Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Do You Believe In Miracles?" Has Been Surpassed

I hope it's not too late to comment on the Olympics. If so, tough. Besides, this isn't so much about the actual Olympics as it is about quite possibly the greatest moment in broadcast history - narrowly edging out Dave Lapham's blatantly biased "Go Stan! Go Stan!" from Super Bowl XXIII. But anyway...

As I've written several times in this space, there are few things I care about more than broadcasting. I'm constantly critiquing play-by-play guys, studio hosts, analysts, sideline reporters and especially talk-show hosts. In this case, the focus is play-by-play. I'm all for an excitable play-by-play guy, so long as it feels genuine (or at least unrehearsed). Which is why I think Gus Johnson is great and Kevin Harlan is often annoying.

Anyway, Dan Hicks took things to another level during the last fifty meters of America's remarkable come-from-behind Gold Medal swim in the 4 x 100 freestlyle. Since this video will undoubtedly be pulled from YouTube (because NBC is clueless), I hope you watch it one more time - and pay close attention from the :45 mark to the 1:10 mark.

From the solid delivery of "The United States trying to hold onto second - they should get the silver medal,"...to his sense of the moment and rising inflection of "But Lezak is closing a little bit on Bernard"...to the hair-raising "HERE COMES LEZAK!"...Dan Hicks had his finest moment. It was a truly brilliant call - the best reaction to a spectacular feat I can ever remember.

While the 2008 Beijing Games will understandably be remembered for Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, I'll always remember them for Dan Hicks, and his perfect description of Jason Lezak's mad dash.

This one will stay in the vault forever:

Legitimate question: Do deaf people have their favorite closed captioning writers?

-Brad Spieser (