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111317_Kruk_AP Matt Slocum/AP

"I'm coming for you, Merrill."

November 13, 2017

What if Philly sports broadcasters met in an 'Anchorman'-style brawl?

Last week, a war of words broke out between two NFL broadcasters who, coincidentally, used to play for the same team and also happen to both be despised in the city of Philadelphia: Tony Romo and Deion Sanders.

During last Sunday's Cowboys-Chiefs game, Romo started with a comment about Marcus Peters' tackling – or lack thereof – and ended up taking a shot at Deion.

“Peters doesn’t want to tackle,” Romo said. “He makes Deion Sanders look good at tackling.”

That led to a harsh response from Sanders later in the day on NFL Network.

“Tony, I tried my best to take the high road, but I don’t know the address to the high road,” Sanders said. “So I got to come at you, man. Ten years as a starter, you’re 2-4 in the playoffs. You ain’t won nothing. I tried to bury the hatchet. Both of us work for CBS. I went and shook your hand, I said, ‘Tony, you’re doing a great job this year.’ I thought that would be it. But nevertheless you keep on shooting at me. Tony, what’s going on, man? I got a gold jacket that I didn’t buy. Dak says hi. And bye. Tony, leave me alone, man. I’ve got a lot of ammunition, man. How many interceptions, 19 in 2012? Come on, man, you threw to everyone but me. Tony, come on, man. You know you never won the big one. You know you never won the big one. So stop. Leave me alone. I tried to take the high road but I don’t know the address.”  [profootballtalk.com]

It ended there. But what if it didn't? What if the two former Cowboys decided to take this outside? Who would you put your money on?

Over this weekend, I got an email from a gambling advice site called OnlineGambling.lv that included actual odds for just such a fight – and much, much more. Given how Philly pretty much hates every NFL broadcast crew that gets assigned to Eagles games, it seemed like a good idea to post them for your enjoyment.

•  Deion Sanders vs Tony Romo (-180)
•  Ronde Barber vs Cris Collinsworth (-150)
•  Joe Buck vs Troy Aikman (-110)
•  Ian Eagle vs Kevin Burkhardt (-200)
•  Dan Fouts (-110) vs Kurt Warner
•  Rich Gannon (-120) vs Trent Green
•  Kevin Harlan (-500) vs Al Michaels
•  Charles Davis (-150) vs Adam Archuleta
•  Jim Nantz (-200) vs Kenny Albert
•  Sean McDonough vs Jon Gruden (-1000)
•  Jon Gruden vs Bill Cowher (pick)
•  Mark Schlereth vs David Diehl (-150)
•  Phil Simms vs Boomer Esiason (-180)
•  Michele Tafoya (-120) vs Lisa Salters
•  Erin Andrews (-150) vs Charissa Thompson
•  Suzy Kolber vs Pam Oliver (pick)
•  Mike Tirico (-300) vs Bob Costas
•  James Brown (-250) vs Greg Gumbel
•  John Madden (-120) vs Dick Enberg
•  Chris Berman vs Marv Albert (-150)

A few quick observations:

•  I'd pay to watch Gruden vs. Cowher. Like, can you imagine that stare-down at the weigh-in? You'd need those eclipse glasses to watch it. 

•  Ronde Barber would destroy Collinsworth. Get out of here with that.

•  Don't bet against Philly's own Rich Gannon. Because, you know, Rocky.

•  If these fights were in order, the last few would have to be canceled because it would be way past the fighters bedtimes.

And wait, there's more. They also offered up odds on which network's broadcasters would win in a Royal Rumble brawl.

•  FOX: 4/3
•  CBS: 5/3
•  ESPN: 22/3
•  NBC: 12/1

So that got me thinking ... What would happen if all the various broadcast teams (both TV and radio) from Philly met in the middle of Pattison Ave. for an epic, "Anchorman"-style brawl? 

First, we need to establish the teams. Unfortunately, they're not all apples-to-apples as some have more people than others, but we did the best we could.

EAGLES

TV: Scott Graham, Mike Mayock and Dave Spadaro
Radio: Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin

SIXERS

TV: Marc Zumoff, Alaa Abdelnaby and Molly Sullivan
Radio: Tom McGinnis

PHILLIES

TV: Tom McCarthy, Ben Davis, John Kruk, and Mike Schmidt
Radio: Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen

FLYERS

TV: Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Chris Therien
Radio: Tim Saunders and Steve Coates

And now we can talk odds:

Odds to Win Philly Tag-Team
Broadcast Brawl

TEAM

ODDS

FLYERS

3/2

EAGLES

7/2

PHILLIES

4/1

SIXERS

23/5


Wondering how we came up with those numbers? Well, we didn't. We actually asked the folks at OnlineGambling.lv if they could give us some odds based on the names listed above. 

And they came through in a big way, even offering up the following breakdown from oddsmaker Matt McEwan:

Ala Abdelnaby of the 76ers TV broadcast is the x-factor here. Standing at 6’10, 240 pounds, Abdelnaby could do a lot of damage when he starts swinging. But he’d be left to do too much on his own for the 76ers crew. 

Keith Jones and Chris Therien of the Flyers’ broadcast were enforcers on the ice and still look like they could drop the gloves if need be. These are two guys no one would want to stand toe-to-toe with. 

Howard Eskin of the Eagles’ crew creates a ton of controversy with his mouth, but has never proven he can back it up. The Eagles would certainly have a huge advantage, though, considering Mike Mayock would have complete scouting reports for every individual involved. 

The Phillies may have a decent relief in Larry Anderson and Tom McCarthy, especially with Big Ben Davis calling the shots, but Scott Franzke doesn’t look like he’s capable of giving the crew more than an inning or two off the start. The kicker here is whether John Kruk can grow the mullet back for intimidation.

It's hard to argue against the Flyers being the favorites – don't sleep on Jim Jackson, either.

If you're looking for the best value here, it's the Phillies. At 4/1, the return is pretty decent and – Kruk, where'd you get a hand grenade? 

He's definitely the wild card in this one. And I know we said no weapons in this one, but I've heard he can handle a trident. Keep your head on a swivel, Jonesy.


Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without letting you guys vote on which broadcast crew you think would win our totally hypothetical brawl.


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