Bucks Diary

Friday, March 02, 2007

Paschke and McGlocklin: 20 years of "Beauty!"

If there is one thing that has made this miserable Bucks season bareable to watch, its the team's TV duo of play-by-play announcer Jim Paschke and color commentator Jon McGlocklin. This season is their 20th year together telecasting to BucksNation. For an entire generation of fans who have grown up in Wisconsin, the two have collectively been the Voice of Bucks basketball. Paschke and McGlocklin. They are -- to borrow McGlocklin's locally famous catchphrase -- a couple of "beauties".

Those of you who live outside Milwaukee probably aren't too familiar with Jim Paschke. Let me describe him to you. He is a pure Milwaukeean if there ever was one. Plain and simple. His attitude, his look, his delivery, even his name (PASH-kee)... vintage Milwaukee.

He knows his basketball, too. And over the past couple of years I've noticed his commentary has gotten more and more biting (witness his vigorous rebuke of the NBA for not including Michael Redd on the All-Star team -- "Why does it seem like on every close call Milwaukee always gets the shaft?"), which I like.

If there is one thing I can fault him for, though -- and its a minor point at that -- it has to be his obsession with the all-too-obvious "If _____ scores 100 points or more, their record is ____" statistic and the inverse "If _____ allows 100 points or more, their record is _____". He gives that baby every night! As soon as either the Bucks or their opponent get near 100, no matter the actual circumstance of the particular game, as sure as shit, he's going to lay it on you. Even Jonny Mac has taken to ribbing him about it ("You couldn't wait to get that out, could you?"). It cracks me up.

And speaking of Jonny Mac, well, he simply is Mr. Milwaukee Bucks. The Godfather of BucksNation. He was there when the whole crazy thing started, and he's stuck around through the thick years and, more recently, through the thin years. He's great in the Milwaukee community and his passion for the Bucks seems limitless. He may be a Hoosier born and raised, but I bet if you tapped one of his veins his blood would come out a mixture of Forest Green and "Sophisticated" Red. That's why his number 14 will rightfully hang forever from the rafters of whatever gym the Bucks call home.

As a commentator, he roots hard for the Bucks (I don't think he's ever seen them commit a legitimate foul), but he also never refrains from pointed criticism when it is warranted (he's famous for imploring the Bucks to "Close out on him! He's a shooter!"). Jonny Mac's ultimate trademark, though, and he's done this since I started watching the Bucks, is what I call the "Jonny Mac Implausible Victory Scenario". Those who have listened to him through the years know exactly what I'm talking about, but for the uninitiated, let me give you an example.

The Bucks are down by x amount of points... let's say 10... with less than five minutes to go. The game seems out of reach, but the Bucks just made a positive play (a steal, a lay-up, or better yet, a three-pointer). Against all betting logic, Jonny Mac will see (through his Green and Red tinted glasses, no doubt) an implausible route to certain victory.

"Beauty! Okay, you've got it down to seven, now if we can just get two stops on the defensive end, and a couple of three pointers back on this end, then you've made it a one possession game. See? At that point, I like the Bucks chances. But you've got to really bear down now and get stops. I can't stress that enough." The Bucks get one stop. "Okay Jim, they've gotten the one stop they needed to get. Now, what's important is, come down on this end and get a good shot. You'd ideally like a three, but if they can at least get a two, they've got a chance." The Bucks throw up an airball. "Okay, now its tough, but not impossible. There's still time... its not over yet, Jim. If you can get a quick steal or a turnover on the defensive end, and convert it quickly on offense... remember, we need to score quickly... then you can at least get into the chase-and-foul game, and hopefully have them miss their throws."

You get the picture. He's great. Actually, they both are. I'm glad the Bucks have them calling games. Here's to 20 more years of "Beauty!".


At March 1, 2007 at 11:11 PM, Anonymous crkone said...

Don't forget Jon's infamous "Window of Opportunity" phrase.

At March 1, 2007 at 11:15 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

Yes! Yes!

At March 2, 2007 at 11:30 AM, Blogger coach said...

i expect a good game today . the raps are ready foe charlie v !


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