Monday, March 19, 2007


You were watching the Madness Saturday, right? For 10 hours? Forming a definte ass groove? Good. So were we.

And how could those eight games -- perhaps the best all-around day of NCAA Tourney action in a while -- gotten even better? Only if Gus Johnson called all eight of them! (He called the Ohio State/Xavier thriller with video below, and the solid game between A&M and The 'Ville).

We've always found that a good broadcaster can make a dull game exciting and a bad play-by-play guy can ruin the greatest of games.

Johnson made good games that much better Saturday.

One of the open threads over at Deadspin Saturday became the Gus Johnson thread. Some of the better comments:

-From Phony Gwnn: "WOW. Gus Johnson is going to spontaneously combust."
-From Carmen McFanzone: "Gus is now at Defcon 5."

You get the point. Johnson gets waaay excited and puts an exclamation point after pretty much everything he says. IT'S SATURDAY!!! I HAVE TO GO THE BATHROOM!!!!!!! I'LL HAVE THE TUNA MELT!!!11!!!1!!


Simultaneously, NFL pregame host James Brown has gotten out of the studio and has been calling college basketball games for the first time in about 10 years. And as The Big Lead points out, yeah, perhaps Brown would be better off in the studio.
"And plus there’s no Gus Johnson, so that stinks. On the plus side, we won’t have to suffer through the awfulness that is James Brown. He’s great in the studio when NFL is your sport; he may be the worst play-by-play guy in college hoops."

Turns out though, that CBS brass has about zero idea what people actually want, and Johnson's duties will be "curtailed," as Brown will take over Johnson's duties calling the Regional Semis and Finals.

Remember how we said above that a bad announcer can dull even the best of games? Yeah, Brown might just do that when it really matters. At least Gus went out on a high note.

Oh, and CUBDUMB has a great post with some of Johnson's greatest hits. A must read/watch.


[Update: The Hog Blogger has nice best of Gus, and my boy Mr. Irrelevant has a nice take on this too.]


Signal to Noise said...

You gotta hand it to Johnson - he legitimately sounds like a fan of the stuff he's covering.

He and Gary Thorne are the guys you can expect to overdo every call, although it made for very good laughs while drunk and watching the game at the sports grill/bar.

Bet he probably does that with the dirty talk with the wife.

Anonymous said...

Generally you can count on being annoyed by the color guy, but I don't remember the last time I took such note of a play-by-play announcer in a basketball game as I did this weekend.

Midway through the second half of OSU/Xavier I finally said what everyone in the room was thinking - "Man, this guy needs to shut the fuck up."

Glad to see CBS agrees. Somebody slip a horse tranquilizer in Gus' Red Bull the next time he slips on the headset, please.

The Intern said...

If announcers were musical instruments, James Brown would be the fucking keytar. Terrible move by CBS. Gus IS March Madness.

JMC said...

imagine if Joe Buck had called that game:

ohio state takes it up the floor. under ten seconds to go. he pulls up for a three. it's good. we are going to overtime. oh man, what an exciting game. and now for a word from our sponsors.

Just another reason to not ever ever ever let Fox near the NCAAs.

adam landres-Schnur said...

If there was ever a way to have Johnson and Mike Patrick calling a game together, there's a pretty good chance someone's head might explode (in a good way, of course).

Anonymous said...

You guys are major tools, much like Bill Simmons. Johnson is great (though this post is unoriginal as everyone has been talking all week about how great he is) but to say that bad announcing ruins a game is just ridiculous. Who cares? Just ignore them and stop complaining. The only announcer I've ever seen who ruins games is Dick Vitale, but that's only because he is a bigger idiot than you guys... and that's saying something.

twins15 said...

I'm gonna miss Gus... the best PBP guy there is for March Madness.

Mickey Free said...

the video is gone!

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

yeah, bet CBS wanted YouTube to pull it. bastards.

Jakob Kagel said... link me

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Yeah, where is the video now.

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