For any sport, the right announcer can make the game more entertaining by narrating the game smoothly and adding useful and insightful comments. The wrong announcer could make the game painful to watch with their monotonous narrations, bad jokes and useless comments that don’t give any insight to the game whatsoever. Unfortunately there are more of the latter in sports broadcasting today, and there is nothing more annoying than a bad sports announcer. Sometimes the announcing is so bad that fans should just put on music and mute the TV while watching a game. The announcers play a crucial role to the game because they can add so much to a game if they are good. They are the people we hear when watching games and because of this they have a duty to make the games more enjoyable and teach us things that we otherwise might have not known. So instead of focusing on all the bad announcers in sports, here’s a look at the ones who have mastered announcing, the ones that make games more memorable than they would be otherwise. To me there are only five announcers today who I not only enjoy listening to, but that add more to the games that they announce.
5. Gus Johnson
Gus Johnson may not be the most well-known sports announcer but he may be the most exciting one. Johnson serves as one of the CBS play-by-play announcers during March Madness, which is the perfect match for him. March Madness is the most exciting sporting moment out there and Johnson is the one announcer who can match that excitement. His excitable play-by-play style is what he is known for. If you have ever watched a game that Gus Johnson has announced, his style stands out because it is unlike any other announcer. The way to best describe his style is that he is like a crazed fan, rooting loudly and with excitement. Johnson definitely reaches the highest decibels out of any announcer, which makes his one of the best. His excitement is what makes him so enjoyable to listen to, look out for him during March Madness.
Jim Nantz is simply a smooth announcer, he has a distinguishable voice, announces in a professional manner but he is more than willing to pull a Gus Johnson and raise his decibel level to match the excitement of any moment. Nantz has been announcing Final Four games since 1991, which means he has been the only voice of the Final Four for people growing up in the late 80s. Besides being the main announcer for the Final Four, Nantz is the voice of the Masters, and the number one announcer for the NFL on CBS. Nantz became only the third announcer ever to work both a college basketball championship and the Super Bowl, when he announced Super Bowl XLI in 2007. He is truly one of the greatest announcers ever, with countless memorable quotes from classic games. His most memorable one, which will live on forever, is “A tradition unlike any other. The Masters.” Watch out for Nantz during the masters and March Madness for some of the best announcing you will ever hear.
Al Michaels is another announcer that will go down as one of the greatest ever. Just his body of work alone, makes him a Hall of Fame announcer. Like Nantz, he is smooth and professional with the ability to raise his excitement level when it is justified. Michaels was the voice of Monday Night Football from 1986 to 2006, which accounts for my entire life so far. There is something comforting about turning on the television on Monday night and hearing Michael’s voice narrate the most entertaining night of football. Now Michaels announces Sunday Night Football, after Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN in 2006. What Michaels will most remembered for is his work during the Miracle on Ice game, which was team USA’s upset over Russia in the 1980 Winter Olympics hockey semi-finals. If you ever get the chance to watch that game pay attention to Michaels’ play-by-play, it’s simply perfect; the way announcing is supposed to be done.
2. Marv Albert
“The voice of basketball” is what Marv Albert is constantly referred to and with much reason. Albert has been announcing basketball games since 1967, when he became the voice of the New York Knicks. Albert has been announcing basketball game for over 40 years; think about that for a second. He is as big of a part to the game of basketball as anyone. He is certainly the first announcer you think of when you think of basketball. The crazy thing is that at the age of 68, Marv Albert is still announcing basketball games as brilliantly as he ever had. Albert invented so many basketball related phrases that’s its impossible to list them all. Nobody can match the flow of a basketball game better the Albert, and nobody will ever replace him as “the voice of basketball”. I wish USF could hire him to call out the names of graduating students for my graduation. “Steinbach with the steady pace and YES! He takes his diploma with authority!”
If Marv Albert is “the voice of basketball” then Vin Scully has to be considered “the voice of baseball.” Scully is certainly the voice of the Dodgers, having been with the organization since 1950. His 60 years spent with both the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers is the longest time an announcer has ever been with an organization. Besides being the greatest announcer ever, he is the greatest Dodger ever because no one has ever meant more to the organization than Scully. His voice is unlike any one else’s and his narration of baseball games is perfect. He would be the pick if somebody had the choice to choose any announcer to narrate a baseball game that you couldn’t watch on T.V. but had to listen to. What makes Scully the greatest is that he is a one man announcing booth, meaning he doesn’t have analysts or color-commentators with him. He sits by himself high above Dodger stadium and narrates the action, doing it all alone. And at 82 years old he is still banging out incredible broadcasting of every Dodger game. I wish he could narrate every baseball game because he adds so much to Dodger games.