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What I Learned – Verne Lundquist turns 80: Best all-time calls

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1. Verne Lundquist retired from calling college football for CBS in 2016, and he has been missed ever since.The versatile play-by-play man turns 80 years old today, and we have no doubt he’d sound as good as ever if he called a game right now.Over the years, Lundquist also called the NFL, the NBA, college basketball, golf and the Olympics.Four things made Verne special: 1) He was always understated, even when he went nuts during a call; 2) He never made a telecast about him; 3) He was just one of those broadcasters who made you feel comfortable and happy when you listened to him call a game; 4) Verne always rose to the occasion during a big moment and delivered.Lundquist began his broadcasting career in 1967 and had too many memorable calls to remember, but in honor of his 80th birthday, here is a sampling of Verne’s best work.Tiger Woods’s chip shot at the 2005 Masters.Auburn beats Alabama in the “Kick Six” 2013 Iron Bowl.Christian Laettner hits “the shot” during the 1992 Elite Eight.Verne’s classy and touching sign-off from broadcasting in 2016.Here’s nearly eight more minutes of Verne’s all-time best calls.Verne’s appearance in Happy Gilmore.2. Here’s an update on MLB using fake crowd noise for its fake season.3. Sebastian Maniscalco guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night and interviewed Alex Rodriguez. In a totally normal story, Maniscalco talked about going to A-Rod and J. Lo’s house for dinner and waiting for 30 minutes for the couple to come down to say hello after dealing with “nine” people first. Sounds like a blast! If you can make it through this interview without cringing at least five times, you deserve a medal.4. Heat center Meyers Leonard and Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson took the recent trend of NBA players challenging each other to shotgun a beer to another level when they went head-to-head in the bubble. The result was an impressive performance by Leonard.5. The latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features an interview with TSN SportsCentre host Jay Onrait.The very funny Onrait talked about highlight shows not being dead, how he’s managed to do a highlights show for four months without sports, why his stint at FS1 from 2013 to 2017 was doomed from the beginning, what it’s like to be part of an iconic partnership, dream podcasts guests, The Hangover and much more.You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: With Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick officially done as a couple, we had to bring back one of our favorite videos ever: a very young Rodgers, in 2005, “dancing” at a club with former SI Swimsuit cover model Marisa Miller.7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this date 30 years ago, Deion Sanders hit one of the more famous inside-the-park home runs after lining a shot that went past a diving Bo Jackson in center field.Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

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