Second Round VOTING: Best Play-By-Play Announcer

Let’s keep this short and sweet. Vin Scully fans? The time is now. First, check out the preview of the round from Jeff Lowe, Dan Smith, Marco Ranzi and Kevin Gallagher. Then, dive into the voting and move your legend onto the second round. Scully is not the only play-by-play announcer in this competition, so it is your job to help decide the other ones that move on to the Elite Eight.

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FOOTBALL REGION

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Al Michaels is, obviously, best known for his call of “the Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, with that said, his footballs have been very consistent over the years with Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football. One of his best calls is the game winning acrobatic catch made by Antonio Freeman of the Packers in 2000 (actually 13-years ago this week). We showed a Favre clip for Al Michaels, so why not do the same for Mike Tirico?

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Joe Tessitore has been magical in the last few years – partly because of his calls and partly because every game he calls ends up being a nail biter. Why not just show you a compilation of some Tessitore calls? One of the best parts about him is that you can still clearly understand him when he gets excited. We mentioned in the first round how descriptive Kevin Harlan is with his radio calls. His call of Tim Tebow’s 2012 overtime playoff touchdown is a great example. It is almost like he has a dictionary and thesaurus in front of him.

BASKETBALL REGION

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Mike Breen is fantastic. Plain and simple. One of the worst things that happened for announcing in 2012 was Breen being pulled of the call for basketball at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He was a great voice for Team USA and the highlights below prove it (probably want to skip to 2:15). Verne Lundquist, on the other hand, has some legendary calls (Christian Laettner), but one of his recent classics is his call of the 2006 NCAA Tournament upset of 14-seed Northwestern State over 3-Iowa.

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These two have a knack for outstanding calls in high pressure situations. We have touched on how hilarious Ian Eagle is, but he is also just a flat out great announcer. His call of Ray Allen’s NBA Finals saving three-pointer last year was overshadowed because it was a radio call. This is sort of a crime, because it was excellent. Sean McDonough was also on the call for the Syracuse-UConn 6-Overtime game at the 2009 Big East Tournament. His ability to keep the excitement for the entire game and not run out of gas was pretty impressive.

BASEBALL REGION

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Don Orsillo has been on the mic fro some great Red Sox calls, but we have to just remind everyone how hilarious his broadcasts are. Meanwhile, Joe Buck has taken a lot of heat from our readers. Not really sure why, but maybe because they refuse to accept how great he really is? His call of David Ortiz’s game-tying grand slam in this year’s ALCS is a great example.

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The best part of Vin Scully is his ability to make a baseball game a story and not just a contest. He has great calls (which we will highlight in the next round when he, inevitably, wins), but he did great job talking about Mariano Rivera’s save against the Dodgers in Los Angeles this year. Dan Shulman did something in 2011 that helped him draw comparisons to Howard Cosell. While calling a game with the Phillies and Mets, Shulman and his crew were able to walk viewers through the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. Cosell, of course, is well known for breaking the news of John Lennon’s death on Monday Night Football. Shulman’s ability to make a sports moment into a human interest moment was really great.

OTHER REGION

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Dock Emrick is fantastic and there are few announcers in sports that can keep up with the speed of Emrick, while, at the same time, maintaining a descriptive and clear broadcast. NHL Network put together a fantastic video of Emrick’s calls, prep for a game and insights into his job. The Olympics are a great platform for Dan Hicks to show off his under-appreciated talent. This guy makes swimming and golf very exciting and his call of the Team USA Swimming 4×100 meter relay comeback at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games was incredible. The comeback to keep Michael Phelp’s gold medal streak alive was a signature moment of those Games (skip to 4:50).

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You cannot go wrong with Ian Darke when it comes to soccer and it is easy to attribute some of the rise of soccer in the USA to his fantastic calls. Darke brings such a smart and exciting presence to soccer and especially with the USA in World Cup qualifying and the event itself. Sure, his call of the Landon Donovan goal was amazing, but his calls for the USA’s comeback in the previous World Cup match against Slovenia were just as great (skip to 1:55). Jim Nantz gets made fun of a lot for his pre-made championship calls, but a lot of them are excellent. I am not convinced his call of Phil Mickelson’s Masters winning putt in 2004 was made up before hand. That will be one of the most iconic golf moments, and calls, of all time.

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Leave your comments below about the match-ups, your favorite candies and least favorite candies, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. We really enjoy the engaging conversations we had with some of you on Twitter yesterday, so we would love to have that again today! The results will be posted on Sunday and then the voting for the Final Four will be underway.

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