Joe Buck's call of Case Keenum's game-winning TD pass to Stefon Diggs was perfect.
1. I've long said that Joe Buck has become a great announcer and yesterday featured more proof. Buck raised his game in the fourth quarter when the Vikings and Saints kept exchanging leads and then he finished off his performance with a great call of Case Keenum's stunning game-winning 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs.
It starts with the excitement in his voice when Diggs makes the catch, it quickly goes to complete shock when screams, "DIGGS!" as he realized the receiver isn't going out of bounds, but heading toward the end zone, followed by "TOUCHDOWN" and "UNBELIEVABLE." A perfect call from start to finish as you'll see below.
It's been quite a couple of years for Buck, who has repeatedly risen to the occasion while calling the biggest games in the NFL and MLB.
Just a sampling of some of his most memorable recent calls:
• Indians' Raja Davis ties up Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cubs with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
• Aaron Rodgers completes a Hail Mary at the end of the first half against the Giants in a 2017 wild-card game.
• Astros infielder Yuli Gurriel hits a three-run home run off Clayton Kershaw to tie Game 5 of the World Series.
• Later in the same game, Jose Altuve hits a three-run shot to tie the game.
A lot of people have come around on Buck, but some still refuse to give him his due. Yes, earlier in his career, criticism was valid. We all know about the over-the-top outrage regarding the Randy Moss TD celebration.
And yes, his call of David Tyree's outrageous catch in the Super Bowl left a lot to be desired.
But Buck has improved immensely since then. We've also since learned he had a lot of trouble with his vocal cords in previous seasons. Things are totally different now. He does a solid job on the nuts-and-bolts play-by-play stuff and has brought the right level of excitement to every game and call that he makes. He's hit his stride over the past few years and if you're being fair and being objective, he's become one of the best play-by-play men ever.
2. More on the call of Diggs' touchdown. Kevin Harlan called the game on radio and his call was excellent, as well.
And here's the local Minnesota radio call.
The radio call from the New Orleans local broadcast did not feature the same kind of excitement. It just featured pain.
3. Yes, we have a Jim Ross version of the Diggs catch.
4. Here's Diggs' touchdown getting the Titanic treatment.
5. Here's the Tecmo Bowl version of the play.
6. Nick Foles and Case Keenum, who face off Sunday in the NFC title game, are connected in quite a way.
Eagles traded N. Foles to Rams for S. Bradford. Foles lost his job in St. Louis, C. Keenum takes over. Eagles draft C. Wentz and trade Bradford to Minn. Vikings sign Keenum, who replaces injured Bradford. Foles returns to Philly, replaces injured Wentz. Now, Foles vs. Keenum.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) January 15, 2018
7. This has instantly becomes one of the most iconic sports photos of all time.
8. We've found the one Vikings fan not impressed by what happened yesterday.
9. The latest Off The Board podcast features an interview with author James Andrew Miller, who makes the claim that John Skipper did not leave his role as President of ESPN because of a substance addiction, but because he was pushed out by Disney higher ups. Miller also talks about ESPN's big problem with Monday Night Football and reveals the darkest time in ESPN's history. He also talks about the supbar season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the Sopranos and more. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.
10. This was pretty much the best thing I saw on the Internet over the weekend.
*shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* *shithole* pic.twitter.com/xVM2v0bgW5— VICE News (@vicenews) January 12, 2018
Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here. And check out Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board."
BONUS ITEM: Pour one out for my colleague and frequent Off The Board guest, Daniel Rapaport, who bet a Jaguars/Saints money line parlay and then bet the Saints +800 when they were down 17-0.