Thursday, January 13, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

This was one of my most vivid memories of NFL football as a kid, and now I'm able to see it again for the first time since then: Don Criqui's wonderful call of Tom Dempsey's record-setting (and game-winning) 63-yard field goal on November 8, 1970.

A few small points: first, note that the Saints used to embellish the end zones with not only their name, but the name of their opponent as well (you can see it on Errol Mann's go-ahead field goal for the Lions). The Chiefs did something similar to this too, back in the day, by putting the helmet logos of both teams at midfield.

But most outstanding is Criqui's call. The low-key announcer (who you can still hear on the radio calling Notre Dame football, and very well), starts out with a healthy (and justifiable) skepticism about Dempsey's effort. This quickly turns to incredulity as the kick nears the end zone, followed by spontaneous chaos after it goes over the crossbar. In an era when we're used to hearing shouters, sreamers, and homers trying their hardest to get on SportsCenter, it's refreshing to hear something so utterly unaffected and genuine. This made such an impact that I recall WCCO, the local CBS affiliate, replaying the clip several times on their local sportscast at the request of viewers who had either missed it the first time or who wanted to see (and hear) it again. Now, thanks to You Tube, we can all have that pleasure.
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