Bad broadcasters

Hockey Night in Canada announcer Bob Cole. (Sun Media/JASON RANSOM)

Hockey Night in Canada announcer Bob Cole. (Sun Media/JASON RANSOM)

STEPHEN RIPLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

If last Sunday's 95th Grey Cup was the final football broadcast for the CBC tandem of Mark Lee and Chris Walby, at least they went out on a winning note.

After spending the last couple of seasons annoying the hell out of people with his loud-mouthed, ill-informed colour commentary, Walby actually had a pretty decent game. Although he was clearly cheering for the Bombers and said "I'll tell ya what ..." before every sentence, for the first time in weeks he managed to come across as something other than a neanderthal.

Lee also seemed to be cheering for the Bombers, but his play-by-play was sharp and he didn't make any major gaffes. Sure, he still doesn't know the term for "out of bounds" is actually "into touch" and not "out of touch," but maybe that's just my own pet peeve.

Anyway, when it comes to the CFL, we won't have the CBC to kick around anymore. Now if we can just get them to stop broadcasting hockey ...

10. Sean Salisbury

For a guy who used to host Battle Bots and passed for a whopping 3,824 yards in eight NFL seasons, Salisbury sure takes himself seriously. One of the harshest critics in the booth, he becomes hypersensitive whenever one of his broadcast partners pokes fun at his modest career stats. Nobody in the NFL is impressed with your Grey Cup ring, Sean.

9. Dick Vitale

There must have been a time, decades ago, when Dicky Vee's shtick was amusing. Now all his yelling about "diaper dandies" and "PTPers baby!" is just plain migraine-inducing.

8. Terry Bradshaw

If you enjoy train wrecks, just tune into Fox every Sunday afternoon. That's when the most inarticulate man in sports embarrasses himself by attempting to run down the highlights of every game in three minutes. When Bradshaw inevitably gets lost and forgets who's playing whom, actual broadcaster Curt Menefee sheepishly attempts to steer him back on course. Painful.

7. Don Cherry

Like Dick Vitale, Grapes is a joke that's just not funny anymore. Although he likes to remind people he was once named coach of the year, Boston fans should remember him best as the man whose ineptitude probably cost the Bruins at least a couple of Stanley Cups. When he's not playing the part of clownish neanderthal or maudlin militarist, Cherry cheers his heart out for his beloved Maple Leafs.

6. Tony Siragusa

What is this fascination with big, fat, slow-witted former linemen who can barely string together two sentences? Somehow those things all add up to "outrageous" or "irrepressible" for the networks who hire the likes of Siragusa, Walby and Mike Golic. The good news for the other Fox announcers is that the "Goose" is too enormous to fit in the booth with them.

5. Steve Armitage

If Mark Lee and Chris Walby are Exhibits B and C in the case against CBC ever broadcasting another CFL game, then Steve Armitage is Exhibit A. He has so much trouble following the action that it often seems he's watching a completely different game.

4. Tim McCarver

No baseball concept is too simple for Tim McCarver to explain in great detail and at top volume. He's such an annoying, boring blowhard that he has a website -- shutuptimmccarver.com -- devoted to his shortcomings. Sport Illustrated's Norman Chad once said McCarver is a person who "when you ask him the time, will tell you how a watch works." And he'll probably be wrong.

3. Pierre McGuire

The Tim McCarver of hockey. McGuire could write a book on the dump-in, which he apparently believes is the most exciting play in hockey. TSN wouldn't confirm the rumour that they put him down between the benches so he could be closer to all the players -- Sidney Crosby, Dion Phaneuf and many others -- on whom he has a man-crush.

2. Joe Theismann

If you like listening to colour commentators spend three hours arguing with their play-by-play men, then Theismann's your guy. Before he was unceremoniously dumped from Monday Night Football earlier this year, he made a career out of harping on everyone else's mistakes and shortcomings while steadfastly refusing to acknowledge any of his own. In a word, pompous.

1. Bob Cole

In a previous Top Ten, I referred to Mr. Cole as "Grandpa Simpson." That, of course, is a huge insult to Grandpa Simpson, who may be senile and blind as a bat, but has never been known to wave blue-and-white pompons in the broadcast booth.


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