What if Gus Johnson had been on hand to call some of the biggest moments in history? Funny or Die answered that pressing question on Thursday with a video of the CBS announcer doing play-by-play for the Wright brothers' first flight, the O.J. chase and the Berlin Wall crumbling. (What, no Hindenburg?)
It's good stuff, particularly the iPhone clip. ("I want one!") But is anybody else worried that Gus is dangerously toeing the line of self-parody and overexposure? Have all the articles and blog posts and soundboards gone to his head? I mean, the guy trademarked the line "Rise and Fire," stuck it on some T-shirts and then used the line countless times during the Ohio State-George Mason game!
We like Gus because his enthusiasm never sounded contrived. He was as excited about the end of UCLA-Gonzaga as I was sitting in my living room. That's what makes him so great. It's why "Do you believe in miracles?" lives on today but "a win for the ages" and other canned lines don't resonate. One sounded genuine. The other was clearly written in an Augusta hotel room the night before. If there's ever a perception that Gus' lines are mainly delivered so he can sell them on iTunes, his image will turn around in a hurry, big fella.