Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award Honors Broadcasting Professionals

A seasoned sportscaster, Don Criqui has commentated on football events ranging from college bowls to National Football League (NFL) games. Don Criqui has worked with networks such as NBC, CBS, and Dial Global, where he currently broadcasts as the voice of Notre Dame football. His commitment to football broadcasting earned him the 2003 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.

Each year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame presents the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award to a noteworthy football sports broadcasting professional. The award is one of the only honors for which industry executives can be considered. Award recipients are chosen by a panel of NFL representatives; Hall of Fame staff and trustee members; and select winners in years past. Chris Berman, Ed Sabol, and Irv Cross are among the individuals who have been honored with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.

The award is named after Pete Rozelle, the former NFL commissioner who held the position for three decades. Rozelle’s tenure came with many successes that shaped professional football broadcasting, including co-inventing Monday Night Football and developing the Super Bowl into a premier nationwide televised event.

The Role of the Color Commentator in Modern Sportscasting

Don Criqui announces the play-by-play action for radio broadcasts of the football games of his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. He announced the television broadcast games of the National Football League continuously from 1967 until 2012. This 46-year stretch gives Don Criqui the longevity record among sportscasters announcing for a single league.

Sportscasting generally refers to any commentary during a sports broadcast. Modern sports broadcasting of live events generally consists of at least two commentators, or sportscasters: a play-by-play announcer, who describes the action, and an analyst or color commentator, who provides additional information about the players, the game, plays, rules, and anything else that might come up during a broadcast.

The play-by-play announcer is generally a trained broadcaster who delivers an accurate, continual description of the action. However, the color commentator is often an athlete who may be retired from the sport being broadcast. These retired athletes possess a wealth of inside information about the sport and its personalities.

This combination of play-by-play and color commentators is so successful because in many sporting events, the action takes place in bursts, interspersed with periods of inactivity. The introduction of the color commentator allows the two to carry on conversations, a convenient device to keep the audience interested between descriptions of the action. These conversations often are highly informative and contribute to audiences’ understanding and appreciation of the sport and the event.

Historic Notre Dame Stadium

Since joining CBS Sports in 1967, Don Criqui has provided play-by-play television commentary for every NFL season. In addition, he participated in NBC Radio’s coverage of Super Bowl XX and XXI. Don Criqui is also the current radio broadcaster for University of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish, on both CBS Sports and the Notre Dame/IMG Sports Network. He was recently asked to write the foreword to a new book, The History of Notre Dame Football.

The Fighting Irish, one of the best-known college football teams in history, play at Notre Dame Stadium, which Deseret News has chosen as one of the 13 college stadiums that football fans must visit. Completed in 1930, Notre Dame Stadium is home to seven winners of the Heisman Trophy. Since 1966, the 80,795-seat stadium has sold out all but one game. It has, for the most part, retained its original construction. The benches are still made of wood, and the striped end zones are some of the most widely recognized in the world of college sports.