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D.C. Sports Media Approval Ratings: Dave Johnson

If there's a D.C. sports media personality who wears more hats than Dave Johnson--and not of the ironic Fedora-like variety--I'd be interested to meet him or her. Johnson's roles, near as I can tell, currently include radio play-by-play voice of the Wizards, television play-by-play voice of United, sports director and anchor on WTOP, and occasional anchor on Comcast SportsyNet.

Previous duties have also included play-by-play for XM Radio from the 2006 World Cup, host of a Caps TV program called "Face Off," three years as the Caps' sideline reporter, anchoring duties on Channel 5 and play-by-play of college football, basketball and lacrosse.

Johnson's multi-hat-wearing persona has forced him to develop two distinct catch phrases: "It's in the Net!" for United, and "It's There!" for the Wizards. (Click here for a classic "It's There!" call, which I watch every couple hours in place of drinking coffee.)

Johnson went to Towson, lives in Annapolis and, since he evidently has lots of free time on his hands, writes both extremely long blog entries on WTOP's Web site and live blog type things on the Wizards' Web site.

Bearing in mind that you have just two options, here's your chance to judge Dave Johnson. Choose carefully, and offer explanation below.

Previously, in order of approval: Steve Buckhantz, Charlie Slowes, Chick Hernandez, The Junkies, George Michael, Mike Wise, Tony Kornheiser, Steve Czaban, Dave Feldman, Brett Haber, John Riggins, Andy Pollin, Larry Michael.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 24, 2008; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Competent, not overbearing, and appears to have a sense of humor. He gives you the game, not his personal routine.


Posted by: TMU | June 24, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Great guy if you meet him in person. Loves what he does and it shows. Big thumbs up.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | June 24, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes: very competent, easy on the ears, keeps his broadcast partners involved, doesn't court personal attention via trumped-up self-made controversy.

Posted by: Arlington Pimp | June 24, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

How anyone can disapprove of Dave Johnson is beyond me.

Pure class.

Posted by: Mike | June 24, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Big time approve! My father in law is blind and loves listening to the Wizards on the radio. Dave Johnson is his guy and my father in law said he gets a clear picture of what is going on because of Dave's talent. I've been a fan of Dave Johnson for a long, long time and he's great covering United.

It was great hearing him do World Cup games on XM too.

If you read this Dave, thank you!

Posted by: Bill-DC | June 24, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse


Gotta love Dave Johnson ("DJ")

Posted by: Bridge | June 24, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

100% approve, for all roles, for Dave Johnson. Great at everything he does...

Posted by: Paul | June 24, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

One of the best at everything he does. Pure class and a great guy to boot.

Posted by: Jenks | June 24, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I think DJ is going to top Buck's high mark...

Posted by: littles | June 24, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Dave is just awesome, he knows his sports, he is passionate about our local teams and he's been a great friend to the Screaming Eagles over the years. If you want great stories you need to catch him and Rongen at the hotel bar after an away DC United game, good stuff!


Posted by: SEKim | June 24, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

One of the most competent play by play man in the business. Approve!

Posted by: Chimpanzee Rage | June 24, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Approve. Stayed in a house next to his family in Dewey. That's a check in my book.

Posted by: RG | June 24, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Classy, super-professional, great guy. Thumbs WAAAAAAAAY up.

Posted by: D'hank | June 24, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Can't approve highly enough. Top drawer

Posted by: Kev | June 24, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I like the fact that he's not a "homer" in that he gets excited even if the other team makes a great play. And when the WUSA was around he got to call a couple playoff games on ESPN and he was SO much better than their regular broadcasters. He actually talked about what was going on on the field and could pronounce player names correctly. I don't know why he hasn't gone national yet.

Posted by: TG | June 24, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

He's one of the nicest people you'll ever run into around here.

Posted by: ACS | June 24, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

It's in the net! It's in the net! It's a *goal* for Dave Johnson!

Posted by: EdTheRed | June 24, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Add Fox Soccer Channel Play-by-Play to his list.

That was a shocker for me, I heard him for the first 3-4 minutes and said to myself. "I swear this is Dave Johnson..."

Posted by: Jason S | June 24, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Dave is by far the best play-by-play man in the region.

Posted by: Kim | June 24, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

He's one of the only good PBP men for soccer in this country. He does a good job with the other sports I've heard him broadcast as well. He's even handled Thomas Rongen's crazy bow tie and tuxedo shirt freak-out well.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | June 24, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Meet him when we were staying in the same hotel in Germany where he was doing the World Cup for XM . He loved meeting some DC United fans in Germany. Great guy to talk soccer with and just a nice guy all the way around.

Posted by: Gooner | June 24, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

So if you're going to disapprove, at least say why!

Posted by: TG | June 24, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Dave's a keeper. Knows his stuff, no doubt. He's got the sport's junkie's dream job.

Posted by: Juan-John | June 24, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

In the Homer Hall of Fame, his bust will be next to Homer Simpson's bust. Even if you are paid by a team to broadcast its games, if you are in the media, you need to remain somewhat objective. DJ comes nowhere close to doing that.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea who that is.

Posted by: PB | June 24, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I approve. Not that I particularly like him. I just don't hate him.

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | June 24, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

In the Homer Hall of Fame, his bust will be next to Homer Simpson's bust. Even if you are paid by a team to broadcast its games, if you are in the media, you need to remain somewhat objective. DJ comes nowhere close to doing that.


This is insane. When you're doing the home team broadcast, you're allowed to be a homer.

When Dave did the DC United game on FSC recently, he knew quite a bit more about United, but he called the game on an even keel.

He's a pro.

Posted by: Kim | June 24, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Dave Johnson is not only the consummate pro, he's a great person. A 90% approval wouldn't do the man justice.

Posted by: WizardsDotCom | June 25, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"Approval" BIG TIME!

Dave Johnson has become a strong voice that Washington sports fans recognize and welcome when listening to the Wizards, DC United, national MLS games, international soccer, along with his duties with WTOP Sports and Comcast SportsNet.

Kudos to Dave for "coming strong to the mike" every time he's on the air!

Who can forget Dave's now famous tag line, "It looks good on the radio!"

Way to go Dave! Keep up your great work!

Posted by: Pat Malone | June 25, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how he does it, but he's more machine than man -- and the part that is man is one of the finest human beings you ever want to meet.

Posted by: Daz | June 25, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I have been listening to DAVE call Wizards games for years, back
in the days when only a few were televised! In fact when I saw
that all the games would be televised a few years ago,
I felt a twinge. We have tried everything to sync TV with radio,
but it doesn't work. It was the impetus for getting an HDTV! My son argued for TIVO so we could time it exactly but we're not there yet.

Dave is the real energizer bunny, and his passion for the Wiz
is so genuine that it elevates your personal excitement. They
are very lucky to have him.

Posted by: Joyce Jewell | June 25, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Huge Approval. He is as good as gets locally. He is always prepared for his work, whether its an NBA broadcast or a soccer broadcast. A consummate professional, and one of the most intelligent voices in the DC Sports Media. "Czabe" isn't fit to be in the same room as Dave Johnson.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | June 26, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Dave Johnson is the absolute best in the business, spanning all sports media, and his approval rating should be 100%! (Who are these naysayers?) Dave is the one of the nicest people I have ever met, serving as an outstanding ambassador for the sports teams he covers. He is the consummate professional, handling each and every one of his jobs in the same insightful, intelligent, classy manner. He raises the bar for all sports media -- everywhere -- and is an asset to WTOP, DC United, and the Washington Wizards. True sports fans could ask for no one better than Dave Johnson; we are lucky to have Dave with us in DC.

Posted by: PMD -- DC | June 26, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

My wife does not follow any sport. None.
But every morning she looks forwaqrd to hearing Dave on WTOP Radio. Go figure!
Likeable and funny. I find him credible and knowledgeable.

Posted by: Jim | July 10, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

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