Battle of the Network Stars

Written by :
Published on : July 2, 2017

 

Welcome to the new Battle of the Network Stars. For those who don’t know, this is a revival of the vintage series from ABC Sports dating back 1976. The show ran until 1988 and normally had two episodes a year. It was hosted by the great Howard Cosell and featured a three way battle from the stars of ABC, NBC and CBS. This was the original Dancing with the Stars.

 

And because TV won’t let anything die, this sports reality vehicle is back! This time with special guest coach and NFL great, DeMarcus Ware. Plus former UFC champ, Ronda Rousey. With Mike Green and Joe Tessitore doing the commentary. This version of the show has dropped the network teams and instead grouped the contestants by the types of roles they have played. Crews like: TV cops, TV lawyers, TV politicians, TV doctors, primetime soap stars, TV mom and dads, TV kids, and etc. Each airing of the 10 episode run will pit two crews against each other in a gauntlet of events. There are even some folks who are returning for their second round of Battle of the Network Stars. Talk about a throwback.

 

AJ MICHALKA, TRACEY GOLD, DAVE COULIER, BRONSON PINCHOT, DEMARCUS WARE, TOM ARNOLD
                                                                               Team TV Sitcoms

 

The events are just like back in the day. We still get to enjoy track, swimming, kayaking, basketball, soccer, tennis, the famous dunk tank, archery, golf, obstacle course and the the tug of war. It’s like some crazy decathlon for non-athletes. Half the fun is seeing who fails what. But then an endearing thing happens, you see one of the stars overcome in a situation you thought they had no chance in. It’s totally uplifting. And it gives you a little hope that maybe, just maybe, we can all find some inner strength someday.

 

I’m most looking forward to seeing team sci-fi which is Lou Ferrigno, Vinnie Jones, Charisma Carpenter, Kevin Sorbo and Jill Wagner. Team TV lifeguards also looks intriguing. The roster includes David Chokachi, Brande Roderick, Parker Stevenson, Nicole Eggert and Gena Lee Nolin. Rescue me. ABC is all in on this the retro game show thing. Beyond Battle, they also brought back The Gong Show while still enjoying Family FeudJeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. That’s a lot of old shit for one network. I’ve got a new idea for you ABC, how about show where celebs do my laundry. It could be called White Wash.

 

CORBIN BLEU, JOEY LAWRENCE, NOLAN GOULD, LISA WHELCHEL, KIM FIELDS, RONDA ROUSEY

 

Let’s all just be happy that there are finally some sports to watch. The dark days are over. Battle of the Network Stars is on Thursdays this summer on ABC.

 

TV time.

 

 


Best Announcers in Sports

Written by :
Published on : February 15, 2016

 

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.

 

Harry Caray

 

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.

 

Dick Vitale

 

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.

 

Joe Rogan

 

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.

 

Don Cherry

don cherry

 

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.

 

Pat Summerall

 

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.

 

Mike Tirico

 

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.

 

Ernie Harwell

 

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.

 

Vin Scully

 

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.

Bob Costas

 

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.

 

Chick Hearn

hearn 2

 

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.

Howard Cosell

 

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.

 

 


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