Back when I was running my old site Ballin’ is a Habit, Gus Johnson was still at CBS and still calling NCAA tournament games.
We gave him the moniker ‘Mr. March Madness‘ because, well, it just fit. The most important part of being a play-by-play announcer is having a feel and understanding of the moment, and there was nothing Gus know how to do better than get hyped and let those golden pipes loose on a big shot or emphatic dunk.
While I think he’ll be excellent as a soccer broadcaster — once he gets a feel for the terminology and the rules of the game, his verbal eruptions when a big goal is scored will be utterly perfect — it won’t change the fact that we’ll miss Gus in March.
He’s doing the Big Ten tournament first round and quarterfinals on the Big Ten Network (it’s owned by FOX, who is his current employer), but it just won’t be the same.
And you know what’s great? Gus misses college hoops, too:
It isn’t easy for him to watch the NCAA tournament with a remote. “It’s emotional,” Johnson tells USA TODAY Sports. “It was a big part of my life for 15 years. The NCAA tournament made me. … Yes, it’s emotional. Yes, I miss it. Yes, I’d like to be a part of it.” But, he says, “this is a business. And I’m glad I’m at Fox.”
Oh, that makes me feel so much better.
We miss you, Gus.
I’m glad you miss us, too.