As a sports broadcasting student, a lot of people ask me who my favorite sports broadcaster is. However, it is not an easy question to answer. One of my favorite sports broadcasters is Ian Eagle because he is very informative while also bringing humor to his performances. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to see how he works up close when I went to his sports broadcasting camp at the Yogi Berra Museum at Montclair State University. He showed me some of his boards that he has made for his broadcasts. For example, he uses manilla folders for football and writes his notes as small as possible. His knowledge on the broadcasts comes from all the preparation he does and the meetings with coaches and players before games. On top of that, he lets his real emotions come out during the games when a player makes a big play during an NBA game by using a catch phrase such as “that’s a man’s jam!” He also sets the scene perfectly during crunchtime situations whether for the NBA, college basketball or the NFL. He is incredibly versatile and you can usually hear him calling a game almost any day, any time of the year except summer.
Ian entertains me because he is one of the funniest people that I know. However, a lot of the humor that gets showcased during a broadcast comes from him being able to build strong chemistry between his broadcast partners off and on the air. After a broadcast, Eagle leaves me with a smile on my face because of his humor that he is able to sprinkle in during a broadcast.
Another favorite broadcaster of mine is Sam Rosen. Sam is one of the best NHL play-by-play announcers in the business. A lot of this is because of his preparation and passion for the game. For example, when the Rangers have back-to-back games he will waste no time, whether it be on the team plane after a game or late at night when he gets home, to prepare for the next game. On top of that, Rosen is able to gently cheer for the Rangers during games without being totally biased during broadcasts, which can be hard to do. After all these years and his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, you can tell he still gets excited if the Rangers win or score as he will raise his voice in excitement. Oh, by the way, you can’t ignore his signature call,“It’s a power play goal!” This call is remembered by Rangers fans due to the way that Sam will raise his voice in a positive way.
It is also incredible how Sam is able to keep up with a fast paced sport like hockey when doing play-by play. For example, I had the opportunity to shadow him in the booth at Madison Square Garden for a little bit during a Rangers game and the way he was able to keep up with the action of a fast paced sport and still be on top of who had the puck and which players were coming onto the ice and going off all without a spotter and without looking at his notes. This makes him one of the best hockey announcers in the business.
Finally, my other favorite announcer is Michael Kay. Kay, the play-by-play announcer of the New York Yankees, is very good at announcing because he is able to let a broadcast breathe. Considering that baseball is a slower moving sport he doesn’t feel the need to have to constantly use all of his notes at once which could feel overwhelming to a viewer. On top of that, he does a great job at letting his broadcast partners talk and give valuable insight as former players. This comes from building good chemistry between them and having a good relationship with them on and off the air. Another thing that makes Kay one of the best baseball announcers in the industry is that he is a baseball encyclopedia as he knows a lot of baseball due to a lot of preparation and being around the game for decades.