My Unreasonable Love of Kevin Harlan

Back in college, I was part of a one-act play. It was sort of a “Friday Night Lights” story about a high school football coach under great pressure for reasons I can’t remember. Just pressure to win maybe? Perhaps he was starting his son and dodging nepotism allegations? I don’t remember anymore.

I got a short scene as the coach’s son, but my favorite part came at the end. The “big game” against MacGuffin High had ended in victory, but we had to let the audience know without portraying any actual football.

The solution? Radio. I stood just off-stage, breaking down the game’s action. My Kevin Harlan Voice was like the only choice I could make. It was a knock-off at best, but it was still enough to garner compliments for a “great announcer voice.”

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I have an unreasonable love of Kevin Harlan.

Some of it comes from my formative sports years. 90’s NBA was the greatest era of any sport, but it was about as much part of that era as The War at Home was part of the Third Golden Age of Television. Although the hometown Minnesota Timberwolves were terrible, they did have Kevin Harlan calling the action. After all, they’re called your formative years for a reason. If there’s a voice in your ear taking about a thing you love, you’re probably going to love that voice.

And what a voice! It’s that deep, beautiful baritone that lends instant credibility to anything. The sort of voice that if you heard it calling squirrel waterskiing on The Ocho, you’d be like “Whoa…This waterskiing is really important and I immediately buy into the narrative.”

It’s not just “the voice,” however. Continue reading

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