Sportscasters

Jim Nantz

Mike Moffett

 by Mike Moffett
Weirs Times Columnist

The final 2016 regular season NFL football game was played on Sunday evening, January 1, 2017. The Green Bay at Detroit contest was part of the Sunday Night Football series, featureing sportscasters Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth. The Packers controlled the game, but I watched because I enjoyed Michaels and Collinsworth. To paraphrase Sally Field, “I like them. I really like them!”
Michaels, 72, has done national sports telecasts since the 1970s. He’s forever immortalized by his shout-out at the end of the American Olympic ice hockey team’s 1980 victory over the Soviet Union. “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”
Collinsworth, 57, is a former All-NFL wide receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals who once worked for FOX. These guys are knowledgeable, consummate professionals who love sports while enjoying the broadcast booth.
With the NFL’s network television deals worth billions of dollars, the telecasters handle some very valuable material. They can’t alienate viewers.
FOX’s “A-Team” of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are a bit iconoclastic, but they transmit a sense of drama, reverence, and excitement about every game they cover. Their voices on Sunday afternoons have become part of the sound-tracks of our sports lives.
The CBS “A-Team” of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are also welcome and appealing regular guests to my living room. Nantz is also CBS’s “Voice of the Masters” golf tournament—an event wouldn’t be the same without him. Maybe that’s why Nantz makes over $5 million a year talking about sports. But Nantz’ salary doesn’t compare to that of Jim Rome, the sports host of the most popular radio show in the world, who makes $30 million a year.
Nice work if you can get it.
Sports broadcasting remains a dream job—one that’s difficult to retire from. Dodger announcer Vin Scully was still describing Los Angeles baseball action this past season at the age of 88. Scully’s done Dodger games for 67 years, going back to when the team was in Brooklyn.
But the best job in the world is that of Red Sox TV color man Jerry Remy. Imagine getting paid big bucks to see every Red Sox game, hang with the stars, travel the country, and receive the adulation of Red Sox Nation. Rem-Dog even parlayed his baseball bona fides into a small restaurant chain (Remy’s) where he can provide friends with free dinners and drinks.
Could there be a better job?
It’s too late for me now, but I sometimes wish I’d have pursued a broadcast career, like Vin, Jim, Joe, Al, et al. I have sports knowledge, sport passion, a sports voice, and a sports sense of humor.
Maybe listeners would have liked me.
Really liked me!

Sports Quiz
What famous sportscaster routinely was rated both “most loved” and “most hated” in the same popularity polls? (Answer follows)

Born Today …
That is to say, sports standouts born on January 12 include former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier (1944) and NBA star Dominique Wilkins (1960).

Sportsquote
“If lessons are learned in defeat, then our team is getting a great education.” – legendary Minnesota football coach Murray Warmath

Sportsquiz Answer
ABC-TV’s Howard Cosell often polled as both most favorite and least favorite sports announcer. He died in 1995 at the age of 77.

Michael Moffett was a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord. He co-authored the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is mimoffett@comcast.net.