Four Reasons Jim Nantz Is “America’s Sportscaster”
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This week’s post analyzes the strengths of play-by-play giant, Jim Nantz, from whom all broadcasters can learn a thing or two.
Gideon Cohen: Vice President of Sports Broadcasting:
We look forward to hearing “Hello Friends!” on the Masters, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four… but what makes Jim Nantz one of the most omnipresent play-by-play voices of our generation?
1) He’s a familiar face – Nantz joined CBS Sports in 1985, at the tender age of 26 , so he’s grown up in front of our eyes. He’s hosted and called some of the biggest games and shows over four decades.
2) He’s not polarizing – Jim Nantz’s persona feels about as classic American as apple pie. His look, sound, and personality are comfortable and non-threatening. He’s not over-the-top with his calls or opinions – pretty much always “down the middle.”
3) He’s naturally warm – Nantz’s familiar sound and appearance are enhanced by his friendly aura. His voice is rich and smooth – even soothing on golf. His body language and demeanor project genuine warmth. He’s the kind of guy you would invite over for dinner.
4) He knows his place – Nantz lets his analysts shine and doesn’t overstep his bounds. Nantz was a fantastic golfer growing up (and was even offered college golf scholarships), but he doesn’t feel the need to show off his knowledge, instead leaving the technical breakdowns to his partner, six-time Major winner Nick Faldo. Similarly, with football, Nantz is able to tee up his analyst Phil Simms by steering the conversation of the game with relevant questions and thoughts.
Overall, if there was such a title as “America’s sportscaster,” Jim Nantz would carry it.