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Announcing Sports Most Exciting Moments

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

May 27, 2009

Comments (5)

Sports announcersHerb Merriweather treats us to another article sure to pique your interest!

If you have ever wanted to make history while calling the shots, announcing at a championship sporting event may be just the ticket.

GGGOOOOOAAALLL! Announcing Sports Most Exciting Moments

By Herb Merriweather

Have you ever dreamed of announcing a World Series game? Or for that matter a Stanley Cup playoff match or a Super Bowl? Many of us- not just guys- have dreamed of hitting the game winner/buzzer beater, the match point and some have lived that dream. But what about the folks who put heart and soul into announcing these achievements and giving voice to history?

Many of the highlights and historical moments in sports have an amazing voiceover attached that not only defines victory, defeat, greatness and "goat"-ness, but it personifies all of these emotions.

And for one shining moment all of us fans-including that polished, stat-savvy broadcast professional- are screaming "We win!"

I recently watched an old interview with Hank Aaron and he was asked how he would describe (announce) his historic homerun. His "call" was incredible (and fun) and it made me wonder if other folks have ever stood at home or in the studio, during warmups and /or breaks and imitated their favorite sporting triumph or even "called it like you saw it". How would you describe a dramatic strikeout, a Wimbledon victory, Tiger Woods sinking another one...low key and professional, hometown exuberance or somewhere in between?

Some announcers have made a cool, level headed delivery their stock in trade while others have had a more fan-like approach leaning more towards the folks in the seats.
Although I haven't had the opportunity (yet) to be involved with that kind of event, I already know I'm a "fanboy" and there would be a lot of "Wow" and "OMG" in my delivery!

How about you? Just a little food for thought...

Herb Merriweather

©iStockphoto.com/Ferran Traite Soler

Related Topics: announcing, commentary, Herb Merriweather, play by play, sports, voice acting, voice over


Comments


    Good stuff Herb!
    There is certainly a difference in delivery depending on the sport.
    The baseball announcers need to have a real knowledge and storytelling presence because there is a lot of time to fill in between pitches. Vin Scully of the LA Dodgers is amazing and doesn't even have a color commentator! I was almost expecting Lebron James to hit another buzzer beater last night against Orlando! The NBA has had a great playoff run with many close games while NHL hockey is missing that momentum with lag time between games and series.
    Soccer highlights can be pretty amazing and TSN.ca here in Canada had a Top 10 GGGOOOOOAAALLLSSS segment last night. Meanwhile, for all the Canadians reading, there is a contest on The Score for Canada's next sportscaster:
    http://www.drafted.ca

    Best, Ralph Hass
    --MSG-TV imaging voice for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres
    Heard weekly in 2008 on "The Thurman Thomas TV Show" for the Buffalo Bills
    -- SHAW-TV hockey imaging voice for the WHL

    Posted by:

      As with voice actors, sports announcers have different styles...for SURE. But we all have ONE thing in common: PASSION for our work. Through that passion, our personalities shines through. Some even break through in other arenas...

      As said by one of my announcer heroes, Phil Rizzuto, of the NY Yankees:
      "HOLY COW! I think he's gonna make it!"
      -From Meatloaf's "Bat out of Hell" album

      Posted by:

        While I was reluctant to write, my voice coach Deb Munro suggested I tell you my story as a “sports” announcer. I put sports in quotes because unless you consider pro wrestling a legitimate competition, it may be debatable if you would consider monster trucks as a sport. While most people don’t realize that there is true racing and judging competition with titles and prize money on the line, I consider it first and foremost entertainment.
        The keys to success are similar to traditional sports announcing: preparation, ad-libbing ability and painting the picture with passion. Perhaps the biggest difference is the theatrical nature of the delivery (being a voice actor certainly helps with that). Creating the drama from the center of the track by telling the stories – in a voice that sounds like Hulk Hogan!!
        I have the good fortune of being considered the premier live announcer of motorsports entertainment in Canada. That includes thrill shows, demolition derbies, freestyle motocross and yes, monster trucks. I’ve won awards from such promotions as Monster Jam and called all the big names like Grave Digger and Big Foot over my 30 plus year voice career. My start was in true motorsports announcing calling national motocross races in the 80’s, including the first indoor supercross competitions in Canada.
        At the end of the day, all sports are about entertainment. Just like voice over, it’s all about the audience, the fans. For me, there is still something magical about the look of wide-eyed wonderment on a little kid’s face when he or she sees monster trucks up close for the first time.
        Deb happened to be teaching a workshop in a town where one of the shows I was announcing was taking place. So naturally, I invited to come and be a part of the fun. Afterward, she wondered what my secret was – how I can push my voice so hard every weekend and still record voice jobs during the week? I really don’t have an answer. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for the typical voice professional – and, when I’m sweatin’ and screamin’ to help put those smiles on the faces of the fans, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

        Posted by:

          Thanks, everyone, for your great responses! I'm still holding forth hope for a "Paper Lion" type of experience...you know- where just for a moment (or an inning) I get to annouce a game as a tryout (like George Plimpton did all those years ago with the Detroit Lions. OK St. Louis Cardinals...I'm ready!

          Posted by:

            The reason I got into radio was to announce sports, while I haven't lived out my dream, I have had the opportunity to announce sporting events including 4 Baseball Hall of Fame Games where I interviewed several Hall of Famers and current players, and high school football. My biggest moment announcing Kingston High school football came in 2005 when Kingston erased a 24 point deficit against their biggest rival Newburgh. I am still looking to live my dream and announce sports for a living.

            Dan Gorham
            Kingston, NY

            Posted by:
            • Dan Gorham
            • June 2, 2009 12:24 PM

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