Who misses Gil Santos and Geno Cappelletti?
The New England Patriots have a new radio broadcast team after the Santos-Cappelletti duo reigned the airwaves for 28 incredible years. Replacing Cappelletti prior to the 2012 season was Zolak, the former Patriots backup to Drew Bledsoe who went 3-4 as a starter in his career, mostly with New England.
Now he's in the booth. And damned glad to be there, apparently.
You might have heard a little something about the Patriots pulling off a stunner Sunday. And if you were listening to the radio broadcast, you also heard about unicorns and show ponies.
Zolak, who apparently employs an excitable style on the mic, gave us 50 seconds worth of C.S. Lewis-quality air candy to chew on after Tom Brady hit Kenbrell Thompkins for the game-winning score in the waning seconds. Here's our play-by-play of his call (with Zolak comments in boldface, time-coded for your listening and reading pleasure):
New play-by-play announcer Bob Socci sets it up: Brady in the gun. Brandon Bolden, Austin Collie and Thompkins to his left; Michael Hoomanawanui to the right. Brady throws and hits Thompkins for the miracle touchdown. Garden-variety excitement ensues.
"Brady's back! (:15) ... That's your quarterback! (:18)"
Nothing shocking here. Standard, excited homerism after an insane finish. Fans eat this stuff up.
"Who left the building?! (:21)"
OK, now Zolak is calling out the scores of fans who left Gillette early, likely wanting to get a jump on ALCS, Game 2. Semi-understandable, though risky, even at those gouging prices the NFL charges for tickets.
"Unicorns! (:23) ... Show ponies! (:24)"
Uhh, what? Were these in his head, or on the field? Did Zolak have a cold bev once he saw everyone streaming for the exits? We're all for colorful calls, but this one took a turn for the weird at that moment.
Unicorns and Show Ponies — you can start minting those XXXL t-shirts in your mother's basement, like, right now.
"Where's the beef?! (:26)"
Now Zolak is bringing back a 29-year old Wendy's hamburger commercial as he, you know, tries to reel it back to sane, earthly, ongoing topics.
"Boy, when you thought you'd seen it all (:32) ... when it's total dispair (:35) ..."
Ah, yes, Scott, this is more like it. The game. THE GAME!
"Fourteen years in the league! (:39) ... This situation after situation (sic) he's been through ... (:41)"
Almost a sentence. Go on ...
"And to elevate a rookie! (:48)"
Like ... Brady physically lifted Thompkins in the air? Metaphorically? So confusing.
"My god (:50)"
Aaaaaaaand, scene. We've given you plenty. Zolak took us on a minute-long ride that was more horrific and strange than the Willy Wonka psycho-trip-out tunnel ride. There's no earthly way of knowing ... which direction we are going — the new motto for a Zolak broadcast. Ratings better be through the roof for Patriots at New York Jets next week.