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The 12 Most Memorable Play-by-Play Calls of the Decade

Jalen Watts-Jackson
Michigan State v Michigan | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As the decade comes to a close it's important to look back at all the play-by-play calls that inspired us over these 10 years. Well, maybe it's not all that important, but it is fun. Remembering and honoring all of them is a tall task. The following list is nothing if not a jumping-off point to recalling some calls on your own.

Joe Buck, David Freese's Walk-off in Game 6 2011 World Series

This promises to be a stiff competition, but Buck using the same call his father, Jack, used after Kirby Puckett's walk-off homer in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series gave us all the chills. It was simple, elegant, and pitch-perfect. One of the best broadcasting moments of all time, let alone the past 10 years.

Jim Nantz, Kris Jenkins' Buzzer-Beater Gives Villanova National Title

Talk about the perfect source material. This one is great because it's sort of chaotic. Grant Hill interjects before the big shot and Nantz seems so much more passionate than he typically gets as explosions go off. It felt like we were there, with him, reacting in real time to an objectively wild moment.

Rod Bramblett, Auburn-Alabama Kick Six

Arguably the most exciting moment of the decade, Bramblett captured the mind-boggling realization that this was, in fact, happening. They did not keep em off the field that night.

Mike Breen, Ray Allen 3 ties Spurs

The Heat were on the ropes, down 3-2 in the NBA Finals against the Spurs, and down three points in the closing seconds. Mike Breen immaculately captured the chaos that led to Ray Allen's clutch, game-tying three-pointer. His signature Bang! has never been more appropriate.

Paul Allen, The Minneapolis Miracle

Paul Allen's radio call for Stefon Diggs' improbable touchdown to put the Vikings over the Saints was the type of true joy that reminds us that championships aren't the only thing that matter along the journey in sports. He immediately coined the play the Minneapolis Miracle, and that will be its title for the rest of time.

Jim Nantz, 2019 Masters Tournament

The "return to glory." The best sports moment of the decade was Tiger Woods returning to his former self and winning the Masters. And the voice of Jim Nantz will forever be ingrained in the memory of it. The legendary sportscaster captured the moment and intensified the win. As Joe Buck did in 2016 when the Cubs won the World Series, Nantz let the emotions of the fans tell its story. Sometimes, in these historic moments, it's not when the play-by-play commentators say, it's what they don't say when the celebration begins.

Kevin Harlan, Idiot on the Field

Kevin Harlan has made a cottage industry of quirky calls. Whether it's idiots on the field, cats on the field, or baby races, Harlan always adds some spice to the situation and it invariably goes viral. Arguably, this call of an elusive fan evading security 10 yards at a time before ultimately meeting his demise is the pick of the litter.

Ian Darke, Landon Donovan Saves USA Against Algeria

The United States was down its final chance and Landon Donovan made the very best of it, cleaning up a loose ball and rocketing into the back of the net. Darke's soaring commentary is the exact and only moment soccer was the most popular sport stateside.

Adam Amin, Notre Dame Stuns UConn

This is just pure joy. The mix of professionalism but humanity on display from all three here is awesome stuff.

Mike Breen, LeBron James Blocks Andrew Iguodala

One of the most spectacular plays of the decade during one of the biggest games of the decade featuring the current voice of the NBA. It's a great call by Breen who legitimately is thrilled by the moment and it doesn't even involve his signature "BANG!"

Joe Tessitore, Texas Is Back

Tessitore's epic call of the game-winning touchdown in the Longhorns' season-opening upset of Notre Dame in 2016 could have been the turning point in program history. Instead, it was just another person getting excited about Texas showing life on a football field. In the moment though, it was a great call.

Sean McDonough, Michigan State Beats Michigan On Botched Punt

Michigan just had to not do what they did and the final play surprised everyone, including Sean McDonough. His excitement and disbelief show through as his voice cracks and Michigan State barreled into the end zone for the most improbable victory.