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Sports' greatest broadcasters

Last week, legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall died at the age of 82. He was one of the greatest and most influential announcers of all time. Where does he rank on history's list? Here is one opinion of the best sports broadcasters of all time.

1. Bob Costas

A few years ago, I did a similar list and Costas was third. Now he moves to the top. He has called just about every major sporting event, including the Super Bowl, World Series and the Olympics. He's smart, funny and is one of the best interviewers ever — sports or otherwise.

2. Jim McKay

The most versatile announcer, as proven by his prolific work on ABC's Wide World of Sports, which included everything from barrel jumping to lumberjack games. McKay also set the gold standard for hosting the Olympics and became a legend with his compelling work bringing us the tragedy at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

3. Howard Cosell

Universally loved or hated. There was no in-between. But throughout the 1960s and, especially, the 1970s, Cosell was broadcasting's most famous voice. He called the World Series and every major boxing match and, most of all, was the reason Monday Night Football became a phenomenon.

4. Al Michaels

The first three on the list were hosts more than anything else. Michaels, the man who made the "Do you believe in miracles?'' call, is a play-by-play announcer — the best who has ever lived and still the best in sports today.

5. Curt Gowdy

Often called the "Broadcaster of Everything'' because of his ability to call any sport. He did it all but saved his best for the World Series and Super Bowl during the 1970s.

6. Dick Enberg

Best known for calling football on NBC during the 1980s. Or was he known for calling Wimbledon? Or college basketball? Or baseball? That just goes to show you how good he was at everything.

7. Brent Musburger

Plenty don't like Musburger, but this guy has been calling games and hosting shows for more than 40 years. In case you hadn't noticed, he's still the top college football announcer on television.

8. Chris Schenkel

Often considered the original sports "host.'' He did it all but was especially known for calling college football, the NBA and the Pro Bowlers Tour. His low-key, baritone style was as smooth as smooth could be.

9. Keith Jackson

Whoa, Nellie. Jackson was the voice of college football but also could be heard on the World Series, the Indy 500, the NBA Finals, the Olympics and even a few Evel Knievel jumps. And, oh, he was the original voice of Monday Night Football.

10. Pat Summerall

A rare case of a former player (Summerall was a kicker for the Giants) becoming a play-by-play announcer. The longtime announcer of the U.S. (tennis) Open and the Masters, Summerall is considered by many to be the best NFL announcer ever. Summerall is, by far, the best athlete-turned-broadcaster in the history of sports or broadcasting.

Around the corner

Most of the offseason talk with the Bucs has been about either trading for Jets CB Darrelle Revis or drafting a cornerback with the 13th overall pick. But, could the Bucs wait until the second round to take a corner? It's possible, and a prospect who could be sitting there is Boise State's Jamar Taylor.

"I am high on Jamar Taylor,'' the NFL Network's Mike Mayock said. "I've got Jamar Taylor at No. 51 in my top 100. I think he's a mid second-round pick. He has got quick feet, he'll tackle and like most Boise players, he's tough and understands the game of football. So trust me, I think Jamar Taylor is a starting corner in the NFL."

Fan favorites

The Patriots and Peyton Manning still appear to be the biggest draws in the NFL. When the league announced its schedule last week, the Patriots and Manning's Broncos, as well as the 49ers, were scheduled to make five appearances each in prime-time games. The Steelers, Packers, Falcons, Redskins and Seahawks will play in four prime-time games.

Three things that popped into my head

1. Rays starting pitcher David Price just doesn't look right. His velocity is down, his location is off and it just seems like something is wrong.

2. It's hard to imagine Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter coming back and being an effective player, at least as a shortstop. By the time he returns from his fractured ankle — and that won't be until the All-Star break, at the earliest — he will be 39 years old and out for more than eight months. His range already was starting to deteriorate before the injury.

3. The Lightning will miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. The Bucs have missed the playoffs the past five years. The Rays are in last place. At least we have the Rowdies, eh?

tom jones' two cents

Sports' greatest broadcasters 04/20/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 2:07pm]
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