With NFL teams all having reported to camp that means every man’s TV and free-time (even not-so-free time) will be consumed with football coverage thanks to the likes of some of ESPN’s finest shows including my personal favorite, NFL Live. I for one enjoy the show thanks primarily to the presence of my ultimate “Get Out of Jail Free Card” member Suzy Kolber (more on her later).
In my household, this dynamic cast of former players and media members is sort of like a family to me from August to December. For the next few months, I’ll eat dinner with them and talk to them as if they were in my own living room. Without question this will cause extreme jealousy and tension between my wife and I. I think I’ll bring this up to Bacon Sports’ Resident Unicorn and see how to handle this.
I wanted to take a few minutes to pay homage to my favorite personalities on this incredible cast (past and present) and highlight what I feel every reader should appreciate about what this group has to offer.
Trey Wingo — The Moderator
Up until a few years ago I had know idea who Trey Wingo was and why this random guy was the host of such a great show. After a while he wore on me and anyone ESPN could trust to moderate a show that featured the likes of Keyshawn Johnson and Cris Carter was okay in my book. He’s also a member of the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
Trent Dilfer — The “Stud” Quarterback
Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer. That still irks me. Trent isn’t your typical jock on the show. He’s one of the few former players that I actually enjoy listening to his analysis. I’m a 29-year old balding male, so I appreciate that Trent can pull it off and get significant TV time.
Merril Hoge — The Bruising Fashionista
I have a bit of bias here because Merril is a former Steeler, but how can you not love this guy? Merril was diagnosed with and BEAT stage II Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and for that we tip our cap! But the real reason he is one of my favorites is not for his wealth of football knowledge, but for his ties. Dude can hang with anyone in a “Best Double Windsor” contest! I look forward to seeing what the old No. 33 pulls out this year.
Suzy Kolber — The Future Mrs. Boomer Graham
Was there really anything wrong with what Joe Willy Namath said on Monday Night Football years ago? I mean wasn’t he really just saying what we all were thinking? Suzy is the ultimate female sportscaster period! She’s got the looks and that voice that just makes you want to sit there and ask her to read off the injury report to you. Suzy knows her stuff!
Herm Edwards — The Mediocre Coach Known for Rant
“You play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game.” That sound bite will never get old. Herm is the show’s resident enforcer. Anytime a former coach joins a show, I get nervous that he’ll hold punches to not anger any of his former colleagues. Not this guy! He’ll tell you exactly how he feels.
Cris Carter — The Mouth Wide Receiver
Carter is no doubt a deserving Hall of Famer and his simple “Come on, man!” segments are broadcast journalism genius. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit on the genius part, but I love CC. I especially love when the crew interviews a younger player still in the league and CC reverts back to his college days. His professional, television language goes out the door in favor of that fresh, youthful side.
John Clayton — The Resident Dork
Search John Clayton online and you can have a field day with cartoon look alikes. The only reason I threw him on this list was to mention the ESPN commercial that takes place in his bedroom in his parents’ house. Absolutely classic. I do miss the days of the banter between him and Sean Salisbury because you always got the impression that they really didn’t care for one another.
What ESPN (former or present) personalities that have appeared on their NFL shows stick out to you? Holla at us in the comments and let me know who I missed because I was too busy Googling Suzy Kolber pictures.
Don’t forget to follow Brian at @BoomerGraham
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