In 2012 the Redskins games were covered by many different teams of announcers. The individual games and announcer teams are listed below. I know that a lot of fans will turn down the volume on the TV announcers and listen to the local radio coverage while watching the game at home, but that's not actually a realistic option for me here in Bangkok, so the booth-team that calls the game is often a key factor in my enjoyment of what I'm watching.
In the offseason I re-watch last season's games on evenings when I have nothing more entertaining to do. Watching a game you've already seen makes you more aware of the announcers, I think, which is why I decided to cobble together this Fanpost. My passion -- both admiration and dislike -- for the different announcers has become more of a front-of-the-mind issue for me. I don't plan to offer any comprehensive "analysis" of individual announcers or announcer-teams, but I will share a couple of opinions and invite opinions from other readers.
I guess my first comment would be that -- for the most part -- the play-by-play announcers are all fairly much the same, with not much separating my favorites from my least favorites. That said, my favorite play-by-play guy is Al Michaels, followed closely by Marv Albert. I don't really dislike any of the play-by-play guys, but my least favorite would probably be Ian Eagle, who just irritates the shit out of me for some reason.
The color commentators are a different story; they have a lot to do with my enjoyment of the game and I have some stronger & clearer opinions here. First of all, my favorite "color" guys are Brian Billick, John Gruden and Chris Collinsworth.
For knowledge & style combined Collinsworth is my clear favorite, but his voice grates on me over the course of a 3-hour broadcast.
For that reason, I'd probably prefer to listen to Brian Billick, who is insightful, knowledgeable and has a more melodious voice -- but who is less entertaining in the booth.
There's really only one "color" guy I can't stand -- Tim Ryan. I find him to be unbelievably -- almost irrationally on my part -- irritating. Sometimes I just want to rip the TV off the wall and throw it out the window when Ryan is in the booth.
But which combination of play-by-play and color commentator is the best?
Well, for my money the best combination is Marv Albert and Chris Collinsworth (in spite of Collinsworth's grating voice). The only time Redskins fans were treated to that combination in 2012 was for the week 17 game when the Redskins picked off Romo 3 times. I loved Collinsworth's comments following the 2nd & 3rd interceptions:
This after #2:
Tony Romo doesn't like to hear about it, but the pressure's on and so far he has not delivered in this game.... This ball was severely under-thrown.... Not the start that Tony Romo would hope for, and his critics very loud at this point.
When you're the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and you're in this moment, you are ultimately judged on what you do here, and he knows it; he understands that full well. Luckily for him, the turnovers happened on [the Redskins'] side of the field.
It has to be weighing on his mind; he wouldn't be human if it wasn't. He's been hearing it -- it doesn't matter what he's done as a player -- and during the course of the regular season he's put up huge numbers, but here he is now, less than 12 minutes into this game -- this key divisional game -- and we're already talking about it.
That's really good commentary, in my opinion. Then, there were these comments just before and after Romo threw the "oh shit" INT to Rob Jackson to effectively seal the Redskins victory. After a couple of successful passes, as the Cowboys were lining up for the fateful play we heard this from Collinsworth:
Wouldn't it be amazing? The blitz beats him all night long and at the final drive they can finally solve the Rubic's Cube?
Three seconds later, with a blitzing Redskins linebacker on a free run at the QB, Romo lofts the ball up and Rob Jackson steps in front of the receiver and comes down with the game-clinching interception.
Tony Romo is simply fooled. He thinks that Jackson is coming on the blitz; Perry Riley was in his face -- he just got tricked! Jackson, on the outside, took two steps forward and then fell underneath that ball, and for Tony Romo it's not over but that's nnnnot good.
For Tony Romo, this has the makings of his worst nightmare. There's just no other way to say it; if [the Redskins] go in and score a touchdown and [the Cowboys] lose the game and his final play of this season is that pass, it will haunt him until -- at the very least -- his next opportunity.
Jim Haslett has put together a masterful game plan tonight. He has had Tony Romo's number.... and for Tony Romo, it just gets worse.
But it's not just Collinsworth's commiserations for Romo that are so poetic. He also found a pithy way to encapsulate all that Robert Griffin III had meant to the Redskins in 2012 as RG3 ran out the clock on the game that made the Redskins division champs for the first time in this millenium:
What a moment for that young man. You know? I mean -- Robert Griffin III -- can you imagine (as a rookie now) with all these hardened veterans... you're 3-6 and you go on the bye. They come back and they take a vote; who's gonna be our second half captain? And they say 'We want the rookie'.
Every meeting he's the first one there. He's the last one to leave the building. On the bus he's the first one sitting in the first seat giving a little fist-bump to every single guy as he comes on the bus.
You ask any member of this football team, "Who's the leader?" they all point to the rookie. I don't know of another situation like that that I've seen in the National Football League.
So that's me -- I'm a Chris Collinsworth fan. The man's the bard of the NFL as far as I'm concerned, and his partner, Al Michaels, has a great sense of just how much to say during a game.
So, how about you?
Who's your favorite announcer or set of announcers?
Who makes it enjoyable to watch an NFL game while you're kicked back on your sofa with some pizza and beer?
Who do you hate?
The 2012 Season:
Saints Kenny Albert & Daryl Johnston
Rams Chris Meyers & Tim Ryan
Bengals Kevin Harlan & Solomon Wilcots
Buccaneers Chris Meyers & Tim Ryan
Falcons Dick Stockton & Sam Rosen
Giants Tom Brennaman & Troy Aikman
Steelers Sam Rosen & Brian Billick
Panthers Kenny Albert & Daryl Johnston
Eagles Tom Brennaman & Brian Billick
Cowboys Joe Buck & Troy Aikman
Giants Mike Trico & John Gruden
Ravens Marv Albert & Rich Gannon
Cleveland Ron Pitts & Mike Martz
Eagles Tom Brennaman & Brian Billick
Dallas Al Michaels & Chris Collinsworth
Seahawks Joe Buck & Troy Aikman