SI has a nice profile this week of hockey's undisputed signature voice, Mike "Doc" Emrick. The story picked up some of the things that make Emrick a great play-by-player: his research, his enthusiasm, his longevity.
But the way Emrick announces a game wasn't mentioned in the SI story, and that's what makes him distinctive and great. Consider the above video, from last night's Game 1. He cracks and squeaks and roars. It's a voice that calls up an older era of sports broadcasting, without sounding like a man talking around his cigarette. Pat Summerall was raspier at age 15, I'm sure, than Emrick ever will be.
You can divide the play-by-play landscape into four types: There are the winning voices in empty suits (Mike Tirico, Jim Nantz), the children of legends (Joe Buck, Kenny Albert, Chip Caray, Thom Brenneman), and the all-purpose relics (Dicks Enberg and Stockton). And then there are the excitables. People around these parts and elsewhere fell in love with Gus Johnson over the past five years—he was the screaming yin to Buck's self-serious yang. But, lord, he always had to show off.