While writing this article, memories have moments gone by have returned fresh in my mind. Moments in time that are etched in my memory, thanks to the broadcaster. Whether it be a home run or a late touchdown, these gentlemen helped to make the experience that much better.
This is my list.
9. Brad Boyer, broadcaster, KWIX-KRES-KIRK
If you have listened to a sport's broadcast in Mid Missouri, you have probably heard Brad Boyer. He has been broadcasting games for 23 years. He has been recognized by MSHSAA for several awards, including the state's top broadcaster seven of the last 11 years.
8. Chris Gervino, KOMU Sports Director, sideline reporter
Of all the stations in Columbia, there is only one to turn to when you want sport highlights. KOMU has the ace. Chris Gervino is not only a great broadcaster, he is a good guy. Gervino also walks the sidelines for the Tiger Network.
7. Kevin Harlan, Broadcaster, KC Chiefs (1985-1993)
I cut my teeth listening to Chief broadcasts in my early years. I remember a play wear an Oakland wide receiver came across the middle and Deron Cherry took his head off and Harlan yelled, "Oh BABY, What a hit!!" I recall him calling Okoye "The Nigerian Nightmare" what a nickname!
However, Harlan is bittersweet. It is a love hate relationship. On CBS, Harlan tries to hard to be neutral when calling Chief games. It makes him sound fake. He made my list because of his prior calls, not his current calls.
6. Mike Shannon, Broadcaster, St Louis Cardinals
If you have listened to a Cardinal broadcast in the last 38 or so years, chances are you have heard the slurred speech of Mike Shannan. It cracks me up listening to Mike tell stories about when he was a player or all of his references to Bud. He is not only the spokesman, he is also a dedicated participant.
Mike has several great sayings. Whenever he says, "Get up baby, get up, get up," that is always a good thing for the Cardinals.
He is now paired with John Rooney and combined they do an incredible job broadcasting games for the Cardinals.
5. 810 WHB, The Border Patrol, Kevin Kietzman, Todd Leabo, and Danny Clinkscale
Possibly the best radio show I have ever heard. These guys have all their ducks in a row. They know everything sports and they are very good at conveying it to listeners. I would listen every day if I could. But, there is work.
On the other hand, "The Border Patrol" might be the polar opposite. On the same station, Nate Bukaty makes my ears bleed. He has no substance or vocabulary. If he doesn't have a good opinion about something, he says, "to hell with that" and tries to move on to something else. It is probably just me but I can't do it.
4. Joe Buck, broadcaster, STL Cardinals
Class. That is the one word associated with the Buck name. He showed class when he was gaining popularity, he found time to broadcast the games that his father could not. He cleared his schedule when it was determined that his father would no longer be able to broadcast for the Cardinals.
Joe Buck has become one of the best national broadcaster for the NFL and MLB. Fox has this generation's Harry Carry. He could cover golf and make it watchable.
3. Mike Kelly, broadcaster, Missouri Tigers
Mike Kelly has been broadcasting football and basketball for Missouri for 15 or so years. He has a voice that can transform you and makes you feel you were there. If you were there, he gave insight to further the experience. In football, he teams with John Kadlec and Chris Gervino and they bring the total game experience. In basketball, Gary Link replaces John Kadlec.
I still wish there was a way to sync the radio with the TV. I would never listen to the TV broadcasters for an MU game again. Any Ideas?
2. Mitch Holthus, broadcaster, KC Chiefs
There is no better saying. "Touchdown, KAN—SAS—CITY, Touchdown" Yeah you know what I mean. That is awesome. Throw in Len Dawson and Bill Grigsby and you have the best NFL radio broadcast team in the nation. Mitch cares. He seems to love the job and enjoys the opportunity to broadcast games.
1. Jack Buck, broadcaster, STL Cardinals
Hands down, the best broadcaster ever. EVER! I tear up thinking about the poem he wrote late in his life after the tragedy of 9-11.
My dad remembered the time when Jack Buck was the voice of sports, period. He did every game in every sport, everyday. He did baseball, basketball, football, hockey, boxing, and bowling.
He was blessed to be a part of several great moments in sport history. Here are a few famous quotes:
"Montana lines up at the five. And on third-down-and-three he rolls right, looking to throw...looking to throw...and he throws into the end zone, touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown, San Francisco, by Dwight Clark!"
—Calling "The Catch" in the 1981 NFC Championship Game.
"Gibson...swings and a fly ball to deep right field. This is gonna be a home run! UNBELIEVABLE! A home run for Gibson! And the Dodgers have won the game, five to four; I don't believe what I just saw! I don't BELIEVE what I just saw!"
—Calling an injured Kirk Gibson's walkoff home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series off of Dennis Eckersley.
"Mike Morgan is the pitcher. Here's the pitch to McGwire...SWING..looky there! LOOKY THERE!!!! Looky there! Number sixty-one!!! McGwire's flight 61 headed for Planet Maris! History! Bedlam! What a moment! Pardon me while I stand up and applaud!"
—Calling Mark McGwire's single season record-tying 61st home run in 1998.
But the most famous line of all and the one I will always say at the end of a Cardinal win.
"That's a winner!" Jack, you're right. That is a winner!