Many of the great moments in sports history have an equally great piece of announcing paired with it. Like a nice piece of fish with a light, dry white wine. Yum. Often those choice words are forever tied with some of our favorite memories. This makes the announcer a vital part of the viewing experience. There have been some truly talented professionals who have lent their voices to help bring the game to that next level. But who are the best sports announcers ever?
I’m sure every market has their star but this is the list of the all-time beasts of the broadcaster’s booth. Many of the names below have decades of work under their belts and are the definitive sound associated with some of the game’s most popular teams.
The longtime Chicago Cubs announcer is permanently etched into the sports brain of America. They have bronze a statue of him outside of Wrigley Field. They don’t do that for most. Will Ferrell famously played him in many sketches on SNL and killed the impression. I can’t even think about this without laughing.
I’ve mentioned this before, but Dicky V is the beginning and end of the conversation on college basketball announcing. He is essential. Like the hardwood or the ball. It’s not March Madness without him. It all comes down to his energy. You can really tell he loves the game and his job. That kind of passion is contagious. Plus he makes up hilarious one-liners.
The UFC has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years and all with the help of Rogan. He is one of the ambassadors of their sport and is probably more responsible for their success than he gets credit for. His time on Fear Factor helped him learn the host format and made him an accessible character to viewers. It doesn’t hurt that he is pro comic. Either way, keep it up Joe.
The best dressed man in Canada, hell maybe the whole world. The photo above is just a sampling of his great taste in clothes. Google it when you have time. But Cherry isn’t just a pretty suit, he is hockey. I heard Barry Melrose say he could become Prime Minister if he ever ran. No joke, he knows the game better than anyone and hockey is lucky to have him.
Most folks know him from the 22 years he was teamed with John Madden as they covered the NFL. Madden gets the fame with the video game but I was always preferred Pat. John was kind of loud and had clumsy analogies while Summerall was the steady hand on the ship.
I don’t care much for most of the current NFL commentators but Tirico is a breathe of fresh air with his even and insightful tone. He never seems to play favorites or push a personal agenda. But his enthusiasm is genuine. Many of his colleagues could learn from him.
My hometown colors are shinning through but this is an easy heart pick. My early Detroit Tigers memories are all narrated by Mr. Harwell. That voice was baseball for me. When you don’t go to a ton of games the radio broadcast becomes important and Ernie had a real flair for describing the action. We also have a bronze statue of him at Comerica Park.
Keeping with the classic baseball theme, we move to Los Angeles and the voice of Dodger baseball. Scully started with the Dodgers in 1950 and still works with them today. That’s an insane run. Hats off. Keep it up Vin. Maybe LA can finally get that World Series they’ve been chasing.
Costas is all over the world of sports. He focuses on MLB and Olympics but has covered NHL, NBA, NFL, Boxing, Golf, and Thoroughbred Racing. Bob Costas is just a sports nerd and I mean that in the best way. You can tell he is just as pumped to report as he is to watch the event.
Los Angeles Laker Legend. Hearn called a consecutive 3,338 games going from 1965-2001. He passed in 2002. RIP. His wit and candor made him a staple in LA. He coined many phrases that are part of the fabric of basketball. Things like “air ball”, “slam dunk”, and “charity stripe” are all Chick. He basically invented the clever banter style that all the SportsCenter crew uses.
That iconic voice. Every sports fan has a bad version of this impression. It’s all in the diction and pacing. I can still remember the joke from the strange 80’s comedy Better Off Dead where the one kid only learned English from watching sports and sounds just like Cosell. Classic. That’s how you know you’ve made it.
Did we leave off your favorite announcer? Leave it in the comments. Also, be on the look out for the follow up piece on “Worst Announcers in Sports.” Will Dennis Miller make the cut? Keep reading to find out.
Have a great Monday.