The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association is beginning their awards voting on December 1st for the Hall of Fame and National awards of the year, and many familiar names litter the ballot, including long-time ESPN talking heads Chris Berman and Dick Vitale as finalists for the sportscaster Hall of Fame.
Joining Berman and Vitale on the sportscaster Hall of Fame ballot are Ken Squier, Skip Caray, Woody Durham, John Ward, Chris Economaki, Milo Hamilton, Al McCoy, and Dan Kelly. The ESPN duo are the most nationally recognized of all of the finalists among a largely regional list. The sportswriter Hall of Fame ballot contains some more familiar names, and the full ballot is Art Spander, Rick Reilly, Dick Weiss, Hal McCoy, Joe Gilmartin, Sam Lacy, Lesley Visser, Mitch Albom, Wendell Smith, and Thomas Boswell. That's right, fresh off of an awful column trashing stat nerds, Mitch Albom is a Hall of Fame finalist! Rick Reilly is there too after a year where he descended into self-parody.
The nationals sportscaster and sportswriter of the year awards have a few more palatable finalists, however. The finalists for the sportscaster of the year award include Al Michaels, Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Dan Shulman, Brad Nessler, Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Mike Tirico, Mike Emrick, and Kevin Harlan. That's a very solid slate of nominees, with award favorites (Costas/Buck/Nantz) and fan favorites (Emrick/Harlan). When it comes to the sportswriter of the year, there is also a slate of good names, including Peter King, Bob Ryan, Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Joe Posnanski, Adrian Wojnarowski, Bill Simmons, Rick Reilly, Tom Verducci, and Mike Lopresti. Wait, Rick Reilly? Bill Simmons in the year 2012? A now-retired Bob Ryan? Well….you can't win them all, I guess.