10.24.2010

Fun with Paul Allen

Fun fact: our beloved voice of the Wisconsin Badgers was once offered the opportunity to become the voice of the Minnesota Vikings. And believe it or not, Matt Lepay (left) was ready to accept the job, on one condition: he be allowed to continue to call Badger football and basketball games as well. Thankfully they said no deal, and not only do we still have the man I consider the best play-by-play man in either sport to ourselves, but the Vikings got Paul Allen (right), and Allen has a few on-air gems I'd like to share.

First, we have a game which is very close to the hearts of Packer fans everywhere. Remember the 2003 playoffs? Well, do you remember how Green Bay got in? If not, let me refresh your
memory.

Thanks to the Vikings blowing the last game on the last play with no time on the clock against the Cardinals, the Packers won the NFC North. The Packers then welcomed Cardinal receiver Nate Poole to their first round home playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks the following week as a thank you for showing the Vikings the door.

But here is how Vikings fans everywhere undoubtedly remember it:


How epic is that call? He sounds like he just found out Darth Vader is his father. My favorite part is the silence which fills the screams of despair. I like to think he's making good use of the cough button as he shouts profanities, but it could just as well be him searching for the right words and coming up with nothing but the simplest negative in the world: No.

A six year drought followed that call, but The Gunslinger's arrival has brought plenty of drama, both good and bad. Not that I need to remind Packer fans of this. I think the next one speaks for itself, as it's become pretty well known.


Perfection. The bewildered tone with which he narrates hides the true frustration bubbling underneath, which then explodes in spectacular fashion. Currently my favorite part is when he says, "You can take a KNEE," but honestly I change my mind on this constantly. That's the sign of something truly timeless.

The last call is more recent, coming in a Monday night game with the New York Jets. The game was again overtime, and Brett gifted Paul Allen with another fatal interception.


You can tell he's come a long way from the '03 Cardinals game. He's finally grown beyond primal screaming and expresses his frustration through atonal resignation, which is more in touch with the Viking fan base, which ebbs and flows like the tide. The entertainment value isn't as high, but as a Packer fan I can take enjoyment in his reaction to a Favre failure, and I sincerely hope a fourth can be added to this after the game tonight.

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