There are a number of college football analysts and broadcasters who provoke a lot of controversy. But among the staff at CBS Sports, few attract as much on a regular basis as college football commentator Gary Danielson.
Whether it’s gushing endlessly over Alabama, forgetting the names of Tennessee players or – perhaps most controversially – joking about a photographer who got injured after getting run over by a player, Danielson has a knack for getting into trouble with the fans.
But that isn’t to say that Danielson doesn’t have plenty of knowledge about the game of football itself. He has nearly two decades of playing experience under his belt, and worked his way up the ranks to reach the spot he’s in now.
Whether or not he has the temperament to keep his job is probably best reserved for social media. Let’s take a look at Gary Danielson more closely:
How did Gary Danielson rise to prominence?
Gary Dennis Danielson was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1951 and played quarterback at Divine Child High School before joining Purdue. He was the Boilermakers’ starter from 1970 to 1972, throwing for 14 touchdowns and over 2,700 yards under Bob DeMoss.
Danielson went undrafted by the NFL in 1973 and decided to go pro with the short-lived World Football League afterwards. He was on the NY Stars and Charlotte Hornets in 1974 and the Chicago Winds in 1975.
But the NFL opened its doors for Daniel the following year as he signed with the Detroit Lions in 1976. Success in Detroit was hard to come by, but he had a few good seasons, and even led them to the playoffs in the strike-shortened 1982 season.
Danielson played eight seasons in Detroit and remains a top-four passer in franchise history. His five touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings in 1978 remain tied for a franchise record.
After the Lions let him go in 1985, he spent the next four years with the Cleveland Browns before retiring after the 1988 season.
How did Gary Danielson come to work at CBS?
Danielson expressed significant interest in broadcasting even in the middle of his playing career. He worked as a part-time anchor and reporter at WDIV-TV in Detroit during off-seasons while a member of the Lions.
During his time with the Browns, Danielson co-hosted a sports talk show.
So once his NFL career was over, Danielson had the requisite experience to go into broadcasting full-time. And ESPN quickly brought him on board as a college football analyst.
Danielson spent over a decade with The Worldwide Leader in Sports before joining CBS Sports in 2006. He was promptly partnered with play-by-play announcer Verne Lundquist as the network’s primary combo for SEC games. He now works with Brad Nessler in the same dynamic.
What’s the deal with Gary Danielson and Alabama?
For a guy who was born in Detroit and went to Purdue, Danielson rides the Alabama bandwagon as hard or even harder than diehard Alabama analysts like Paul Finebaum and Greg McElroy.
From overlooking penalties against the Crimson Tide to crediting seemingly clear turnovers against them as “Bama balls,” Alabama seemingly can do no wrong when Gary Danielson is on the call.
Combine that with a penchant for making all manner of mistakes and it’s hard to escape the Alabama homer label.
And you can tell by the tweets that non-Bama fans can’t stand it:
Pray for Nick Saban. Not only does he have COVID, he also has to listen to Gary Danielson today.
— Matt “The Ostrich” Mitchell (@ALostrich) November 28, 2020
Why is there cheerleaders in the booth for Alabama football games. Good job Gary Danielson can’t even enjoy watching football game. If you wanna cheerlead get the hell out of the booth! So unprofessional showing your bias every stinking week.
— Chad D Pittman (@ChadDPittman1) October 24, 2020
I honestly can’t recall a game where he talked positive about the program/school the entire game. No matter how bad we are.
It’s like we personally wronged him in some way. https://t.co/mzMshnrzsj
— Will McNeeley (@WillMcNeeley) October 24, 2020
Can someone remind Gary Danielson he isn’t supposed to be rooting for Alabama so obviously? Like we know Saban’s your daddy but damn Gary wait until the game’s over
— Hadley Wilson (@haddiebb) October 24, 2020
What was the incident with the photographer?
On November 16, 2019, Gary Danielson was on the call for the Georgia-Auburn game at Auburn. During the game, Chamberlain Smith, a photographer working as an intern with the Georgia athletic department, was knocked unconscious and stretchered off the field after Brian Herrien accidentally ran into her.
But while the wider football world was in shock over what happened to Smith, Danielson had a different reaction. As Nessler expressed concern over what happened to Smith, Danielson could be heard chuckling.
Needless to say, people watching the broadcast were furious at Danielson’s inappropriate response to what happened.
gary danielson has been trash for a very long time, and this incident really illustrates just how much trash he is. pic.twitter.com/oFU6nr8Rxk
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 16, 2019
Thankfully, Smith made a fully recovery from the incident.
But Danielson had some serious scrutiny on him for days after what happened.
Did Gary Danielson apologize for his comments on the photographer?
Whether Danielson realized how serious Smith’s injury was or not, he was soon made to realize that he acted completely inappropriately. The following week, Danielson issued an apology, saying that he “just didn’t see what happened,” leading to some confusion for him in the booth.
“Last week in real-time, I just didn’t see what happened,” Danielson said during the broadcast of the Georgia-Texas A&M game. “In fact, I might have been the last person to see what happened. That confusion and my commentary that followed led some to conclude that I was kind of being insensitive to Chamberlain’s serious situation. That certainly wasn’t my intent.
“Simply put, I should have been better. I want to apologize to Chamberlain and our CBS viewers for that.”
Fortunately for Danielson, Smith was a good sport about the whole thing. She would take to Twitter while she was getting treated and revealed that she managed to get the shot of Herrien right before he ran her her over.
Herrien made sure to repost the image too.
❤️YOU’RE THE BEST 🐐 I knew it would be a good picture 🤞🏾 https://t.co/APCcSU5ukF
— Brian Herrien (@brianherrienn) November 19, 2019
How much does Gary Danielson make working at CBS?
The salary of key CBS talent pays understandably well. FamousPeopleToday estimates his current CBS Sports salary at around $200,000 per year with an estimated net worth of nearly $12 million.
Who is Danielson’s wife? Does he have any kids?
Believe it or not, Danielson has managed not to annoy at least one person for nearly 50 years. He married his wife Kristy in 1973 after meeting her as an undergrad at Purdue.
Kristy’s father was George King, who worked as Purdue’s athletic director and basketball coach during Danielson’s time there.
The couple have four kids together. Danielson’s son, Matt Danielson, played quarterback at Northwestern in the early-2000s.
Is Gary Danielson worth following on Twitter?
Given that Danielson doesn’t have a verified Twitter account, it might be a moot question.
The @DanielsonCBS Twitter account seems like it might be his, but hasn’t tweeted at all since 2018.
Gary Danielson clearly isn’t the best broadcaster out there. But he impresses just the right people to get one of the best gigs in sports broadcasting. You’ve got to respect that even if you don’t love his commentary.
Watch out for more Alabama love, gaffes, and controversies in the years to come. Danielson isn’t going anywhere.
The post Gary Danielson: How The Prominent Announcer Got His CBS Gig appeared first on The Spun.