For the Record
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In the history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle radio-television award, Howard Cosell has never won the prize. ESPN's Chris Berman is this year's recepient and previous winners include Curt Gowdy, John Madden, Pat Summerall, Frank Gifford and Lesley Visser.

SI.com explores Cosell's case in this story and asks its readers, Did Howard Cosell do enough in his stint with Monday Night Football to deserve the award?

August 4, 2010  12:08 PM ET

I'm sorry to all the people whose views of Howard Cosell have softened over the years and those who never saw him, but hear the voices of the apologists, but Howard Cosell was a complete jerk his entire career and managed to be famous because of it. To me, he is similar to a Howard Stern-type. People listened because they wanted to see exactly how rude he would be. He should never be enshrined with those who truly loved the game and reported it without an acid tongue.

August 4, 2010  12:21 PM ET

annoying voice, know-it-all about everything except what was happening in front of him, awful human being...what's not to like and install in the Hall.

August 4, 2010  12:24 PM ET

And for this years recipient Berman--annoying voice, thinks he knows it all, same song references for the last 30 years, never a funny nickname on his own, funny one...that's right one...stolen from someone else and never acknowledged. Biggest reason to have a radio or other form of the broadcast handy so you don't have to listen to him. If he's in, the bar is lowered far enough for Howard to be in so why not.

August 4, 2010  12:29 PM ET

Howard Cosell didn't know much about football, and he would blame players for mistakes and continue that blame for the entire game. As more and more of the real story comes out, e.g., his frequent drunkenness in the booth, his reputation continues to diminish. The highlight of the games for me was when Alex Karras would point out to Cosell that he didn't know what he was talking about and should just shut up. Monday Night Football started the trend of having too many people in the booth and ignoring the action on the field in favor of annoying commentary.

August 4, 2010  12:35 PM ET

Haters. I couldn't stand Howard Cosell, but to not recognize his contribution to what has become a staple of American Life (MNF) is a joke. 22 selections and he isn't one of them?
That award means zero until Cosell has won it. Fair is fair.

August 4, 2010  01:02 PM ET

Of course Cosell should be enshrined. He casts a long shadow in football journalism.

August 4, 2010  01:15 PM ET

Wow you guys are harsh. The man touched every sport out there as a journalist and at every level all the way to the Olympics! He said in a lot of cases what people though but who wanted to stay politically correct. He was a one of a kind broadcaster whose voice still lives in the minds of those who listened to him. For 10 plus years he was the voice of Monday Night Football and I for one believe he should be enshrined. Like him or not, respect the man for what he did for journalism.

August 4, 2010  01:43 PM ET

There's no bigger sports journalism icon than Cosell. I bet if you ask the previous winners of the award they would say the same. He is embedded in the fabric of American SPORT's (not just NFL) history and not having him as a winner diminishes the award totally. Jerk or not, the simple act of adding criticism to "acceptable behavior" commentating can't really be measured.

August 4, 2010  02:02 PM ET

The guy may have been a jerk, but so have most of the previous winners. I can go without Berman all together, the guy is just annoying to listen to, yet he gets in. Put the guy in.

August 4, 2010  02:07 PM ET

What a terrible injustice. The was no one better than Howard. I wish he was still with us
I hope one day he receives this award but I'm sure if he was still with us it would not bother him.
I would hate to think that the reason he is not been honored is because he is Jewish?

August 4, 2010  03:05 PM ET

That Howard Cosell never has won this award is the biggest sham in all of broadcasting. He made Monday Night Football. People didn't tune in to listen to Frank Gifford or Dandy Don. They wanted to listen to Howard. He made both of those two into national figures. Without Cosell, MNF wouldn't have become the phenomenon that it was. That Gifford and Meredith have won this award and Cosell hasn't would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. Maybe he was a jerk. Maybe he wasn't. Doesn't matter. As people who want Pete Rose in the baseball Hall of Fame say, it's not a Hall of Fame for angels. Frank Gifford cheated on his wife and Dandy Don drank a little too much. Howard's vice? He was a little too controversial and didn't suffer fools easily. Even if you didn't like him, you couldn't keep from listening to him. And all you haters know it.

August 4, 2010  03:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

There's no bigger sports journalism icon than Cosell. I bet if you ask the previous winners of the award they would say the same. He is embedded in the fabric of American SPORT's (not just NFL) history and not having him as a winner diminishes the award totally. Jerk or not, the simple act of adding criticism to "acceptable behavior" commentating can't really be measured.

quite frankly, I don't think he was even that big of a jerk as is being said here. And as noted, if he does not win this award, it is useless. Say what you want, the guy invented...yes invented...sports journalism. All of those idiots on ESPN...and they are ALL idiots...owe their lives to this guy. Yeah, he could be abrasive...but he was 100 times smarter than anyone on tv today....

August 4, 2010  03:35 PM ET

Howard Cosell helped lay the foundation for the success of the NFL today, plain and simple. Many people have no sense of how important Monday Night Football is to the current success of the NFL. Before, there were Sunday games with blase announcers and one need only look at the revenues to get a sense of how blase they were. With MNF, Cosell brought a New York hucksterism to the announcer, trying to generate excitement for the viewer in a way that had not been done to that degree. You can say he was a jerk or didn't really know the game, but he raised the intensity level in the booth, creating an atmosphere that lent an importance and immediacy to the games that the matchups couldn't always match.

Say what you will, a Hall of Fame for NFL broadcasters without Howard Cosell lacks the most (in)famous broadcaster of all. Time for the NFL to make things right, Howard Cosell should be the Pete Rozell winner (in fact, they ought to rename it for Howard Cosell)(and if you think I am a Cosell apologist, I think he was frequently a jerk and no-nothing as well, but he brought energy and excitement to the game, something we don't get on a typical Sunday Chicago Bears broadcast).

August 4, 2010  04:37 PM ET

It's a complete travesty that Cosell isn't one of the selectees. He is much of the reason I stayed up late on Monday nights while in my youth to watch some rather boring football games. His voice is memorable, even 15 years AFTER HIS DEATH!

August 4, 2010  04:49 PM ET

He was the worst broadcaster in the history of electricity. Frankly, he (and the rest of his crew) had nothing to do with MNF's success. People want to watch football in prime time (Monday night), and will do anything (even listen to Cosell) to watch it. Listening to him still makes me want to mute the TV.

August 4, 2010  04:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

He was the worst broadcaster in the history of electricity. Frankly, he (and the rest of his crew) had nothing to do with MNF's success. People want to watch football in prime time (Monday night), and will do anything (even listen to Cosell) to watch it. Listening to him still makes me want to mute the TV.

I'll be kind and merely call you short sighted, if this is indeed what you think.

August 4, 2010  05:32 PM ET

This is Howard Cosell, speaking of sports, his lead in... Howard was a character, no doubt, but he knew how to do it and did it across the world of sports... So, some or a lot didn't like him -- too bad! I grew up in New York and listened to Howard's broadcasts and coverage of sports and he was always informative, entertaining and marvelous and often times controversial, but that's what made him who he was! Enough is enough; these pinheads need to enshrine him NOW!

August 4, 2010  06:31 PM ET

Howard Cosell was certainly controversial, but he was an integral part of the fabric of Monday Night Football - and a big reason it gained so quickly in popularity. He did rub many people the wrong way - but he was a fair commentator and journalist, An athlete I greatly admire - Muhammad Ali profited from Howard Cosell and his coverage as his career skyrocketed. He was an important part of the sports landscape for over two decades - and for him to not win the award is both unfair - and prejudicial. I hope all this attention results in his enshrinement next year!!

August 4, 2010  06:53 PM ET

Howard Cosell is simply the most important figure in the history of sports broadcasting. To consistently give this honor to buffoons (Berman), NFL apologists (Gifford), and local legends (Miller) while ignoring Cosell renders this "award" irrelevant.

 
August 4, 2010  07:39 PM ET

Does he deserve it? Are you kidding me. He halftime highlight show alone puts him ahead of that idiot Gifford.

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