Kevin Harlan is a two-time National Sportscaster of the Year and has been one of the preeminent radio and TV broadcasters for three decades. The 60-year-old Wisconsin native has worked Super Bowls, Final Fours, Monday Night Football, and the NBA playoffs. He called the Minneapolis Miracle, Kawhi Leonard’s game-winner in 2019, and, most importantly, the “bare-chested” fan’s sprint during the fourth quarter of a miserable Monday Night Football opener in 2016.
While Harlan is widely regarded as one of the greatest television and radio voices of all time, arguably more widely lauded as the man who delivers the best of the worst, including the call from September 12, 2016.
“You never go into it planning, if a squirrel runs onto the field or a fat, naked guy is out there doing somersaults, what am I going to say? You never think of that,” Harlan told his daughter Olivia Harlan Dekker on the Unleashed podcast.
“When I’m doing these games, I am so lost in the game. I am so into every detail of the game. And when you get lost in something and you’re so immersed in it, you are just reacting to the next thing that happens. And you do it in an out-of-body, subconscious way like you’re not thinking about what you’re even saying.”
Later in 2016, he was saying, “Ohhhhhhh! Did you see that tackle?” as a New Jersey state trooper throttled a runaway fan during an Indianapolis Colts-New York Jets game. In 2019, he delivered the black cat call during a New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game, and in February at the Super Bowl, his “Pull up those pants!” call went viral.
“When you are doing radio, you are looking for every detail on the field . . . you’re trying to paint this unbelievable picture because you want to give the listener everything that the viewer is seeing,” he explained on this week’s episode of Unleashed. When these things happen, whether it’s a cat on the field or a couple drunk guys rolling across the field . . . you just pick it up.”
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