Week 7 NFL Announcing: London Calling, Is Anyone Answering?

↵Did you realize that the NFL is playing yet another game in London this year? Did you realize that the game is this week between the Patriots and the Buccaneers and that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms had to trek across the pond to call the game? Some of America will get the CBS broadcast of the Pats and Bucs in London, but when you break it down by major market, most won't even notice, let alone care. New York, Chicago and Los Angeles will not be airing the London game, instead showing more regional games (note: the Jets are the only home team in any of those markets playing on CBS). When visiting both the Times Online and The Guardian to try and find London-style lead up to the big NFL game this weekend, there's nothing on either front page. Sure there's football, but that brand of football is more focused on Chelsea's transfer appeal or Liverpool's woes. And sure there is American news, but it centers around Glenn Beck or the invasion of the band Phoenix to the States. ↵

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↵In fact, the only thing I could find on the NFL after a quick perusal of both sites (lets' face it, exactly how most people consume their news these days) was a Guardian blog post picking the week's games that had a section on NFL in London, with this prognostication: ↵

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↵⇥And so the Wembley game is upon us once again. Sadly it looks set to be a horrendous mismatch, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winless after six games and the New England Patriots showing during last week's blowout of the Tennessee Titans exactly how much trouble they have handling bad sides. That said if anything was going to help level the playing field out between these two teams then a transatlantic flight and a dash of jetlag might just be it. The Pats and Buccs are both landing in London on Friday this year, too, whereas in past years teams have flown over much earlier in the week ... ↵
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↵At some point the NFL will realize how terrible this idea is, right? The teams don't care. The people in America don't care. The people in London don't care. The writers are hoping for jetlag to make the game more competitive. Maybe next time the NFL should hire British announcers to call the match, er, game. At least that will make for interesting commentary as they try to figure out why the clock keeps stopping. ↵

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↵CBS
↵CBS has just four games stateside this weekend and not one game looks to be all that competitive. Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts get the Chargers at Chiefs in the early slot. Nothing like 10 a.m. football on your TV in San Diego. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots get Indy at St. Louis. In the late games, Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf get Jets at Oakland and Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker get Buffalo at Carolina. The combined record of the 10 teams playing on CBS this week: 21-36 and that includes undefeated Indianapolis. ↵

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↵FOX
↵With Joe Buck firmly immersed in baseball, calling Game Six of the ALCS on Saturday night and a potential Game Seven on Sunday night, Thom Brennaman remains in Buck's chair for yet another NFL week. And while Brennaman and Troy Aikman get a compelling and widely-available late game for FOX as the one-loss Falcons travel to Dallas, it's clearly not the FOX game of the week. That game goes, in the early time slot, to Kenny, Moose and Goose who get the undefeated Vikings at Pittsburgh. With both Sunday Night (Arizona at Giants) and Monday Night (Philadelphia at Washington) featuring top NFC teams, FOX could have gotten the proverbial network shaft, but not this week, as most of the division leaders end up as part of the network's package. And yes, even I chuckled a little at putting shaft and package in the same sentence there. ↵

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↵The other early games for FOX are division-leading San Francisco at Houston with a call from Chris Myers and Brian Billick and Green Bay at Cleveland with Ron Pitts and John Lynch having the worst-game-on-the-network honors. For the other late games, FOX adds undefeated New Orleans at Miami and Chicago at a Cincinnati team that is tied for first with Pittsburgh who, as we stated, FOX also gets this week. ↵

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↵Map links and announcer crew pairings courtesy of The 506. ↵

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↵And for no other reason than the Guardian featured them (and let's face it, in honor of impending return of The Basketball Jones back to the podcast-blogosphere) we present you with a little Phoenix to get you through the day. The Clash seemed to obvious. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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