I grew up watching Monday Night Football like many. Howard Cosell was probably the most distinct announcer of his time. Even well into the later part of his career. I was also fortunate enough to enjoy Harry Caray for a good while before his eventual passing. Those guys were both iconic and entertaining. In Chicago right now, we are blessed to have some of the best in the business.
Pat Foley, Chicago Blackhawks TV- It all starts with hall of fame broadcaster Pat Foley, who was just recently enshrined into the hockey hall of fame. His counterpart Eddy Olczyk is no slouch either. Foley who did games mostly on radio for most of his career, now does the bulk of Blackhawks games on TV.
Pat Hughes, Chicago Cubs Radio- Pat Hughes has that rare combination of dulcet tones, humor and is technically sound. There were many a season when I tuned in just to hear the comforting sounds from him and Ron Santo. Santo was basically a fan who played the game along for the ride. They had great chemistry though. Pat Hughes is certainly headed for the broadcasting HoF.
Steve Stone, Chicago White Sox TV- Steve Stone pitched for the Baltimore Orioles as well as both Chicago teams. He now has since broadcasted for both clubs. He is currently with the White Sox alongside Ken “Hawk” Harrelson. “Stoney” as he is affectionally dubbed, worked with Harry Caray and is as solid of an analyst as you will find in any sport. He knows the game inside and out and often predicts exactly what opposing managers will do.
Jeff Joniak, Chicago Bears Radio- When Wayne Larrivee took his talents to Green Bay, the Bears were in need of a play by play guy. Gary Bender filled in for two years. Long time Bear and analyst Tom Thayer would remain in the booth to work along side Hub Arkush for one season with the addition of Joniak. Jeff had a bit of a rough start. His voice came across as very nasal and somewhat uncomfortable. Joniak obviously worked at his craft and possibly took some voice coaching. He is famous for calling Devin Hester “ridiculous”, meticulously describing the uniforms down to it’s “piping” and saying “Fade to black” when the game is over.
Niel Funk and Stacy King, Chicago Bulls TV- Neil Funk made the jump from longtime radio broadcaster to TV announcer. He replaced Johnny “Red” Kerr who was a magnificent man and analyst. Stacy King, a former Bulls forward quickly established himself as one of the top analysts in his field. He brings a flair and knowledge to the game that is very comfortable and entertaining to watch. He and Funk have a great chemistry together.
I don’t know what other cities have, but I find it both amazing and fortunate that Chicago has fielded at least one “all-star” caliber broadcast team in each major sport. These fine play by play men and analysts make it easier to take in a game, especially when the teams are having sub-par seasons.