As sports fans in Wisconsin, we are truly blessed with the talent we hear in the booth for every game. Play-by-play guys like Wayne Larrivee, Jim Paschke, and Bob Uecker make up a truly hall of fame list just in our state. Each of those guys deserve all of the recognition that they receive, but one guy who deserves the same recognition, and perhaps gets taken for granted due to not having similar longevity, is Brian Anderson.
On January 10th, 2007, Brian Anderson was named as the Brewers play-by-play announcer and immediately he was the voice of something special. In 2007, the Brewers finished 83-79, their first winning season in 15 years. Even though the Brewers missed the playoffs that year, everyone knew what was possible in 2008 and that was making the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. It wasn’t easy; from September 1st to September 20th of that season the Brewers would go 4-15 and were staring heartbreak in the face. They would miraculously end up finishing the last 7 games 6-1 which turned out to be one of the most entertaining weeks ever played by a baseball team. Brian Anderson was the voice of every single crucial moment for those watching on television: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH5pTk6Vvr8
All of BA’s calls in those moments still give me chills. I was 15 years old, and had never experienced anything like this before in regards to the Brewers. BA is far too professional to show any kind of bias on his calls but, with circumstances like these, you could tell he knew that what was happening meant everything to the fans of Milwaukee. I don’t know if he’d ever admit it, but that voice crack during Braun’s two run shot in the bottom of the eighth against the Cubs makes me believe there was some genuine heartfelt emotion in that call.
As unbelievable as 2008 was for Milwaukee, it’s impossible to forget the whirlwind that was the 2011 season. It was a season where the Brewers were seemingly all in, and looked to make a deep run in October. With additions like Zack Greinke, Shawn Marcum, and yes T Plush, it was a year that will be in every Brewers fan’s heart for many years. And like 2008, every important at bat, pitch, or defensive play in that season had BA on call. Whether it be his “Oh my good… oh my goodness!” in reaction to Yuni B’s behind the back flip to Weeks for one of the best double plays I’ve ever seen or his emphatic “Ballgame!” after every walk off, BA made everything feel that much bigger. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUWP3gIM5J0)
As many of you may know, Brian Anderson is often tabbed as the national Sunday broadcaster for TBS and has a national deal with Turner. Not only that, he has done many nationally televised playoff series’ as well. On October 6th, 2010, BA was on the call for game one of the NLDS between the Phillies and the Reds, what would happen that night is one of the most historic moments in playoff history. Roy Halladay would go on to throw a no hitter, only the second in MLB postseason history. It almost feels like wherever Brian Anderson goes, drama is sure to follow. More evidence of that is the 2015 playoff series between the Bucks and the Bulls, you remember Jerryd Bayless’ buzzer beater right? Do you remember who was on the call for TNT? Yep, it was Brian Anderson. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YR_IPC43RY) As I said before, BA is too professional to show any bias in any of his calls, especially not on national TV, but I’m sure he was happy for us in Milwaukee.
With Brian Anderson being the talent that he is, it’s no surprise that he would be on call for March Madness. With his penchant for calling huge moments, was it any surprise he was there for the second round game between Wisconsin and Xavier in 2016? We all know how it ended; Koenig hits the buzzer beater in the corner to advance the Badgers to the Sweet 16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtLCqvqO1nk
At this point, it almost feels like destiny that we were given Brian Anderson. In 2007, the sports Gods said “Here is Brian Anderson, he will be the voice for walk offs, buzzer beaters, and any other clutch moments your teams have. You’re welcome” and I’m thankful. I’m thankful because great commentary can make boring games entertaining. I’m thankful because not a lot of people are eager to come to small markets like Milwaukee, and even less stay. Brian Anderson signed an extension with Fox Sports Wisconsin in 2016 and he said he wants to make sure that they don’t regret their decision of signing him in 2007. Nobody would ever regret that decision. He’s given us 10 amazing seasons, and I hope 11 is the best one yet.