D.C.’s Top Five Sportscasters of Today

Leonard Shapiro’s top 10 D.C. sports anchors of the past 40 years got me thinking about D.C. sports anchors of today, and how TV is different now. It’s less about anchors and more about the play-by-play, color guys and reporters.

So I asked the D.C. sports literati for their top five sportscasters of today, with the only criteria being that their picks currently have on-air TV gigs in the D.C. area. The results are found here, followed by those who participated and a poll for you to pick your favorite.

First though, four observations:

– Comcast SportsNet dominates, probably because they show actual games.
– MASN doesn’t register, probably because their Nats broadcast is abysmal.
– Network anchors still matter, as two of the top five hail from NBC, FOX.
– Two of the top three on this list are proud alumni of JMU. Just sayin’.

Okay, on with the show …

1. Steve Buckhantz“Simply because of Dagger and Not Possible” … “His longevity and the excitement in his voice (a HUGE thing for me) is enough in a weak crop” … “This one is less on what he’s doing currently — I watched very little Wizards basketball last season — and more on the fact that he’s been very good for a very long time.”

2. Joe Beninati“Keeps up with the play-by-play as well as anybody” … “Any doubt as to how good we have it with Joe B should be answered by the fact that he is the Versus NHL guy now.” … “I enjoy watching the Caps games much more when they’re on locally than when they’re on nationally. I suspect Joey B is one of the main reasons why.”

3. Lindsay Czarniak“Dogged and thorough” … “So awesome, cool and 10-car pileup cute that everybody in town believes she once had a crush on them. Until their alarm clock goes off.”

4. Chick Hernandez“Shapiro got this one right.”

5. Dave Feldman“How is Feldy 5th? That’s insane.”

Others receiving votes: Craig Laughlin, Kelli Johnson, Michael Jenkins, Russ Thaler, Dan Hellie, Washington Post writers on Washington Post Live, Johnny Holliday, Michael Wilbon, Lisa Hillary, Phil Chenier, Doc Walker, Brett Haber, Tim Brandt, Al Koken, Jill Sorenson, Ivan Carter and Brian Mitchell

Voters: Dan Steinberg, John Taylor, Andy Peden, William F. Yurasko, Chris Chase, Mike Wise, Jon Kelman, Jon Press, Matt Terl, Jack Kogod and me

42 thoughts on “D.C.’s Top Five Sportscasters of Today”

  1. I met buckhantz and chanier at a bobcats down in charlotte back in march. After they saw I was wearing my bullets jersey they asked where my wife and I were sitting collected our info and attempted to get us on the broadcast during a timeout so they would get my automatic vote.

  2. Can I vote for myself?
    Seriously, I didn’t know I could vote for play-by-play guys in their respective sports. I just thought it was network sports anchors. How does Dave Johnson get no love? “Jaime Moreno! G-o-o-o-alllll!”

  3. Unless I misread something and missed the part about voting for best company shill, Larry Michael has no business being mentioned.

    And Wise, don’t pretend like that was the first time that question popped in your head– or that it was a joke.

  4. Might be an idea to break it up between anchor-reporter types and game-coverage, play-by-play people.

    Joe B is the tops for PxP, the top sportscast anchor would be Feldy.

  5. You’re kidding right? Joe B. is ahead of Michael Jenkins in this poll??? WT??? Yeah, he’s okay for hockey, but for all-around hilariously funny sports guy who is better than the Jenks?!!! NOBODY!!!!

  6. I voted for Lindsay because, well I’ll be honest, I’m a single guy. Beninati is an excellent hockey play-by-play guy and we are spoiled to have him on CSN.

  7. Charlie Slowes and Dave Jaegler are a great combo too. If only they were on a frequency powerful enough for anyone to hear them.

  8. Maybe I’m biased because I’m from the area, but we’ve got lots of talented sports guys here in DC. Just about any anchor/reporter in CSN has a legitimate argument to be in the top-5, and Feldy and Lindsay do an awesome job. Joe B and Buck are also awesome at what they do. But, if I had to pick anyone who isn’t on the top-5 to slip in, I’d pick Jenk. Dude’s hilarious and even has his own fanclub for crying out loud.

    Just as long as you don’t put Rob Dibble on the list. He could be entertaining at times, but only because he’s so terrible. Maybe you should poll the 5 worst as well.

  9. “Oh, we’re doing five worst next, that’s for sure.”
    Yes Wise, you can vote for yourself on that one.

  10. Kelli Johnson deserves to be higher, no question. Joe Beninati atop the list shows the power of the Caps’ fairweather fanbase. If this poll were taken 3 years ago, Beninati wouldn’t even rank in top 10 by voters.

  11. Barno can’t deal with the fact that the Caps are as popular as they are, even WITH the meltdown in the playoffs. Too funny. As for sportscaster, Beninati, the guy has been chosen to do Versus playoff games nationally. Pretty much all you need to know about how good he is.

  12. Joe and Craig are tied for #1.KJ & Czarniak are next;Hellie & Buch/Phil are right there too, in my book..

  13. JDP: The only reason most of these tools are voting for Czarniak is because she’s pretty. Period. I thought it was supposed to be about best sportscasting, not best looking. Shallow much fellas?

    And by the way, if it was a best looking vote, who could beat Jenks???

  14. Michael Jenkins is a fresh, witty, sharp guy who understands that we want personality in a sportscaster, but draw the line at an overinflated sense of self. Jenkins is the real deal, and I’m ready for him to get one of those sour gigs on ESPN where he can’t leave even to go pee for 10-12 hours so i can enjoy his insight, humor and knowledge in big chunks.

  15. Late to the party, Joe B is awesome, but Buck gets my vote because of longevity and doing a great job calling games for a team that stinks.

    Johnny Holiday calling Maryland basketball is music.

    horseydeucey, Ive been trying to place Czarniak all these years. Thanks for bringing my search to an end.

  16. I too am surprised Dave Johnson wasn’t mentioned. He’s one of the hardest working guys here in the area and does an exceptional job in the Wizards radio broadcasts.

  17. “I’d bang Janice Muppet.”

    She’s, like, 50. And a muppet. And androgynous. Just imagine the practical issues with that statement… oh… wait.

    I’d bang her too. I’d bang her so hard.

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