Most of the time, this weekly department that serves as my outlet for blatant fanboying (or believing the sky is falling, depending on how many rebounds Myles Turner had the previous week) contains a good bit of actual basketball analysis.
But get yourself a tall glass of Kinetico water and wash down your meal of smothered chicken, because this week it’s time for nothing but praise for the best local announcing duo in sports, Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner of Fox Sports Indiana, whose dulcet tones and willingness to avoid too-blatant homerism (Tommy Heinsohn in Boston, looking squarely at you) make Pacers games so much better on local than on national TV that I’m genuinely bummed out when I have to deal with TNT or (gulp) ESPN for an Indiana game.
At least TNT is nice enough to send Reggie Miller along most of the time, but Reggie’s no Quinn Buckner.
And at least ESPN has the GOAT sideline reporter in Doris Burke, but I’d still rather hear Jeremiah Johnson’s voice with its infectious enthusiasm interviewing Pacers players.
It probably also helps that the Pacers are 41-22 on local TV and 3-5 when their games are broadcast on ESPN or TNT; NBA TV, for our purposes here, doesn’t count.
Heck, the game TNT flexed off the national schedule, against Minnesota, the Pacers won, and don’t tell me the magic touch of Chris and Quinn didn’t play a role.
Behold the power of the guys calling Myles Turner’s six-block game (what, you were expecting an ode to the announcers without highlights? Breakfast for dinner time, folks.)
Or when Quinn lost his mind laughing at one of Frank Vogel’s best Frank Vogel Face moments…
Speaking of things that crack Quinn up, there’s Chris as a human bowling ball in 2013, and this clip is just so much fun that whoever thought to stick it up on YouTube deserves all the bonus internets we can give him:
Denari is the consummate professional, a man who always comes prepared, hits his spots, reads the promos flawlessly, night in and night out.
It’s easy to forget that the PBP guy doesn’t always have to be the straight man—although Chris is certainly that when he sets up Quinn for a good rant or a piece of analysis—but can bring the funny himself once in awhile.
It’s great that Indiana’s gotten some national TV exposure this year after just one national game in 2017-18.
And don’t get me wrong, Kevin Harlan and Mike Breen are both fantastic play-by-play guys in their own right, veterans as they are of Minnesota and New York, respectively.
But there’s nothing like a Pacers game on local TV, Fox Sports Indiana, streamed via League Pass all the way to the home office here in Seattle.
(and if you think this wasn’t a transparent attempt by me to avoid having to talk about the implications of a brutal stretch of schedule, you don’t know me very well.)
Go Pacers. Grab a win or two on that road trip, huh?