#3) The Commentators – Commentary has gone along with the game since the game’s origins. There have been so many great voices over the years. To me, these guys, and gals, bring the game to life. I know some people don’t like the commentators, but they add something to the game if you ask me. A great voice goes a long, long way.
Let’s start with The Voice of God, John Facenda. NFL Films sure as hell knew what they were doing when they brought him in. Majestic, profound, simplistic. “It starts with a whistle and ends with a gun.” “The Autumn Wind is a raider, pillaging just for fun. He'll knock you 'round and upside down, and laugh when he's conquered and won.” “As the fourth period began, Denver’s determined offense still needed more restoration work from Norris Weese, what it got instead was a demolition job from the Doomsday Defense.” It is truly incredible listening to the greatest voice football has ever known.
Moving right along now. Who doesn’t love the English commentary of a European futbol game? “The ball flew straight into the goal, it looked like a frozen rope.” I don’t know many English commentators, but Ian Darke is who I like best. Since 2010 he has worked with ESPN, commentating to us silly, futbol-illiterate, Americans. He did the 2010 FIFA World Cup and will do it again in 2014. He also commentated the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup with Julie Foudy and that’s when I started to love his commentary. Listen in futbol fans, Ian Darke is here to stay, thanks to ESPN.
The last commentator I chose to highlight in detail is someone who most of you will not know. He announces the Glass City Marathon and the Sylvania Triathlon and Duathlon. He is known by me simply as Announcer Bob which is okay. There’s someone like him in every state and country. We all have our favorite marathon announcers, if running is your forte. You know the scene though. Spectators line the end of the route leading to the finish line. Every runner has their family waiting for them to get the picture of them breaking the imaginary finish tape. The first placers cross the line, which is great, but the real show begins once the majority start rolling in. Announcer Bob has his spotter who catches the runners’ numbers from 50 yards away. He then looks up the number and announces the runners’ name and home town. Announcer Bob then goes into detail about the runner and how they talked before the race or how he knows the family. Sometimes he talks about the home town; like, “Where the heck is Island Plains, New York? Good job Tom Smith! Way to finish!” Then there’s the races within the race. The battles to the finish line. “They’re neck and neck, toe for toe, right down the line! Come on, folks, let’s hear it for these two fine competitors!” The crowd goes wild and it’s too close to call. Then, “Here comes Jane Smith and it appears she’s got some little ones right on her tail! Congratulations Jane! Great finish!” If you have any idea what I'm talking about, then you know this is truly something spectacular to watch.
Now time to finish things off. I don’t have the time these commentators deserve to go in depth, so I’ll just throw them a mention to a few who are my favorites. Pat Summerall and John Madden. Brent Musburger, Brad Nessler, Beth Mowins. Marv Albert and Reggie Miller. Joe Buck, who does football and baseball. I think he’s better doing baseball myself. Bob Uecker. Mike Tirico, who does just about everything. Al Michaels, who commentated the 1980 Miracle on Ice and does Sunday Night Football for NBC now. Those names were in no particular order and definitely deserve much, much more praising than I can give them here.
Check in tomorrow for #2.