Sportscaster Gus Johnson: 'I despise hearing my voice'


As the host of the RADIO.COM Sports Fantasy Football Show and the occasional play-by-play announcer for various Franklin & Marshall College sports, I've heard my own voice from time to time. It's excruciating. What I sound like through a speaker simply is not what I sound like through my ears as the sound waves are leaving my mouth. I don't get what's happening, I don't get why it works that way and I don't get why I hate it so much. But that's just the way it is.

And if you've never heard of Franklin and Marshall, get on that. We're taking the world of Division III athletics by storm.

Back to the primary point of this article, though. If you've heard your voice via some device that isn't your own mouth, you've probably experienced a similar phenomenon. We're not alone. Even the most acclaimed sports announcers in the world feel the same way, according to Gus Johnson.

"I never watch games. I never watch. I hate it," Johnson told Chris Long on the "Green Light with Chris Long" podcast. "I despise hearing my voice. I despise it... that's everybody, though. You can ask Joe Buck and Jim Nantz and Al Michaels, they probably [all do]."

Yes, this Gus Johnson despises his own voice.

But, no, he doesn't always sound like that. Long asked him if he and other broadcasters are able to flip the switch to turn their announcing voice on and off.

"Yeah. We're journalists, sports journalists, but we're also entertainers to a certain degree, and we're actors in a way," Johnson explained. "You know, because you want to play to everybody. You know, the midwest, you want to kind of have a standard way of speaking when you're calling the game, which is going to be archived."

Listening to some other broadcasters when they're off-air but in a podcast setting — like Joe Buck on his "Daddy Issues" podcast, for instance — do actually sound very similar. But when you've got a voice like Joe Buck, you can't really fake it.

With that said, I think it'd be interesting to interview a number of famous sports commentators and compare and contrast their everyday voices with their broadcasting personas. For Johnson, the difference is pretty stark. And no, we don't "despise" hearing it.

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