Tom Hammond, from Notre Dame football to figure skating. Bob Papa, from New York Giants football to luge. Dan Hicks, from PGA Tour golf to speed skating.
These are just a few examples of the broadcasting crossovers we’ve seen thus far on NBC’s Olympic television coverage.
Now, normally this would be the part where I go into how bad the broadcasting has been and how sticking to one sport may be best for many of these TV personalities. But actually…they’re doing a really good job and it’s been quite enjoyable to see some extreme cases of versatility on display. Going into the Olympic coverage, I expected to see TV vets like Bob Costas and Jimmy Roberts nail whatever assignments they were to be given. Hell, you could ask those guys to cover a local pie-eating contest in rural Alabama and they would STILL find compelling storylines and report them with their typical eloquence.
It was the broadcasters I didn’t expect to see that have been the real story so far. I mean, Cris Collinsworth doing a piece on women’s snowboarding? It was actually pretty good and he handled the interview very well. I’ll tell you this much…it was much more tolerable than his NFL coverage usually is.
How about Mary Carillo as an evening studio host during the figure skating and snowboarding competitions? All I really know her as is a tennis analyst. I had no idea she could stand in as a host…and again, she was pretty impressive.
Some of the other surprises? Matt Vasgersian, from baseball to ski-jump and Kenny Albert, from Fox’s NFL coverage to ice hockey.
I know that many of these broadcasters are serving, in some cases, their third, fourth, or maybe even fifth stint covering the Olympics, but I never took the time to notice before this year. As an aspiring broadcaster, it’s pretty refreshing to see the versatility that these broadcasters have developed over the years. It’s easy to get locked into the stereotype of only being able to broadcast one sport or perhaps only being able to broadcast mainstream American sports. Well, the NBC crew at the Olympics this year is proving their worth on a less-conventional level and I’m truly enjoying it.