2018 was a great season for the Cleveland Browns and Jim Donovan captured some of the best moments with his signature enthusiasm
Cleveland Browns fans – forget the Browns-less NFL postseason and the Freddie-Baker-filled 2019 season for a sec and relive some 2018 Cleveland football magic.
It’s easy to do – just watch the vid that ClevelandBrowns.com packed with radio announcer Jim Donovan’s top-10 calls in 2018.
But only if you’re in the mood to pump some serious adrenaline.
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For those too frail to endure Donovan’s sincerely bombastic energy or too busy to spare the almost six minutes of viewing time required, here’s a quick recap that you can scan in less than half a dozen minutes.
First, though, it’s necessary to set the scene.
Most of the video consists of mid-game clips of football action with a small video square in the corner of a mic-ed up Jim Donovan. He’s normally pacing excitingly in the crowded Browns broadcast booth, staring down at the on-field action over the heads of thousands of lively football fans.
And always seated next to him is color commentator, Browns legend and man who folds his arms more often than a bar bouncer or your disappointed father Doug Dieken.
Together they make up arguably the best radio team in the NFL, and it’s only arguable if you’re not a Browns fan.
So without further ado, here are Jim Donovan’s Top-10 2018 calls, as determined by ClevelandBrowns.com.
10) Browns at Steelers, October 28, 2018
As Browns defensive end Myles Garrett sacks Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan comes up with this nonsensical holiday gem:
“Myles Garrett did it, Doug, around the horn he came, rang the bell and said, Happy Halloween.”
Dieken, his arms crossed tighter than Mr. Clean’s, adds, “and sack number eight on the season.”
9) Ravens at Browns, October 7, 2018
As Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield finds receiver Derrick Willies, Donovan shows off his calm-to-psyched mode perfectly as he calls out Willies’ gains, yard by yard at the top of his lungs, ending with:
“HE’S TO THE…FORTY-ONE YARDLINE!!! What a play by Mayfield and a catch and run by Willies.”
With a chuckle, Dieken adds, “He’s a big time player.”
8) Browns at Raiders, September 30, 2018
As running back Nick Chubb pops a big run, Donovan tracks the rookie from Georgia’s yards by fives and then ends it with a simple:
“Nick Chubb. 63 YARDS.”
Adds Dieken, “Well, there’s some fresh legs,” to which Donovan laughs like a nervous girlfriend at Thanksgiving dinner.
7) Browns at Broncos, December 15, 2018
During Denver’s final drive to take the lead and win the game, Donovan shouts with joy when their quarterback, Case Keenum, is sacked, telling his audience in no uncertain terms that HE GOT SACKED!
Dieken, arms oddly unfolded, just says, “Peppers.”
Donovan agrees and shouts, “PEPPERS GOT HIM. HE GOT HIM. PEPPERS GOT HIM. POUR A LITTLE PEPPER ON IT, THE BROWNS ARE GONNA WIN IT!”
As Donovan continues the call, he reaches down to high-five some Browns fans in the stands.
6) Browns vs. Ravens, October 7, 2018
At the end of the second quarter as the Raiders line up to kick a field goal, Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward blocks the kick with a full-on dive after he jukes a defender, and Donovan asks the football world loudly:
“CAN DENZEL WARD DO ANYTHING ELSE?”
5) Browns vs. Jets, September 20, 2018
During the Browns’ first win in over a year, as the Jets’ rookie quarterback Sam Darnold throws a desperate pass that’s picked off by Browns’ cornerback Terrance Mitchell and Donovan tells his listeners that IT’S ALL OVER HERE NOW.
Dieken mutters, “Yup.”
Donovan continues, “Mitchell takes the football, he’s gonna run it down to the best fans, the most patient fans in the league, right to the Dawg Pound, UP AND IN HE GOES! THE BROWNS ARE GOING TO WIN.”
4) Browns vs. Bengals, December 23, 2018
The big catch and run by Browns’ tight end David Njoku happens before Baker’s Hue-centric stare down, and Donovan calls out Njoku’s yardage by fives and ends it with:
“DAVID NJOKU, BIG MAN ON THE LOOSE”
Observes Dieken, “We knew he could high jump, we didn’t know he could run.”
3) Browns vs. Panthers, December 9, 2018
During one of Jarvis Landry’s Pro-Bowl worthy catches, Donovan’s call does a typical zero-to-hundred shift and ends at the top of his voice saying:
“A TUMBLING CATCH FOR A TOUCHDOWN!”
Dieken shakes his head, grins like he just saw Moses work and says, “Unbelievable.”
2) Browns vs. Ravens, October 7, 2018
During an overtime field goal attempt, Browns place kicker Greg Joseph kicks an ugly field goal that barely squirts over the cross bar, a line drive that Donovan claims, “ALMOST HAD YELLOW PAINT ON IT,” and the Browns go up on the Ravens in overtime, 12-9.
But then Dieken notices that the officials are telling the players to get off the field which makes Donovan nervous until the stadium announcer calls the ballgame.
To which Donovan says, “Don’t rain on my parade, Doug Dieken, it is all over, and if you’re looking for signature wins, you might have just seen it.”
At the last second, Dieken quips, “Can I jump on your float, though?”
1) Browns vs. Falcons, November 11, 2018
During Nick Chubb’s franchise record breaking run, Donovan shouts his call and slaps his partner repeatedly for the entire run and ends it with what will surely become a Donovan classic line:
“TOUCHDOWN! CHUBBA WUBBA HUBB! NINETY-TWO YARDS!”
Dieken can only say, “Pretty unbelievable, he has a second gear,” and then to Donovan he laughs, “And I just got hit more by you than I did in my fourteen years in the NFL.”
Great calls by Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken in an exciting 2018 season for a Browns team that, in Donovan’s words, is totally ‘Chubba Wubba Hubb.’
To which Browns fans, like Dieken, can only say, “Unbelievable.”
Believe it – the Cleveland Browns are finally a parade worth jumping on, and thank Dorsey for that.