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NCAA Tourney ’11: Welcome to National Gus Johnson Month

Let the love affair with Mr. Excitement begin again.  The NCAA Tournament starts tonight and the most exciting announcer in sports is going to have plenty of shots to make some more memories


If YouTube had an announcer it would be Gus Johnson.

“Clicks the video… and it’s playing!  Ha Ha, from your living room, in Lexington. Ha ha.  This is the internet.  This is Youtube. This is video Madness.”

He practically owns the site.  Okay, not literally, but look him up and his epic last minute finishes litter the screen.  Watch his calls and you’ll get goose-bumps.  Seriously, his call of the UCLA-Gonzaga game in 2006 from Oakland in the Sweet Sixteen is one of the great emotional roller-coasters you could ever experience watching from your TV.

The guy is flat out money when it comes to the tournament.  He is the voice of March Madness.  He is a cultural icon in the third month of every year.  There’s just no other way to put it.

Gus makes great games, epic.  I know there’s this school of thought that announcers should just call the game, and not become part of the game, but I disagree.  Watching the end of close Gus Johnson called games is like watching a movie trailer.  Only the best parts are on display.

You just pray every time you watch a Gus Johnson game that it will be a close one.  Last year he called by far the best game of the tournament in that epic Xavier/K-State 2 OT thriller.

His call of another crazy Xavier game (noticing a theme here?) when they nearly pulled off the shocker of Ohio State, still sticks in my mind.  And there’s so many more.

If there is a caveat that Gus Johnson fans tend to forget, it’s that he can actually be, get this, boring when a game is not close.  It’s almost as if his mind wanders, thinking when’s the next game I can call, so I can make it to Youtube.

Ha Ha.  Actually I think he’s as genuine an announcer as they come, and if the purists don’t like it so be it.  I never remember a Jim Nantz call, though I love Kevin Harlan.  But Gus Johnson is the bees knees when it comes to excitement and college hoops.

If I could afford it, I’d pay him to be my Public Announcer at Parties:

“He walks into the party, opens the door… what a play!  What a play!  Are you kidding me?”

I wonder what his rates are?

Gus will be in Dayton on Wednesday for the second part of the First Four (say that five times fast) and he’ll have a pair of games to hopefully fine tune another YouTube classic.  UTSA versus Alabama State and USC versus VCU.  Not sexy games, but with Gus calling the shots, anything is possible.

Then on Friday Gus and Len are off to Cleveland where amongst others they’ll be calling Villanova versus George Mason and Ohio State versus well, does it really matter who the 16th seed is?

Still, if there was ever a game where the 16 seed takes out the 1, I want that game to be called by Gus Johnson.  The man would potentially implode — literally — calling the upset of the century.

I don’t expect it to happen, but one of these days it’s due, right?  Gus Johnson is to announcing what Stan Van Gundy is to coaching.  Raw emotion, what you see is what you get, take it or leave it.  And I love it.

I’m taking Gus Johnson.

“This is Juiced Sports.  My name is Scott Jacobs.  Let’s make some more March Memories, baby!  Haha.”

I’m ready! Let’s do this.’

Photo: *****

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