Brooklyn Nets fans know Ian Eagle for his catch phrases, funny personality and his memorable calls. "That's a man's jam," and "Do not go in there" are two of the many catchy, quirky phrases that has made Eagle beloved by Nets fans.
Eagle isn't just the play-by-play announcer for the Nets, however. Over the years, he's become one of the top announcers on CBS. Eagle and his partner Dan Fouts were promoted this past season to the "number two" team for CBS' NFL coverage. Another place to find Eagle is during the NCAA tournament, which has taken center stage this weekend.
This year's NCAA tournament is Eagle's 19th overall, so he's used to the madness that is calling four games in one day. Just this Thursday, Eagle called four games, including Duke vs. UNC Wilmington, Baylor vs. Yale, Miami vs. Buffalo, and Arizona vs. Wichita State, and he has two more games to prepare for on Saturday, which makes it a total of six games that Eagle will announce over the weekend.
Naturally, having to learn about 12 teams in such a short time period can be stressful, and at first when he started in 1998, Eagle didn't know how to approach it. "I just really looked at it as cramming for a test and I can acknowledge that there were times in college where I had to cram for a test," Eagle said told Ken Fang of AwfulAnnouncing.
To Eagle, finding a routine that works is what's most important. He still handwrites his information. All of it.
"I started with a style of board when I began in the NBA in 1994 and I've found that it's comfortable for me," Eagle said. "I'm still of that mindset that writing it down by osmosis gets it into your brain."
Eagle's style has clearly worked out just fine for him. He's been the Nets play-by-play announcer on YES Network since 2002, winning a New York Emmy in 2014 as part of YES, which won Best Live Sports Series. Eagle won an individual Emmy in 2013 for his play-by-play work on YES, and also won an Emmy in 2002 for his work on Madison Square Garden Network's telecast of the Pacers/Nets Game 5 of the 2002 NBA playoffs.
Truly, his unique broadcast style and personality is what makes him special. Eagle's style is all about informing his audience, while making sure the broadcast is entertaining at the same time. In a telecast that took place in London, Eagle made sure that he took full advantage of the opportunity to poke fun at his partner Jim Spanarkel using some London terminology.
Announcing a game winning shot is a time where an announcer can make a name for himself. Eagle has called a lot of buzzer beaters throughout his announcing career, but this specific call showed what makes Eagle so great at his profession.
Of course what makes him so memorable is that he managed to think about a Jerry Seinfeld reference and use it at the perfect, opportune moment. Well done, Mr. Eagle.
Another commonly used Eagle phrase that Nets fans are certainly familiar with is "A foreign facial."
This, of course, is just a small sample of what makes Eagle an important asset to watching the Nets on YES, especially in those down years where they optimism wanes
Congratulations to Ian Eagle and this being his 19th year calling NCAA Tournament games, a staple for the Nets who well deserves to be on the "big stage."
- Ian Eagle on calling nearly 20 years of NCAA Tournament games and how the job has evolved - Ken Fang - Awful Announcing