CFL Play By Play Broadcasting

As a long time follower of the CFL, today's broadcasters do not compare to the likes of :

Don Chevrier

Don Wittman

Johnny Esaw

Pat Marsden

Dale Issac

These guys had their style and things change. I just think they are better.

I do like Cuthbert. I have no problem with Black or Miller.

However, when CBC cut Mark Lee, I felt TSN should have picked him up for the CFL broadcasts.

Insert Lee as the number 2 guy , Black number 3 and find something else for Gord Miller to do.

Mark Lee was a fine CFL broadcaster from 96 - 07.

He is heads and tails better than Black and Miller .

He was not happy about being let go from CBC and still wants to work.

even more difference between the master Lancaster for color as opposed to todays would be color guys.

I agree that Mark Lee should be working a national football telecast, I believe he was a QB at Carleton in the late 70s. Never cared for Marsden or Esaw. Marsden was loathe to credit any Canadians and say where they were from but any American from North Southwest Eastern Dakota State would always get a mention. Esaw just didn't seem to have the football background.

Funny story related about Esaw was how he'd fit a free commercial in for the game sponsors, on the spot. "And look there's an Air Canada jet overhead, and I bet those passengers are enjoying a glass of Andres Champagne and a fine Old Port wine tipped cigar" :slight_smile:

I should clarify that Esaw did PBP for both the Bombers and the Riders in his earlier days. He had a great knack for recognizing and organizing "event" programming but I didn't think PBP was his greatest strength by the 70s.

They have a great one with Rod Black, he’s versatile, can do Olympic sports and things like figure skating. :roll:

Chevrier was very good. Whitman, Esaw and Marsden were another story. More than once Whitman referred to the Stamps and Esks as the Flames and Oilers. Marsden had a man crush on Alouettes Joe Galat. Esaw tended to ramble. I don't remember Dale Issac.

John Wells was pretty good, though he could go off on a tangent occasionally.

Agreed, Lancaster was head and shoulders above every other colour man. Best quote: "I don't like the domes. Football was meant to be played outside on the grass that's left over from baseball season".

was never fond of Marsden as I found him to exhibit a certain air of pomposity which didn't sit well with many viewers.

sadly, we will never again see the likes of Leif Pettersen, Don Chevrier, Ron Lancaster and Don Wittman who are among the best ever IMO.

I'll give you Whitman and Chevrier, but the rest of the guys on that group sucked. I'll take Cuthbert and Miller over the rest any day. Admittedly, I've only heard Esaw on old taped games, so I may be willing to give him a break. I was never a fan of Marsden (IMO the worst of the group), Isaac or Mark Lee.


Dale Issac did CTV West. ( 80 - 86 ) He was paired with Frank Rigney after Rigs left the CBC.
Marsden was CTV East and National.

I just remembered this. After the CFL dumped CTV for CFN and TSN , Marsden had his own sports talk show on TSN.

I remember him ripping on the CFL and the players.
Strange he would be the voice of the CFL for so many years then trash the league.

My post did not get into Color guys. That is an apples to oranges thing.
I like Glen Suitor, but I think Lancaster was the best. Leif Petterson ( CTV - TSN ) was fine , but I found that he ripped on players to much.

Strange...I've watched games since the early 60s but don't remember Isaac. I recall Rigney and others such as Dave Hodge and Bob Irving when the leaue had its own "network" (CFN) but I draw a blank on Isaac.

Germ B,

Maybe this will help.

West games during the regular season were split between CBC West and CTV West

When the West playoffs came around, CTV West would broadcast the West Semi then CBC West would broadcast the West Final.

Isaac, Frank Rigney and Al McCann were the west crew for CTV in the 1980s. Jack Gotta was also part of that crew in '84 between his stints as head coach in Calgary and Saskatchewan.