Friday, September 4, 2009

Final Four Friday: Voice of the Spartans

Saturday marks a return to the broadcast booth for George Blaha, the legendary voice of MSU football. And while Blaha - also the voice of the Pistons - is an icon at Michigan State, he's not the only great broadcaster MSU has.

With that, today's edition of Final Four Friday takes a look at the play-by-play announcers who bring you each game.

George Blaha - Football

To many, Blaha is MSU sports, and for good reason. This will be his 32nd season calling MSU football, longer than either of this site's authors have been alive. Everything from T.J. Duckett's game-winning catch against Michigan in 2001 to Charles Rogers' miracle one-handed grab against Notre Dame has been punctuated with Blaha's "Touchdown, MSU!" call. The man is a legend.

Will Tieman - Men's Basketball

Tieman doesn't always get his due among most Spartan fans, I think mainly because he's such a different broadcaster. He's far more even-keel than other play-by-play guys, though I think that's a bonus when calling games at the raucous Breslin Center. Tieman is descriptive and never gets lost on a complex call - no easy feat considering how fast MSU has sprinted up the court in recent years. He always rises to the occasion in big moments - and his grace in calling the national championship defeat earlier this year was a real high point.

Scott Moore - Hockey

There are many games I think I could step in and hack out a broadcast in. Hockey ain't one of them. There are just so many substitutions on the fly, jerseys with confusing and conflicting color schemes and bad angles in worse podunk college hockey press boxes from which to watch a tiny puck squirt about. You won't miss anything with Moore calling the game though, he's a student of the game who never gets lost. And his calls during the 2007 national championship game made you feel like you were there in St. Louis while MSU stormed from behind to beat Boston College and win it all.

John Kreger - Volleyball

He's the only one broadcasting online, and budget cuts cut his coverage in half. But the way Kreger has handled it so far is pure class - and that gets major points in our book. He's damn good too, and has an award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association as the best volleyball broadcaster in America to prove it. We've called Kreger the most underrated broadcaster in the state of Michigan before, and we stand by that call today - though if he keeps winning those awards the word "underrated" may have to be changed to simply "the best."

And the winner is... Blaha.

Tieman, Moore and Kreger are all great, but Blaha is the undisputed king of broadcasting at MSU. For 32 years he's been the voice of the Spartans, and we can only hope he'll keep going for many years to come.

1 comment:

  1. ...I don't think Tieman is great. He does not have the pipes for broadcasting. His voice is too high-pitched and prone to cracking when he gets excited. And his exclamations sound like he prepared them. They liked to run a promo for MSU Basketball on the radio network last season where he was "featured" saying "Oh yes, that is sweet!" It sounded like someone handed him a card with those words on it and he was trying to read them in as animated a voice as he could muster.