The following article about Joey Zanaboni '09, written by Ted Berg, was published in USA Today on April 24, 2019.
There’s far too little joy in Major League Baseball broadcasts. If you’ve been watching the sport regularly over the past couple of years, you probably already know this. And it’s hardly an issue for every person paid to announce ball games – even some of the ex-players you might guess would be stodgy still demonstrate lots of enthusiasm for a game now played at a higher level than ever before.
But I watch a whole lot of baseball, and far too much of it is soundtracked by people who spend so much time wringing their hands and talking about the old days that it seems like they’d rather be just about anywhere else. And that’s frustrating, because I love baseball.
So does this guy: Joey Zanaboni is a play-by-play man for the Division II University of West Florida Argos. And thanks to the wonders of reddit, his broadcasting highlight reel is making the rounds on the internet today. It’s silly and ridiculous and extremely fun.
This feels like what Monday Night Football was hoping for when it put comedian Dennis Miller in the booth so many years ago. Zanaboni’s quips sound like they’re pre-scripted, but – unlike Miller’s on football – they’re genuinely funny, they’re accessible, and they highlight the announcer’s earnest appreciation for the sport.
Some highlights: “Living in the Gap like an overzealous clothing store employee.” “Doing glovework like he’s building a business on Etsy.” “Defense hotter than a shingles outbreak at a Longhorn Steakhouse.” “Recycling him like the cornstarch utensils at a PETA staff mixer.”
And so on. Zanaboni’s pinned Twitter profile tweet contains his statement of purpose:
Joey Zanaboni | @joey_zana
I want to be the first real millennial sports announcer who reflects the endless optimism, relentless anxiety and glorious randomness of this generation. We were raised on iPhones and smart toilets and Family Guy. Mine is not a toast to the world as it was, but as it is. #LCRR
Someone should totally hire this guy to broadcast Major League Baseball games. Baseball is beautiful, stupid, random fun, and so are all these calls. Plus, I want to know more about Zanaboni’s Uncle Gary.
Here are some more highlights from his YouTube: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/04/joey-zanaboni-college-baseball-announcer-jokes-so-many-jokes-mlb
“Making it disappear over the wall like Colton in that uncomfortable episode of The Bachelor.”
That’s topical, timely humor, folks. This guy is tuned in like Uncle Gary during a late night Cops marathon. Or something. I don’t know.