Tell me I’m wrong, but this might be the most ‘perfect’ game winning call in the history of sportscasting. And it’s because of silence.
The call comes from the Championship game of the NCAA’s Women’s National Championship between Notre Dame and Mississippi State. A game winning shot from Arike Ogunbowale send Notre Dame into bedlum and another Fighting Irish national championship. But this is less about the shot, or the game, and more about the call…a perfect call.
The above video comes from the Play by Play Announcers, Sideline Reporters, Color Analysts, Studio Hosts group on Facebook, via Dusty Deines. Broadcasters Rebecca Lobo, Kara Lawson and Adam Amin are on the call and absolutely nail the call. Amin describes the action beautifully, complimenting the visuals, while Lobo and Lawson are in a stunned silence. But why is this this most perfect call in sportscasting history? One major reason….the silence.
From the time Amin says “…wins the Championship for Notre Dame”, there is at least 15 seconds of silence from the announcers (the video cuts out). That’s 15 seconds of crowd noise carrying the broadcast, 15 seconds of complimenting the pictures on the screen, 15 seconds allowing the crowd to tell this story. It would have been so easy for Lobo, Lawson or Amin to jump over the top of the crowd and recap the shot, detail what the Championship means, or just go crazy but they did none of that.
They just stayed there. Lobo’s jaw drops, Lawson looks like she just saw a ghost and Amin sits back to admire a job well done.
That’s what makes this just the perfect call. The ability to remain calm in the moment, while also saying exactly what was needed at the time that’s needed. Too often, broadcasters feel the need to talk over great moments, to try and say that one extra word or sentence searching for that ‘perfect call’ when more times than not the perfect call comes from saying very little, to nothing at all.
Silence can be such a key and integral part to a broadcast overall. There are few things that convey what’s going on, the atmosphere and the emotion as well and as quickly as an announcer saying nothing. Whether it’s a buzzer beater, a walk off homer, a goal or any major game event, silence from broadcaster tells a story.
Tell me I’m wrong.