I’ve been fortunate enough to watch enough Big 12 football in my career at Mizzou to hear most of the stadium PA announcers either in person or on TV. Here’s a quick list of how they stack up, in my boredom.
1) Randy Wright, Missouri: Of course he’s a huge homer and I’m totally biased towards him but he does an excellent job both feeding off the crowd and getting people fired up at football or basketball games. He rarely makes mistakes with players’ names/numbers and usually has pretty good phrasing for plays. I’ll give him and the Mizzou marketing people credit for coming up with the “First down, M-I-Z” – you can hear him around :15 in this:
2) Name unknown, Oklahoma State: This guy has an AWESOME voice. He uses a few quirks in his announcing – i.e. instead of the overused, cliche “That’s good for a [insert team name and wait for crowd to yell 1st down]” he says “Oklahoma State 1st down and ten”. He also doesn’t use the opposing team’s name – simply saying, for instance, on defense “3rd down and 3…for the visitor.” Definitely a fan. You can kind of hear him in this
3) Name unknown, Kansas: The state of Kansas is pretty good for PA guys. Like OSU, this guy has an great voice. I haven’t been to a game in Lawrence but having heard him in the background on TV and the radio, he doesn’t get too fired up and lets his inflection carry the enthusiasm, instead of yelling or sounding crazy. It sounds like he avoids cliches and sticks to the basics, and, gets them right. I’m guessing he’s an old-school guy and he does a good job.
4) Name unknown, Kansas State: Also has a great voice, but uses too many cliches/overused phrases to try and fire up the crowd i.e. “That’s another WILDCAT [pause while waiting for crowd to yell "First Down"]” I also noticed several crucial errors in identifying opposing players – for instance, identifying Aldon Smith as someone else, or completely missing Sean Weatherspoon for someone else. Not sure if you can hear him in this, but it’s worth a try.
Schools I have not heard: Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Baylor, Nebraska, Colorado. For the sake of this article, we’ll assume they fill slots 5-11 as I leave the schools below out for a reason.
11) Name unknown, Oklahoma: Not a very good voice, occasionally to the point of irritation for listeners and fans. His voice was monotone and lacking depth. He had decent form and phrasing, but I do recall him saying Chase “Daniels” instead of Daniel, a crucial mistake for any announcer’s credibility. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but he sounded like a less enthusiastic Alex Anthony (New York Mets’ PA announcer)
12) Name unknown, Iowa State: Probably the worst PA guy I’ve heard call a football game at any level. While it could be a symptom of a bad sound system, the guy sounded like he was literally screaming into the microphone. To make matters worse, he used every cliche in the book – from “THAT’S ANOTHER CYCLONNNNNNNNNNNNEEEE FIRST DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!” again, literally SCREAMING into the microphone, while on defensive 3rd downs, shouting “IT’S 3RD DOWN AND ___ MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!!!” Overall, very irritating – and it’s unforgivable to announce like that if you don’t have the voice for it. You can kind of get a sense of this guy from this: