Part of becoming a great broadcaster is having a great vocabulary and finding ways to vary your verbiage. That is why a regular feature on this site will be “Announcer Alterations” where we take short clip of pre-existing play-by-play synced to video and come up with five different ways to call the same sequence of events.
The first ever Say The Damn Score podcast featured Indiana Pacers play-by-play man Mark Boyle. He talked about how he hated his famous “Ding dong the witch is dead” call from when the Pacers beat the Knicks in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. He believes in spontaneity, and even though the very nature of these alterations are not spontaneous, I’ve decided to use his call for this round of announcer alterations. Hopefully with the these exercises I’ll be better prepared to match Mark’s consistent level of excellence….spontaneously.
Here is the original verbiage: Harper to get it in, throws it to Ewing. Ewing Surrounded. Two seconds to shoot. He drives, he shoots. HE MISSED! HE MISSED! HE MISSED! Ring the bell baby! Ding dong the witch is dead! And the Pacers have won it 97-95 and we’re going to Disney World!
And here are five different ways to call the same play focusing on unique description of the action (and for fun different movie lines that might fit the action):
Harper in-bounds to Ewing at the top of the key. He’s double teamed. Spins away and glides down the lane. The finger roll..off the back iron! The Pacers clear it. Pacers Win! Pacers Win! Pacers Win! Carpe Diem, Seize the day boys! 97-95, Indiana is going to the finals!
Harper triggers it in to Ewing up top. He’s hounded by two defenders. Ewing pirouettes and soars down the lane, layup for the win…too much! He Missed. Pacers win! How do you like them apples! 97-95 the Pacers are Eastern Conference Champs!
Harper tosses it deep straight away to Ewing. He’s engulfed by two defenders. He twists away. floats down the lane… shot for the win..off the bracket! No Good! No Good! No Good! Yo Adrian, we did it! 97-95 the Pacers advance to the title round!
Harper passes to Ewing at the top of the arc. Squeezed by two defenders. Escapes and attacks down the lane. Layup at the horn! It’s to strong! He missed! He Missed! He missed! You shall not pass! And the Pacers hold on 97-95, we’re going to the finals!
Harper lobs it to the back court to Ewing. Ewing is suffocated. He twirls away and skates down the lane. The lay-in… off the heel! Ewing missed! Ewing Missed! Ewing Missed! Hakuna Matata baby! Means no worries because the pacers are going to the ship!