Accidentally In Love
I don’t know what’s happening to me, but suddenly over this off-season, I’ve inexplicably been drawn to the NBA. You know, where bringing firearms to work, crooked officiating and trading the contracts of retired players happens. Apparently working in the press box with Allan Wertheimer, one of the only post-Magic/Bird/Jordan NBA fans I’ve ever met, is having adverse effects on me. In the past, I’ve liked watching LeBron James and that’s about it. But now that his contract is expiring and it seems like the only thing that would keep him in Cleveland is a serious run at a championship, I’m starting to check out the rest of the league. And darn if it isn’t kind of fun.
As part of that, I’ve watched some Cavs games on NBA TV. If it’s a home game, it includes the Cavaliers’ broadcast feed. Meaning Austin Carr, color commentator extraordinaire (just go down to Austin’s Soundboard… I’ll wait until you’re finished). If you don’t love the phrases “throw the hammer down,” “get that weak stuff outta here,” or “from deep! at the [venue name],” you’re in big trouble. Anyway, in addition to cementing my opinion that every major-league sports franchise has better radio broadcasters than TV broadcasters (all Cleveland sports being Exhibit A), this got me thinking about my dream TV broadcast teams. It really isn’t even that tough.
NBA: Marv Albert, Charles Barkley, Jeff Van Gundy
College Basketball: Gus Johnson, Bob Knight, Bill Raftery
Baseball: Vin Scully, Steve Stone
Football: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Ron Jaworski (sorry, John Madden)
Hockey: Gary Thorne, Barry Melrose (not that I watch hockey, but I’m pretty sure they both had mullets at some point)
Bowling: Chris Schenkel. Solo.
If you could put Barkley and Knight on the same crew, what would happen? The best basketball broadcast ever? A fistfight? A shouting match at the hint of disagreement? Flying chairs? No matter what, you can bet I’d be watching.
More on the hockey… I probably haven’t watched a hockey game on TV in four years (I occasionally covered the Columbus Blue Jackets), but I just remember Gary Thorne calling every big game and having a sixth gear where he goes bananas and it sounds awesome. That, and the mullets, and it’s good enough for me.
As always, if anybody has any personal favorites, feel free to share in the comments.
Now for some fairly sizable news… In March, I will be in a group of three from our office to go to Spring Training in Arizona for a few days. We’ll be working to gather content for the video board, the radio & TV broadcasts, the website… everything. Right now the plan is to highlight the championship ring presentation for our 2009 team, but there’s a lot of other stuff we’ll be doing. Including sampling some of the local food. There’s one of these a half-mile from the Peoria Sports Complex and I’m so excited, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.
So if you have any ideas, players you’d like to hear about (Padres or otherwise), etc., let me know. I’m already looking forward to seeing Dustin Ackley of the Mariners and Donovan Tate of the Padres (No. 2 and 3 draft picks last year, respectively).
Oh yeah… we’re working on a Bad Apple Dancers logo. Get ready.
I think that’s it for now. Bowling night tonight!