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The Art of Announcing in Sports

For many people, watching sports is a lifestyle. 11.75 Million people tuned in to this year's world series, and many more will watch an NFL, NHL, or NBA game as well. We see the stars, the amazing plays, the highs, the lows, and the shocking moments. However, there is an underappreciated, but essential, part of watching sports. An announcer can make or break an experience. They are the ones who connect you to the games, the ones who help to explain the game to new watchers and enhance the experience for returning viewers. Someone may think that announcing can be easy, but it is clear that an announcer requires a very specific skill set. An announcer must be engaging, have real knowledge of the game, and be fun to listen to. An announcer who has all of these traits can elevate the watching experience, but one who lacks them can ruin it.

Mike “Doc” Emeric voiced the National Hockey League for 37 years. Although he never skated a day in his life, Emeric is a hockey legend and is respected as a great announcer by all who have tuned in for one of his broadcasts. Emeric brought a kind of energy not seen in other announcers. His tremendous vocabulary and unique ability to build up to large moments made Emeric a joy to listen to. Mike Breen calls NBA games like no other. His iconic “Bang!” brings a level of intensity and overall passion that we don’t see from other announcers, making basketball entertaining to listen to, even if you don’t have much knowledge of the game. Emeric and Breen are key examples of the fun factor a good announcer can bring to a broadcast. Anyone can read stats or explain a game, but these two have a unique passion for their jobs that transforms the game for a listener.

John Madden added another level to sport broadcasting. The NFL coach transitioned into broadcasting and transformed the game forever. His iconic ability to connect to a viewer by using common dialog and having a big personality made his games easy to enjoy listening to. Madden was able to connect to the everyday viewer. Someone may not know the small intricacies of football, so Madden would help a viewer understand. The way he was able to describe the game to anyone helped to engage listeners and grew the sport as a whole. In the end, Madden is legendary because of his uncanny ability to connect to a viewer and make it easy for anyone to understand the game he loved.

The final essential factor to announcing sports, in my opinion, is to have a wealth of knowledge on the sport. Tony Romo played 13 years as the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, before moving into the booth. In a world where an informed and engaged football fan can regularly find themselves infuriated with the lack of insight an announcer would provide to the game, Romo has made waves. Not only is he informed, but he is able to do things that nobody else could come close to doing. Romo routinely calls the play before it happens, explaining the play in perfect detail before the ball is even snapped. His analysis of the play after it happens is magical as well, giving valuable insight to understand the play. Romo’s uncanny knowledge of the team’s play calling and ability to engage an educated audience makes his broadcasts unbelievably interesting to listen to.

The announcer shapes the way we listen to sports. Every sport has many, many announcers, and most of them are not very good. However, there are some key people who stand out from the crowd, who actually add something to the watching experience. Romo, Madden, Emeric, and Breen all have and still do add a new dimension to the game. They provide valuable insight, connect and explain the game to the viewer, and have such passions for the game that they make it more exciting and enjoyable to watch, furthering the experience for a viewer.


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