One of the more interesting things, I think, about the American sports landscape is the NFL. Of the major four sports, the NFL is the only league where teams do not employ their own dedicated TV broadcast crew during the regular season. Basketball, hockey, and baseball all have their own television and radio crews with national coverage being sprinkled in throughout the season. For the NFL, every game is a “national” game with a different crew. I say “national” because most games don’t air coast to coast, save for four games a week, but still cover a good chunk of the US. One week your favorite team might be playing on FOX with their number-one tandem of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman and the next week they’re on CBS relegated to the third or fourth string sportscasters.
Sure every team has it’s own radio partners and broadcasters, the same two guys who will do every single game for a team, Sunday-In, and Sunday-Out. However, the media partnerships between the NFL and the major networks is the only one of its sort here in the US. At least when it comes to the big four. Instead of the NFL having 64 teams of broadcasters (32 clubs, one radio and one television duo for each club), they opt to go with about a third of that. Despite that, there has been no shortage of amazing voices and talented broadcasters who have captivated the US and beyond with their skills.
With the NFL Kicking off their 100th season this week, the AP takes a deeper dive into the iconic voices of the leagues’ 100-year tenure.
While fans of some sports all have their favorite local announcers, the NFL has been much more of a shared viewing experience.
With all games being shown on national networks rather than solely on local channels, the most memorable voices of football are universal.
There were the early voices of the game such as Curt Gowdy and Ray Scott; the unique combination of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford in prime time; to years of Pat Summerall’s brevity punctuated by John Madden’s boisterous interjections.
Everyone has a style they prefer, from Tony Romo’s role as Nostradamus to the exuberance of Gus Johnson and Kevin Harlan to the understated style of men such as Summerall and Scott.
Here’s a look at some of the iconic voices of the NFL:
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