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The Greatest Sportscasting Moments Of 2011, Numbers 25 Through 21

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Over the last year, dozens of people in suits talked to you for hours and hours. Here is a list, complete with audio and video, of the 25 greatest, worst, or otherwise notable sportscasting moments of 2011.


25. Bourbon on the rocks

(Via Guyism)

As Andy Hutchins noted, Chris Myers was probably not actually drinking a bourbon on the rocks. He was probably making some sort of joke and didn't realize the broadcast had returned from commercial. But we can't let this opportunity pass without wondering whether we should establish some sort of holiday in which sportscasters across America are encouraged to get poophammered during their broadcasts.

Among the glories that would surely unfold:

  • Al Michaels: starts accidentally saying "football" instead of "footbwooool"
  • Gus Johnson: closed-captioning producer, bewildered by the fact that Johnson has just made a screaming "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" sound since midway through the third quarter, has decided to simply show a single letter A wearing a top hat on the screen
  • Craig James: Craig drunkenly stumbles and topples off the shoulders of James, a fellow nine-year-old who is concealed under a hastily-gathered trench coat disguise
  • Mike Breen: logs on Facebook, tries to think of Jay-Z songs without cussing in them to post on his mom's Wall, searches through entire collaboration album with Linkin Park before giving up and going back to profanely scolding basketball players for slam dunking
  • Jim Nantz: rips off headset, staggers aimlessly through stadium, and steals all the plasticware he can find
  • Tim McCarver: decides that everyone in the entire world is named Brandon

24. 'No, thanks.'

(Suggested by @angrygodofjebus)

I have no idea why anyone would ever bother with reality television shows that stray from the "incompetent Americans reduced to tears by loud disappointed Britain" model. Neither does Cris Collinsworth, apparently. He's developed a sort of reputation for frankness that's uncommon in his business.

Never forget the other side of the coin, though. I bet that somewhere, the producer of Fear Factor was hosting a Sunday Night Football party, to which he had invited the guy who ate the scorpion, the guy who fell through several stories of paneling, and the lady with bumblebees on her face. After Collinsworth's snide dismissal, what once was a fun-filled evening was reduced to silent shame, and the vegetable-and-Ranch snack tray, once the highlight of the evening, just didn't seem to matter anymore.

23. Kevin Harlan is awesome, just in general

In 2011, TNT play-by-play man Kevin Harlan didn't quite have the "no regard for human life" or "ride 'em cowboy" moment of greatness he's experienced in previous years. But he deserves recognition in this space on account of how much fun he delivers. He's blessed with one of the greatest Broadcaster Voices of all time, and he errs on the side of enthusiasm, which of course is no error at all. To call any sporting event with insufficient enthusiasm is an unforgivable sin, and one we can trust Harlan never to commit. He is one of the greatest.

22. Vin Scully's deadpan hallucination

Given baseball's radical dissimilarity from any other major American sport, it shouldn't be a surprise that baseball broadcasting is such a different animal from other sportscasting. You must sit and talk about an event in which there are about two or three things that happen per minute. You must do this for three hours. You must do this over a hundred times per year.

Well, Vin Scully has done that for 62 years. By my rough estimate, he has spent 2.6 YEARS OF HIS LIFE sitting in front of a baseball game and saying things about it. The end result: an 84-year-old man who is sharper, and more skilled, than almost anyone else working in television.

The above video is just a matter of Vin Scully screwing around with us because he's Vin Scully and we're not.

21. Announcer of independent baseball team quits on air

(Via Awful Announcing)

A science experiment conducted by the owners of the Lake County Fielders, a small-time independent league baseball team located just north of Chicago:

EXPERIMENT: What would happen if we decided to stop paying our radio guy but still ask him to keep saying things over the radio anyway?

HYPOTHESIS: Maybe a good thing will happen. Who knows?!!?!?!?!?!??!!?!!?!?


ANALYSIS OF RESULTS: He said mean things about us and quit while on air.

CONCLUSION: Man, my team's front office is in a shopping mall and we're somehow almost a million dollars in debt despite the fact that our field is basically just some bleachers and a couple of port-a-johns. I would be horribly depressed if I ever drew any conclusions about anything, ever.

Intro | No. 25-21 | No. 20-16 | No. 15-11 | No. 10-6 | No. 5-1