Here's Your UFL on Versus Announcing Crew

Today, the fledgling United Football League announced the crew that will call its games on Versus starting next month. Of course, DirecTV subscribers won’t be able to see the games as the satellite provider continues its dispute with the channel. But I digress.

Nice to see good friend Dave Sims get the play-by-play call, but interesting hire is that Baltimore sports radio host and former women’s professional football quarterback and Playboy model Anita Marks will be on the sidelines. Check out the release.


Dave Sims, Doug Flutie, Kordell Stewart

& Anita Marks to Lead Broadcast team

RUTHERFORD, NJ (September 22, 2009) – The United Football League announced today that four highly talented broadcasters will lead the television coverage of the UFL on VERSUS. Veteran play-play announcer Dave Sims joins the broadcast booth with color analyst and former NFL standout Doug Flutie. Former Steelers Quarterback Kordell Stewart and radio and television host Anita Marks will serve as sideline and features reporters.

“We have assembled a top-notch team to lead our inaugural telecasts on VERSUS,” said Frank Vuono, COO of the UFL. “The combined football experience and knowledge of Dave, Doug, Kordell and Anita will help us provide unprecedented access to professional football while allowing the home viewer prime viewing position that will truly make them feel like they are part of the action.”

A two-time Emmy Award winning sportscaster, Dave Sims is best known as the television play-by-play voice for the Seattle Mariners and the radio play-by-play announcer for Westwood One’s NFL Sunday Night Football. In addition, Sims continues to be a mainstay on the college sports scene where he has been calling basketball games for ESPN since 1991. A veteran of the local New York sports scene, Sims worked at WCBS-TV as a reporter/anchor, has hosted talk shows at Madison Square Garden Network and WFAN-AM Radio and spent seven years as a sportswriter for the New York Daily News. In addition to his Emmy Awards, Sims accolades include the 2005 Big East Conference Media Award and the American Football Foundation’s 2003 Lindsey Nelson Outstanding Sportscaster Award.

A phenomenal college football player who rose to prominence during his playing days at Boston College, Doug Flutie is probably best remembered for his 1984 “Hail Mary” touchdown pass. A Heisman Trophy and Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award winner, Flutie has had experience playing at all levels of professional football including the USFL, the NFL and the CFL. Flutie led the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts to back-to-back Grey Cup victories and was named CFL’s Most Outstanding Player a record six times and MVP in all of his three Grey Cup victories. As a member of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, he earned Pro Bowl and NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors. In 2006, Flutie was the top ranked CFL Player. In 2007, Flutie was named to the College Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the first American born player to be inducted. In combining his CFL, NFL and USFL statistics, Flutie ranks sixth among the all-time pro football passing leaders in attempts, completions and touchdowns.

Kordell Stewart joins the UFL broadcast team as sideline reporter. As quarterback at the University of Colorado, Stewart is also heralded for his “Miracle at Michigan” pass which led the Buffaloes past the University of Michigan 27-26 in 1994. He became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history, setting several records including most completed passes, most passing yards and most touchdown passes. In Kordell’s first season as a starting quarterback in the NFL, in 1997, he led the Steelers to an 11–5 record and the AFC Championship Game. In 2001, Stewart led the Steelers to a 13-3 regular-season record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. He had the best professional season of his career throwing for over 3,000 yards, completing 60 percent of his passes and attaining a passer rating of 81.7. Stewart threw for 14 touchdowns and ran for five more. Stewart’s year culminated with his being elected to the Pro Bowl and being named Steelers MVP. Among NFL quarterbacks, Stewarts’ 38 rushing touchdowns ranks second all-time behind Steve Young’s. Stewart was given the nickname “Slash” early in his career due to his abilities as utility player playing running back/wide receiver/punter. Most recently, Stewart served as studio host on ESPNews for its college broadcasts.

Anita Marks learned about football by playing the sport competitively. She fine-tuned her football skills and dominated the Collegiate Flag Football Circuit for four years while attending the University of South Florida (USF) where she graduated with a Communications degree. Upon graduation from USF,
Marks transferred her passion for sports into a career as a sports producer for the local CBS affiliate in Miami. The opportunity to return to the gridiron and play professional football occurred in 1999 when Marks served as quarterback for the Miami Fury, a women’s professional football team, for four years and the Florida Stingrays for one year. Known for her incredible arm strength and pinpoint accuracy, Marks developed a reputation for being one of the best QB’s to ever play women’s professional football. Upon conclusion of her playing days, Marks transitioned back to the media and currently hosts her own afternoon sports talk show on Baltimore’s ESPN Radio 1300, which is also simulcast on television

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.