Ranking the city’s radio pxp announcers

I had to turn off the radio while listening to the Sixers’ Tom McGinnis tonight.


I like McGinnis’ enthusiasm, but he too often goes over the top and his call becomes one big shouting match. The whole broadcast becomes a blur. That’s what happened during his call of the Sixers-Raptors game tonight.


It got me thinking about the city’s play-by-play announcers and how I’d rank them.


Here’s No. 4 through 1 and pros and cons about each:


4: Tim Saunders, Flyers.


Pros: Saunders gives you a solid call and clearly paints a picture of the action. It’s easy to feel like you’re sitting rinkside and watching the game.


Cons: His high-pitched squeal on every scoring opportunity can get annoying. … And his between-period interviews are tough on the ears.


Thought: Analyst Brian Propp’s departure should make Saunders and the overall broadcast better.


3. McGinnis, Sixers.


Pros: Brings excitement and his catchphrase, “Are you kidding me?!”, is top-notch. … Gives solid analysis as well as play-by-play.


Cons: Loses control and broadcast too often becomes shouting match. … Compromises calling the action on the floor while getting overexcited about a previous play.


Thought: Broadcast is better with McGinnis running solo. Former partner Todd MacCulloch was far too monotone for my liking.


2. Merrill Reese, Eagles.


Pros: What a voice! … The most honest of the city’s radio announcers, Reese won’t pull punches if the Eagles are stinking up the Linc. … TD calls are spine-tingling.


Cons: Reese has an odd tendency to constantly repeat himself. … Suffers from a poor analyst in Mike Quick and a broadcast inundated with commercials and other unnecessary interruptions.


Thought: I miss Reese and Stan Walters minus all of the in-game interruptions that mar today’s broadcast.


1. Scott Franzke, Phillies.


Pros: Easygoing style perfect for a warm, summer evening. … Has quickly developed a chemistry with partner Larry Andersen and, maybe more importantly, Philly fans.


Cons: Sometimes gets too caught up in the back-and-forth with Andersen. … Maybe this only bothers me, but it seems like it’s a real annoyance for him to read names of the Daily News Home Run Payoff contest. That’s a contest that I think fans really enjoy and look forward to and it shouldn’t be treated with such disdain.


Thought: I hope my grandkids will be listening to Franzke calling Phillies games.



Solid win by the 76ers tonight, defeating Toronto 106-96. I watched the middle two quarters and listened (to some of it, anyway) the fourth quarter in the car.


Seems like that half-court offense clicked tonight, and Philly also found a way to integrate some running.


Was very impressed with rookie Marreese Speights, who had 12 points and seven rebounds while playing some strong defense in 20 excellent minutes. Looks like a keeper.



Speaking of the Sixers, I hopped on Kate Fagan’s live chat on philly.com this afternoon. Fagan was surprised Kyle Korver was booed Tuesday night, but I wasn’t.


I replied that the reason Korver was booed was because he wasn’t wearing a Sixers jersey. Should Philly fans cheer opponents?


In truth, I think the booing was good-natured. I missed the introductions, but thought I heard on radio that he received a warm welcome.



Donovan McNabb missed Wednesday’s walkthrough due to personal reasons. There’s no truth to the rumor (which I’m making up) that he was scouring the local high schools for some better receivers.


Seriously, hope everything’s OK with McNabb and his family.


On a side note, ESPN 950’s Brian Seltzer says on his blog that Kevin Kolb is “very close” to having the entire playbook down.


Two problems: First, it’s ridiculous that he doesn’t have the entire playbook down by now. Second, it’s ridiculous that the playbook is that big and complicated.


I’d suggest Andy Reid do some research on Vince Lombardi. I’ve read several books on Lombardi and the great coach only had a few plays in his playbook, but required perfection from the few he had.


It’s not how many plays you have, but how well you execute the ones you have.



Thursday sked


Flyers at Pittsburgh, 7:30




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3 Comments on “Ranking the city’s radio pxp announcers”

  1. Joe Inverso Says:

    I received your blog from Martin Perrota. I am happy to join in your blog conversation.

    Is there away you could make it larger to read.

    On a sports note I must say I owe Charlie Manuel an apology. I don’t think he is a good manager but yet the Phillies won the World Series. I give him credit.

    I also give him a thank you, I don’t hear the E-A-G-L-E-S as much. That organization is out of touch. Thank you, Joey i

  2. Chris A. Says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on Franzke. He and LA have a great chemistry and they don’t pull any punches when the Phils are struggling. I hope he gets a chance to call games for years to come and that he doesn’t leave Philly for a TV gig somewhere else.

  3. phillysportsbeat Says:


    Thanks for reading. I’ll work on increasing the text size. … You’re not the only one who owes Manuel an apology — join the line of about, oh, 2 million fans in Philly.


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