In the wake of our recent articles, 5 NBA Announcers Who Deserve More Airtime, 5 NHL Announcers Who Deserve More Airtime, and NFL on Fox adding SNY's Kevin Burkhardt to its Lineup, it's time to take a look at five announcers who could be in network television broadcast booths calling NFL games in the future. Most have experience calling NFL games on the local level while others have called college football. No matter, these men are deserving to take the next step to call nationally televised games on Sundays.
The list is in alphabetical order.
One of the youngest announcers to ever call an NCAA Tournament game for CBS, he's now calling college football and basketball for ESPN. In 2012, he replaced Joe Tessitore on the Friday Night Football package on ESPN/ESPN2. When he was with CBS College Sports (now CBS Sports Network), Blackburn was a versatile announcer calling multiple sports and serving as a studio host.
It would not be surprising to see him make a return to CBS down the road to call NFL games.
You may already be familiar with Catalon. He's been one of the busiest freelancers in the 21st Century. He's worked at CBS Sports Network (college basketball and tennis), NBC (2008, 2010 and 2012 Olympics on handball, fencing, curling and tennis), and Tennis Channel. On the local level, he's called the University of Connecticut women's basketball games on SNY as well as NFL preseason games for the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants. He received the call from the NFL on CBS for one game in 2011.
This fall, Andrew is expected to take a bigger role with CBS Sports Network on college football and basketball. And through it all, he continues to be a local sports anchor on WNYT-TV in Albany, NY.
Expect to see Andrew back on curling for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. And he'll be calling NFL games for one of the networks later this decade.
He's going into his third season calling the Cincinnati Bengals and into his second decade as the voice of the Cincinnati Bearcats for football and basketball. Hoard has been a very busy man. At one time, he traveled in between Cincinnati and Rhode Island as the voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox, calling Bengals preseason games on TV and the Bearcats as well.
Dan has forged a very good team with analyst Dave Lapham on Bengals games and he keeps fans informed on the team's progress through his blog. He would make a very good choice for one of the NFL's TV partners in the future.
Already mentioned in our NBA article, Dave now gets some love for the NFL. Pasch already has a national profile thanks to his work for ESPN on college basketball, college football and the NBA. When he was teamed with Bill Walton on Pac-12 games this past season, Dave got a famous partner and became a straight man to Big Red's rants and his Ray Lewis jokes.
You may not be aware that Pasch also calls Arizona Cardinals games on radio. He's been their voice since 2002 and was behind the mike when the team made its Super Bowl run in 2009. His Cardinals calls have been featured often on NFL Films.
Pasch's work is well-known and is established at ESPN, but if the opportunity ever arose he would be a very good pick up by one of the networks for the NFL.
Bob has been the voice of Navy Football for the past 16 season and in August, he replaces the legendary Gil Santos when he calls the New England Patriots. If you have CBS Sports Network on your cable or satellite system, you may have seen Bob calling Patriot League basketball games.
Socci has had a very good year. He first got the gig to call the Pawtucket Red Sox which has been a springboard for many announcers (Gary Cohen of SNY, Dave Flemming of the San Francisco Giants, Aaron Goldsmith of the Seattle Mariners, the aforementioned Dan Hoard, Andy Freed of the Tampa Bay Rays, NESN's Don Orsillo just to name a few) and then received the nod from the Patriots last month.
With his experience on the college level, I wouldn't be surprised if he joined one of the national networks in the near future.
Honorable mentions: Josh Lewin (San Diego Chargers and Big Ten Network) and Bob Papa (New York Giants and formerly of NFL Network)
When you announce for the NFL, please do not use ALTITUDE to describe Denver It is ELEVATION. ALTITUDE IS WHEN YOU ARE IN AN AIRPLANE.
Blackburn is awful. Smarmy and too low key. Oh, kinda like Joe Buck. Guess he does have a shot after all.
I'd also throw Justin Kutcher in as a guy on the rise. He's done some low-tier college football games for ESPN. Now, he works for Fox doing college football and occasionally an MLB game. It's not a stretch to presume he'll have a role in Fox Sports 1's coverage of college football, and probably more high-profile gigs in the future.
Agreed on Catalon. The fill-in NFL game he did a year or two ago for CBS happened to be the one for my region that day and I was pretty impressed with him. His is a voice I could get used to if he does indeed get snapped up to do play-by-play on a regular basis. On the flip side, this list also includes my two least-favorite current ESPN announcers in Blackburn and Pasch. These two guys just irritate me to no end. How they stay gainfully employed as sports announcers is far beyond me.
@bluesbrothersfan Bluesbrothersfan Jusin Kutcher also used to work a College Softball Super Regional and College Baseball for ESPN too!!!