Al McCoy Still On Top Of His Game
The following appeared in the Arizona Republic's "The Heat Index" section on June 3, 2005. We thank lifetime ASA member Al McCoy for sending it in.
This is what “The Heat Index” wants to know: Where the heck is that Al McCoy bobblehead?
(Of course, we would want one that chirps “Shazam!” every time we write a sentence without misspelling a word; and “Oh, brother!” whenever the boss makes an appearance.)
Most Phoenix Suns fans probably can’t remember when McCoy wasn’t around. He has been broadcasting games for 33 years, and is a true survivor in the booth. His most memorable experience came in the 1976 Suns-Celtics championship series at Boston Garden when he had to fling a passed-out drunk off his lap as he was describing the shot by Garfield Heard that sent the game into the third of three overtimes.
This season , McCoy was at the top of his game, and he shows no signs of slowing down. He ranks a notch ahead of his Diamondbacks and Cardinals brethren, Greg Schulte, Thom Brennaman and Dave Pasch.
“I still enjoy the game,” McCoy told The Heat Index. “I enjoy the winning and competitiveness. But if you’re broadcasting for a team that’s winning…62 wins is a little more fun than 29.”
“But I’ve always said that when they throw the ball up, and I’m able to forget that the plane was late, the room wasn’t made up at the hotel, if you can forget those things and concentrate on the game, it’s still OK. When you see the great players in the NBA, it’s easy to keep your enthusiasm.”
When McCoy is teamed with analyst Eddie Johnson, it’s the best one-two broadcast punch in the Valley.
Here’s THI's look, in order, at the seven broadcasters we rank above average:
Al McCoy: His enthusiasm and knowledge mix together well, and he can analyze a situation on the fly.
Eddie Johnson: What makes Johnson so effective is that despite the fast pace of the game, he’s able to make his points accurately, and he’s not afraid to criticize players if he thinks it’s needed.
Greg Schulte: The Diamondbacks radio voice was maybe a bit overmatched when he first got the gig but not so anymore. He keeps listeners entertained, and the mistake he makes are few and far between.
Thom Brennaman: His recent frank observations may have earned him the wrath of some players, but he’s giving listeners a better show.
Dave Pasch: Although it’s not difficult to take potshots at the Cardinals, he makes his legitimate, and when they do well, he usually manages to contain his glee, likely knowing the good times won’t last long.
Matt Williams: In his brief forays into the booth, Williams provides solid information, and he doesn’t try to impress listeners by coming across as an insider.
Mark Grace: Has been doing a better job of late combining humor with his baseball acumen, and his analysis has been deeper than in the past.