The Fightins'
The Phillies should sign Gus Johnson
Posted by Phil Simmons at 9:30 am ET 48 Comments

By Phil Simmons

Before today, there were only two instances I could think of where someone’s departure really stunned me: when Daniel LaRusso left Mr. Miyagi to train with Terry Silver at the Cobra Kai Dojo and when Pedro left the San Francisco Real World house rather than deal with Puck. But now I have to add Gus Johnson leaving CBS to that list. As you all know, I’m a huge Gus Johnson fan, and his leaving CBS really leaves a void in any sports broadcast on that network.

But after I digested the news and talked about it with Philly SportsGal, who told me “I’m trying to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County you dork, I should divorce you!” I came to a realization: Gus Johnson can save the Phillies broadcast team just like Ken Reeves saved Carver High in The White Shadow! Gus could probably get a job anywhere, but what’s a better job than one with the Phillies?

When you look at the Phillies broadcast team, there’s no real voice there. On the radio side, there’s Larry Anderson, who has about as much enthusiasm as Coach Finstock had when Scott Howard was trying to tell him about his problems. There’s Scott Franzke on play-by-play, who sounds like he’s one “LA On-Air Nap” away from tunneling out of CBP like Andy Dufresne. They also shoehorn in Jim Jackson, who is so out of place that it reminds me of when Demolition would send Crush and Smash down for a tag team match instead of Axe and Smash!

On the TV end, you have two color commentators who are a respective 8 and 9 on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. Sarge is basically Clay Davis if he got into baseball instead of politics, and Wheels is a venerable Philadelphia institution. I seriously want to make Wheels commentary tracks for movies. Could you imagine Wheels doing commentary for Fast Five?

“Now ya see here what they wanna do is they wanna drive the car… right there… they wanna get it on the road, middle in, but The Rock wants to stop them and Vin Diesel, he really respects the game and he’s a real heads up thief, so he knows that if he approaches this race all loosey goosey, he’s cooked and the Rock knows that this guy can fly if he gets behind the wheel of a car so he’s really gotta be careful here”

If I could make those, I’d be rich! I’d be even richer than I already am from my pandering to my fratboy reader base!

So, Gus couldn’t replace either of those two. He’d have to replace T-Mac. T-mac has gotten a raw deal, he’s basically like Kurt Thomas in Gymkata, being thrust into a starring role before he was ready. More importantly, T-Mac took full PBP duties after Harry died and we haven’t won since, so if we dump T-Mac for Gus, and the Phillies end up winning the Series, I’d be fully satisfied with renaming my famous “Thome Theory” to “The T-Mac theory.”

Coach Finstock referenceBut don’t get me wrong, I’m a T-Mac fan. Last time my buddies and I went to Vegas, we were getting destroyed at the blackjack table. I was about $10,000 down, and I had my last few chips. Normally I’d walk away, but my buddy started doing T-Mac’s “GOOOONE” whenever I’d lose a hand. Eventually I was all out of cash, and the T-Mac jokes died for a bit, but later when I hit the ATM, he dropped a “HE’S BAAAAACK” which cracked everyone up. We ended up winning big, and I credit T-Mac for loosening us up! As far as I’m concerned, “HE’S BAAACK” is up there with “Look at the size of that Russian” as one of the greatest calls of all time, but I would sacrifice it in a heartbeat for the chance to hear Gus Johnson try to talk over a Wheels story, or a Gus-Sarge exchange.

So it would be a great opportunity for both Gus and the Phillies. We all know that the only sports teams and cities that matter are the ones I directly root for, so there’s nothing standing in the way of this and I can’t understand why Gus would choose to go somewhere else.

The Philly Sports Guy is the author of a book on basketball that ignores everyone except for the Sixers. He has also written a book that undermines every world series not won by the Phillies.

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48 Responses to “The Phillies should sign Gus Johnson”

  1. Adam Eaton says:

    Wait… what?

  2. Cole Handsome says:

    Not a bad parody. It needed another 1,000 words to be as boring as a Bill Simmons column.

  3. Danger Guerrero says:

    This post reminds me of that episode of “90210″ where Jimmy Chitwood turned into a wolf and scored a million points. It was a Level 5 Double Gut-Punch loss for the other team like when David Tyree caught that pass that went through Buckner’s legs in THE GARDEN.

  4. CannedHeat says:

    Needs at least 49 references to the Celtics to be a true Simmons column. Or maybe in this case, the Sixers?

  5. Shawn says:

    Danger wins

  6. ZWR says:

    Yup, these are Fightins readers.

  7. BigMiles says:

    My ears are still ringing at work today just from listening to last night’s broadcast. T-Mac’s yelling is getting out of control. I think he might have voice immodulation like Pete Sampras.

  8. Lynniemac says:

    Loved the part with Wheels until I realized how realistic it was and how we’re stuck with him. *sigh*

  9. Kevin Durant says:

    Wait, I thought Phil loved me? And now I find out he’s been running around with Gus behind my back?! We have to have a serious talk.

  10. CK says:

    I got a fever…and it needs more Phil Simmons!

  11. Bill Simmons says:

    You guys got me, I mean I haven’t been skewered like this since the time I wrote for Jimmy Kimmel for like a week. Have I ever mentioned that I wrote for Jimmy Kimmel?

  12. Dennis Miller says:

    I don’t get these references

  13. Test 1 2 3 / Stuck in DC says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We need Scotty Franzke simulcast on both TV and Radio.

  14. rhymeface says:

    All comparisons to classic WWF are much appreciated.

  15. Glenn says:

    Very well done

  16. CK says:

    @BS — you mean, your “friend” Jimmy? every time I read “at my friend Jimmy’s” it was like a fork on a chalkboard. I’m glad I’m not the only one that got sick of the wannabe Basketball St. Peter

  17. This is like that scene in ‘Heat’ when Mykelti Williamson says ‘jaggoff’ to that guy who they wanna extradite to Newark. Classic.

  18. BakedMcBride says:

    Now will I will go light myself on fire.

  19. BakedMcBride says:

    Whoops, threw in an extra and unneeded word. A ‘Simmons slip.’

  20. Danger Guerrero says:


    - Phil Simmons

  21. Cousin Sal says:

    Hey Phil, if gambling were legal I’d say we should throw this column into a tease with Peter King’s latest on SI, we’d be getting +250 against the spread.

  22. 85 says:

    I was on the phone with my friend Timmy’s cousin Hal the other night and we took the under on “Fightins posts by Phil Simmons.” Would’ve been one of the all-time covers if gambling were legal.

  23. Schmitter22 says:

    I love LA and Franzke.

  24. BakedMcBride says:

    Halter top day.

  25. The Burrell Shuffle says:

    LA and Franzke are the best duo in broadcasting. Bring back Scott Graham to replace TMac, fire wheels, and get sarge for full games.

  26. I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of bringing Gus Johnson to television here. It won’t happen in a million years–has he ever even done baseball? But a boy can dream…

  27. As Well says:

    Not enough references to your friends no one cares about. When can we expect the PS Report podcast though so we can hear your lisp?

  28. says:

    Before we get started on the PS Report Podcast, The Fightins are collaborating with Phil Simmons to bring our vision of a “Philly Sports Guy” cartoon to life.

    It’ll be like Dr. Katz meets the mind of Phil Simmons.

  29. Test 1 2 3 / Stuck in DC says:

    @ 25 – if my Scotty and LA simulcast idea wouldn’t fly, that’s the best way to go.

  30. bigmyc says:

    Nice Wheels take but who the hell is Phil Simmons?

  31. Joe Pekula says:

    I feel like the Phillies think their broadcast team is a bunch of all stars as it is. The Phillies think this.

  32. Test 1 2 3 / Stuck in DC says:

    @30 – not sure if serious?

  33. CK says:

    Curt’s long-lost bastard grandson

  34. BigMiles says:

    I’m not sure about the whole Gus Johnson thing but you know who the Eagles should get? JAAASSH FREEMAN….

  35. Joe D says:

    This is great. Nice work. The Wheels Fast Five part was brilliant.

  36. Resident of 227 says:

    Haven’t seen a white shadow reference in years. Good deal.

  37. mc says:


    T-Mac: Not all that bad when he sticks just to announcing the game. The problem is he is a serious corporate tool. He seems waaaay more into the promos and ads he has to read than the game itself. And he needs to STFU during lulls in games.
    I think replacing him with Scott Graham would be a great idea. Props to The Burrell Shuffle.

    Wheels: Every announcing team needs one guy who sucks so the other announcers have someone to make fun of during games and so fans have someone to think “Shit, why does this guy get to be in the booth? I could do a beter job than him!” Once long as T-Mac is gone, Muffin is perfect for this role.

    Franzke: Absolutely the best. He has perfect timing. Always manages to have his descriptions of a play last the same length of the play; he never has to rush a descrption and never leaves long pauses. Plus he manages to perfectly balance his play-by-play announcing with just enough description of the game environment (weather, fans, field conditions, etc.) This is really important for radio announcing, since listeners cannot see the field. It would almost be a waste of his talents to have him do TV.

    Sarge: Do not understand why there are so many Sarge haters out there. C’mon people, this is the man who came up with “Cadillac Time!” I seriously think he gives a lot of good insight into hitting. BONUS HINT: Sarge’s true genius is best appreciated after a few bong hits.

    LA: Always sounds to me like LA takes my “BONUS HINT” advice before every game, so he’s OK in my book.

  38. HummerX says:

    I can’t wait til he debuts his “top secret game changing writing website” he’s been teasing about for months. I heard he snapped up Howdy for it!

  39. Phil Simmons says:

    Yep, these are my readers!

  40. LarryAnderson says:

    Jim Jackson sucks ass, the TV guys are tolerable, but not great.

    LA rules, he’s an absolute classic

  41. Joe D says:

    Jim Jackson is fucking terrible for baseball and his screaming style has rubbed off on T-Mac.

  42. Test 1 2 3 / Stuck in DC says:

    @40 – You should learn how to spell your name, LA :)

  43. mc says:

    @42 – I believe my comments on LA explain the mistake…

  44. Czar of Reality TV says:

    Have you been watching Real World? Heather received an email from her mother about a secret from Dustin’s past, and Heather was crushed. I don’t know how she grew stones to confront Dustin about starring in gay porn, only to have Dustin panic when he realized the secret was out. That and OMG, have you been watching Bad Girls Club! LOL

  45. Table says:

    Can someone tell Cliff he left money on me…

  46. damn this is good. MORE phil simmons.

  47. As Well says:

    Another question for you, Phil. After the Flyers were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs again tonight, are you becoming an NHL widow?

  48. Phil Simmons says:

    I’m more Carmella Soprano when it comes to the Flyers. I stick with them even though I know about all the goomars, I know I really can’t rely on them and when push comes to shove, they’re not ever going to be what I hope they are. But once in a while they give me a thrill and it’s not all bad over the 82 game season. But while the Flyers aren’t faithful, I also have my eye on one of their frisky co-workers (The Sixers as Furio) who I can go to for a thrill from time to time.

    Also, this game was the ultimate “Sopranos Finale” game. As far as I’m concerned, Boychuck should’ve just given Bob a dirty look on the way to the bathroom and the game could have cut off without us missing anything or needing more. This wasn’t just a gut punch loss, this is on the Mt. Rushmore of gut punch losses.

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Written by Phil Simmons

I'm like if you crossed Andy from the Shawshank Redemption with The White Shadow with Teen Wolf with The Karate Kid who knows Gymkata, and turned him into a sports writer that only cares about his hometown teams.

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