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Circle me, Toss your Sombrero to the sky!
Great list, Joe. I loved that Tom Cheek's call of the Carter home run was on here, a very underappreciated call.The one I would have tried to put on here that isn't was another Verne Lundquist call, of Jack Nicklaus' putt on 17 at the 1986 Masters: "Maybe...YES SIR!!"
Wonderful list. It's a shame that nobody pays any attention to horse racing. If they did the great Tom Durkin would be on this list, probably more than once. He really is the best live event caller working today.
Great list - being from Toronto I also loved that you included the call by Tom Cheek.I know it occurred recently so it hasn't really stood the test of time, and probably didn't get any play in the U.S. (since it was for CTV here in Canada) but I would have included Chris Cuthbert's call of Sidney Crosby's OT goal at this year's Olympics. "The Golden Goal!" An absolutely perfect call for one of our country's biggest moments.
Golfers still mimic Vern Lundquist's call of Nicklaus' putt on 16 at the '86 Masters during his final round charge: "Maybe ... Yesssirrrr!"
Any of Harry Caray's pennant-clinching calls of the Cardinals in the 60s would be worthy.Before he later became the doddering drunk persona with the Cubs, he was the greatest ever.
completely random, but I can't find that old really long really great post on herschel walker- can anyone feed me a link by chance?
nice job on the list, but 1992 NLCS clincher has to be top-32, certainly above some of the ones you chose, no?
Joe, thanks for the list and thanks for the bonus 4 extra calls you snuck into the list (for a total of 36, instead of 32). Very sneaky, but still appreciated.
One thing that bothers me about Lundquist's call on Tiger's chip - Davis Love made almost the same shot the year before, and of course, Lundquist called that one too.
"According to Wikipedia, the man yelling was actually NBC track analyst Dick Bank, who they say was fired afterward for being so demonstrative."If that had happened now instead of 1964, he'd have a permanent spot on Around The Horn.
Growing up in San Francisco, I only heard Don Klein's call of The Catch, which always makes the Scully one seem so tame and less of the moment. I think it introduced a generation of kids to the metaphor of things "hanging in the balance."
Re # 23 -- I always wonder if James Taylor wants to puke when it comes time to sing "Fire and Rain" again.Of course, it did pay for 20 years of smack and then 20 years of granola.
Great call on the 1992 NLCS. That belongs.MLB network re-ran that game recently and I watched that final play at least ten times. McDonough (right?) just nails it. Awesome call from a guy not known for pumping up the volume.
Great list. I would have added Pat Summerall's call of Matt Bahr's game winning kick in the 1990 NFC Championship game. "There will be no threepeat"
The Kirby Pucket call is way too low.
This is one call that you may not be aware of, but i think its one of the best ever. This was in the quarter finals of the world cup in America in 1998. Holland had 10 men for the majority of the match and needed to score. After a 60 yard diagonal ball, Bergkamp control it, made space against Ayala (one of the best defenders of his generation) and scored a beautiful goal. In the 89th minute!!! The moment could not be expessed any better than it was from the Holland commentator. I am not a dutch supporter, but this call sends shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes every time.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc1H2hOHu_s&feature=related
"These guys are good, scary good" - Rick Jennerette as Jason Pominville scores short handed in overtime and the Sabres eliminate the Senators.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajkIMnUjovY
To Anonymous looking for the Herschel Walker article, Joe's site was hacked a while back and he's started up again on Blogspot. There are many old columns missing. Joe, do us a favour and unearth those and bring them back.I still want to cull through and find my top 32 Posnanski articles.
Texas High School Football1994 Plano East vs. Tylerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHkABO0VwCgGame's last play at 3:56, resulting in Plano East's announcers lamenting, "God bless those kids. I'm sick...I'm gonna throw up."The entire 4:38 provides a number of wonderful lines building up to the dramatic go-ahead score, then gut-wrenching final play. A thrill of victory and agony of defeat all rolled into one.From "Bingo-Bango-Bongo" to "Dadgummit" to "They've done it, good God almighty" these guys make Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson sound objective.
That's a great list. I can envision the calls in my head, which demonstrates how great announcers can affect our memories of the game.This also happens during bad times. I distinctly remember a game in 1992, when Red Sox manager Butch Hobson sent Tom Brunansky from 1st base on a 3-2 pitch to Jack Clark. It was in the top of the 8th inning of a 1 run game against the Blue Jays (I think). There was also nobody out. Tom Brunansky was very slow. And Jack Clark in 1992 could do only 2 things, strike out or walk. There was really no point at all in sending Tom Brunansky on that pitch. But Hobson did anyway.Of course, Clark whiffed at a fastball down the middle, and Brunansky was thrown out by a country mile. The Jays then scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th to seal the game.Anyway, Sox announcers Sean McDonough and Bob Montgomery were debating this very scenario before the 3-2 pitch was thrown. McDonough said something like, "He's not going to send Brunansky, is he?"Montgomery responded, "The odds of a strikeout/throwout are much greater than Jack Clark actually hitting the ball in this situation."I always thought that was brilliant, and I appreciated the announcers for their open disgust of Hobson's managing, which of course echoed my feelings.
I'm a Rangers fan so I know that I'm being a little greedy here since Rose's call of Matteau's goal is on Joe's list and is as iconic as it gets.... But Sam Rosen's local TV call (MSG Network had rights to the game so ESPN's national broadcast was blacked out), Gary Thorne's ESPN national TV call and Marv Albert's radio call of the immediate aftermath of the Rangers winning Game 7 against Vancouver still brings the goose bumps, the spine tingles and tears. Whether it it was Rosen with his powerful, thunderous call "The waiting is over!!! The New York Rangers are Stanley Cup Champions!!! And this one will last a lifetime!!!" (My favorite sports call EVER. It's so under-rated)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzq2AhbXSeYor Thorne's jubilation "It's Over!! The Rangers win the Cup!!! The Rangers win Cup!!! The Curse is over!!!" (As a hockey fan and a Mets fan who watched him for many years calling games, IMHO that is by far Thorne's best call ever.)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LASgAP1hOCcAnd of course there's Marv "....Something that most people did not think they would hear in their lifetime. The New York Rangers have won The Stanley Cup" (It was classic Marv though I can't find the radio feed.)
In the words of Captain Denis O'Kelly, who coined the racing phrase "Eclipse first and the rest nowhere", this one is Victor Hugo Morales first, the rest nowhere.And I'm not particularly fond of soccer.On that sport, though, how weird is it that English fans in 1966 didn't wave their own flag? Not a cross of St George to be seen anywhere.Here's an Olympic moment to challenge Morales for the most one-eyed call in the history of sport . . .http://tvnz.co.nz/search/ta_ent_search_news_skin.xhtml?q=Jack+Lovelock&sort=date:D:S:d1&start=10It's Jack Lovelock's win in the 1500m at Berlin in 1936, rated by plenty who should know as one of the greatest 1500m races of all time. The call was by Harold Abrahams of the BBC (so much for their world-famous impartiality), who was one of the subjects of the Chariots of Fire movie as the 100m gold winner in 1924 and a friend of Lovelock's from his Oxford University days.For those who can't be bothered to watch, here's the last 200m or so – “Lovelock leads! Lovelock! Lovelock! Cunningham second, Beccali third. Come on, Jack! A hundred yards to go! Come on, Jack! My God, he’s done it. Jack, come on! Lovelock wins! Five yards, six yards, he wins. He’s won. Hooray!”
Thanks for putting this together! It's a great gift to send on to my son, who missed almost all of the occasions.
Great list, but you left out the best part of Scully's call of the Buckner play in '86:after the "here comes Knight and the Mets win it," he lets the crowd take over for a few minutes (notice a pattern here for Scully? Definitely the best baseball announcer there is, and someone who understands that he doesn't have to fill every second, and sometimes the moment and the crowd can speak for itself), and then comes back with "If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well, and they WILL play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow." That's my personal favorite call of all time, especially when you combine it with the fact that the Mets had accidentally flashed "Congratulations Red Sox" on the scoreboard before starting the rally. Also, on a list of all-time worst calls, I don't think there's any candidate for #1 except Joe Buck & Troy Aikman's call of the Manning-to-Tyree Catch in Super Bowl XLII. The most incredible play in NFL History, and Buck made it sound like an ordinary completion in a week 4 Rams vs. Seahawks game. Sometimes I like understatement in my sports announcing, but sometimes you have to step up to the moment. Buck and Aikman did not do that.
One thing to add to my previous post:I kill Buck for his call of the Tyree catch, but he did redeem himself a bit with an excellent call of Plaxico's game-winning TD a few plays later. "Manning, LOBS IT, BURRESS ALONE, TOUCHDOWN NEW YORK" then a minute of silence and letting the crowd take over. It's hard to convey here the way his voice rose in pitch with each of the phrases - lobs it was louder than Manning, Burress Alone was louder than lobs it, and Touchdown New York was about as excited as I've ever heard Buck. It's probably not top-32 worthy, but it was very good and fit the moment. The only thing that annoys me about it is that they came back after the crowd noise and just broke down the play. I would have preferred a Scully-esque breakdown of the meaning of watching one of the great upsets in sports history occurring in real time. That's a nitpick, though, and mostly on Aikman, not Buck.
I think that most announcers today describe their plays for replaying later - that is, where Scully lets the crowd take over right after the call, most announcers today will repeat what they saw and give the score and situation again right away. And that's why Scully is the best, bar none: He describes it live, then lets you enjoy the moment along with him.p.s. Don Drysdale's radio call of the '88 Gibson run is not legendary, but always gives this Dodger fan chills.
How about Cosell: "He could - go - all - the - way." Chris Berman hasn't ruined it yet.And you missed my favorite sports call of all time, Verne Lundquist on Jack Nicklaus's putt on 17 on Sunday at the 1986 Masters:"Maybe ... yes sir!"As a call, I think that ranks with any. Three words, conveying what every sports fan in America was thinking in that moment: doubting, hopeful, edge-of-the-seat suspense ... then a resounding joy, mixed with profound respect for a great but aging champion making magic happen one more time. Lundquist's call was not just an exclamation – it was a salute, short, sharp and perfect.
OMG the Holy Roller. Oh. My God. Thirty-some years later, I am still... so... angry... about that.Ken Stabler's about to get sacked, and he throws the ball on the ground. The rest of the Raiders then proceed to bat at the loose ball like a bunch of over-grown kittens, and the officials call it a freakin TD. It was an incomplete pass. IT WAS AN INCOMPLETE PASS!And, by far, the worst part is the NFL celebrates this idiocy like it was some uniquely wonderful moment. Really, it was scandalous.I'll forgive you Joe for including this, because it was a great announcer's call, but wow. Just an awful, ridiculous moment.
Joe Starkey's call of "The Play" was probably the most difficult call to make correctly. Starkey's nailed it. I was at that game, and had no idea what happened. Not every announcer would have gotten the call right.Also, all Bay Area sports fans appreciate the Bill King was the greatest announcer ever. This list could have been 32 Bill King calls. Nobody painted basketball on the radio like King.
I'm just a homer I guess, but the great Gene Hart's call of the Flyer's firtst Stanley Cup still gives me the chills. I even own it on vinyl somewhwere. "13 seconds left in the game, 10 seconds. Orr shoots it down the ice, Parent makes the save.........ladies and gentlemen, the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup... THE FLYERS WIN THE STANLEY CUP!THE FLYERS WIN THE STANLEY CUP!THE FLYERS HAVE WON THE STANLEY CUP!!!"Awesome.
From outside the US, here's the incomparable Cliff Morgan, on the Barbarians vs. New Zealand.
Tough to argue with the top picks. On a subjective note, I'll just say:- Scully calling Buckner's error is probably my favorite of all time. His escalation and surprise in "behind the bag," coupled with the crowd coming alive, that just sends shivers up my spine every time. - I love Scully, and it took me a long time to appreciate Buck as his replacement on the old national network Game of the Week. But in retrospect, his Gibson call is a very close second for me. It's just so earnest. He describes the shot, and kinda utters "I don't believe what I just saw" as if he's just putting a tagline on a really memorable moment ... then after a couple of seconds, it seems to strike him ... he REALLY doesn't believe what he just saw! - Of the non-baseball ones, Lundquist blessing Jackie Smith's heart sorta stands out. Before my time, but it just seems like such an honest call. It always strikes me like Lundquist is sorta restraining himself from saying "God bless him," which he probably COULD NOT say, but he just couldn't help himself under the circumstances.
This seems to me one of those arguments where people almost fall exactly on the side of what they grew up with. Having been born in 1983 I can hardly be said to really remember any playoffs without the wild card and I certainly don't remember any non-divisional format. This is one area in which I'm forced to agree with the main pro-BCS argument - is anything really broken? People seem to like it the way it is. We should tinker why, exactly?
Whoops, wrong thread. Sorry everyone.
"They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream."
Great list, as always, Joe. Some minor quibbles:-- Still gotta go with Russ Hodges for #1, IMHO.In one of the all-time "sour grapes" complaints, Red Barber used to say he hated this call because Hodges was "overdoing" it, and it was the "most unprofessional" thing he had every heard. I always assumed that it was because (a) he was the Dodgers announcer, and (b) he was pissed that the radio call became more famous than the TV call.-- I agree with the several others who want to know why Vern Lundquist's "Maybe... yes, sir!!" call from the 1986 Masters is not in there.-- And another missed golf call (and another Tiger moment, of course): Gary Koch's "Better than most!" from the 17th hole at the Players in 2000.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrvP02Oit04&feature=relatedBoy, did this post stir up some memories!
Excellent list, Joe, thanks for that! "College football calls are so personal. They mean SO MUCH to the team’s fans, and SO LITTLE to everyone else." That's true for me. The sports call that still resonates the most for me is Bob Ufer's radio call of a 45-yard TD catch by a freshman Michigan wide receiver, Anthony Carter, on the final play of the game against Indiana. I can clearly remember being stunned: a Bo Schembechler team winning on a long pass? As a 10 year-old fan who was relatively new to following the game, I was jumping up and down and running around the dining room with elation. Ufer was even more excitable about the moment that I was. "I hope you can hear me, because I've never been so happy in all my cotton-picking 59 years! I've seen, I have broadcast, 347 ballgames. I've never had one like this!"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEF6edfexcoUfer's call begins around 1:08 mark.
Kudos for noting Chic Anderson's perfect choice of words, not to mention his pitch-perfect tone. The way he remained in control while conveying the growing sense of awe among the spectators that day is, IMO, what makes a sports call great. I can't find any of that in Bill White's call--what is that doing here?As for Vin Scully, to me some of his most famous calls-especially Koufax's perfect game-seem forced. I mean, "it is 9:46 in the City of Angels?" Really? Why not give the temperature, too? Boston's Ned Martin was a better wordsmith than Vinnie and had a far better voice. Plus, his most famous call became the subtitle of a book--you know, just the way people use Shakespeare.
I always thought Bob Murphy's call in Game 6 of the Mets-Red Sox World Series was better."A ground ball trickling..."