Dan Dierdorf signed off for good at the conclusion of CBS’s broadcast from Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. Dierdorf has been a fixture calling NFL games since 1985, but the Patriots’ 43-22 AFC Divisional Round win over the Colts will be the last time most of America hears his voice again on the national stage. Dierdorf, 64, spent the last 29 years calling NFL games, making him the longest-tenured analyst at the time of his retirement.
If you run a Twitter or Google search for “Dierdorf,” well, the results aren’t all that flattering to the former St. Louis Cardinals offensive lineman. Even in the midst of his swansong, Dierdorf’s commentary remained puzzling and full of inane “jockspeak.”
Still, Dierdorf showed up for work every Sunday for parts of four decades and, for better or worse, we salute him for that if nothing else. Working in live television isn’t always as easy as it sometimes appears from the comfort of the couch. It bears watching to see if CBS will promote its No. 3 team of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts into the role inhabited by Dierdorf and Greg Gumbel.
Prior to his return to CBS in 1999, Dierdorf worked alongside Al Michaels and Frank Gifford in the Monday Night Football booth, back when its lead-in on ABC was MacGyver. It’s hard to recall kvetching about Dierdorf back in those days, but of course, time and technology have a way of changing opinions.
Looks like some of us Twitter wiseguys will have to find somebody else to kick around during NFL broadcasts. (Given the state of announcing in 2014, it shouldn’t be all too difficult.)