Say It Like You Mean It: Top 5 Sportscasters of All Time

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Of all the lists out there, this is one of the toughest Top 5 has had to put together yet. So many legendary broadcasters over the years announcing so many great sports that five won’t due. But you have to listen to the bosses and do what they tell you, right? These are professionals who bring color and excitement to our favorite sports via television, radio and now the internet. Many are so well-known and such household names that their catch phrases have become as iconic as they are. Some are as popular as the athletes and teams they cover. Thesegreat announcers may not have faces made for television, but their voices sure are. They are so smart and so well-prepared for each game that they can tell you things about a particular player that is so obscure and mundane that their own mothers even didn’t know. And when there is a great play or last second win, these great announcers bring it to you better than anyone else in their field, and make you feel as if you were there in the stands. There are tons of great broadcasters not on this list, but the ones that are deserved to be and have made their marks on broadcasting like no one else. Here are the Top 5 Greatest Sportscasters of All Time.

5 Harry Caray

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Caray started his broadcasting career in the 1950’s and announced games for the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox. But he will always be remembered for his great work with the Chicago Cubs bringing the crowd to its feet with his version of “Take me out to the ballgame” during the seven inning stretch. One of the many things that made Caray so great as an announcer was that even when hewas drunk or incoherent he could call a baseball game better than some broadcasters can sober.

4 Howard Cosell

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Has there ever been anyone more obnoxious, more annoying, but more loveable than Cosell? His voice could sometimes be like listening to someone scratch a chalkboard with their fingernails. But you have to give Cosell his due and credit for having such an unusual personality that no one else has been able to emulate. Also give Cosell credit for being the one of the original anchors that launched “Monday Night Football,” as well as being one of the few white people liked by Muhammad Ali.

3 Dick Enberg

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Enberg is one of those rare broadcasters who can announce anything. Football, baseball, basketball, bowling, archery, ping pong, you name it. But Top 5 will always remember Enberg for his great work on the many Wimbledon championships he’s covered with that boorish Bud Collins. WheneverEnberg used his trademark “Oh my!” it was usually because of Collins saying something incredulous during a match.

2 Jim McKay

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For a generation, McKay was the voice of ABC’s Wide World and the Olympics until those weenies from CBS and NBC bought them and we got stuck with Bob Costas, Bryant Gumbel and Jim Nantz. With all of McKay’s great work you still have to chuckle every time you saw the intro to Wide World of Sports and that guy falling all over the place on the ski jump ramp in the “Agony of Defeat.”

1 Vin Scully

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If you’re a Dodgers fan, hearing Vin start a broadcast with his signature line, “it’s time for Dodgers baseball,” still send goose bumps up your spine. Scully has been with the Dodgers since they were in Brooklyn. Try listening to Scully call a Dodgers game in rush hour traffic in L.A. and that smooth delivery of his can make even the most neurotic driver not want to kill the person in front of them.

Honorable Mention

Chick Hearn

A basketball play-by-play legend. Chick was so great that that he has his own statue outside of Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers. He coined really cheesy phrases such as, “The mustard’s off the hot dog,” and “The game’s in the refrigerator, the door is closed, the lights out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard and the jello’s jiggling,” that became “Chickisms.” Hearn may also be the only one in the Lakers organization who could put Magic, Kareem, Shaq and Kobe in their places.

Keith Jackson

Jackson is another guy who covered everything, but is best remembered for his work covering college football for ABC Sports. Jackson gave the Rose Bowl the name, “The Granddaddy of the All,” and turned “whoa nelly”of all things into aiconic sports catch phrase. All the kids have been using it for years.

Phil Liggett

The Englishman is the voice of cycling and triathlons having covered 13 Olympic Games and 40 Tour de France races. However, Top 5 just learned that Liggett has been banned from cycling after it was discovered that he covered all seven Tour de France races which Lance Armstrong raced in and won before it was discovered that he took more drugs than a Cancer patient. It is not known whether or not Liggett was on any Performance Enhancing Drugs while covering Armstrong’sseven races, but an investigation is pending.

Kevin Hunter is a freelance journalist and public relations consultant who lives in Long Beach, CA. With more than 25 years of experience as a sports and features writer, Hunter has written for numerous publications such as the Los Angeles Time, and Orange County Register and L.A. Weekly.

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