If you think the current lack of sports has hit you hard, spare a thought for the play-by-play announcers of the world.
Their entire livelihood consists of talking into a microphone while sports are taking place and, believe it or not, live commentary is a skill that requires a lot of practice. But without sports, some broadcasters have been forced to get creative.
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Fox Sports’ Joe Buck has already revealed his plan to avoid getting rusty: do play-by-play for videos of everyday events submitted by his Twitter followers. However, it seems that NBC’s Doc Emrick is one step ahead of him.
Take a listen to this absolute gem of a call from the legendary NHL commentator:
That, ladies and gentlemen, is poetry.
Notice how he sets the scene at the beginning by describing the setting. A car repair shop that’s been open for over 100 years? Right away he emphasizes the tradition of success at this establishment.
Emrick then introduces us to the star of the show: the mechanic. He’s a Red Wings fan, which makes him relatable to a large part of the audience that knows what it’s like to be a fan of a struggling team. Standing at 5-9, he’s the kind of plucky underdog America can’t get enough of.
He’s also a master at his craft, a veteran with 34 years of service under his belt.
“This is like having Gordon Ramsey come to your house,” Emrick quips, “and having him make microwaved popcorn.”
He uses the joke to draw in viewers before diving into the nitty-gritty analysis. A thorough explanation of how a windshield-wiper works leads us right up to the moment of truth. The mechanic, cool under pressure, puts on a clinic.
While some commentators have been criticized for their “announcer voice” during broadcasts, we like to think this is how Doc Emrick sounds during any daily interaction. For the sake of hockey fans across the country, we hope we’ll hear him calling games from the booth again before too long.
In the meantime, we’ll have to be content with broadcasters commentating events from their everyday lives, which is certainly better than nothing.