While professional athletes are highly skilled and very talented at their respective sport, many don’t think past retirement. They often don’t consider what life will be like when they can’t compete at the highest level anymore.
Some move on to other things, while others stay involved in their sport by becoming a head coach or even a color commentator in the broadcast booth. Not all athletes, however, are being cut out for the latter.
In fact, some of the greatest players in sports history are absolutely dreadful at calling a game. Here are five athletes-turned-broadcasters who are painfully obnoxious in the mic.
While Bill Walton’s NBA career was cut short due to injuries, the legendary center had one of the most successful careers in college basketball while at UCLA. And although he was a tremendous basketball player, he didn’t belong on the sidelines with easy access to a headset.
Broadcasters are to remain unbiased while commenting on games — something Walton was unable to do. Along with stating the obvious every time he spoke, he would often become too dramatic, especially when the situation didn’t call for it.
As wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, Cris Collinsworth finished his eight-year NFL career with 417 passes for 6,698 yards and 36 touchdowns. The former Florida Gator was also invited to three Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 1983.
Collinsworth, however, is a polarizing figure among football fans. While he is enthusiastic with his play calls and where’s his emotions on his sleeve, he’s often way too critical toward one team while overly positive about the other.
He also never stops talking about “when I was a player.” I don’t know about you, Cris, but I want to know more about those on the field, not the man in the booth.
Throughout the 1980s and early 90s, tennis legend John McEnroe was considered the sport’s “bad boy.” While he was a terrific player and competitor, his temper would often get the better of him, over shadowing his accomplishments.
After hanging up his racquet, however, McEnroe decided to put on a headset and climb into the broadcaster’s booth to call games from a different perspective.
While his commentating is often on point, his abrasive opinions can be too much. Direct is good when working through a confrontation. But when trying to keep viewers engaged in the action, criticism is more obnoxious than helpful.
Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman was a magician on the gridiron, leading his team to three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s. While he electrified the NFL for 12 seasons, this energy didn’t transfer to the booth.
Somehow, Aikman developed a very monotone delivery. His bias for the Cowboys and his equally boring broadcast partner, Joe Buck, make watching a game with Aikman in the booth unbearable.
He also focuses way too much of his attention on the synergy between QB and wide receiver. Troy, there’s so much more to the game.
Although Tony Romo was never able to lead the Cowboys deep into the playoffs, there’s no denying his play making abilities. After announcing his retirement following the 2016 season, Tony got behind the mic and provided color commentary for NFL games.
Let’s give credit where it’s due, the man knows his football. On numerous occasions, Romo has correctly predicted what the next play would be, both on defense and offense. He’s been right more often than wrong.
But Tony, your screechy voice and the fact that you NEVER stop talking makes you so obnoxious during a telecast. I don’t care why a player is doing one thing rather than another. Just let me watch the game in peace. And when you do talk, stay on topic. This isn’t a book club.