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From The Nightshift Sports Desk: You don’t have to be a hockey fan to enjoy the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. You don’t even have to know anything about ice hockey. That’s because the joy of watching this year’s Stanley Cup is listening to the incredible, high-speed, supremely accurate play-by-play coverage of legendary series announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick, acknowledged as the best play-by-play man in sports today. Emrick’s facile, precise coverage of the fastest sport on television, is always amazing and, like the players, he brings his best to the big games. This year’s series features the Washington Capitals against the Las Vegas Knights; the challenge for Emrick is not just describing the action in real time (he’s superb at it) but in getting all the names right (there are lots of Russian players in the Finals this year). A Doc Emrick telecast is seamless: his commentary moves at the pace of the game and is precise and colorful, as he brings an expert’s perspective to covering the game.
Play-by-play is a very special form of announcing. There are many who do it, far fewer who do it at the legendary level. Vin Scully, who was the play-by-play announcer for the L.A. Dodgers for years, was noted for his ultra smooth delivery. Pat Summerall, the play-by-play man for many NFL (and other sports) broadcasts was famous for his elegant, very streamlined delivery. Keith Jackson–maybe the best ever at college football (“Whoa Nellie!)–and the easy-to-listen-to Dick Enberg were peerless. Marv Albert is another legend who calls NBA games; Milo Hamilton was the Houston Astros PXB (play by play)man for decades and became a baseball legend; and, we’ve heard (or heard of) Harry Caray (Chicago Cubs), Mel Allen and Curt Gowdy, all Hall of Famers.
If you are a fan of any sport, you owe it to yourself to catch a few periods of the Stanley Cup Finals and to hear a legend in action. The Stanley Cup is being broadcast by NBC and NBCS(check your local listings for time/channel).
The next game in the Stanley Cup Finals is Saturday, 2 July, at 7PM (Eastern). The series is currently tied at 1-1.
So go for the play-by-play, stay for the hockey. Whatever–don’t miss a chance to hear living legend “Doc” Emrick do a game. He’s one of the all-time greats (in a very demanding sport to broadcast) and he’s in his prime. Tune in and turn it up. You’ll be enlightened and entertained.
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