Many fans listen closely to network announcers and are quick to jump on any perceived bias against their beloved. For fans of officiating, many times we don’t have to listen very long before we hear network announcers giving incorrect analysis of mechanics, judgement calls and rules. And sometimes, the announcers start making snarky comments about the officials for cheap laughs.
There are some who make it a point to understand the rules and some of the officiating mechanics. If something controversial happens, they state the facts without piling on the officials. In a feature that debuts this year, Football Zebras will select one broadcaster each year who exemplifies these traits.
The 2023 Football Zebras Broadcaster of the Year is Adam Amin at Fox Sports.
Amin was hired by ESPN in 2011 to call college basketball and college football. He also called NFL games for ESPN radio. Amin moved to Fox Sports to call Major League Baseball and the NFL in 2020. (He has covered Bears preseason games since 2018.) Also in 2020, he began announcing Chicago Bulls games on television.
Amin is a rising star in the world of sports play-by-play. What makes him stand out to Football Zebras and officials at all levels is his knowledge of rules, officiating mechanics, and individual officials. Earlier this season, Amin was announcing the Lions and Bears game in Chicago. During that game there was a forward fumble out of bounds. Amin immediately announced that the ball would return to the spot of the fumble. Later in that same game, there was a timeout situation around the expiration of the play clock. Amin walked the audience through the officials’ delay of game mechanics.
This is one game, but Amin does this in every game he works.
While it is an announcer’s job to prepare for two teams, Amin prepares for three teams. There are a small number of broadcasters who are well-versed in the rulebook. But Amin also recognizes that the officials have an important job to do and works to know about their job as much as possible. When a controversial or incorrect call happens on the field, Amin approaches the call in a calm, analytical and snark-free way — which is all that officials can ask for and is actually a great service for the audience at large.
It was these traits that singled out Adam Amin by our editorial staff for our first Broadcaster of the Year honors.
Image: Fox Sports