A good announcer can turn mere sport into a moment worthy of a time capsule. They clarify, contextualize and help the viewer understand exactly what's happening on the field of play.
Sometimes that comes in the form of detailed analysis. Other times, they do nothing more than yell at the monitor in joy and wonder. Sometimes that's all you can do.
Think Johnny Most during the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals, almost screaming "Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!"
Think Al Michaels at the 1980 Olympics making sense of the impossible: "Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?...Yes!"
But, while the great ones add something special to the contest they are calling, the bad ones can do more harm than good. They can confuse, obfuscate and misinform. The worst of the worst leave you reaching for the remote control and the power of the mute button.
Mixed martial arts, like all sports, has had its share of both good and bad announcers. I've sorted through my tape archives to pull out the five best—and the five worst—in the sport's history. Disagree? Let me know in the comments.