Throughout July we're on a quest to definitively name the greatest announcing call in the history of sports. We started with a list of 64 (the top 32 of which were seeded) that will be narrowed down to 1 at the end of the month that will earn the greatest of all-time title thanks to your votes. Each day will bring a list of new matchups as we march our way through the tournament. There are certainly some heavy favorites, but also some upsets in the making along the way. Throughout the first round, polls will be open for a day until the next batch of matchups are published.
With a tip of the cap to the WGC Match Play, each bracket will also pay tribute to one of the great announcers in sports. You can check out all the winners from the Gowdy Bracket here, the McKay bracket here and the Summerall bracket here. We finally reach the fourth and final bracket today with the Mel Allen region…
1) The shot heard round the world vs Steve Young's mazy run
8) The Holy Roller vs Arsenal's title winner
4) Send it in Jerome vs Rip Hamilton's buzzer beater
5) It's 715 vs Sid's slide
3) We'll see you tomorrow night vs Ned & Dale Jarrett
6) Dale's Daytona victory vs Look at Mills!
2) Down goes Frazier! vs Holy Mackerel
7) Matteau! Matteau! Matteau! vs MJ's spectacular move
Here we go…
1) "The Giants win the pennant!"
The Shot Heard 'Round the World. Bobby Thompson's famous home run for the New York Giants off Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers is the oldest call in our list from 1951. That fact though only confirms how Russ Hodges' call has stood the test of time. Such broadcasting legends as Ernie Harwell and Red Barber called that one game playoff for various media outlets. But, it's the sheer exuberance of Hodges that has been seared into history.
"He runs, gets away again…"
For a regular season game in 1988, this call by Lon Simmons of a miraculous Steve Young TD run has to be the most emotional in our entire tournament. You can't see this clip and not be moved with the sound of an NFL Films soundtrack rushing into your brain. The one funny part though is that Young's heroic dive into the endzone was more of a stumble than anything, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
8) "There's nothing real in the world anymore!"
The Simpsons said it best, as they always do. As Lisa helps Homer gamble on pro football, they are both overjoyed as the Raiders win on a "extreeeemely suspicious play." Where did that reputation come from… 1978's Holy Roller, of course. And only Bill King could perfectly capture every moment of such an extreeeemely suspicious play to win the game for the Silver and Black.
"Its up for grabs now!"
One last soccer clip that requires some context. Arsenal were away to Liverpool in the final week of the 1989 season in the English First Division, before it became the Premier League. Arsenal needed to win the game by two goals to pass Liverpool for 1st place and claim the championship. Even as clear underdogs with a 1-0 lead in injury time, things looked bleak for the Gunners to grab a second and win the championship. But then, Michael Thomas broke free and scored the title-winning goal to break Liverpool hearts. The terrific Brian Moore was somehow able to capture the roller coaster of emotion that changed the fortune of these two teams in a matter of seconds.
4) "Send it in Jerome!"
Jerome Lane had a rather unspectacular playing career. However, he is responsible for the most replayed highlight in the last 25 years of college basketball. It didn't hurt that fan favorite Bill Raftery spoke four words that have become part of the basketball lexicon.
"Hamilton, no. Hamilton at the buzzer!"
Sean McDonough is criminally underrated as a broadcaster. And, so is this call on Richard Hamilton's dramatic buzzer beater in the 1998 NCAA Tournament. There's a reason this call is played along with Bryce Drew, and so many March Madness moments. And you may hear Bill Raftery in the background of this one too.
5) "There's a new home run champion of all-time and it's Henry Aaron!"
Milo Hamilton's radio call of Hank Aaron's 715th home run has been attached at the hip to this historic moment. That's in spite of the fact that Curt Gowdy broadcasted the game for TV and Vin Scully was there as well with the Dodgers. It's worth looking into Scully's call as well though, as the Dodgers legend may have provided the more meaningful context in the wake of the historical moment.
"They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream"
The luck of the draw, as one Braves clip goes up against another. This time, it's Skip Caray's call of the legendary slide by Sid Bream to beat the Pirates in the 1992 NLCS. And hey, look how easy announcing is when you get it right! Imagine how much more awkward it had been if Caray had called the play an out. But nobody would be that silly, right?