OT: American Sportscaster/play-by-play Mount Rushmore

Submitted by stephenrjking on January 25th, 2017 at 4:05 PM

Prompted by the retirement of Brent Musburger, Mike Hall tweeted this:


Here's an impossible task: American Sportcaster Mount Rushmore. You only can put up 4. I think Brent's in there. Who ya got?

— Mike Hall (@BTNMikeHall) January 25, 2017

Someone in response pointed out that one needs to differentiate between "sportscaster" and "play-by-play" guy, which is probably wise.

It's not easy. I don't think Brent is there (he would make the college football mount, along with Keith, Verne, and... hard to narrow down a fourth. Maybe Joe Tess in a few years). 

Focusing on just play-by-play guys, I would list Al Michaels, Vin Scully, Howard Cosell, and Keith Jackson, even though I'm not a big fan of Cosell even granted the generational differences there.

Brent actually has a better case if you expand the field beyond play-by-play, because he was an iconic studio host for CBS for years. Cosell fares well there, too. Jim Nantz becomes a legit candidate, even though I don't like him, as do guys like Chris Fowler.

Who ya got?


Cali Wolverine

January 25th, 2017 at 6:25 PM ^

in the hills of Sherman Oaks a few years ago....his nextdoor neighbor was this nice older gentleman...that turned out to be Keith Jackson. He said Mr. Jackson (he deserves the "Mr.") invited him over and he saw the most amazing college sports paraphernalia collection ever. How come I never get Keith Jackson as my neighbor when I move?

True legend. Went out the right way too.

uncle leo

January 25th, 2017 at 4:14 PM ^

For me, most of them are going to be "newer" because I didn't hear a lot of the "old guard" call games.

#1- Gus Johnson: Some of my favorite memories growing up are watching him call NCAA tournament games. Even though he gets off the rails sometimes, his passion for basketball is above and beyond what anyone does.

#2- Ken Daniels: Maybe some hometown bias here. I've heard plenty of other on-air guys call their local NHL teams. None of them hold a candle to Ken.

#3- Bob Cole: Even at 83, no one calls a hockey game like him. And he's still sharp with the game. 

#4- Mike Tirico: Professional, passionate, good dude. He's already one of the best.


January 25th, 2017 at 5:50 PM ^

gus, ha haaa!!  youre right, hes a little out there at times and may not be everyone but a great dude and passionate hoops nut.  

gus has called some classics, thats for sure.  tough to top his enthusiasm, especially during march madness or big east tourney (which ill always put near the top of the list of best sporting event - though more so the old big east and gus wasnt as involved) - but he can just easily crack me up with a random outburst during the opening minutes of some december non conference game.

i despise all things osu but ill never forget that wild xavier vs osu tourney game (maybe 08?) and his call - ron lewis!!!

Benoit Balls

January 25th, 2017 at 4:12 PM ^

but here is mine:

Keith Jackson, Verne Lundquist, Vin Scully, Dick Enberg

I also LOVED Bruce Martyn. He'd be in my personal Hall of Fame. So many good memories listening to Wings games riding in my Dads work truck


January 25th, 2017 at 4:14 PM ^

25 years.  I wasn't around for Cosell.  My picks would be Keith Jackson, Marv Albert (sexual exploits aside), Jim Lampley, and Brad Nessler.  Nessler goes back a lot longer than most people think, has worked for muttiple networks and even called NBA on ESPN for a number of years.  He is underrated.


January 25th, 2017 at 5:53 PM ^

Much agree.

Marv Alberts calling an NBA game (think Bulls-Knicks!) was magic in the 90s as a kid.

And Brad Nessler is awesome. Love his voice and him and Blackledge are a great duo.

Also, Gary Thorne for hockey games! ESPN 90s hockey was great.


January 25th, 2017 at 11:36 PM ^

we called Paul Carey the "Voice of God," because of the tenor of his voice.  But Ernie would be #1 on Rushmore in my book.  

I'd also include Keith Jackson, of course.  And Al Michaels for his call in the 1980 Olympic hockey game: "Do you believe in miracles?!!"


January 25th, 2017 at 4:16 PM ^


  • 1. Jim Lampley
  • 2. Vin Scully
  • 3. Jim Lampley
  • 4. Jim Lampley


Jim Lampley is the best fight caller in the biz, by a mile, but also bounces around to baseball, the olympics, and other random sports, and kills it. I'd listen to him read the phone book.



January 25th, 2017 at 4:22 PM ^

A big part of the reason Lampley is so amazing is that they stick him with Larry Merchant... who is not all there anymore, or with a parade of boxers who are in the beginning stages of their sunset and add nothing. He carries them all and genuinely adds to the telecast.

Always wished Lampley had called other sports besides boxing on the regular.

Also, Max Kellerman, before ESPN made him into a hot take-r, used to be so great and knowledgeable. But now he's just another sports talk radio hack.


January 25th, 2017 at 4:26 PM ^

of the things I like the most about Lampley is that he makes a great fight that much better, but he doesn't try to convince you that a bad fight is good, regardless of how much you paid.  If you are watching a bad boxing match, he will tell you that you are watching a bad boxing match.  He doesn't sugar coat anything, and that is rare among announcers.