Eagle, Fouts climb to top of ladder at CBS

With Jim Nantz and Phil Simms working every Thursday night game this year televised on CBS and/or NFL Network, they won’t be working every Sunday on CBS.

This means that, for any Sundays when Nantz and Simms are otherwise getting ready for the next Thursday’s game, Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts (pictured, but not really) become the No. 1 team at CBS.

It’s unclear when and how often Nantz and Simms will skip a Sunday.  Conventional wisdom suggests that Nantz and Simms will work the late afternoon CBS doubleheader games, and that they’ll be off on the Sundays when CBS has only regional coverage.

This isn’t Fouts’ first stint at the top of a ticket. He served as an analyst on ABC’s Monday Night Football with Al Michaels and Dennis Miller.

The other CBS broadcasting crews for 2014 will be Greg Gumbel and Trent Green, Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon, Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots, and Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, and Steve Tasker.

There’s a theory/hypothesis/whatever that CBS agreed to give up Nantz and Simms for Thursday night games because the network wants to begin the process of phasing them out. While we don’t know the reality of that perception, it’ll be interesting to see how much longer Nantz and Simms continue to be the top duo at CBS.

56 responses to “Eagle, Fouts climb to top of ladder at CBS

  1. The Lions are due for getting a good broadcasting crew, cut us a break! Although really there isn’t a great excuse for every game to not be covered well, it shouldn’t have to be something that we ask for.

    Do we at least still get Jon Gruden for 1 game this year? Thanks if it’s a yes.

  2. And it looks like the schedule was made so that Nantz and Simms never had to worry about doing a west coast game on Thursday, then fly cross-country and prep for an east coast Sunday game. The first Thursday night game with a home team in the Pacific time zone is week 12 at Oakland, and the CBS doubleheader games that following Sunday are at Denver and at San Fran… easy commute from Oakland-AC to Levi’s. Other than that Oakland game, there’s one Thursday game in Denver and all the rest are in Eastern or Central zone stadiums.

  3. Ian Eagle? I remember when he was a lock for the Browns/Bengals games every year.

    I miss Dierdorf already.

  4. This is a real bummer. While I loved Fouts when he played for the Chargers, I despise him in the booth. I can’t believe that CBS doesn’t have a better #2 pair. But I’ve felt for a long time that CBS lags far behind Fox in terms of on-air talent. Both in the booth and in pre-game shows.

  5. Thank God, no more Don Crique. He had most Browns games, and seemed to be actively rooting against them. Also he was terrible

  6. Since Chris Collingsworth was mentioned, I just have to add that I tackled that guy in a high school playoff game. He then bounced off me and ran about 80 yards for a TD.

  7. As a Raider fan, I’ll be preparing for a steady diet of Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcox; until December, when CBS can hire a couple of interns out of the mailroom to call Oakland’s meaningless games.

  8. Ian Eagle, no huge complaints. Fouts? I always feel like he just showed up and did no prep whatsoever. Like when he’s trying to sound like he knows the personnel when he calls a name to go with a jersey number the spotter gave him..except he’s reading the name off of the wrong team’s roster sheet.

    Guess it won’t be so bad being the smaller market team that almost never gets the #1 crew this year.

  9. In recent years, the broadcast booths have taken huge hits in the talent department. I prefer the fox crew slightly more than the CBS, but Nantz is tops over them all. I never understood the hate for Collinsworth. He never really seems to drool over any one team, and he sounds prepared and well versed, unlike some of the guys. I do love it when somebody claims to watch any sporting event muted because they can’t stand so-and-so, I also picture them silently cheering and lip-syncing “Jock jams”. If there is any one commentator in all of sports I cannot stand, it is Pierre McGuire for the NHL. I’m surprised we can even understand him with how deeply buried his face is in Sydney Cros… Well, I’m sure you all get the picture. Jon Grueden at least LOVES everybody.

  10. What a petty gossip attack from an NBC property on to CBS. Jim Nantz is the network voice for sports. He does the Masters, Super Bowls, and March Madness. He is easily by far the best play by play guy they have.

  11. Does anyone actually like anyone? Really…every time there’s an article about broadcasters, the comments section is filled with complaints about those broadcasters.

    Personally, I don’t mind Fouts and Eagle, and most of the others. The only ones I don’t like are Buck and Aikman. Otherwise, I have no major issues with any broadcasters.

    Quite frankly, if the broadcasters are in any way affecting the game for you, you’re watching it for all the wrong reasons.

  12. “There’s a theory/hypothesis/whatever that CBS agreed to give up Nantz and Simms for Thursday night games because the network wants to begin the process of phasing them out. ”

    Yes, everyone should take this NBC gossip about CBS seriously. Yes, CBS put their #1 team on their big new Thursday night investment because they want to phase them out, because that’s what networks do — they put people they want to phase out on very high profile prime time shows.

  13. With all the retired NFL players who really know the game and can most likely talk intelligently about it in front of a TV camera, it’s amazing to me that there’s such a dearth of quality in the broadcast booths. I’m also surprised that some enterprising ex-broadcaster hasn’t started a coaching program to teach retired players (and coaches and assistants for that matter) how to comment live on games.

  14. It’s his coverage of the Bourbon Bowl that propelled him to the top. And yes that is Will Ferrell.

    Nice to see Florio has a sense of humor.

  15. I had always thought his name was Iron Eagle and not Ian Eagle.

    I felt it was rather pretentious to call himself Iron Eagle.

  16. I will miss Billick and still miss Gus Johnson. I also feel like no one likes most of the former players but actually like the guys who studied broadcasting. Maybe that’s an idea… Former coaches also seem like able.

  17. Ian Eagle is a great play by play announcer. One of the best. Fouts is so so. Unlike most that seem to be annoyed by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, i think they are rock solid.

    Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots are really good.

    Lately Nantz and Al Michaels have become a little annoying. Collinsworth is one of the best analysts if not the best. Chucky Gruden is fun to listen to.

    Still my all time favorite duo are Pat Summerall and John Madden.

    Unlike above, i really enjoyed Don Criqui. The dbag i couldnt stand was Bob Trumpy.

    Miss hearing Gus Johnson doing NFL games.

  18. Simms has been terrible since he started. He starts talking then has no idea what he was going to say. Get him out of there!

  19. Curt Gowdy was not only great but he truly did it all, not a sport he didn’t master behind the mic.

  20. Best broadcast team ever was Dandy Don Meredith, Frank Gifford and yes….Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football. They became legends and games were watched to see and hear them as much as the game itself. Maybe ya had to have been there….. 🙂

  21. Phil Simms is heads, toes, arms , and any other appendages above and is the WORST color man in all of football. He routinely is wrong about who held, what penalty is, why a team mightv e used a timeout. What can/cannot be challenged. If a petition could be signed to remove Simms, id sign it first. Nantz is ok. I feel for him. Dierdorf should’ve been on #1 team. Anyone than Simms. I usually don’t rant, but I feel 100 times better knowing a conspiracy might be there to remove Phil Simms

  22. Phil Simms is the worst NFL commentator by a country mile. He provides no insights into the games and the boring drone that is his voice is one of the most irritating sounds known to man.

    Usually, a football game is enjoyable as long as the commentary is neutral rather than actively bad, but Simms, the clown prince of color commentary, manages to ruin every game he touches.

    The fact that CBS not only retains that doofus year after year but that they’ve seemingly decided to piss the whole country off by sticking him on a whole series of prime time games only serves to show why they’re the worst NFL coverage network on the air.

  23. I miss when Dr. Z used to rank the different TV commentators, that was always a good read during the off-season.

    It sucks about Dr. Z in general, he was always good for a in-depth X & Os analysis.

  24. I’m not saying this because I’m a Bills fan…but Steve Tasker might be the best of the bunch, besides Greg Gumble.

  25. Charger fan here…

    I love Fouts in the playbooth, but one thing is for certain…

    He doesn’t cut the Chargers any slack. He is more critical of the Chargers than any other sportscaster. I think it’s sort of like a “dad at a little league game” mentality, where he just wants his boy (Rivers/Chargers) to win so badly, that he critiques every mistake they make. Particularly the offense.

    That, or he’s over-compensating on a potential perceived bias where he might seem favorable to them, by instead never saying anything good about them.

    Personally, I’m fine with it. The Chargers and their fans should listen to Fouts’ tough love and learn from it.

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