Monday, December 15, 2008

If Gus Johnson Ever Announces a Pay-Per-View Briss We'll be the First to Shell out $59.95

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Announcers don't always make a game, but they can ruin it. Exhibit A: Tim McCarver. The Fox analyst, former big-league catcher and sole reason for your TV's Mute button has become infamous for peddling face-slappingly obvious statements and faux-poetics as insight.

Example: "Fundamentals are a fundamental part of playing baseball." Ya don't say.

But if A + B = C and C+ A = B then it must also be true that announcers who aren't terrible can also make a game. Case in point: Gus Johnson.

Like most announcers, Johnson has called just about everything; from the NFL on CBS to bobsled during the '98 Winter Games. But he's most famous for his ultra-excitable end-of-game calls during March Madness like the one seen above, the finish to UCLA-Gonzaga that has become Johnson's Stairway.

Saying an announcer is really good because they scream a lot wouldn't, at first, seem to make a whole lot of sense. After all, there are entire legions of college basketball fans who'd like to personally remove the D-volts in Dick Vitale's squawkbox.

Johnson is the exception, however, because his outbursts always seem genuine. Like he's just as excited about this game as you, the fan jumping up and down on the couch. It's enough to make us wish we could hire Johnson to call the more mundane parts of our own life, like visits to Jiffy Lube or filling out our 1099's.

He sets his pen and...YES! He listed EIGHT DEPENDENTS! EIGHHHHHHHHHHHHT!!!

We mention this mostly because Johnson called yesterday's Texans-Titans game, a match-up that had all the makings of a snoozer but that we nonetheless watched in hopes that we'd hear a sound no human had ever made before. Sure enough, we got our wish.

The game itself turned out to be better than expected; full of field goals, sure, but also with the added drama of a final deciding drive and an eminently second-guessable decision by Jeff Fisher. But the biggest treat came during the Titans final drive. Kerry Collins hit Justin Gage on a deep out and Johnson made what in our minds most closely resembled the yelp you'd hear after accidentally stepping on a dog's tail. Buzzer-beater material it was not, but still enough to make the game worth watching.

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