that separated him from other broadcasters and injected energy into his highlights. Berman also deserves blame for failing to update that shtick over the last 30 years. I think one more "WHOOP!" and my eardrums might explode.
Oh, and there's this video of Berman discussing the smuggling of codeine into America. Good stuff, Swami.
4. Mike Francesa
Everyone always says Mike Francesa is the last of the old school broadcasters. Well, if the old school consisted of berating your audience and telling callers how wrong and stupid they are, then maybe there's a reason Francesa is the last one remaining. Francesa's entire on-air persona is geared towards belittling anyone who offers a different opinion than his own while remaining the king of the castle. If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it's that every king's reign must come to an end.
3. Cris Collinsworth
Whether it's abusing clichés, making awkward pop culture references or inappropriately talking about a player's family while he's writhing in pain after an injury, Chris Collinsworth just doesn't seem to get it. Admittedly, he has a wealth of interesting football knowledge. But his insights get overshadowed by the multiple broadcasting gaffes he makes each week. From failed joke attempts to incoherent rambling, we're pretty sure everyone around the Collinsworth table shares a collective eye roll every time he tries to make a toast at the holidays.
2. Joe Buck
Unfiltered bias really gets under people's skin. You know what, I'll just let comedian Jay Mohr take this one.
1. Keith Olbermann
Where do I begin?
Olbermann's pompous attitude and extreme views have gotten him fired from nearly every broadcasting job he's had. He recently returned to ESPN after a lengthy time away, but was relegated to the network's minor league station, ESPN2, on a two-year contract. Everything with Olbermann is DEFCON 1. Sometimes, you wish he would just relax a little bit. His unchecked intensity and judgmental outlook doesn't fit in the world of sports.