The sound of a moment

Andrew Forsyth, Social Media Editor

The history of sports is a collection of moments.

Wins, losses and championships are cemented in history—the feats of athleticism made by these players. The commentary and announcers are behind the moment.

Every significant moment has a great call to go along with it. Think back to some of the greatest moments in sports history. The moments live forever for the call that goes along with them.

One of these calls that would not have nearly as much weight with the story and career leading up to it is the moment Ray Bourque finally lifted the cup.

After a long 22-year career, Ray Bourque was in his last year in 2001. Regardless of whether or not he wins a championship, this was it.

His final moments as an NHL player. One last ride before he moves on to life after hockey.

The minute that final horn sounded, Colorado finally won the Stanley Cup. Everyone was waiting for that moment. The moment he raises the cup.

Then it happened, from Joe Sakic to Raymond Bourque.

“And after 22 years…Raymond Bourque!” proclaimed ESPN announcer Gary Thorne.

Six words. Less than 2 seconds.

Yet this moment is remembered for years and years to come. The decisive moment of Sakic passing the Cup to Bourque is shown yearly.

The story of the veteran player finally getting his big win is seen in sports still today.

Even when memories may be vague, you have that joyful voice to remember. You can look back and share Thorne’s excitement.

The impact of those six words prolongs the memory.

“Joe had an incredible year that year, but I tell him that the best assist you’ve ever had, was passing me the cup,” Raymond Bourque said.

At the moment, what takes precedence is the athletes. Although what is remembered is the emotion of the call.

The feeling of the crowds. The cheers, the boos. Everything in between.

The announcers in sports create this passion that fans have.

Announcers add another layer to sports that fans can enjoy. The number of outstanding calls we’ve had over the years is unbelievable.

From hockey announcers like Doc Emrick, Rick Jeanerette and Sam Rosen and in football with Al Michaels, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

The importance of announcers to many fans is consistency. So many teams, especially in the NHL, have had the same broadcast team for years. A perfect example of this was Rick Jeanerret in Buffalo.

Jeanerret is a reminder of the Buffalo Sabres’ success and misery. Although during these years, he was a constant.

For so many fans, Jeanerret was the voice of the Buffalo Sabres.

He was the voice of a generation. So many iconic phrases and moments have stuck with fans and players for years. Calls like “La La La Lafontaine!” or even the classic “Buffalo wins it, in oooooooooovertime.”

Moments would be nothing without the voices accompanying them. Announcers are just as much of the moment as the players are.

In some cases, the moment is not much of a moment until it’s made one by the announcer.

An example is when Stefan Matteaus scored in 2OT of game seven to send the Rangers to the 1994 Cup Final, where they would then go on to win the cup.

Yes, this is a moment, but the commentary brings this to the next level. Matteau was an unlikely hero for this Rangers team, but he was the hero nonetheless.

However, the moment would’ve been just that. An unlikely hero wins the most crucial game of the season.

The call makes it just such a classic moment in time.

“Matteau scores!! Matteau!! Matteau!! Matteau!!” Howie Rose said.

That call is remembered for decades because of how unbridled that excitement was for Howie Rose. Just the uncontrollable burst of excitement that he has when it happens, it is impossible not just to appreciate the specialty of the moment.

It was the perfect example of how an announcer can lift a moment into the rafters of history. Announcers are integral to the production of a game.

Without announcers, we don’t have the excitement and passion they give us.

Feats of athleticism create moments. Moments are created through long journeys finally coming to a close.

However, these moments can not be made by the athletes or players without that vocal backdrop having the same excitement we all do when watching them unfold.

The announcer is the backbone of a moment. Without an announcer doing their job, a moment will be forgotten in the corridors of time.

As said before, the athlete takes center stage at the moment. The announcer keeps the moment alive in time.