SI's Under Review-ers Choice Awards recall the highs and lows of sports broadcasting in 2003:
PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Joe Buck, Fox Sports. Buck, 34, has become the Bob Costas of his generation, as comfortable calling a game as he is chatting with Carson Daly. He's long been the top baseball play-by-play man—in October he called his sixth World Series—and this year he came into his own in his second season as Fox's No. 1 voice in football. He's quick-witted with a resonant voice and is not afraid to offer opinions, giving viewers an extra analyst in the booth.
POSEIDON ADVENTURE AWARD
Tie: ABC's Lisa Guerrero, and ESPN's Rush Limbaugh. The biggest scoop Guerrero has provided on Monday Night Football sidelines was that Paris Hilton and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher were in a "young" relationship (thanks, Cronkite).... The aftermath of Limbaugh's complaining that Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb got preferential media treatment because he's black: Limbaugh lost his ESPN job and a lot of respect. McNabb has gone 10-2 and is playoff-bound.
Seabiscuit, PBS. Director Stephen Ives's 60-minute film on the Depression-era superhorse weaved together never-seen home movies and newsreels and insightful interviews with author Laura Hillenbrand and Norah Christianson, the daughter of jockey Red Pollard—and cost about $120 million less to make than the Hollywood version.
SHOW OF THE YEAR
Playmakers, ESPN. The network hasn't decided whether to renew its evening soap. But with provocative storylines drawn from the NFL's seamiest side, we're hoping it will. Viewers seem to like the show, even if NFL executives don't.