Friday, January 29, 2010

A Great Call

Last Sunday Brett Favre made one of the worst decisions of his life. With the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints tied 28-28 and the Vikings marching down the field Favre dropped back to pass on 3rd & 15. He scrambled and started up the right sideline and then for some reason decided to throw the ball over the middle of the field across his body. We all know how that ended.

Paul Allen, the Vikings radio broadcaster, called the play from the press box. Allen's particular call for that play has become an internet phenomenon and has gone viral. In case you haven't heard it yet here is it is:

Now this particular call is memorable because it is so funny. I will remember this moment forever and the phrase, "this is not Detroit man, this is the SuperBowl!"

Sports announcers have the ability to cement a moment in a fans brain forever with a simple phrase or sentence. Usually no more than 6 or 7 words is all it takes for a spectacular play to become legendary.

Think back on all the greatest sports moments of your life and you can still hear the voice of the announcer in your head. Phrases like, "the band is on the field!" and "I don't believe what I just saw!" are timeless and will be a part of the history of sport for as long as there is sport. People will tell their kids about those plays and the video clips and audio clips will live on as proof of a magical moment.

Guys like Marv Albert, Bob Costas and Al Michaels make great moments even better when their pure passion and joy comes through in their words when they watch something amazing happen in sports. These guys are the best of the best and know how to make a special moment even better.

Then there is Pierre McGuire.

If you don't watch hockey, or you aren't from Canada, then you probably don't know who Pierre McGuire is. He is an analyst for TSN and also does commentary for NBC when they show NHL games on Saturday afternoons. For the most part he is hated by all and is seen as a biased loudmouth who does his best to ruin every game he broadcasts.

He is so hated by NHL fans that several Facebook groups about him exists including "If Pierre McGuire as on fire I wouldn't piss on him to put it out," "Pierre McGuire is a Douchebag" and my personal favorite "Pierre McGuire ruins hockey." There are literally hundreds of groups dedicated to hating this man and they are all hilarious and justified.

One of the key aspects to being a good commentator is to know when to talk and when to shut up and appreciate what is happening. If something miraculous happens and you are part of a 2 man booth only 1 guy gets to say something. That is the rule. This is obviously a rule McGuire never learned and in 2009 it resulted in one of the worst sports calls of all time.

Allow me to set up the scenario.

Team Canada is playing Russia in the semifinal game at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Tournament. Russia is winning 5-4 with under 14 seconds to play. The puck is in the Russian zone but gets pinned up along the side boards. John Tavares manages to free the puck and backhand it on net. It is stopped by a Russian defenseman who attempts to smother the puck but fails allowing it to end up on the stick of Jordan 'the Messiah' Eberle who backhands it into the net for one of the greatest goals in Canadian Hockey history. Needless to say this is a To 5 sports moment for me.

Now listen to how McGuire ruins it:

"Eberle scores! Tie game! Can you believe it?!"

"I can!" Are you fucking kidding me?! One of the greatest moments in Canada Hockey history and you respond to a rhetorical question .2 seconds after it has been asked with analysis of how it happened. Let the moment soak in. Let Canadians nationwide bask in the glow of the fact that Eberle just cemented his name in the history books.

There is no excuse for this. None. McGuire should have been fired immediately after the broadcast ended.

It is not as though this is the only great moment he has ruined though. McGuire is notorious for ruining hockey games with his loser catchphrases such as, "he's a monster" and "big body presence." His commentary has become so routine and awful that there has been a drinking game created for it. Here is a link if you are interested in getting wasted in about a period and a half of hockey.

Needless to say McGuire is an embarassment and should be dealt with as soon as possible. He is in a position to be a art of someones life forever and to give sports fan memories they will keep with them forever and instead he just douches it up and makes a mockery out of one of the greatest professions out there.

Tangent: Yes I realize this post was nothing more than a poorly constructed rant bashing Pierre McGuire but I feel like it was necessary. He deserved it though right?

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