The 20 Worst People That Cover Sports

With the amount of crying I do on this site about bad/lazy sports writing, I got to thinking about whom exactly I can’t stand the most in the world of covering the games we love to watch. Between newspaper writers, website bloggers, TV commentators, and so on, there’s so many to choose from. And I am very, very easily irritated, as you may have noticed if you follow this blog.

I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one guy or girl that annoys me the most. But what I was able to do was come up with a list of 20 people, that cover sports in some way, that each make my ears feel like they’re going to bleed or eyes pop out of my head when I’m subjected to their material.

To be fair, in my next piece I’m going to list my 20 favorites in covering sports, too. But for now, let’s focus on those that really suck. The worst of the worst. 20 people that need to go away to make the sports landscape a better place. And don’t look for Joe Morgan…he’s thankfully out of announcing and is now screwing up the front office of the Reds.

One final note…I’m keeping these lists on people that appear nationally in some form. No local guys…yet. After I’m done with both lists, I’ll do one more list focusing on the best and worst of Detroit’s sports coverage. That way, I’m “fair” to everyone. Hooray.

So…in no particular order…

1. Joe Buck, Fox Sports

How can the son of such a phenomenal announcer as the late, great Jack Buck be so amazingly annoying? Not only does Buck come off as an arrogant prick that oozes smugness at all times, but he also seems to be clueless about the sports he covers. Usually, you can find a defender for nearly anyone…I mean everyone has their fans if they’re on TV. But I have yet to meet one person to say, “You know who I like? That Joe Buck fellow.” Yet Fox continues to make Buck their lead MLB and NFL broadcaster, HBO gave him a (very) short-lived interview show, and he has won numerous Sports Emmy Awards. It blows my mind.

2. Tim McCarver, Fox Sports

I might as well get Buck’s MLB tag-team partner out of the way, too. McCarver, the ex-catcher, mainly with the Cardinals, is the 1st string MLB announcer for Fox that I’m convinced has no idea where he is at any given time. He babbles on like he’s an expert on EVERYTHING, yet he constantly gets facts and rules incorrect. He is famous for getting the names of the players he covers wrong, as well. Once during a broadcast, he was flabbergasted at the stat that showed that teams are more likely to score more runs in an inning when the leadoff batter homers versus the leadoff hitter getting a walk. Seriously. He couldn’t believe it. Meanwhile, he continues to have his own syndicated sports talk show and has won three Emmys for Best Sports Analyst. I just don’t get it.

3. Jim Nantz, CBS Sports

Nantz is probably most famous for being the ex-host of The NFL Today on CBS and currently being their lead play-by-play football announcer. I don’t have a problem with Jim there. Where he makes me want to start choking babies is each year when it’s time for The Masters golf tournament. Since 1989, Nantz has been the host of The Masters and it gets worse every year. You can almost hear him nearing orgasm as he preaches the “majesty” of the course every year, despite Augusta’s history of racism and sexism. To this date, the only women or minorities you’ll find there will either be working there or be Tiger Woods. Give it a rest, Nantz…it’s just a fucking golf course.

4. Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe

Owaah teams awwah mowah impawtent than yowaah teams! Shaughnessy is every negative New England sports fan stereotype rolled into one. He thinks Boston is the most important market in the world. He is disloyal. He is a frontrunner. He brags. He lies. He makes shit up to make money, like the whole “Curse” nonsense. He is amazed when anyone disagrees with him. He’s been proven to be a stooge that leaks information that the Sawx front office feeds him in ways that would make Lynn Henning blush. Add onto all of this, his curly “clown wig” hair style, and you get easily the most annoying sports columnist in the history of writing about sports. Even Bostonians hate his ass.

5. Woody Paige, The Denver Post, ESPN

Lots of people love Woody on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” since he’s a goofball and cracks notoriously bad jokes during the show. That’s all well and good. But have you ever listened to the man speak? He’s clueless. He gets players names wrong more often than he does right. His “facts” are usually pointless or wrong. He loses focus when speaking on a subject for more than 30 seconds. He’s a buffoon, and not the good kind. It scares me that he is one of the MLB Hall of Fame voters, despite probably not knowing who half the people on the ballot are each year.

6. Rick Reilly, ESPN

Reilly used to be a real sportswriter…then the money got to him. The richer he’s got, the lazier he’s become. Ever see the episode of “The Simpsons” where Bart steals the spotlight from Lisa on a kids news show by doing cheesy “feel-good” human interest stories with no substance called “Bart’s People”? That’s what Reilly does. He recycles the same garbage over and over and people eat it up. And he’s rich because of it. Rick Reilly should be drowned in the closest river to his house.

7. Peter King, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports

I hate Peter King. Hate, hate, HATE. The man writes a weekly 10,000 or so word column for SI called “Monday Morning Quarterback” where 1,000 words are on football and the other 9,000 are on coffee, traveling, and other nonsense no one cares about. He complains about everything, despite SI footing the bill for his travel and expenses. He never has any real news and often gets things wrong due to not checking out his sources. He’s a skidmark on the underwear of sports journalism. He’s also a NFL Hall of Fame voter and the winner of the Sportswriter of the Year award in 2010 because God is dead.

8. Jon Gruden, ESPN

The ex-NFL coach needs to be made an ex-sports analyst ASAP. “Chucky” may have been a decent (or lucky) head coach, but as a NFL color man, he’s the shits. Take a drink every time Gruden says “THIS GUY…” and you’ll die of alcohol poisoning by halftime. I’m amazed the Redskins or some other dumb team hasn’t hired him yet.

9. Colin Cowherd, ESPN

Colin’s the face of everything that is wrong about covering sports in today’s world. Just last week, numerous times, he remarked that he isn’t paid to be right, he’s paid to get ratings. He admits that he’s often not right! He doesn't believe what he's spewing into his microphone! He’s just saying things to get a reaction! Now out of everyone, Your Party Host can appreciate that. It’s my gimmick most of the time, too. But I’m writing a silly humor blog about a baseball team more often than not. He’s the face and voice of two ESPN news shows and should be held to a higher standard than a moron like me. Oh, he also looks like a weasel and I wish the lovely and talented Michelle Beadle would kick him in the dick at least once during every episode of Sports Nation.

10. Terry Bradshaw, Fox

The trusted main analyst of Fox NFL Sunday might as well be Larry the Cable Guy. Why not? They’re both idiots doing a schtick of a redneck moron. Look, I enjoy comedy as much, if not more, than the next guy. But would it kill him to act like he knows what he’s talking about, at least SOME of the time? No wonder poor James Brown bolted for CBS as soon as they gave him the opportunity.

11. Chris Berman, ESPN

Sigh. What a fat, untalented, load of shit. Whether you call him “Boomer”, “The Swami”, or what I call him when I see him (“Oh fuck, it’s that dicksnot Berman”), he’s still the same jackass repeating the same jokes he’s been doing for twenty years. He is a six-time winner of Sportscaster of the Year, but none since 2001. Maybe the annoying bastard should scale BACK BACK BACK BACK into retirement.

12. Rob Parker,,

Parker’s a racist, a moron, and hated by most in the sports community, especially in Detroit. He is the one person on this list who I have NEVER heard make a good point when discussing sports. In fact, he’s so annoying and stupid, he is the only guy on ESPN’s “First and Ten” that makes Skip Bayless look like the good guy in discussions. Parker should be taken out and run over by a bus. I’m sure there would be thousands willing to be the driver.

13. TJ Simers, Los Angeles Times

He’s an asshole, a hack, and a pile of shit. Perfect for LA. That is all.

14. Jay Mariotti,

Speaking of assholes. No one likes Mariotti. Ozzie Guillen once called him “a fag”. Hawk Harrelson did the only good deed of his entire life by punching Mariotti and breaking his nose in Minnesota in 2004. In the past year, he’s been in court for domestic abuse, stalking, and assault. This is why you don’t see him on ESPN anymore complaining about EVERYTHING in sports and being wrong about most of it. What a prick.

15. Ken “Hawk” Harrelson

Speak of the Devil, I can’t do a list like this without mentioning the annoying color man of the White Sox. Believe it or not, he was actually the ChiSox GM in 1986. However, many people questioned his work ethic as a GM because he was often found on the golf course instead of in the office. In addition, others questioned his personnel decisions. During that one season, Harrelson fired manager Tony LaRussa (who was soon hired by the Oakland A's, whom he led to three consecutive AL pennants) and another guy, assistant general manager Dave Dombrowski (who became baseball's youngest general manager with the Montreal Expos just two years later). Harrelson also traded rookie Bobby Bonilla, later a six-time All-Star, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Jose DeLeon. Of course, today he is the poster boy for homer announcers that mindlessly root for the team they cover. Cram it for good, Hawk, you clueless piece of garbage.

16. Tony Kornheiser, ESPN

He’s old. He is ignorant. And he doesn’t care about anything in sports that’s not related to teams in New York or Boston. So of course, he’s perfect for ESPN. I want to smack his stupid bald head with a shovel every time I see him on “Pardon the Interruption”. Luckily, the lazy prick doesn’t show up to do the program much anymore since he’s always golfing.

17. Jim Rome, ESPN, Clear Channel

In 1997, hockey legend Gordie Howe announced an attempt to play a shift with the International Hockey League's Detroit Vipers, which would allow Howe to claim having played professional hockey in six decades. Rome challenged the 69-year-old ex-Red Wings star, offering a bounty of $3,000 to any player on the team playing against the Vipers to take Howe out of the game permanently by saying, "Putting this old fool back to reality." Howe and his wife threatened Rome with a lawsuit, and the bounty went away. And of course, we all know the Jim Everett story. Rome’s a smug cocksucker that offers nothing to the coverage of sports other than constant facepalms. And as far as Rome goes, I am out.

18. Jeremy Schaap, ESPN

Jeremy’s the son of legendary sports journalist Dick Schaap. And for some reason, I cannot stand the guy. Every time he comes on my TV, I want to throw my remote through the screen. His voice makes me crazy. He acts like he’s above the sports he covers. I don’t know. Like Joe Buck, the apple fell very, very far from the tree.

19. Bill Plaschke, ESPN, Los Angeles Times

I hate his stupid bald head. I hate his dumb lisping voice. And I hate 95% of what he says. Bill’s the moral police of the sports world. No fun for everyone. In his perfect sports world, every player would be David Eckstein. He’s also extremely biased toward West Coast teams. I hope a giant earthquake finally takes out California and Plaschke’s the first to fall into the ocean.

20. Matt Millen, ESPN, NFL Network

Well, technically, he’s unemployed as both the Worldwide Leader and NFL Network both let him go in the offseason, but I just had to put him on here. With the ineptitude he showed while running the Lions into the ground, it amazes me that any network would expect fans to take even one word Matt Millen said seriously. What a jackass.

And there you have it. Those are my 20 least favorite people that cover sports. I hope I didn’t leave out any of your least favorites. If I did, let me know in the comments. Give me a couple days and I’ll get to the best. Because believe it or not, there are good voices in sports today.

You just have to look extra hard to find them.