After reading a great article by Derek Zona over at SB Nation, who ranked all of the NHL TV announcing teams, it got me thinking, what makes a good announce team?
Do fans prefer their own announcers over others? Sure they do. It’s what they are comfortable with. Most local guys tend to favor their teams’ own players (to varying degrees) while being able to give details of the game. Fans like a familiar voice, as Alicia (Activestick_44) says it’s about a comfort level, growing up with the same announcers can increase a trust level with their words.
Current Millersville University hockey play by play man, Jordan Kuhns (JCKuhns on twitter) explains who he models himself after and what makes a broadcaster a good one.
Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the broadcasters that get the most exposure. They are the best of the best for a reason. They are the best fundamentally, and the best at telling stories or garnering excitement. Look no further than Mike Emrick, Gary Thorne, Dave Strader, so on. All of them use an economy of words. They also have the ability to describe things beautifully almost without error. As a broadcaster, you have to tell stories to give the viewer something on top of watching the game. Think of a game as a two-layered story. You have to tell the story of the game, and tell stories of the season or prior seasons on top of that.
I’ve always looked up to broadcasters that get enthusiastic over moments, but not overly so. Examples of a good amount of good enthusiasm, Emrick, Thorne, Jim Jackson (CSNPHI), Pat Foley (CSNCHI), Sam Rosen (MSG), Kenny Albert (NYR-radio), Ralph Strangis (FSN-SW)…I could go on. A few overly enthusiastic broadcasters stick out, such as Dave Mishkin (TB-radio) and Randy Moller (FLA-radio). The good voices make sure you remember moments, but they don’t want to overshadow it with themselves.
I also look up to broadcasters that have a real chemistry with color analysts that are well-versed about the game on the fly, and are able to work together to entertain you. Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh are the ultimate pair. Mike Emrick and John Davidson were great. Thorne and Clement. The list goes on.
What makes a broadcaster bad is the inability to describe, being overexcited at all times, and presenting yourself with no respect for yourself, no respect for the game, and no respect for the competitors. Jack Edwards is the ultimate example of this. Everyone knows it.
Who do I like personally? My favorite current team is the Kings’ duo of Bob Miller and Jim Fox.