Very, very few sports color commentators are truly awful. Apart from Howard Cosell, none has ever been so annoying I had to turn off the sound (in the old Monday Night Football days, I regularly listened to Jack Buck and Hank Stram on the radio while watching the game on TV).
But 99.9% of them are, at best, amiable wastes of space. Almost all of them know far more about their sport than I do, but almost none has ever told me anything about the game that I didn’t know (or that wasn’t already obvious).
I mean, I LIKE Phil Simms (as a longtime Giants fan, how could I not?), but he’s never once taught me anything about football or offered any insights that a casual fan couldn’t have made for a lot less money. Replace the name “Phil Simms” With “Troy Aikman,” “Randy Cross,” “Dan Dierdorf,” or any number of other guys, and my point would remain. But I’m not interested in bashing those guys. Honest. All of them are bright, likable guys. I don’t HATE them, I just find them unnecessary.
I’m just curious… are there any sports color commentators that you’ve actually learned something from? Anybody who’s given you some genuine insight or understanding of their games that you lacked before?
One of the VERY few I can think of is Ron Jaworski. Not a brilliant sportscaster, but from time to time, he’s shown me things on video that I wouldn’t have caught on my own.
Anybody you can nominate?