If March Madness has a spokesman, it has to be Gus Johnson. The high-energy, highly-YouTubed basketball play-by-play man for CBS and the Big Ten Network (among others) makes this time of year crazier. And more exciting for fans everywhere.
Johnson’s game calls get hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits. His energy is contagious and can turn ho-hum games into “Ha-HA!” ones. If you haven’t seen (and heard) the Gus Johnson Soundboard site, it’s a must-visit for Gus Johnson fans.
As Bob Cohn of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review put it:
Johnson lends his voice to the NFL, college football, boxing and just about anything where there are winners and losers, including video games.
But Mr. Johnson’s voice is not heard on the social platform I believe is made for him: Twitter. And that’s a shame.
OK, so he’s kind of a busy guy. Between college and pro sports, endorsements, family life – he’s got to have a life.
But judging by the people in my social circle – and by the buzz he creates this time of year – Gus Johnson would be a huge hit on Twitter. He’s highly trained in being succint. To the point. One-hundred forty characters would be a perfect fit.
Who wouldn’t want his thoughts after calling last weekend’s PAC 10 overtime thriller between Arizona and Washington. Johnson’s description of the game-winning shot by Washington’s Isaiah Thomas was epic.
“You can tell he loves the game,” Villanova Coach Jay Wright told the New York Times this week. “He gives you a fan’s excitement and an analyst perspective.”
So I’m greedy, and I want more. If Gus Johnson brought that same excitement and authenticity to Twitter, he’d be a huge sensation for fans in a whole new medium. He’s nearly perfect for Twitter – certainly more than most announcers, athletes, coaches or others in any sport.
I hope he gets the message, because Twitter needs Gus Johnson.
Thanks for being a fan.