DeRogatis: Buffalo-Oakland, San Diego-Denver (Sunday w/Charlie Jones)
The trio of Gowdy, Rote and DeRogatis would each also work two games in Week 1. All three teamed to call Cincinnati-San Diego on Friday night, DeRogatis would team with Charlie Jones for Boston-Buffalo on Sunday, and Gowdy and Rote would call Kansas City-Houston on Monday night. The trio would also broadcast Super Bowl III.
Late in the season, there were a number of double-duty weeks by announcers. In Week 14, Simpson and DeRogatis called Buffalo-Houston on Saturday, then the following day Simpson called Denver-Oakland while DeRogatis called Cincinnati-NY Jets. The following week, DeRogatis again pulled double-duty, calling Kansas City-Denver on Saturday (with Charlie Jones), then joining Jim Simpson for Oakland-San Diego the next day. Jones called Boston-Houston with George Ratterman also that week.
#1 Announce Team Notes:
DeRogatis called The Heidi Game with Curt Gowdy in Week 11 (Rote joined Jim Simpson for San Diego-Buffalo).
Charlie Jones substituted for Gowdy in Week 5 (Boston-Oakland), while Gowdy called Game 4 of the 1968 World Series.
Charlie Jones and Jim Simpson worked double-duty during Week 12:
Jones: Denver-Kansas City (Thursday w/Elmer Angsman), Miami-Boston (Sunday w/Al DeRogatis)
Simpson: San Diego-Houston (Thursday w/Al DeRogatis), Cincinnati-Buffalo (Sunday w/Dave Kocourek)
With this being the final season before the AFL-NFL merger, this was also the final season where both leagues would have Thanksgiving doubleheaders. Starting in 1970, only two games would be played on Thanksgiving, with the Lions and Cowboys hosting those games, and an AFC team rotating as the visiting team between Detroit and Dallas every year.
#1 Announce Team Notes:
Charlie Jones substituted for Curt Gowdy during Week 5 (NY Jets-Cincinnati), while Gowdy called Game 2 of the 1969 World Series.
Al DeRogatis substituted for Kyle Rote in Weeks 9 (San Diego-Kansas City) and 11 (Oakland-Kansas City). Rote paired with Jim Simpson in both instances.
This was the final season of what would be Al Michaels' first stint with NBC.
Don Meredith comes over to NBC from ABC's Monday Night Football. He would join Curt Gowdy and Al DeRogatis for the playoffs and Super Bowl IX. He also worked that year's Thanksgiving game between Denver and Detroit. In Week 13, he joined Jim Simpson and John Brodie to call Cleveland-Dallas.
After this season, Tim Ryan would leave NBC to join CBS Sports.
Curt Gowdy would pull split double-duty with Don Meredith and John Brodie in Weeks 12 and 14. In Week 12, Brodie worked the Thanksgiving Day game (Buffalo-Detroit), while Meredith worked Pittsburgh-Cincinnati. In Week 14, Gowdy and Brodie called Pittsburgh-Houston on Saturday, then the following day Gowdy and Meredith called Cincinnati-NY Jets. After Meredith left NBC, Brodie would be the #1 color commentator alongside Curt Gowdy in 1977 and 1978.
The teams of Enberg/Olsen and Gowdy/Brodie began the year as co-head crews. But the unofficial passing of the torch happened on Thanksgiving, when Enberg/Olsen covered Denver-Detroit, while the following Sunday, Gowdy/Brodie covered Seattle-Oakland.
Len Dawson would join Dick Enberg in covering the Houston-Miami wild card game, and Charlie Jones in the Houston-New England divisional playoff game.
Merlin Olsen would join Curt Gowdy and John Brodie for that season's AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XIII.
After his call of Super Bowl XIII, Curt Gowdy would leave NBC for CBS, calling games with Hank Stram for two seasons; he was "traded" to CBS in exchange for Don Criqui.
Len Dawson did not work Week 15 due to mourning the death of his wife.
Gayle Sierens/Dave Rowe (Week 15; on the December 27 game between the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs, Sierens from NBC's Tampa affiliate WFLA (then WXFL-TV) would become the first female play-by-play announcer in NFL history). Sierens was slated to do up to seven games for NBC but a contract dispute with WFLA prevented her from continuing beyond that single game.
Kevin Slaten/Dave Lapham (Weeks 2-5) (Worked during Olympics)
Steve Grad/Jon Morris (Week 5 only; Morris had nine analyst assignments in the 16 weeks of the season, and was paired with seven different play-by-play men [only working with Hammond and Nover twice each])
NBC aired the Olympic Games for the first time in 1988, carrying the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad in Seoul. However, the Games were not scheduled to start until mid-September 1988; this caused a conflict with NBC's NFL schedule as most, if not all, of its announcers would need to be used. The network made up for this by securing a series of replacement announcers. Replacement announcers during the Olympic period included Ray Scott, Merle Harmon, Chuck Thompson and Al DeRogatis.
Albert was off in Seoul during the Olympics doing boxing, and spent the three weeks after that covering post-season baseball.
Criqui and Trumpy were off in Seoul during the Olympics. Criqui called swimming and Trumpy called volleyball.
Jones and Cefalo were off in Seoul during the Olympics. Jones called track & field and Cefalo served as the daytime host.
Enberg was off in Seoul during the Olympics. He served as host for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Jay Randolph was in Seoul during the Olympics. He called baseball during the Games.
Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh did not call any games during Weeks 9-12 of the 1991 NFL season due to being assigned to covering Notre Dame home games on NBC (this being the network's first season as the home of Fighting Irish home games). In addition, Enberg and Walsh did not call games during Weeks 2, 4 and 7 of the 1991 NFL season.
Walsh left NBC after this season to return to coaching at Stanford.
Joe Gibbs would join Mike Ditka at NFL Live! the following season, while Ahmad Rashād would return as co-host with Greg Gumbel. After this season, Bob Costas' role on The NFL on NBC would be reduced to presenting feature stories and interviews.
Cris Collinsworth moved to the pregame show to replace Joe Montana after the season.
In Week 4, Phil Simms and Paul Maguire joined Tom Hammond at Notre Dame to call the game played against Texas on September 23.
In Week 13 (Thanksgiving Weekend), Dick Enberg called the Thanksgiving Day game between Kansas City and Dallas with regular partners Phil Simms and Paul Maguire, and on that Sunday Marv Albert called Pittsburgh/Cleveland with Simms and Maguire, prompting other play-by-play announcers to move up (Tom Hammond paired with Cris Collinsworth, Jim Lampley with Bob Trumpy, and Don Criqui with Bob Golic).
Following Week 3, Marv Albert was fired by NBC because of sexual assault charges pressed against him. Albert, also the voice of NBA on NBC at the time, was replaced in both venues. Tom Hammond would eventually move up to the #2 team, while Dan Hicks would primarily call games with Hammond's old partner, Jim Kelly.
This was the final season of NBC's coverage of the AFC, and final coverage of the NFL until 2006. CBS took over AFC coverage the following year. Greg Gumbel would leave NBC, and would team up with Phil Simms as the #1 announcing team at CBS. Also at CBS, Randy Cross would become the #2 analyst, Sam Wyche would leave the pregame show to become the #3 analyst, and Don Criqui and Beasley Reece would reunite for the 1998 season. Dick Enberg would stay with NBC for another two years before joining CBS in 2000, where he would be the #2 announcer until 2005. Cris Collinsworth also left NBC to join Fox NFL Sunday.
Beginning in 2006, NBC returned to the NFL for the first time since 1997 (when they last had the AFC package) to broadcast Sunday night games. NBC replaced ESPN as the Sunday night broadcaster.
During Week 7 (Seattle at Tampa Bay), Madden was given an off-week to alleviate a hectic coast-to-coast bus travel schedule which would have taken him from Jacksonville to San Diego to Tampa in 3 weeks.
Cris Collinsworth was promoted to the lead color commentator slot following the retirement of John Madden. This marks the second time Collinsworth had replaced Madden as a lead commentator, getting bumped to the top slot on Fox coverage alongside Joe Buck and Troy Aikman following Madden's departure for Monday Night Football.
This was the last wildcard playoff doubleheader on NBC for the foreseeable future. For 2014, ESPN aired 1 wild card playoff game, and from 2015 onward ABC will simulcast ESPN's presentation of the Wild Card playoff game. NBC will only air 1 wildcard playoff game and will air 1 divisional playoff game.
NBC often mixed these commentator groupings for 2016. Under league contract, Michaels and Collinsworth called all of the games in the Thursday Night Football package that aired on NBC along with most Sunday nights. In general, Tafoya served as sideline reporter for Sunday games and Cox for Thursday games, with both sharing duties through the playoffs. Tirico called play-by-play for secondary games in weeks 15 and 16, and filled in for Michaels for SNF assignments in Weeks 11 and 12.
The pregame show, XFL Gameday, was hosted by radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony from The Opie and Anthony Show. The show did not air nationwide and was canceled after four weeks. There was no studio halftime or postgame show, the latter due to a schedule conflict with Saturday Night Live. Halftime shows consisted mostly of live look-ins in the player locker rooms (with the exception of Week 6, where a comedy sketch purporting to go into the cheerleaders’ locker rooms instead aired).
NBC used two broadcast teams for its XFL broadcast coverage. Matt Vasgersian was teamed with then-Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura, with Fred Roggin and Mike Adamle as sideline reporters, for Week 1, and again from week 6 through the rest of the season, on its nationally televised contests. NBC also regionally televised a second game, which used World Wrestling Federation announcers Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler (under their WWF nicknames "J.R." and "The King" for week 1), along with Jonathan Coachman. Ross and Vasgersian swapped places from Weeks 2 through 5, after which Lawler (who knew nothing about football) left the WWF and the XFL; from that point onward, Ross and Dick Butkus called the remainder of the regional telecasts, and Chris Wragge replaced Roggin for week 6.
Beasley Young Reece, Jr. (born March 18, 1954 in Waco, Texas) is a former American football defensive back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played college football at North Texas State University.
Robert Theodore Trumpy Jr. (born March 6, 1945) is a former professional American football tight end who played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1968 through 1977. He was a two-time National Football League Pro Bowler and a two-time American Football League All-Star. Following his playing career he spent many years as a broadcast color analyst, broadcasting four Super Bowls. He was given the Pete Rozelle Award for broadcasting from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Don Criqui (born May 5, 1940) is an American television sportscaster.
He holds the record for longest-tenured broadcaster of one sports league in U.S. TV history, calling NFL football for 47 seasons (1967-2013) on NBC and CBS. Criqui's final NFL broadcast came on December 8, 2013, when he filled in for Bill Macatee as he was having traveling issues in a snow storm in Dallas, calling the 27-26 New England Patriots victory over the Cleveland Browns.Criqui's most recent network assignment was CBS Sports from 1998 until 2013, where he called the NFL, women's and men's college basketball and college football. From 1995 to 2012, he was the voice of New England Patriots pre-season football with Randy Cross.
From 2006 until 2017, Criqui served as the football radio play-by-play voice for Notre Dame, his alma mater.
Joseph "Dandy" Don Meredith (April 10, 1938 – December 5, 2010) was an American football quarterback, sports commentator and actor. He spent all nine seasons of his professional playing career (1960–1968) with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his last three years as a player. He subsequently became a color analyst for NFL telecasts from 1970–1984. As an original member of the Monday Night Football broadcast team on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), he famously played the role of Howard Cosell's comic foil. Meredith was also an actor who appeared in a dozen films and in seven major television shows, some of which had him as the main starring actor. He is probably familiar to television audiences as Bert Jameson, a recurring role he had in Police Story.
James Shores Simpson (December 20, 1927 – January 13, 2016) was an American sportscaster, known for his smooth delivery as a play-by-play man and his versatility in covering many different sports. In 1997, he won the Sports Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2000 he was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.
John Riley Brodie (born August 14, 1935) is a former American football player, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) for seventeen seasons. He had a second career as a Senior PGA Tour professional golfer, and was a television broadcaster for both sports.During various years of his NFL career, Brodie led the League in passing yardage, passing touchdowns, least sacks, and lowest percentage of passes intercepted. He retired as the third most prolific career passer in NFL history, and was the league MVP in 1970 and a two-time Pro Bowler.
Lindsey Nelson (May 25, 1919 – June 10, 1995) was an American sportscaster best known for his long career calling play-by-play of college football and New York Mets baseball.
Nelson spent 17 years with the Mets and three years with the San Francisco Giants. For 33 years Nelson covered college football, including 26 Cotton Bowls, five Sugar Bowls, four Rose Bowls, and 14 years announcing syndicated Notre Dame games. He is in 13 separate Halls of Fame. Fans remember a talented broadcaster, an expert storyteller, and a true sports enthusiast. From his colorful jackets to his equally colorful broadcasts and enthusiastic manner of speaking, Nelson established himself as one of the industry's leading sportscasters.
CBS Sports began televising National Football League games in 1956. The network inherited the rights to games of most of the teams from the defunct DuMont Television Network; back then, each NFL team negotiated its own television deal. From 1956 to 1967, CBS assigned their commentating crews to one team each for the entire season. Beginning in 1968, CBS instituted a semi-merit system for their commentating crews. Following the 1993 season, there was no NFL on CBS after the network lost its half of the Sunday afternoon TV package (the National Football Conference) to the Fox Broadcasting Company. However, CBS gained the American Football Conference package from NBC beginning in 1998. The names of the play-by-play men are listed first while the color commentators are listed second; sideline reporters, when used, are listed last.
Merlin Jay Olsen (; September 15, 1940 – March 11, 2010) was an American football player, announcer, and actor. He played his entire 15-year professional football career in National Football League (NFL) as a defensive tackle with the Los Angeles Rams. He was selected to the Pro Bowl a record 14 straight times, missing selection only in the last year of his career. This record of 14 seasons selected to play in the Pro Bowl, consecutive or otherwise, is shared with current New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, former offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, former tight end Tony Gonzalez, and former quarterback Peyton Manning. A recipient of the 1961 Outland Trophy as the best lineman in college football, Olsen is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. As an actor, he portrayed farmer Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. After leaving that series, he starred in his own NBC drama, Father Murphy.
The NFL on NBC is the branding used for broadcasts of National Football League (NFL) games that are produced by NBC Sports, and televised on the NBC television network in the United States.
NBC had sporadically carried NFL games as early as 1939, including the championship and Pro Bowl through the 1950s and early 1960s. Beginning in 1965, NBC signed an agreement to carry the American Football League's telecasts, which carried over with the American Football Conference (AFC) when the AFL merged with the NFL. NBC would continuously carry the AFL/AFC's Sunday afternoon games from 1965 through the 1997 season, after which NBC lost the AFC contract to CBS.
NFL coverage returned to NBC on August 6, 2006, under the title NBC Sunday Night Football, beginning with its coverage of the preseason Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. From 2016 to 2017, NBC added a five-game Thursday Night Football package to its offerings supplementing two Thursday games that were already part of the Sunday Night Football package. Game coverage is usually preceded by the pregame show Football Night in America.
Paul Joseph Christman (March 5, 1918 – March 2, 1970) was an American football player and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He played college football for the University of Missouri and professionally for the Chicago Cardinals and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL).
Phillip Martin Simms (born November 3, 1954) is a former American football quarterback who spent his entire 15-year professional career playing for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He is currently a television sportscaster for the CBS network. After playing college football at Morehead State University, Simms was drafted in the first round by the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) with the number seven selection overall in the 1979 NFL Draft. Simms was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Super Bowl XXI, after he led the Giants to a 39–20 victory over the Denver Broncos and set the record for highest completion percentage in a Super Bowl, completing 22 of 25 passes (88%), a record which still stands. He also was named to the Pro Bowl for his performances in the 1985 and 1993 seasons.
He finished his career with 33,462 passing yards and has since gone on to be a career broadcaster of NFL games—first as an analyst for ESPN, then as a in-game color commentator with NBC, and currently with CBS. He is the father of former NFL quarterback, assistant coach, and current college football analyst Chris Simms, as well as AAF quarterback Matt Simms.
Todd Jay Christensen (August 3, 1956 – November 13, 2013) was an American football player who played in the National Football League from 1978 until 1988, spending most of that time playing tight end for the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders. Following his retirement Christensen became a commentator for both professional and collegiate games, working for NBC Sports, ESPN, and CBS Sports Network among others.
Thomas Taylor Hammond (born May 10, 1944) is an American sportscaster for NBC Sports. For many years, Hammond was one of the network's staple on-air presenters, along with Bob Costas and Dan Hicks.
Hammond is best known for his coverage of Thoroughbred Racing on NBC, coverage of Notre Dame Football on NBC from 1992 until 2012 and his coverage of the NFL on NBC from 1985 until 2011.
Hammond also served as the play-by-play announcer for NBC's coverage of track and field at each Summer Olympics from 1992 to 2016. He also announced the speed skating events during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
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