Post Your Favorite Johnny Most Lines Here

jacklamabe65

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"Gene Shue just gave his Bullets' players an armful of tire irons so that they may attack anything out there in green and white....knowing that Mendy Rudolph will call it 'justifiable homicide!'"
 

jacklamabe65

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"Big Red snags the rebound, and gets absolutely cuffed in the stomach by Kareem! Oh my goodness! But, of course, Jake O'Donnell isn't calling anything because there's no blood on the court! Do you believe that?"
 

jacklamabe65

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"Oscar gets the rebound...... and puts his left elbow right in the face of Satch Sanders! Right in the face! And Manny Sobel has the nerve to call a foul on 'The Lord!' The audacity! Well, ladies and gentlemen, those of us who have been blessed to see him in the flesh know that Oscar Robertson would never, ever commit a foul!"
 

jacklamabe65

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"I just got hit by a bagel! They're throwing things at me, ladies and gentlemen, because the fans here at the Civic Center are frustrated that their shabby, mediocre 76ers team invariably loses to the Celtics!"
 

Sprowl

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McFilthy and McNasty, referring to Ruland and Mahorn.


Least favorite line, due to overuse and exhaustion: Havlicek stole the ball.
 

Jjer

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"Big Ralph Sampson picking on the littler people. I’m Ralph Sampson and I’ve got the right to break your head."
 

snowmanny

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I heard him say something pretty close to the following during the 1981 Finals:

"Off the rim and ROBERT PARISH GOT HAMMERED BY MALONE!!! They were going for the rebound and Robert got HAMMERED!!! And that's a foul on Moses. WAIT A MINUTE what are they doing??? THEY ARE CALLING THE FOUL ON ROBERT!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? MOSES MALONE SLAMMED PARISH AND THEY CALLED THE FOUL ON ROBERT and MALONE will go to the line!!! Oh this is just Ridiculous!!! And Moses Misses the first one! Malone is in such SHOCK that the foul wasn't called on him that he missed the free throw!"

Edit: I have to say, he would get me pretty worked up about the awful officiating. I remember my brother asking me the score of a game and I said "They're losing by five but the refs have been just terrible" and he gave me a look like I was an idiot and said "aren't you listening to the game on the radio?" and then I realized I was, in fact, an idiot. But I was still pretty worked up.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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“I want to see him [Malone] fight Bird face-to-face…because he won’t fight anybody face-to-face…Malone came up from behind…a real, yellow, cowardly act…Malone is a coward – I mean I say that irrevocably – Malone is a coward!”
 

Dick Pole Upside

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"BARKLEY GRABS A KNIFE.... AND HE STABS McHALE!!! AND THEY CALL NOTHING!!!"

+1 on the tricky dribbling and "DJ brings the ball up... fiddes and diddles... looking for Bird... now doodles and daddles..."
 

moretsyndrome

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One of those old Pistons players, probably Laimbeer: "He's fouled everybody in the building except you and me, Glenn! Why is he still allowed to keep playing?"
 

bernardsamuel

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Thanks for opening this thread, JL65. Born in 1947, I was a little kid when Johnny Most took over Celtics announcing duties from Curt Gowdy in 1953 (I didn't know of this succession until a moment ago when I looked in Wikipedia), and I remember a year before Russell's arrival when Arnie Risen was our center. My favorite Celtics game was the final game of that first championship banner year when the Celtics came from 17 points down to beat the St. Louis Hawks. I remember living and dying with every point during that comeback, and Johnny Most's call of the game was more vivid to me than even television would have been (I was allowed to go to sleep with the radio playing, but not television, though I do not recall that the game would have been televised). I have made a note to myself to comment if any thread should arise on my favorite Fred Cusick call - my summary is that I lived in the golden age of Boston game broadcasting: Gowdy with Bob Murphy as sidekick, Fred Cusick, and Johnny Most (Gil Santos was a later arrival). Again thanks to JL65!
 

jose melendez

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I remember him just going off on Jordan whining about getting a foul called on him. He was, obviously, an insane homer, but man could he paint a picture on the radio, even if it was more impressionism than realism.
 

TheoShmeo

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No-talent? Whether you're being charitable or uncharitable, Average Reds, Johnny Most painted a picture and described the game with the best of them. He clearly knew basketball, had incredible passion and made you feel like you had the pulse of what was going on. That he was a total homer whose picture was clearly skewed to the Cs side doesn't mean he lacked talent.

I grew up in town he lived in -- Wayland -- so I used to see him a lot at Mel's Diner, one of his hangouts, and managed to get a ride home from his basketball camp with him one summer. It was quite the experience to hear, as a pre-teen, this famous voice I had listed to repeatedly unleash an epic, profanity laced tirade at another passenger who was dilly dallying before getting into the car. While not my favorite Johnny Most call, it's probably the most memorable.

The one Most-ism that comes to mind that has not been mentioned is what he would often do after a time-out.

"Allllllllll-right...." For some reason, that got my fan juices going.

I'll add to BernardSamuel's thanks for starting this thread. Lots of warm memories here.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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It's not one of his most famous calls, but let us not forget the time his cigarette ashes dropped into his lap and he caught on fire while broadcasting. Ordway was conflicted as he couldn't decide whether to continue convulsing in laughter, take over play-by-play, rescue his partner, or all of the above...
 

Mooch

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It's not one of his most famous calls, but let us not forget the time his cigarette ashes dropped into his lap and he caught on fire while broadcasting. Ordway was conflicted as he couldn't decide whether to continue convulsing in laughter, take over play-by-play, rescue his partner, or all of the above...
This is exactly what I was going to post. One of the funniest things I've ever heard on the radio.
 

jacklamabe65

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In a tribute piece to Ned Martin that I wrote for SoSH twelve years ago, I also included a section on o' Johnny as well:

It should be noted here that until the explosion of cable television in the mid-seventies, radio play-by-play dominated the local sports scene. Each of the four local professional franchises were prominently featured on 50,000 watt stations back then; the teams' announcers was as identifiable as the squads they covered. And while Ned Martin remained with the Red Sox for over three decades, there was another local announcer who lingered as his team's play-by-play man even longer than Ned Martin - the most salient homer to ever describe sports action in the Boston area - the celebrated play-by-play announcer of the Boston Celtics, Johnny Most.

As fragile buds of crocuses began to peer through the rock-strewn soil of Massachusetts each spring, a fan could easily switch from Ned's evocative eloquence to the rat-a-tat-tat of Most's unyielding, theatrical narrative - an ongoing saga in which the good guys were forever attired in the green and white. For nearly forty seasons, Johnny Most was able to describe in excruciating detail the heroic plight of a "warranted championship team" that even malevolent referees and hooligan thugs couldn't conquer. As one Boston sportswriter once commented, "John didn't broadcasting a basketball game; he thought he was narrating the 'Passion Play'."

Unlike the sedan-like quality of Ned Martin, Johnny Most's voice sounded like a car crash. He would sit, emperor-like, in his haughty perch just below the rickety third balcony at the old Boston Garden, inhaling non-filter after non-filter, creating a minefield of smoke that shrouded him in a perpetually dimming stupor. For more than two hours, Johnny would inexorably describe the proceedings taking place on the historic court below, whining over the inequalities of life even as his team won a gaudy sixteen championships in thirty years.

Amidst Buick-sized rats, plastic beer cups, and drunken louts, his grating voice and discriminating commentary became the adhesive to which legions of Celtic fans embraced in what might have been the most flourishing Off-Broadway production in history. There were very few critics; nearly every Bostonian seemed to warm to his antics like a tepid southerly breeze. An absolute original, Johnny Most made even the most irrelevant game in November seem important.

It is also certain that Johnny's exaggerated storylines knew no bounds if he was into it that night. His habit for glorious overstatement would invariably be replicated the very next day in countless schoolyards across the Boston area: "Big Red snags the rebound, and gets absolutely cuffed in the stomach by Kareem! Oh my goodness! But, of course, Jake O'Donnell isn't calling anything because there's no blood on the court! Do you believe that?"

Even the immortals wore black hats in Johnny's unambiguous world: "Oscar gets the rebound...... and puts his left elbow right in the face of Satch Sanders! Right in the face! And Manny Sobel has the nerve to call a foul on 'The Lord!' The audacity! Well, ladies and gentlemen, those of us who have been blessed to see him in the flesh know that Oscar Robertson would never, ever commit a foul!"

One night, I actually heard him bawl: "Gene Shue just gave his Bullets' players an armful of tire irons so that they may attack anything out there in green and white....knowing that Mendy Rudolph will call it 'justifiable homicide!'"

Some of the more unique Mostian broadcasts occurred away from Boston, when opposing fans learned to unmercifully bait such a polarizing figure with aplomb. Inevitably, after being peppered by coffee cups and cigarette butts throughout much of the game, Johnny would growl, "I just got hit by a bagel! They're throwing things at me, ladies and gentlemen, because the fans here at the Civic Center are frustrated that their shabby, mediocre team always loses to the Celtics!"

It's not to say that John didn't have a sense of humor. His recurrent cackle sounded like an old Dodge Dart attempting to start on an arctic January morning. When veteran NBA guard Dave Bing was traded to the C's, Johnny couldn't wait to sing out, "The ball goes out to Dave Bing. He backs up to the right of the key as Dynamite Don clears the way. It's Bing from the corner - Bing........bang!"

In the end, though, Johnny Most's calls were both original and extraordinary. His signature phrases became compulsory axioms for an entire region of basketball fans:

"This is Johnny Most high above courtside." "Cousy fiddles and diddles - now he daddles." "Outside to Sudden Sam - swish!" "Russ gets the rebound - what a play by Bill Russell!" "Jarring John tricky-dribbles with the ball..." "The Celts are fast-breaking to victory as Tiny dishes it off to Larry!" And, of course, his nightly signoff, "This is Johnny Most - bye for now."

Indeed, Johnny Most was the Puck to Ned Martin's Hamlet.
 

joe dokes

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It's not one of his most famous calls, but let us not forget the time his cigarette ashes dropped into his lap and he caught on fire while broadcasting. Ordway was conflicted as he couldn't decide whether to continue convulsing in laughter, take over play-by-play, rescue his partner, or all of the above...
In that vein, I recall reading this somewhere: he was having trouble hearing out of one ear, and the doctor found that earpiece covering had lodged there. It bore the logo of a station that hadn't broadcast Celtics games for 10 years.
 

bankshot1

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Johnny was an outrageous homer, he was our outrageous homer, BUT he also called a great game.He painted a vivid picture over my tinny transistor radio, whether it was Rapid Robert's running right-hander, BANG!, a cowardly mugging by Laimbeer, or the blind indifference to the mayhem perpetrated on the green and white by Mendy Rudolph, I felt I was there. I heard my first Most call in the ate 50s, and I must have listened to Most's smoky-raspy colorful calls from high above courtside, more than a thousand times, and can honestly say, I was never disappointed.

Thanks for starting the thread Jack.
 

Kliq

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Most was in the ground before I was born, but the man should not be compared to Hawk Harrelson. Most had more charisma in one, ash covered vocal chord than Harrelson has in his whole body. The sad thing is that there will never be another broadcaster even close to Most, with the expanse of national media the idea of someone as colorful as Most getting a big gig is laughable.
 
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Hawk Harrelson is Walter Cronkite compared to Johnny Most.

I get that you guys loved him because he was yours. But to not see him for what he was when we (on this site) regularly crucify fans in other cities for that same offense is laughable.
Now here's a guy who knows how to shit all over a tribute thread. Everyone loves the drunk heckler at a standup set!
 

bankshot1

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Hawk Harrelson is Walter Cronkite compared to Johnny Most.

I get that you guys loved him because he was yours. But to not see him for what he was when we (on this site) regularly crucify fans in other cities for that same offense is laughable.
I think you missed the obvious. Celtic fans knew exactly what he was, and loved the passion, the love and the hate he brought to his game calls. He also called a great game, and way back in the day, he was high above courtside by himself.
 

Average Reds

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After sitting here and sucking lemons all day, I have come to the conclusion that The Price is Wrong is ... right. I'm acting like quite the a-hole playing thread Grinch and I need to knock it off.

If it's not obvious, Johnny Most really got under my skin. To the point where 23 years after his death and his commentary still stings. But that's not an excuse for my boorishness, so apologies to jacklamabe65 and others and I will now withdraw.
 
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MuzzyField

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As someone who had a GE SuperRadio to grab as much sports action as I could in the 70's, Radio was my Internet. I appreciate AR's candor. It's an honest contribution to the discussion. The spewing tribute window has long closed on Most.
I always thought Most was raw and abrasive but was covered in passion and honesty from a Celtics fan view.
Marty (and later Marv) and Chick were probably technically more sound as NBA broadcasters, particularly Glickman, but I've got Most as the original game threader. You knew he cared as much, if not more as we the listening fan did .
Finally, Most's voice is the galactic counterbalance to Vin Scully's.. Brocken glass to satin sheets.
 

TheoShmeo

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For my part, reading the angry rants of a now repentant Sixers fan was fun stuff. Meaning part of Johnny's charm was exactly that: That he got under the skin of fans of other teams and was such an obvious homer.

So re-living it here in living color brought a necessary ingredient to the thread.

The only opposing broadcaster who really annoyed me was John Sterling as the Atlanta Hawks play by play man when I lived in Atlanta during the 80s. In his role as the Yankees' color man, he's more comical than off putting, at least for me.
 
Aug 10, 2005
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1981, I was 18, and the NBA finals were not broadcast live on TV but on tape delay after the late news. I listened to the Celtics radio broadcasts driving home from work in the evenings. Johnny's descriptions of the brutal muggings inflicted on Parish, McHale, Bird and the rest had me livid beyond belief. I always found basketball to be horrifically officiated, even as very young lad watching college or pro games on tv. Johnny's calls of the finals only fed into that. Yet each night watching the tape delay broadcast my reaction was one of relief and then of "what the hell?". None of the Celtics were dismembered or bleeding. It was great fun. Can you imagine if Most had broadcast the '72 Olympic basketball gold medal game between the US and USSR?
 

jacklamabe65

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Theo: "The only opposing broadcaster who really annoyed me was John Sterling as the Atlanta Hawks play by play man when I lived in Atlanta during the 80s. In his role as the Yankees' color man, he's more comical than off-putting, at least for me."

While I agree with you, Theo, Sterling is incredibly gracious throughout Larry's mind-numbing 60 point game to the point that, like the Hawks' players at the end of the bench, he ends up actively rooting for number 33.

 

vintage'67

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I'm not much of a basketball fan, so I don't have a memory of any Most play-by-play calls, but one memory of him that I'll never forget. When the Celtics played a few games a year in Hartford, I had an internship at the Civic Center. I was there pre-game helping organize press row, etc. During the shoot around, I happened to stumble on a conversation: Danny Ainge was trying to bet Most that he could sink the ball sitting on the press table adjacent to mid-court. Most had too much faith in Ainge to bet against him. Ainge missed the first one but made the next too, before much laughing and taunting between the two ended the shooting.
 

RetractableRoof

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I also don't have a specific quote, beyond the trademarked ones already offered. I remember the Tree Rollins game like it was yesterday - but I'm betting the transcript would be a bit different than my recall :)

That said I was thinking while reading this thread that most great announcers/broadcasters inspire imitations by their fans. I don't think there was a sports fan in Boston during the later years who couldn't do an impression of Most. I remember being in bars/clubs featuring live music, hearing the singers change the lyrics to include an imitation of Most - to the crowds delight of course. I remember professors in college doing a Most impression during their lectures. Even the non-sports fans knew who the impression was of.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - Most was getting flattery from every direction in Boston during his day.
 

Don Buddin's GS

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When Johnny opened his broadcast with the "high above courtside at the Boston Garden" line he was not exaggerating. As a youngster I sought Johnny out before a game to get his autograph and he was perched in the third level. He signed it "Swish, Johnny Most."

Still remember where I was when "Havlicek stole the ball!!!" I was playing hoops with my friends, sitting on a big boulder at a playground in Leominster. We danced around yelling "Havlicek stole the ball!!!" like idiots for the rest of the afternoon.
 

LoweTek

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When Johnny opened his broadcast with the "high above courtside at the Boston Garden" line he was not exaggerating. As a youngster I sought Johnny out before a game to get his autograph and he was perched in the third level. He signed it "Swish, Johnny Most."
That's interesting. In the early 80's I was doing college hockey on the radio and had occasion to do several games from the old Garden. I was told I was assigned Most's spot. There was evidence all around it was his, cigarette burns especially. More than one person told me it was Most's and none had any reason to lie to me.

I was in the first balcony at the very lowest, leftmost (facing the ice) perch. It was a magnificent view of the action. I would believe to this day it was Most's regular chair.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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The pressbox at the Old Boston Garden did hang off of the first (main) balcony, almost cantilevered over the rink/court. Was one of the best places from which to watch a game. I saw many an old WWF wrestling card there, sitting next to the guy who put the results up on those tiny messageboards in the "end zones". How he knew the winner before the pin was something I never asked.
 

bankshot1

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When Johnny opened his broadcast with the "high above courtside at the Boston Garden" line he was not exaggerating. As a youngster I sought Johnny out before a game to get his autograph and he was perched in the third level. He signed it "Swish, Johnny Most."

Still remember where I was when "Havlicek stole the ball!!!" I was playing hoops with my friends, sitting on a big boulder at a playground in Leominster. We danced around yelling "Havlicek stole the ball!!!" like idiots for the rest of the afternoon.
DB-I hate to mess up your memories, and be the Grinch, but the "Havlicek stole the ball" game was a night-game You must have been playing under the lights.
 

Humphrey

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JM on Rick Barry: "He's been in the league 10 years; and, according to him, has never committed a foul!". A quote I think of every time I see those "The City" shirts.

on some Bulls team: "And now Jerry Sloan is sending in his henchmen to do battle with the Celtics".

"xxx lashes out and hits Tiny with an elbow, and he's hurt!" (then less than 5 seconds later) "and now Archibald lays the ball in" Must have really been hurt, eh?:)
 

Humphrey

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DB-I hate to mess up your memories, and be the Grinch, but the "Havlicek stole the ball" game was a night-game You must have been playing under the lights.
A Thursday night in early April; we must have been having a real warm spell too!
 

Al Zarilla

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"THE REBOUND BY RUSSELL" which you'd hear about 20 times a game.

"Jones is in his shirt." Probably about the great defender KC, but could have been used for Sam also.

I don't remember exactly what he said, but his description of a defensive rebound by Russell, the outlet pass and the fast break was all beautiful. I think the Cousy/Russell teams were the first to perfect the high speed fast break, weren't they?
 

LESDL

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Johnny's spot was indeed up on the third level. For the entire Bird era I had season tickets about mid-way up in the first balcony, right opposite the Celtics bench. I used to look across and up at Johnny all the time. He was always in that same spot. After he passed, there was a framed mic fixed to the outside of the facade in front of that spot. I can't seem to find any pictures of it.

I think one of the greatest Boston sports calls of all time was the Bird steal. "OH MY THIS PLACE IS GOING CRAZY!"
 

Canada

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“The foul is on Tomjonovich...who holds his hands out in despair because ‘Rudy never touches anybody’... you wonder why ball players get angry at Rudy... he never touches anybody”
 

Canada

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“The foul is on Hayes and Unseld is arguing... there they go... both coaches... the players...‘there’s no way this ball club’s going to accept *any* calls going against them... they just don’t... EVER... and it kinda gets a little boring as they just gripe the whole night... they don’t stop...”