The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. PT on FOX. This is the 49ers first game that will not appear before a major national audience. Week 1 was the FOX Game of the Week, and Week 2 was Sunday Night Football. The folks at 506sports.com will have the television maps later today, but it is safe to say this game will be relegated primarily to the 49ers broadcasting region (NorCal, parts of Nevada and Oregon, maybe Utah, and maybe some SoCal), and the Cardinals broadcasting region (likely just Arizona).
As this is not a nationally televised game, it will feature an announcing crew further down the pecking order. FOX has assigned their No. 4 crew to this game. That group includes Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), David Diehl (color), and Laura Okmin (sideline). I'm a fan of Brennaman. He has that sort of generic announcer voice that sounds a little like Marv Albert. In terms of knowing the game and telling a story over the course of the game, he does a good job.
Where this gets interesting is with Diehl. He was a guard for the New York Giants, drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 draft, and retiring after last season. It can be touch and go with players in the announcer booth, but one upside to a fresh face is that he has hopefully not developed the crutches that a lot of players turn to. I remember watching a 49ers game that featured Jesse Palmer in his first game as a color analyst. He did a fantastic job because he was not sticking to the usual nonsense veteran color guys can sometimes spout. We'll see if Diehl is able to put together a decent effort.
I asked our Giants blogger about Diehl, and he said:
Good guy. Well-spoken. Been preparing to do broadcast work for a while. Will take it seriously. I expect him to do very well with it.
For those that are curious, the FOX announcer depth chart is as follows:
1. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
2. Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
3. Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
4. Thom Brennaman, David Diehl and Laura Okmin
5. Kenny Albert, Daryl "Moose" Johnston and Tony Siragusa
6. Dick Stockton, Donovan McNabb/Brady Quinn/Kirk Morrison and Kristina Pink