Blog Entry

Marv Albert 'thrilled' to call NFL games for CBS

Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 3:03 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

We don't yet have an NFL season, but when we do, Marv Albert will be calling games for CBS. Sean McManus, CBS Sports Chairman, made the announcement Monday.

“Marv Albert is recognized throughout sports broadcasting as one of its true legends,” McManus said. “Very few in the broadcasting industry can claim his combined accomplishments and remarkable longevity. We are extremely excited to add Marv to our NFL ON CBS team.”

"I'm very excited about it," Albert told "I've always enjoyed doing football on TV. [The CBS NFL opportunity] kind of came out of nowhere when CBS and TNT partnered up to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Sean McManus contacted David Levy, the president of TNT Sports, and asked permission to talk to me about it. You know, I wasn't expecting it, but we put the deal together and I'm just thrilled about it."

Thanks to social media, fans have been swift and ruthless with their criticism of newly hired announcing teams in recent years. When the NFL Network named Joe Theismann and Matt Millen to work in the Thursday Night Football booth last season, the decision was roundly -- and loudly -- ridiculed. In Albert's case, the news has been universally praised because, well, it's Marv Albert. The man's a legend.

Part of being legendary is knowing the medium. Albert was the radio voice of Monday Night Football for Westwood One from 2002-2009, and he, better than anyone, understands the subtle differences between television and radio.

"In radio, you are the game, so to speak -- you have to describe every aspect," said Albert. "In TV, I've always felt less is more, and it's really a question of my setting up the color analyst more than anything else." 

When asked how he maintains his excitement for a job he has been doing since he jokingly said he was 12 years old, Albert offered this: "I still have such a passion for what I'm doing. I mean, I think that's the important thing. I watch everything -- I'm still a big TV viewer, I still listen to radio in terms of sports.

"I always feel you can get better, too," Albert continued. "I'll look at game tapes after I've done a game (because) you can always pick things up. To me, there are always aspects you can do better. And I'm always attuned to that -- I still love that part of the business. For whatever reason, the fire hasn't gone away."

In the recently released book about the history of ESPN, Those Guys Have All the Fun, columnist Bill Simmons was quoted as saying that "Nobody on the planet watches a sports game for the f------ announcers." He was referring to ESPN's Monday Night Football. For most fans, Albert is one of the few exceptions to that rule although he understands Simmons' overall point.

"You know, I would agree with that" Albert said. "There are certain announcers who can make a game better to listen to where (fans) would enjoy it more and they're not saying 'Hey, what's he saying?' or 'That's stupid.' Which we all do, you know, and it's easy to do that."

Albert admits that preparation is one way to keep fans interested.

"I always try to come in -- and I'm not alone in saying this -- with stories and information," he said. "I feel very strongly about (not) using cliches. I always feel -- and sometimes I realize that you can over-prepare -- but it's better to do that because you don't want to be in a situation where … fans of one of the teams you are doing know more than the announcer. You really have to be prepared because the moment goes by quickly. So if you don't hit on the proper information at the right time you're going to miss.

"On the other hand, you don't want to give too much information. If I give 10 percent of what I have that's pretty good. Because otherwise, you're talking too much."

Finally, we asked Albert about his long-time relationship with David Letterman.

"It goes back to my days at NBC at Channel 4," he explained. "I was doing the six o'clock and 11 o'clock sports, and [Letterman] was doing his show at NBC across the hall from us. He was a big sports fan so he would see when I played the 'wild and the wacky' bloopers, and he said that this might go very well with a live crowd. And I ended up coming on a lot, and it continued when he moved over to CBS. ...

"[Talking with Dave] is like sitting with one of my brothers. And he has his Indianapolis ties so we'll end up talking about the Pacers or something, or Ball State. I try to Google 'Ball State' before I go on just to see what's going on."

If the owners and the players needed another reason to end the lockout, having Albert calling games this fall should be pretty high up the list.

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Category: NFL
Tags: Marv Albert

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:34 pm

Marv Albert 'thrilled' to call NFL games for CBS

Unfortunately, this will do nothing to lift the "Curse of Dolan" from the Knicks. They will never win another championship until Marv is back behind the mike at MSG.
Can't wait until Marv interviews guys like Rex and Belicheat - ought to be "must see" TV.

Congratulations, Marv!

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:27 pm

Marv Albert 'thrilled' to call NFL games for CBS

Gus will be working for FOX for those of you unaware.

Since: Oct 18, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:14 pm

Marv Albert 'thrilled' to call NFL games for CBS

I hope he wears a mouth guard so no one gets bit....

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:11 pm

Marv Albert 'thrilled' to call NFL games for CBS

What happened to Gus Johnson?  He is the best!

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:41 pm

Not exactly filling the hole left by Gus Johnson.

I'm gonna miss Gus

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:35 pm

Marv Albert to call NFL games for CBS

I approve, but only if he dresses as a cheerleader and waxes off his chest hair so we can see some killer cleavage.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:31 pm

Marv Albert to call NFL games for CBS

"I guess the stack of resumes for qualified employment was slim to one huh? This is a joke. I mean it aint bad but its not up there with the Dennis Millers hires if ya know what I mean. Bring Dennis Miller back!!!!!!!"

What are you talking about? How can this be a controversial hire, Marv is best in the biz. Anyways he's just doing the utilitarian work, not doing the analysis and commentary work of the color guy. The Dennis Miller comparison is just ignorant. Dennis Miller was a comedian with no experience in the business haphazardly assigned to do color, whereas Marv has been one of the best play-by-play guys for decades.

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:29 pm

Marv Albert to call NFL games for CBS

I am happy for Marv to get the gig.  I do miss the great job he did on play by play with NBC sports with the NBA, MLB and the National Football League.  The bad part of this is he probably won't be doing play by play on the radio.  If there is a season, it's too bad the Jet-Giants game is on FOX, because he would be the best choice for that game.

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:25 pm

Marv Albert to call NFL games for CBS

This is a great move for CBS. He was great during the NCAA Tournament last year. He still seems to have his wits about him. He is not like Pat Summerall those last few years on FOX.  He is also much better than Bill Macatee, who has almost always been awful, and Don Crique, who has struggled in recent years.  One of those guys will get the dreaded eight slot.  Both of them deserve it. Bill probably deserves it more because it always seems like he is about to fall asleep on air.  Even when he does show energy, his voice is awful.  Spero Dedes should move up to 4th or 5th team.  I don't know where Marv will go.

Since: Aug 30, 2008
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:12 pm

Marv Albert to call NFL games for CBS

I wonder if he still has his wigs......hmmm.

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