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Dan Dierdorf has long been a target of that peculiar backlash that comes with familiarity. The more a broadcaster is heard, the more aware the audience becomes of his verbal tics and habits, and the riper for criticism and parody he or she becomes.
Sometimes it is fair. But other times that familiarity with the flaws leads to the audience losing sight of what the broadcaster did — and perhaps still does — do well.
Dierdorf belongs in that latter category. The Hall of Fame offensive tackle, who has spent 43 consecutive seasons playing or broadcasting NFL games, is beyond familiar as the longest-tenured current NFL analyst at 29 years.
That run comes to an end Saturday night. He will retire following the Patriots-Colts AFC divisional playoff game.