Two games, three local teams. For Joe Davis, covering nearly everything on the Los Angeles sports scene Tuesday night was no problem. (No disrespect intended to the Clippers, who lost to the Orlando Magic.)
Davis, of course, is the TV play-by-play voice for Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasts on Spectrum SportsNet LA. And on Tuesday, the Dodgers hosted the Angels for their Freeway Series Spring Training finale.
The Angels scored three runs in the ninth off Andre Jackson to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 6-4. But Alex Vesia came on to close out the game. While Vesia faced Rojas with two outs, the UCLA men’s basketball team was holding onto a 51-49 lead over Michigan in their NCAA Tournament matchup.
With the Bruins on the verge of getting to the Final Four, Davis acknowledged that most L.A. sports fans were likely following the action in Indianapolis and called the closing seconds of UCLA’s victory.
— danny ⚾️?? (@gatodejazz) March 31, 2021
“They inbound it, here’s a three on the way, it’s no good!” said Davis, as Franz Wagner missed his three-point attempt for Michigan. “And UCLA’s going to the Final Four! … Here’s an 0-1 pitch.”
Seamless transition for Davis, though the difference in excitement for UCLA’s win versus the subdued tone of a late-game pitch in a Spring Training game was notable. Though the circumstances and call were much different, this was reminiscent of Thom Brennaman calling a Nicholas Castellanos home run while apologizing for using a homophobic slur on a hot mic.
But calling UCLA’s charge into the Final Four during a Major League Baseball game (albeit a Spring Training) contest puts Davis in the exclusive company of broadcasters doing play-by-play of two events at the same time. Davis joins Kevin Harlan, who pulled off the double-call on Dec. 29, 2019.
"What game are you calling?"
"I'M CALLING BOTH GAMES!!!!"
Kevin Harlan FOREVER. pic.twitter.com/xT1Fi4czVl
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) December 29, 2019
Harlan and Rich Gannon were working the Chargers-Chiefs Week 17 finale of the 2019 NFL season, but the result of the Dolphins-Patriots game would determine if Kansas City got the No. 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs and a first-round bye.
The crowd at Arrowhead Stadium was following the action at Gillette Stadium as Miami beat New England, 27-24, and Harlan acknowledged what had Chiefs fans so excited with 2:37 remaining in their game. While Kansas City was closing out a 31-21 over the Chargers, the final score from Foxborough drew cheers and celebration.
“What game are you calling?” asked Gannon.
“I’m calling both games!” responded Harlan in a classic broadcasting moment.
The same question could’ve been asked of Davis Monday night as UCLA defeated Michigan. Someday, maybe he and Harlan can talk about the art of calling two games at the same time. Hopefully, that’s a conversation we can hear.