Last week we counted down the top broadcast bloopers of 2013, so now it's time to take a fonder trip down memory lane and relive our favorite moments of 2013. Not only does this list contain some of the best announcing of the year, but creative sportscasters, miraculous plays, announcers losing their minds, show ponies, unicorns, lasers, and prank callers as well.
Oh, and Bill Walton. Lots and lots of Bill Walton.
So without further adieu, here's our countdown of the Best in Awful Announcing for 2013…
13) The WrestleCast
2013 was the year of the themed sportscast. It all started with Adam Lefkoe of WHAS in Louisville and the Wrestlecast. As is usually the case, the original was the best. Watch in awe as Lefkoe drops dozens of classic wrestling names into his sports update.
12) WATCH IT! WAAAATCH IIIIIITTT!!!!
With the launch of Fox Sports 1, America was introduced to the Canadian sportscasting duo of Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole. The duo hasn't disappointed in bringing their irreverent, comedic brand of sportscasting stateside. This amazing Jay Onrait promo for a Colts-Giants game is the most intensity the NFL preseason has seen in years.
11) "Mainus All Bloodied Up Here!"
AA's Unintentional Comedy Award goes to Australian MMA announcer Michael Schiavello and this fight featuring Danny Mainus. If you can watch this entire clip without laughing, congratulations because you not only lack a sense of humor, but a soul as well.
10) Tread Lightly
It was a difficult year as we said goodbye to one of the best television shows of all-time, Breaking Bad. Tennis announcer Kevin Skinner paid the show the ultimate tribute by making as many references to the series as possible in his commentary of a Serena Williams-Caroline Wozniacki match. They're not even veiled references either. He's not in the announcing business, he's in the empire business.
9) Gus Johnson Gets His Soccer Moment
Gus Johnson's transformation into a soccer announcer before our eyes has been perhaps the most fascinating story of the year. Johnson's first year as a soccer announcer has certainly had its highs and lows. The most memorable high was the FA Cup Final when Wigan upset Manchester City to win their first major trophy. Ben Watson's header gave us a trademark Gus Johnson explosion.
8) Show Ponies, Unicorns, Where's the Beef!
Who would have ever thought those three items would be placed into one sentence under any context? Patriots radio analyst Scott Zolak, that's who! After a last second touchdown gave New England a dramatic victory over the New Orleans Saints, Zolak unleashed the now famous triumvirate of awesome announcing. Following that same template, next time he can try this one:
Dolphins, centaurs, do you have any Grey Poupon!
7) Lasers + Ronaldo = Awesomeness
Perhaps the most entertaining individual performance of 2013 was Cristiano Ronaldo single handedly sending Portugal to the World Cup with a hat trick on the road at Sweden in the European playoffs. Allow Nuno Matos and the Antena 1 team to tell the story with the help of some really cool laser sound effects.
6) Brent Musburger & Katherine Webb: A Match Made in Heaven
It may seem like a decade ago, but this was the calendar year when the nation was introduced to Katherine Webb thanks to a very excited Brent Musburger. Hard to fathom, isn't it?
5) Bill Walton is The Greatest Announcer in the History of Western Civilization
Bill Walton's performance during this year's Pac 12 basketball tournament was an AA hot streak that would be akin to Kobe Bryant scoring 50+ in four straight games in 2006. The man was on fire. Here he is making a limousine joke about Ray Lewis, talking about Bill Simmons' Twitter suspension on ESPN airwaves, and trolling First Take. All in one weekend! The best development of 2013 may have been Walton's return to broadcasting prominence and his awesome team with Dave Pasch.
Oh, and none of these may be Walton's best individual clip. That's here. Keep throwin' it down, big man!
4) The Miracles at Jordan-Hare
We're starting to cheat a little bit now with multiple entries for this slot in the countdown, but we are contractually obligated to stay within the 13 in '13 template. Or else Roger Goodell may takeaway our year-end list privileges for next year. Auburn produced the two most miraculous finishes of 2013 in back-to-back weeks against Georgia and Alabama and Rod Bramblett's call of both plays was picture perfect.
3) We Love You Forever and Ever! God Bless America!
You could live 100 lifetimes and never see something like this from the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Mexican soccer announcers singing the praises of the US Men's National Team and saying "God Bless America" thanks to the USA saving Mexico's hopes to make it to Brazil. El Tri went on to beat New Zealand in a playoff and will be making the trip to the World Cup in large part to their neighbors to the north.
2) Mike Francesa vs Prank Callers: The Eternal Struggle
Nobody provided content for this website like Mike Francesa did in 2013. Whether it was ranting about his unclean studio, period parodies from the Revolutionary War, buddying up to Alex Rodriguez, or feuding with Keith Olbermann, 2013 was the year of the sports pope. But nothing brought the consistent joy and entertainment of his many battles with prank callers. You can catch the full collection here and a few of the best below.
1) The Ultimate Sad Hawk Harrelson Compilation
The only thing that could possibly top Mike Francesa is another giant of AA Land, White Sox play by play man Ken "Hawk" Harrelson. It was a rough year for the good guys of the South Side as they finished in the AL Central cellar. The Chi Sox were also on the wrong end of a number of unusually painful walk off defeats, which broke Hawk Harrelson's heart into several pieces live on the air like Ralph Wiggum. Thanks to our Josh Gold-Smith, here's all the best Hawk Harrelson meltdowns, tantrums, and long periods of silence from this season. You can really see how Hawk lives and dies with the White Sox, this year was mostly death.