Jan 06, 2014
By Fang’s Bite
From : Fangsbites.com
These are a week late. I was hoping to have these up for Week 17, but so many things got in the way. Getting them up now. I vow to get the 8th Annual Awards posted by the New Year of 2015. That’s my hope anyway.
Well, with another NFL season wrapping up, it’s time to take a look at the Best and the Worst in NFL TV for the 2013 regular season. Last week, I posted the nominees for the Awards and you reacted accordingly and in others quite surprisingly.
Last year’s Awards brought some first time winners like Mike Tirico and Trey Wingo. Let’s see who will win this year.
The Pat Summerall Award for Best Play-by-Play: Named after the late Pat Summerall, we look at the nominees for the 2013 season, Kenny Albert (Fox), Kevin Burkhardt (Fox), Ian Eagle (CBS), Al Michaels (NBC), Brad Nessler (NFL Network) and Mike Tirico (ESPN). All are worthy choices and you can’t go wrong with either man. The award goes to Mike Tirico of ESPN’s Monday Night Football for the second consecutive year. Tirico continues to be one of the best in the business. He’s so highly regarded that some at ESPN want him to replace Brent Musburger and call college football in addition to his Monday Night Football schedule. If anyone could pull it off, it’s Tirico.
Best Game Analyst: The nominees are Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Dan Fouts (CBS), Jon Gruden (ESPN), John Lynch (Fox) and Mike Mayock (NFL Network). This year’s winner is Dan Fouts of CBS. The Hall of Famer has formed a very good team with play-by-play nominee Ian Eagle. Fouts picks up on trends and does well in first guessing rather than waiting to second guess. With Dan Dierdorf retiring, here’s hoping that Eagle and Fouts will get that much deserved promotion to the “B” slot.
Best Sunday NFL Pregame Show: In this category, we have some new nominees and they are in full, Fantasy Football Now (ESPN2), Fox NFL Kickoff (Fox Sports 1), NFL Matchup (ESPN/NFL Films), NFL GameDay First (NFL Network) and That Other Pregame Show (CBS Sports Network). This season’s winner is Fantasy Football Now on ESPN2. This show just talks football and with co-hosts Robert Flores and Sara Walsh along with analysts Matthew Berry and Tim Hasselbeck and injury expert Stephania Bell with appearances by insider Chris Mortensen, we get the nuts and bolts and no forced humor. It’s become must-viewing as you get ready to set your fantasy lineup for the week. I found myself watching this more often during the season.
Best Studio Show, Weekly or Daily: Nominees are Fox Football Daily (Fox Sports 1), Inside the NFL (Showtime/CBS Sports), NFL Insiders (ESPN), NFL Live (ESPN), NFL Monday QB (CBS Sports Network) and NFL Turning Point (NBCSN/NFL Films). The winner here is NFL Monday QB from CBS Sports Network in an upset over Inside the NFL. Here’s another show that just talks football and allows the show to breathe without yelling, screaming or feigned debating. Host Adam Schein keeps the show moving. Analysts Phil Simms or Boomer Esiason, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein all discuss the games from a quarterback’s point of view. And there’s something about the dynamic between Schein and Simms. It’s a good show and you should watch when it returns next season.
Best Highlight Show: Our nominees are Football Night in America (NBC), NFL GameDay Final (NFL Network) and NFL PrimeTime (ESPN). NFL GameDay Final has dominated this category, but because the show has deteriorated over the last two seasons, I can no longer bring myself to award this best in category. We go to an old standby, ESPN’s NFL PrimeTime which does not air on Sundays anymore, but since 2006 has been shown on Mondays. This show which used to be Must See TV on Sundays has become Must See TV on Monday afternoons. Host Trey Wingo keeps the show moving. Analysts Tim Hasselbeck and Merril Hoge work well off each other. The show’s formula continues and remains fresh.
Best Studio Host: This category’s nominees are Rich Eisen (NFL Network), Suzy Kolber (ESPN), Curt Menefee (Fox), Dan Patrick (NBC), Andrew Siciliano (DirecTV/NFL Network), Melissa Stark (NFL Network) and Trey Wingo (ESPN). This year’s winner is Suzy Kolber of ESPN. She hosts the very good NFL Insiders which premiered this season in place of the horrible NFL 32. Kolber who used to be on the sidelines on Monday Night Football is totally in her element in the studio. She filled in with flying colors for Chris Berman and Stuart Scott on Monday Night Football this past season. Suzy looked comfortable at the desk and would be a good fit as a permanent host.
Best Studio Analyst: Our nominees are Trent Dilfer (ESPN), Tony Dungy (NBC), Randy Moss (Fox Sports 1), Shannon Sharpe (CBS) and Kurt Warner (NFL Network). Shannon Sharpe had a very good year and his strongest yet on the NFL Today, but we’re going with first-time nominee Randy Moss of Fox Sports 1. Moss surprised me in his first year on television. He joined Fox Football Daily and Fox NFL Kickoff and did very well. I never thought Moss would be on TV based on some his bizarre interviews and press conference appearances, but luckily, those do not an analyst’s career make. Moss was refreshing, honest and not afraid to express an opinion. And he made an appearance on Fox NFL Sunday during the season. I would not be surprised if he made it to the Fox set more often in 2014.
Most Valuable Network: Your nominees are CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and NFL Network. The winner is Fox Sports for its continued success with the Game of the Week late Sunday afternoon slot which continues to outdraw NBC’s Sunday Night Football in primetime plus its production. In addition, Fox brought two new studio shows on Fox Sports 1 and both continue to make in-roads in the ratings.
Best Insider: Here are the nominees, Jay Glazer (Fox), Jason La Canfora (CBS), Chris Mortensen (ESPN), Ian Rapoport (NFL Network) and Adam Schefter (ESPN). The award goes to ESPN’s Adam Schefter who had a good year in breaking stories.
Best Sideline Reporter: This category’s nominees are Alex Flanagan (NFL Network), Laura Okmin (Fox), Pam Oliver (Fox), Lisa Salters (ESPN) and Michele Tafoya (NBC). The winner hands down is Michele Tafoya of NBC. Michele always puts some thought into her reports and we always learn something new from her. Her worth was put to the test when the season opener in Denver was delayed and she came through rather well. And later, she was there to report on Gary Kubiak’s shocking collapse in Houston. Very solid reporter.
Best Announcing Team: Our nominees here are Kevin Burkhardt/John Lynch (Fox), Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts (CBS), Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots (CBS), Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth (NBC) and Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock (NFL Network). The winner is first year team Kevin Burkardt and John Lynch of Fox. It’s very rare for a first year team to make an impression, but Burkhart and Lynch did so well this season, that they received a playoff assignment and Lynch’s performance was elevated from a Worst Game Analyst nomination last season to a Best Game Analyst nomination this season. Impressive.
Best Game Production: Your nominees are America’s Game of the Week (Fox), Monday Night Football (ESPN), NFL on CBS (CBS), Sunday Night Football (NBC) and Thursday Night Football (NFL Network). This season’s winner is America’s Game of the Week on Fox. This usually means the number one production team along with the “A” announcing tandem of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver. This season has been good for Fox. Ratings and viewership is up from last season. And this crew finds ways to bring viewers closer to the game whether it be through close-ups, replays or field audio. Quite impressed with the Fox crew this season.
Best Debut (Announcer): The nominees here are Kevin Burkhardt (Fox), Randy Moss (Fox Sports 1), Bart Scott (CBS Sports Network) and Amy Trask (CBS Sports Network). A bumper crop of announcing rookies this season and the winner is Kevin Burkhardt of Fox Sports. Part of the reason was chronicled in the Best Announcing Team category. Burkhardt didn’t just fall off the tree this year. He has experience in calling the NFL on Compass Media over the past few years on the national Dallas Cowboys Radio Network. He should be getting more playoff assignments in the years to come.
Best Debut (Show): And another bumper crop of rookie shows. The nominees are Football Night in America Coach’s Clicker (NBCSN), Fox Football Daily (Fox Sports 1), Fox NFL Kickoff (Fox Sports 1) and That Other Pregame Show (CBS Sports Network). The winner is That Other Pregame Show on CBS Sports Network. A very nice compliment to The NFL Today on CBS and a show that can easily stand on its own. Adam Schein hosts the four hour show that doesn’t drag. The show also has rookie analysts Bart Scott and Amy Trask along with CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney. There are appearances from the NFL Today crew and it allows the panel to discuss issues without having to rush through them. Very good effort from the CBS Sports people.
Now to our worsts.
Worst Play-by-Play: Nominees are Chris Berman (ESPN), Don Criqui (CBS), Chris Myers (Fox) and Dick Stockton (Fox). There was some shocked reaction over Criqui’s nomination, but he doesn’t get the award in what should be his last year in calling the NFL on network television. This award goes to Dick Stockton of Fox. Stockton has appeared confused at times. In addition, he’s misidentified players and he has fallen from the “B” team to the “F” team on Fox. It’s too bad because Stockton has had a stellar career in calling MLB, NBA, college basketball and the NFL. It’s time for Dick to retire.
Worst Studio Host: Three nominees here and they are Chris Berman (ESPN), Erik Kuselias (NBCSN) and Chris Rose (NFL Network). This goes to first-time nominee and now loser Erik Kusilias of NBCSN. How this man has a network gig is beyond me. He comes off as arrogant and does not exude any warmth to viewers. Kuselias hosts Pro Football Talk and he’s a tough watch. He takes this category and may retire the award.
Worst Game Analyst: The nominees for this are Ronde Barber (Fox), Dan Dierdorf (CBS), Daryl Johnston (Fox) and Tony Siragusa (Fox). We go with Dan Dierdorf of CBS in his final year of analyzing the NFL. I have liked Dan in the past, but he has made more mistakes over the last couple of seasons. Greg Gumbel has done his best to elevate Dan by asking him questions and attempting to draw him out, but it hasn’t worked. Dan is getting out at the right time.
And you have the Awards for the 2013 regular season. Feel free to react on my Facebook page or on Twitter.