One of the great joys of the Stanley Cup playoffs has been Mike Emrick’s call of them (especially Bruins-Capitals and Rangers-Devils).
From the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan:
There are many great sports announcers in our midst. But the one whose amazing ability to synthesize the action with graceful use of the mother tongue while providing insight and the requisite amount of emotion in a volatile sport, and who thus stands a bit above the pack, is the irreplaceable Doc Emrick. Hockey is lucky to have him. Truth be told, we all are.
(For dissenting voices, see here.)
Regardless, now come the Finals with Doc in fine fettle, as this New York Times piece (literally) notes:
Hockey’s Highs and Lows From a Maestro of the Mic
They are verbal sprints. Or marathons. Or marathon sprints.
Whatever one calls them, Mike Emrick’s precise, exhilarating, loud and exhausting play-by-play hockey calls are memorable for their accuracy, inventiveness, honest emotion, fluidity and speed.
He has done a few thousand games, starting with the minor league Port Huron Flags in Michigan in the 1970s. If he fears anything, it is the damage a cold can do to his voice, not the effects of frantic action. And he can deliver minutes of unbroken narrative, his tenor rising steeply at the hint of a goal.
They are Emrick’s arias: dramatic tales of passes, shots, checks, crashes into boards, saves, interceptions, goals and line changes accentuated by the sound — “OhhhhHHHHHHH!” — of his internal thermostat rapidly heating up, as if close to exploding. He hits his highest note with variations on a single word: “SCORES!”
And the Times has transcribed one of Emrick’s calls into a musical score:
All that aside, Emrick just loves the game.
You can hear it in every word.