I know a great deal of you still don't have the NFL Network, so I did you the favor of watching the Browns collapse against the Broncos last night for you. The game was rather entertaining with Brady Quinn exploiting the Broncos defense, but then again, so hasn't every other quarterback Denver has played. The point of this post however is to illustrate just how great a hire that Bob Papa is for the network.
Every early review that I've read seems to be in line with my thinking, and that's that the pairing of Papa and Cris Collinsworth could already be one of the top announcing teams in the NFL. I know that's a little bit over-the-top, and the closeness of the game obviously helped, but I honestly really enjoyed the broadcast. Moreso than I have for an NFL game in quite some time. I've always been a fan of Collinsworth, but his assignments with Bryant Gumbel just dragged him down. Papa was spot on throughout the night and when two announcers can laugh, be serious and breakdown plays, you've conquered about 99% of the announcing game. The only thing left is to get the players and the downs right (Hi Pam!).
The NFL sponsored channel isn't going anywhere, and even though they can't get a carriage deal to save their lives, so this excellent transition was a much needed one. You officially have my approval, NFL-N. Not that it matters, but you've got that going for you....which is nice.
Papa, Collinsworth Worth A Listen (Sox & Dawgs)