How Much Did The NFL-N Improve With Their Hire Of Bob Papa? A Ton.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I know a great deal of you still don't have the NFL Network, so I did you the favor of watching the Browns collapse against the Broncos last night for you. The game was rather entertaining with Brady Quinn exploiting the Broncos defense, but then again, so hasn't every other quarterback Denver has played. The point of this post however is to illustrate just how great a hire that Bob Papa is for the network.

Every early review that I've read seems to be in line with my thinking, and that's that the pairing of Papa and Cris Collinsworth could already be one of the top announcing teams in the NFL. I know that's a little bit over-the-top, and the closeness of the game obviously helped, but I honestly really enjoyed the broadcast. Moreso than I have for an NFL game in quite some time. I've always been a fan of Collinsworth, but his assignments with Bryant Gumbel just dragged him down. Papa was spot on throughout the night and when two announcers can laugh, be serious and breakdown plays, you've conquered about 99% of the announcing game. The only thing left is to get the players and the downs right (Hi Pam!).

The NFL sponsored channel isn't going anywhere, and even though they can't get a carriage deal to save their lives, so this excellent transition was a much needed one. You officially have my approval, NFL-N. Not that it matters, but you've got that going for you....which is nice.

Elsewhere....

Papa, Collinsworth Worth A Listen (Sox & Dawgs)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 9:40 AM

26 Comments:

I had the live stream open at NFL dot com, and thought it was good too. But, the stream kept freezing so I bagged it.
I agree though on the calls I did here.
Boatdrinks

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 9:50:00 AM  

Why don't people just admit that Chris Collinsworth, while I'm sure he does plenty of research and prepares for every game, just sucks. He's a smug bastard. He brings nothing as far as a real personality goes. Everything he says seems staged and contrived. I fucking hate him.

I'd love to know why anyone that produces an opinion about commentary in sports on the internet, in print or on TV thinks he is some sort of analytical god. All the fans I talk to about him agree with me.

Can you give me a reason? Preparedness and an overall knowledge of the game doesn't make up for being a douche.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 10:17:00 AM  

anon 1017 why don't you just fist dogs for a living? oh wait you do fist anything.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 10:18:00 AM  

So, I'm confused. Today, you like Cris Collinsworth ("I've always been a fan of Collinsworth"). Yesterday, he doesn't know anything about quarterbacks ("...but at least Theismann knows what he's talking about these days. Unlike Cris Collinsworth, who at one point said he wanted the NFL to shrink the size of balls so more players could be QBs, and his reasoning was because backup quarterback have been so terrible this year.").

So which is it? If you have two guys posting, you need separate names.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 10:24:00 AM  

This sucks. I hope Papa is able to do Giants games.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 10:58:00 AM  

Bob Papa knows his NFL -- he does the Giants' radio play-by-play on WFAN and Giants preseason games on local New York TV. Also has a show or two on Sirius XM.

His call of the David Tyree miracle catch in Super Bowl 42 is a classic. You can hear that call on the SB42 DVD.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:01:00 AM  

I don't have many good things to say about Comcast, but I'd like to thank them for the free preview week of the Sports Tier with NFL-N & CBS College Sports (TCU-Utah)...unless it magically shows up on my bill.

Nov 7, 2008, 11:01:00 AM  

Papa will ocntinue to call Giants games this doesnt affect that. The only time it may be difficult is if he does a saturday night NFLN game and the Gmen play at 1p on Sunday.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:08:00 AM  

Yes, Papa is good, but still Tom Hammond is better for NFLN.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:11:00 AM  

papa and collingsworth are damned good. and i love collingsworth. i think he's the best analyst out there.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:15:00 AM  

I can't hear the name without linking it to Teddy Atlas.

"See, Bob, what the Broncos gotta do hea is hit them in the midsection, this will open up the face for a cross combination, then you go BACK to the body and hamma, hamma, hamma, imposin their will."

hollywood wags said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:43:00 AM  

While I only caught bits and pieces of last night's game, I must admit, I really enjoyed what I heard.

@ Anon @ 10:17: You'd be surprised at how many analysts are not prepared like Collinsworth is. I never feel like his personality gets in the way of anything. He is, in my opinion, the best analyst in football.

JFein said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:45:00 AM  

I'll take smug and knowledgeable any day over idiocy and name-dropping(Kornheiser).

GMoney said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:53:00 AM  

I've heard Papa call radio games and he's fine there, but last night, it just didn't work for me. Maybe he's just got a voice for radio, if that makes any sense.

I'm in agreement with Anon@10;17 regarding Collinsworth. Never been a fan.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 12:31:00 PM  

i was going to watch the game but my provider (COX) didn't load up the NFLN-HD feed, so i said eff it and went to bed.

thanks cox

-dan

-dan said...
Nov 7, 2008, 12:32:00 PM  

Yes, Papa was better than Kermit the Frog ERRRR Bryant Gumble. With that said, he and Collinsworth were completely pro-Cleveland and only after Quinn and Kellen Winslow CHOKED on that 4th and 1, did he acknowledge Cutler's excellence. Much was said about the Broncos' shoddy defense (and rightfully so). Nevertheless, the Browns' defense is worse. They surrendered 564 yards of offense adn forced one punt. Meanwhile, the Broncos forced two punts and held Cleveland to field goals in the red zone. That, my friends, wins games in many instances. Now that they're done with Broncos games, I'm sure I'll find them a lot more endearing.

Brad James said...
Nov 7, 2008, 1:38:00 PM  

I watched the game last ngiht, and it didn't take me long to see that Bob Pappa was the right guy for the NFL Net job. He unlike Bryant Gumble, knew the players names, down and distance, etc. He was on otp of eveyrhing a play-by play annoucner need it to be on. And he and Collisnworth had great chemestry.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 1:44:00 PM  

Papa struggled with some radio calls on a tv game. But he had some good moments. He's not the second coming.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 1:55:00 PM  

jfein: Like I said I know he's very well prepared and knows his stuff. That's all well and good. I didn't hear the broadcast last night so I'm not sure what the big deal about his color was. Maybe it's better when I don't have to look at him like I do on Sunday nights. With that shit-eating grin on his face.

I also agree with Anon at 10:24. I've noticed a lot of conflicting points of view on this site. I've often wondered whether there is a number of people posting. The opinions on announcers over/under reacting to plays and player behavior is really inconsistent.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 2:05:00 PM  

Conflicting points of view on this site???? Tons of inconsistencies??? Poorly thought out opinions???? I'm shocked! SHOCKED!

AA Hates ESPN said...
Nov 7, 2008, 2:11:00 PM  

Someone alert Shawn Kemp: AA Hates ESPN is back.

Nov 7, 2008, 2:24:00 PM  

Brad: Now why would Papa and Collinsworth be pro-Browns?? A little sensitive, are we? After all, Collinsworth played for the hated Bengals and the fans still hate him there.

I agree with AA and Papa and Collinsworth are maybe already the best network team out there. Maybe it's only because I can't get Gumbel's mistakes and indifference out of my head from last year.

But great hire by NFL-N.

alan said...
Nov 7, 2008, 4:07:00 PM  

Gee, I'm more amazed at all the hate in some of the comments than the article itself..

I didn't see the broadcast and have only watched Chris Collinsworth from when he was with FOX and now with NBC with Dan and Keith. Chris Collisworth is always the one who makes he most keen and astute observations. His delivery of speech is not second to his (past) delivery of the football.
He is a great broadcaster.
I wish the haters would just shut up. Everytime I hear Keith Olberman say something stupid, the show is usually redeemed by Chris Collinsworth say something insightful. Why don't they talk about that?

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 6:00:00 PM  

Yeah, that last guy is totally right!

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 7:29:00 PM  

did anyone listen to the game on radio? ian eagle has to be the worst radio pbp guy ever. god it was brutal.

Anonymous said...
Nov 8, 2008, 4:11:00 PM  

Bob Papa was good enough to make up for Collinsworth's deficiencies. I can listen to these guys without vomiting.

charlestace said...
Nov 9, 2008, 5:51:00 PM  

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