It’s that favorite time of year – the time when every website publishes some kind of year-end list to justify its existence for another 12 months. For Awful Announcing, that means one of our favorite traditions – a countdown of some of the most hysterical, quizzical, diabolical announcing bloopers of the year. Although it was impossibly difficult to narrow down this list to just ten clips with so much content at our disposal, rest assured that we have spent many sleepless nights compiling this listicle for you, dear reader, so that these moments may be documented for the history books. At least everyone said “bulging disc” properly this year.
10) ESPN cuts off Rob Ninkovich’s sincere goodbye
Oh no. You have to see Rob Ninkovich's goodbye message to ESPN to believe what happened. pic.twitter.com/AsCyjefA5S
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 28, 2023
It was a challenging year for ESPN with business models being turned upside down and mass layoffs of some of the network’s most prominent personalities. But spare a thought for NFL analyst Rob Ninkovich, whose last act on Get Up was failing to hit the hard out with his goodbye to Mike Greenberg. What happened next was the perfect symbol of modern-day ESPN.
9) Adam Schefter’s ringtone takes everybody by surprise
Adam Schefter's "Ring My Bell" ringtone going off in the middle of the ESPN on ABC NFL training camp coverage.
Everyone on the set laughing hysterically.
"GO TO BREAK! IT WON'T STOP! MY PHONE IS OFF AND IT WON'T STOP! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?! I DON'T HAVE THAT RINGTONE!" ??? pic.twitter.com/3U3kBbmEaD
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 29, 2023
As an insider, it’s no surprise to see Adam Schefter using his phone while on live television. What was a surprise was when it went off during one NFL Live episode this summer with disco hit “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward playing non-stop. Does Schefty secretly have a Disco Stu rhinestone jacket in his closet at home?
8) Isiah Thomas REALLY doesn’t like that picture of himself
Isiah Thomas hung up on 'Keyshawn, JWill and Max' because he was unhappy about the show's picture choice of him. He called back seconds later. pic.twitter.com/7vgngFKsWB
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 12, 2023
Although Keyshawn, J-Will, and Max is no more, they at least gave us one going-away gift this year. That was this inexplicable interview with Isiah Thomas where he hung up on the show because he didn’t like the picture he saw on his television screen. If Isiah is that self-conscious, nobody tell him about his tenure with the New York Knicks, his being left off the Dream Team, or all those other things.
7) Big. Turd. Cock.
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) September 2, 2023
NBC debuted its Big Ten package on Peacock and… well, there’s really not much more we can say about this one, it’s pretty self-explanatory.
6) Marcus Spears would eat this even if he knew he was on live TV
Marcus Spears – big Kansas City BBQ guy pic.twitter.com/QhjSodGGFT
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 21, 2023
This delightfully unscripted moment during NFL Live on location in Kansas City when Marcus Spears enjoyed some local BBQ so much that he didn’t even know or care he was on live television. He was too busy busting s— up.
5) Karl Ravech forgets which half-inning he’s in
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) June 16, 2023
Karl Ravech gave us some weird moments this year. He called NHL playoff action during a dubious split-screen. He asked Triston Casas about his deceased mother on Mother’s Day DURING A LIVE GAME. And then there was this walk-off call in the College World Series that was most definitely not a walk-off.
4) Let the NHL Draft Lottery conspiracy theories commence!
Only, the actual pick wasn't revealed until after a commercial break. pic.twitter.com/x7YqO19Efc
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 9, 2023
When the NHL Draft Lottery took place, everyone was already joking that the league would pull a Patrick Ewing and somehow land generational talent Connor Bedard in Chicago with the Blackhawks. When a teleprompter “production error” somehow led to Kevin Weekes prematurely spoiling that the Columbus Blue Jackets fell out of the top slot before their card was drawn, those conspiracy theories only intensified.
3) LIV Golf is no match for skincare infomercials
How well is LIV Golf doing on the CW? Stations across the country cut away at 6:30 PM ET to regularly scheduled programming from Sunday's final round with four holes to go. In Miami, the local CW station started airing a syndicated episode of The Goldbergs. pic.twitter.com/SGSZvNQwS8
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 15, 2023
In Buffalo, the CW affiliate aired a skincare infomercial instead of LIV Golf. Maybe we can finally find Phil Mickelson a sponsor! pic.twitter.com/EYTlwXENDr
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 15, 2023
LIV Golf has spent literal billions of dollars trying to become a thing. And yet, the league is still such a laughingstock that they couldn’t even get coverage on The CW Network when one of their tournaments ran over their broadcast window. Instead, it was relegated to the CW app as affiliates around the country switched to everything from skincare infomercials to sitcom reruns. The dozens and dozens of LIV Golf fans around the world must have been outraged. Good luck “growing the game,” Jon Rahm.
2) I WANT TO SHAKE YOUR HAND!
Do not wave an empty hand near Commanders owner Josh Harris. He will attempt to shake it awkwardly. pic.twitter.com/sq2y70YXGW
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 22, 2023
Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris is a very rich and very awkward man. During a preseason interview in the Monday Night Football booth, Harris inexplicably reached out for a random handshake with Joe Buck who was merely using his hands to speak. After bringing one airplane meme to life, the next time Harris is in the booth he should shout that Joe Buck is not real.
1) Colin Cowherd learns Major League Baseball rules in real time
Colin Cowherd and Jason McIntyre have an entire conversation about trading draft picks for Shohei Ohtani… which you can't do in Major League Baseball. pic.twitter.com/nnCzKcUCkj
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 21, 2023
If Colin Cowherd likes to present himself as the smartest guy in the room, then 2023 was a rough year for that posturing. During the summer, Cowherd and sidekick Jason McIntyre had an entire conversation around trading Shohei Ohtani for draft picks, which you can’t do in Major League Baseball. Then there was his discussion of the Chicago Bears NFL Draft prospects completely forgetting they currently own the first pick via the Panthers. Finally, there were his not-so-blazing NFL picks. See, even if you have a casual understanding of sports, you too can be a national television and radio host with your own vast podcast network worth millions someday.