It's lean times for Gus Johnson as a sports broadcaster. Now that Johnson is off his signature event in March Madness, he's been doing a lot of secondary assignments like the UFC on FOX, college football covering the Pac-12, Big 12, and Conference USA on FOX and FSN, primarily calling Big Ten college basketball, and occasional NFL football games, Gus has sort of dropped out of the limelight now that he isn't able to call the biggest upsets of the tournament those last two weeks of March.
Still, Gus is keeping himself busy during the offseason, and he's found a new target: Major League Soccer, particularly the San Jose Earthquakes. Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News files this report.
Johnson originally became interested in soccer because it's his 8-year-old son's favorite sport. But after returning from the trip, Johnson was looking for a broadcasting opportunity when he learned from his college sports statistician Jeff Chapman that the Quakes were intrigued.
Quakes coach Frank Yallop became a fan when he heard snippets of Johnson's play-calling in his second game -- a 2-1 San Jose victory over Philadelphia on April 28.
"I think he's riveting," Yallop said. "I listened afterward to his goal calls and I thought, 'He's unbelievable.' It seems like his natural thing to do is to go over the top when he sees something brilliant. But if you can hear that excitement in his voice, I think it's going to make fans enjoy the game more."
Gus Johnson calls Steven Lenhart's goals against the Union on 4/28/12 (via sanjoseearthquakes)
This might be just the beginning for Gus Johnson and soccer. With FOX recently winning the rights to the World Cups in 2018 and 2022, it's quite possible Gus could be on tap for bigger assignments and broadcast the main event.
To find out how Earthquakes fans feel about Gus, go to Quake, Rattle and Goal.