Feb 16 2012; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; A detailed view of television station microphones during media day at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Bay Area: 3 Broadcasters That Get On Your Nerves


Photo Credits, from left to right: (grantnapeargolf.com / @DeaFou (Twitter) / Wiki Commons)

Broadcasters: whether you’re talking about Vin Scully or Joe Buck, all of them hold a gig that is highly-coveted and respected. Talking into a microphone for three-plus hours while tracking the flight of a ball is not as easy at it seems.

However, there is a gargantuan difference between Scully, who captivates and interests you with his stories and amazing voice, and Buck, who puts you to sleep by calling a home run like it was a routine ground ball to second.

While no Bay Area sports announcer is “boring,” per se, there are ways we can separate those who are good from those who are just plain awful.

So without further adieu, let’s begin with the worst broadcasters in Bay Area sports, with video evidence:

Note: This list contains only play-by-play announcers, not color commentators.

3. Grant Napear, Sacramento Kings:

I understand that he works for the team, but Napear is just way too attached to the Kings and is undoubtedly one of the biggest homers in the NBA.

That held true when he continuously defended the Maloofs, even during the recent saga when the Kings almost moved to Seattle.

While I admire his passion and energy during games, I dislike announcers who only see things one way, and moan and groan when a call goes against his team:

I thought broadcasters weren’t supposed to be biased?

2. Glen Kuiper, Oakland Athletics

There was a time when legends such as Bill King, Greg Papa, and even Hank Greenwald were calling A’s games.

Now, we’re stuck with Glen Kuiper, who only got the gig after Greenwald retired because his brother, Duane, is the play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants, and CSN broadcasts games for both teams. There’s probably more to it, but I’m guessing Duane had a lot to do with the hire.

Maybe it’s because Duane has set the bar way too high, but listening to Glen call a game is like sitting in the nosebleed section when you can have front row seats (horrible analogy, but you get the point).

I’m not a big fan of Glen’s home run call: “…and that baby is gone!”

Not sure where he got that from, but it’s miles and miles away from Duane’s perfect, “…it is outta here!”

It’s almost like Glen didn’t want to copy his brother, so he decided to come up with the second most annoying home run call in baseball, behind Hawk Harrelson, of course (STRETCH!!….STRETCH!!!!).

Couldn’t he just do a simple, “it is gone!” ? His attempt at a catchphrase isn’t even original, and makes you cringe every time the A’s hit a homer.

Also, Kuiper, along with his partner, Ray Fosse, were laughing when a fan fell to his death trying to catch a ball during an A’s-Rangers game. They were not aware that the fan died while they were on the air, but they were the center of much controversy and criticism afterwards.

1. Bob Fitzgerald, Golden State Warriors

If you thought Grant Napear was a homer, wait till you hear about Bob Fitzgerald and his overflowing hair gel (seriously, how much liquid can a human being put on his hair?).

I swear, Fitzgerald could find a silver lining if a plane crashed and it had no survivors.

I mean, the man kisses up to the Warriors so much, and it is so obvious that it isn’t even funny. Even through decades of awfulness and mediocrity, Fitzgerald never had the audacity to admit that the Warriors were a bad team, scared that he would upset his employers.

He hosts a weekday talk show on KNBR 680, which, not coincidentally, is the flagship home of the Warriors.

“Known for making his callers wait in excess of two hours, Fitzgerald rarely engages in discourse pertaining to accountability in the Warriors’ front office,” his Wikipedia(!) page reads. “Frequently, when bad PR breaks in the news for the Warriors, Fitzgerald will wait until the last two segments to address whatever happened.”

Not a game goes by without Fitzgerald whining about the discrepancy in free throws, as if the referees are the only reason why the Warriors are losing.

Countless times have I heard him say, “The Warriors are only down by five in this game, but the free throws are 30-14 in favor of the Lakers. It has to be difficult to win when the calls aren’t going your way.”

Here’s one example (I have plenty more, but this is the only YouTube clip I could find):

If you wanted more reasons why Fitzgerald is the worst, just Google “Bob Fitzgerald sucks,” and you’ll find a plethora of forums, articles, and even websites dedicated to calling out “Fitz.”

“He’s a company shill,” wrote Bay Area blogger Rich Lieberman. “A good and loyal one. He’s got family and kids to feed and he’ll do anything to kiss the collective asses of just about anyone that controls the payroll. He will work for anybody and tout the line as long as he’s paid, you got that?”

Yeah, I got it.

Heck, even David Stern got it. 

Now that we’ve gotten through the bad, stay tuned for the list of the “Best Broadcasters in Bay Area Sports,” which will be published soon. 

Tags: Bob Fitzgerald Glen Kuiper Golden State Warriors Grant Napear Oakland Athletics Sacramento Kings

  • Kyle

    Of corse all home broadcasting guys are homers. You don’t want some guy to be happy when your team loses. I personally like a guy that get all fired up like Grant, Bob and Gus Johnson. One thing for Grant Napear, if he’s so bad, then why has he been doing it for over 25 years?

  • Jose Benitez

    I love Kuiper’s home run call! “And it is outta here” is so overdone. Its been done so many times. Not original. Ray and Glen are part of why I love watching A’s games so much. In the postseason or on days where its ESPN Im not a huge fan of the broadcasting because Glen and Ray make it fun to watch for A’s fans.
    And what fan wants to hear their HOME team broadcast get happy when the away team is winning? As a fan, you want to be excited when your team is doing good not the other. I know this an opinion article but I had to give my two cents and say I disagree completely.

  • John Smith

    I didn’t know the SACRAMENTO Kings were part of the Bay Area?

  • http://swinginas.com Jason Burke

    What i love about watching A’s games is that no matter what the score is, they’re into the game. With Kruk and Kuip, if the Giants are losing, they seem uninterested. Also, “in the squaaaat” is a dumb thing for a 60 yeard old man to say every game.

    Im not a fan of Giants’ broadcasting, but know that they are beloved. To each their own

  • Richard Guzinya

    Honestly for me I don’t like either the Giants or A’s tv broadcasters. Glen is dull, Ray is a bafoon and the two baboons in SF just blow. Bob Fitzgerald is the biggest joke in the bay area. Now if we go to radio I have to still give it to the Giants for having John Miller. He’s hands down the best they have and for the A’s the same can be said about Ken Korach. Those two guys are what broadcasts should be.

  • [email protected]

    I like Glen and Ray. They have a good rapport and it is funny when they frequently go on tangents about being hungry and wanting free food. One season, they were obsessed with Dibbs!

    The guy that drives me nuts is Shooty Babbit. Does he get paid by the word? Everything he says is a meaningless cliche that goes on and on and on… It was easy enough not to watch any of the A’s pre and post game shows when he appeared, but now that he is calling 20 games, it is really bad. He must be another guy with friends in high places…