“He dramatizes things that deserve to be dramatized.”
This is how former color man Bill Clement described one of the finest and most enthusiastic play by play announcers, Doc Emrick. This summation can really be used to describe the value of announcers in general. This concise and and precise description would make any attempt of mine to elaborate on this matter a bit tiresome. So, I will simply list the strongest announcers as I see it, and offer some audio/video evidence.
I hope these give you goosebumps regardless of your team allegiance. These can come in any order.
1. Doc Emrick: A high pitched minstrel who’s cracky voice is known to all. Probably best known for his “OHHH” or “AHHH” as a reaction to plays. “Spiriting in” is also an Emrick original.
2. Chris Cuthbert: Less known to viewers in the states, the TSN caller has a similar style to Emrick, but is less shrill and a bit more guttural. Known for phrases like “dashing in” and “did you see that?!”.
3.Bob Cole: The mainstay of CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada, Cole is the classic hockey announcer. Nasally and authoritative, Cole may be the best ever. Detroit fans will recognize his pronunciation of our city as “Detroy-it”.
4. Ken Daniels: Our hometown favorite. Daniels is a master of all areas of the profession. It’s a wonder he is not asked to call more nationally televised games. Known for many go to phrases, but “off a leg” is the one I notice most frequently. Could not find my favorite call by Daniels in a goal by Datsyuk during his rookie campaign: “Datsyuk..Scores! What a set of hands that guy’s got!”. Another will have to do.
5. Gary Thorne: Thorne is not particularly to my taste, but he was a stalwart for the NHL before ESPN became too greedy to broadcast hockey games. Known for “so and so…in…..so and so….shot.”