Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 May 2018

From the Bench to the Booth

Good article here by Jonathan Jones on MMQB. You can instantly move into the broadcast booth if you're a Pro Bowl-quality player such as Jason Witten. But how do lower-level players move into today's diverse media landscape. Jones talks to Geoff Schwartz, Andrew Hawkins, Dan Orlovsky, and others. Some good football analysts here. There's a lot more to being a media personality than just knowing the subject, and there's no reason why great players should be better broadcasters than guys who were average starters or even bench players such as Orlovsky. Just ask Mike Mayock and Matt Bowen. Or Pat Summerall.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 31 May 2018

15 comments, Last at 13 Jun 2018, 1:39pm by rpwong


by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 05/31/2018 - 2:24pm

Interesting article. I'd love to see Peyton in the booth, but he's apparently not considering it until Eli is retired.

Can Eli hurry up and retire already? Peyton in the booth is worth 1M Elis on the field.

by Sixknots :: Thu, 05/31/2018 - 11:33pm

Maybe...Peyton in the booth could ware out his welcome somewhat quickly.

by ssereb :: Fri, 06/01/2018 - 2:52am

I find Peyton incredibly corny. I think he probably has one of the best minds in the history of the game but I'm not sure the prospect of listening to him talk for three hours will make me more likely to watch a game I otherwise wouldn't.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Fri, 06/01/2018 - 9:03am

I can barely stand him in 30 second commercial spots. 3 hours? Not a friggen chance.

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 06/01/2018 - 11:30pm

Presumably he won't be playing that "overbearing annoying friend" character he does in his commercials

by rpwong :: Wed, 06/13/2018 - 1:36pm

Agreed. We really don't know what Manning's commentator personality would be like, same as we didn't know with Tony Romo before his first game.

Color commentating has to be one of the hardest on-camera jobs in television. It's not easy to go on national television for three hours and be knowledgeable, insightful, funny, interesting, and not annoying while responding immediately to what's happening right in front of you.

Given Manning's renowned attention to detail, I suspect that he would spend a lot of time rewatching his coverage and seeking advice to identify what he can do better.

by MJK :: Sun, 06/03/2018 - 8:51pm

Tom Brady would be a way better announcer than Peyton Manning.



Sorry, couldn't resist. :-)

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:48am

thought c. pennington was good anoicner. did a few games a few years ago. not sure what that guy uis doing now. would like to listen to him call nfl weekly basis for cbs or fox

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 06/01/2018 - 12:54pm

I have a copy of a Raiders-Vikings game from 1990 with Bill Walsh commentating on it. At one point Bo Jackson, goes on an outside run and makes a short gain finishing out of bounds. Walsh points out where he misread the blocker, should have gone inside of him rather than going outside and that this is one of the problems of lack of training camp time.

Sort of insight you just don't seem to get these days. All you get is Cris Collinsworth fawning "Oh my god that's an amazing catch. I don't know how he managed to twist his body like that and get his feet down inbounds" (along with "I don't know what a catch is anymore").

by jtr :: Mon, 06/04/2018 - 9:19am

I actually think Collinsworth is the best guy we have going right now. At least once per game, he points out some aspect of player technique that had never occurred to me before. And unlike everyone on the four-letter network, he doesn't pull any punches in declaring that a player screwed up, even if it wouldn't have been obvious to the common fan.

by galactic_dev :: Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:55am

Agreed, Collinsworth is the best color guy there is right now, although I am also impressed with Tony Romo, predicting blitzes and providing great situational/positional analysis.

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 06/08/2018 - 4:29pm

I'm glad you find value in Collinsworth's games. I thought he was great a couple of years ago, but he's steeply fallen off since. All the "insight" he has now seems written before the game and he'll squeeze it in whether it's really applicable to the play on the field or not.

I feel like Romo is head, shoulders, torso, and thighs above anybody else right now. It's a crime against the NFL that Cutler left the booth for Adam Gase. I doubt he would have been as good as Romo (but I was skeptical of Romo too before the season).

by jtr :: Fri, 06/08/2018 - 4:53pm

I only caught a couple of Romo games. I think he'll be great in a few years, right now I find him too lacking in polish. Too many times, he just barks out "cover 4!" before the play. He needs to get to "looks like cover 4, look for the offense to attack with deep crosses or shallow sideline routes." And in the Pittsburgh-Kansas City game, he did exactly what you're saying Collingsworth does. He had a talking point about how Pittsburgh wasn't going to run against KC's 3 DL looks, and he stuck with it the whole game even after Pittsburgh had a lot of success doing just that. Pittsburgh ended up just running the ball to the outside, away from the big guys inside, but Romo never picked it up and stuck with his old talking point.

Anyways, he's still a million miles better than Phil Simms ever was, and I suspect he'll be the undisputed best on TV in another season or two.

by rpwong :: Wed, 06/13/2018 - 1:39pm

Even with dropoff, Collinsworth is still my favourite. I'm hoping that he'll improve now that NBC isn't doing TNF and he can focus on one game every week.

by andrew :: Wed, 06/06/2018 - 9:53am

I can dream of the day when we have AI charting and DVOA in real time and that on a live channel overlay.

By overlay I mean someone produces essentially a digital green screen overlay meant to go over the live feed but they don't have rights to that, they just make it so you can do it with some gizmo or application...

actually we are more likely to see that in gambling terms than analytics terms.