Sports broadcasting, not unlike other media, is guilty of producing an extraordinary amount of hot air. The noise pollution it generates on a daily basis is threatening our precious athletic ecosystems - ESPN, for example, spills more crude waste into our atmosphere in a single day than BP could manage in three months.
Yes, sports media boasts an astonishing array of contaminators: there are analysts, pundits, commentators, presenters, sideline reporters, and announcers -- not to mention the specialists, like play-by-play commentators, and color commentators. Now, to be fair, these men and women have extremely difficult jobs, and the era of 24-hour sports coverage hasn't made those jobs any easier. Yet, once upon an idyllic time, before entire broadcasts were dedicated to Brett Favre's favorite sandwich (or favorite way to text pics of his undercarriage) and before 60-year-old men littered games with ridiculous pop culture references, commentators had the ability to enhance our experience of watching or listening to a game, offering brevity-educated insight (whaaaaa?!?) - knowing when to dramatize and when to shut up and let the game speak for itself.
At some point in the last 10 years, coverage became personality-driven with far too many commentators coasting on babble, cardboard analogies, truisms, and inflated egos. Today, we've reached a sad state of the sports broadcasting union, where games are watched without sound, and where there isn't a single fan who doesn't feel fully capable of committing flagrant acts of violence against a particular analyst or broadcaster.
Below we've compiled a list of the voices we enjoy less than a chorus of vuvuzelas; so, without further ado, here are the 13 sports media figures that should be sent down to the minors. Please chime in with your own. (A worst athlete-turned sportscasters list to follow.)
Honorable Mentions: Stuart Scott, Craig Sager's Wardrobe, Joe Buck, Post-2000 Bob Costas, Stephen A. Smith, Lou Holtz, and Sal Masekela