So What's Going On With That Vacant PBP Spot Over At The NFL-N?

Monday, June 23, 2008


So Al Michaels said no last month and that persumably only left one viable candidate in Tom Hammond. Well Hammond is still waiting for the call and word out of New York today is that the network is now adding NY Giants and HBO Boxing Play-By-Play man Bob Papa to the list of people they'd like to sit down with. Via Bob Raissman of the NY Daily News....

Is Bob Papa about to land a new gig?

One well-embedded NFL mole says the list of candidates to replace Bryant Gumbel as play-by-play man on the NFL Network's eight-game package has been trimmed and Papa's name is still on it.

This is not surprising. NFL Network boss Steve Bornstein has a sharp eye for talent. And Papa, the radio voice of the Giants, has impeccable play-by-play credentials. He also is no stranger to the NFL Network, having worked on its weekly NFL Europe "A" Game two years ago.
You'd have to think that if the NFL-N really wanted Hammond as the lead they would have already completed the deal by now. It's not that Bob Papa is bad (I rather enjoy him), but it's almost a slap in the face to Hammond who did an excellent job with Cris Collinsworth during the one game he called for the NFL-N last year.

I'd like to know who else is on that list and if anyone has some thoughts feel free to email me or leave them in the comments.

Come to Papa (NY Daily News)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 2:57 PM

14 Comments:

Dick Enberg would be a good choice .. he'd lend some credibility to the PBP work in the booth.

Steve S. said...
Jun 23, 2008, 3:10:00 PM  

Maybe because it would interfere with Hammonds work on Notre Dame games?

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 3:15:00 PM  

The only Saturday NFL Network game is in late December, and the only Notre Dame game after the NFL-N games start is the 22nd, so there shouldn't be a conflict.

It's possible Hammond doesn't want this gig for some reason, but you're right, if the network really wanted him they'd have named him to the position by now. I've heard Spero Dedes as another candidate, but I think they'll ultimately "settle" for Hammond.

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 3:25:00 PM  

A week or two ago Mike and the Maddog were discussing this job and said they heard two names on "the list" were Tom Hammond and Spero Dedes.

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 3:40:00 PM  

Anon@3:40,

Did Mike & the Mad Dog happen to mention if THEY were candidates?

That would be awesome.

James said...
Jun 23, 2008, 4:24:00 PM  

Bob Papa SUCKS

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 4:27:00 PM  

Hopefully that means we would get Teddy Atlas doing color commentary.

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 5:28:00 PM  

Pat Summerall!!!!

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 6:12:00 PM  

Greg Gumbel would be a most excellent choice...

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 6:50:00 PM  

I also enjoy Bob Papa. Several years ago, he was the 2nd PbP announcer on NBC for their arena football coverage (coincidentally, Tom Hammond was #1) and I thought he was good there. He also, as Raissman said, was the "A" guy for the NFL Europa league last year, where I liked him there as well. He would be a good choice (no disrespect to Tom Hammond). If Tom Hammond does not want the job or is not offered the job, Papa is definitley the guy to take over.

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 7:22:00 PM  

As someone who lives in the New York area, I also have to say that Bob Papa would be a great choice. He is versatile enough to make a great transition to TV (he works WNBC's Giants preseason games) and has experience. By comparison, when Chris Carlin filled in for him on TV, you could tell he was better for radio. On TV, you sometimes need to let the live shot speak for itself. On radio, you have no video, so everything needs to be descriptive.

Spero isn't a bad choice, but I feel that Cris Collinsworth would end up carrying him, as Spero doesn't have the same amount of interaction as Bob Papa.

By the way, what about Verne Lundquist. I know he works CBS's college football, but he has the experience and the game schedule should work out to allow him to broadcast all of the games.

To james:
No, Mike and the Mad Dog would be a horrible duo to call play-by-play.

Anonymous said...
Jun 23, 2008, 8:09:00 PM  

Hammond is horrible, every rabid Notre Dame wishes the Hammond/Haden combination would disappear forever. The guy is PBP and misses formations and players all the time. Look Tom, I know there's alot of turnover at Notre Dame but it's not THAT hard to learn the names and numbers of the freshmen and sophomores. Maybe he'd be better on NFL network, I guess anything is better than Gumbel.

In fact, I hope he gets this gig and NBC finds somebody who actually cares about Notre Dame football.

David said...
Jun 23, 2008, 11:58:00 PM  

@david:

So, Don Criqui & Allen Pinkett would be better on the TV side than Hammond & Haden? Not that I care or anything.

My initial picks of Dave Sims or Wayne Larrivee won't happen, so I guess can settle on Bob Papa.

Jun 24, 2008, 1:04:00 AM  

anon @8:09 p.m.,

Of course they would be horrible. But wouldn't it be the most amazing trainwreck in the history of televised sports?

James said...
Jun 24, 2008, 8:53:00 AM  

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