Awful Announcing‘s tournament to determine who will replace former Sunday Night Baseball commentator Joe Morgan on AA‘s Mt. Rushmore of bad announcers has been narrowed down to two — ESPN college football commentator Craig James and Fox announcer Joe Buck.
As Matt Yoder of AA explains, James’ presence in the finals is due largely to the groundswell of negative publicity that the former SMU running back has generated in regards to the Mike Leach controversy at Texas Tech. To summarize, ESPN college football reporter Bruce Feldman was temporarily relieved of his duties — but NOT suspended — by ESPN for assisting Leach in his book, Swing the Sword, which was highly critical of ESPN in its handling of Leach’s departure from the Red Raiders – in particular, allegations that Leach mistreated Adam James, son of Craig James.
When we started this tournament July 5th, few people would have predicted ESPN college football analyst Craig James for one final slot. However, a month of horrible PR came from nowhere for the Senator thanks to stunning revelations in the new Mike Leach book combined with the #FreeBruce saga. Those stories lifted James to unprecedented heights of unlikability. In the final he meets Fox play by play man Joe Buck, who in spite of winning some sympathy through battling a vocal cord virus, has rode a wave of years of discontent from sports fans through to the final. Let’s hope the final will be just as dramatic as the Colin Cowherd-Joe Buck semifinal, where Buck passed Cowherd in the final two minutes before the clock struck midnight and won by 33 votes out of 12,635.
Either James or Buck will join Pam Ward, Dick Vitale or Tim McCarver on AA’s Mt. Rushmore. Good luck to the contestants.