Football fans are still talking about the muffed Chicago Bears field goal last weekend. Kicker Cody Parkey’s name is forever associated with the “Double Doink.” With seconds to go, the ball he kicked hit the goal post then doinked off the crossbar — sealing the Philadelphia Eagles’ win and moving to the next round in the playoffs.
Rickie Ricardo, the Eagles Spanish language play by play announcer, broadcasts locally and internationally, with a fan-base in Mexico as well as Central and South America.
He joins us to talk about his craft and his thoughts about the Eagles season going into this Sunday’s playoff game against the Saints in New Orleans.
Well it’s a pleasure to be with you.
I have to start by asking you how do you say double doink in Spanish?
Okay. Double doinkin to you, too. Your reaction to the Bears missed field goal went viral. What happened this week for you?
Oh it’s been a heck of a week. I’ve done at least a low short of 40 interviews. I live in North Jersey. I’m also the Spanish language voice of the New York Yankees. We got back in and I drove to my apartment and this is the middle of the night mind you. I started getting messages and tweets and things that it was starting to catch. And we’re talking about major morning news shows at CBS This Morning, The Today Show, Good Morning America. I’m like, ‘What?’
Everyone can understand the richness of the emotion that you put out there. But would you mind translating the words for us.
So basically I said, ‘The season lies on the foot of Cody Parkey. Then the snap. My interpretation of all kicks are ‘the stanca de dirección’ which basically means it’s got the distance. It’s got direction. And we wait and then I will either give you a ‘Si, señor or a No, señor’ for extra points or field goals. But interesting this thing hit the upright. So I had to wait. Not only does it hit the upright but it hits the bottom crossbar so I had to wait double doink time. And then finally it was like, ‘No falló.’ Fallo means he missed. ‘No Senor’ obviously means and you know it’s my way of saying he missed the kick. ‘Aye Papa’ that is something I got from the great Dick Enberg legendary broadcaster that passed away recently. Dick Enberg signature call on a big moment was ‘Oh my’ which is really just a short for all my God. And ‘Aye Papa’ is a Spanish version of ‘Oh My God.’ I just scream we’re going to New Orleans and the Eagles win the game. Just an amazing moment.
You and everyone else live for these moments in sports. Can you prepare for a reaction like that?
You know this was a season-defining play. So you know as the kicker is getting ready mentally I’m getting prepared for this call one way or the other it’s either going to be very tragic or it’s going to be you know complete euphoria. It all came together and just it’s magic. It happens once in a lifetime.
You sound pretty good today. All week you’ve been nursing your voice back screaming will do that to the vocal cords and how you got a cold on top of that. I’m so sorry. What are you doing to get ready for Sunday?
Lots of tea. You know moms come over to the house and make some homemade chicken soup. We’ll work it out.
I bet you will. Some of us imagine calling a game whether it’s football, baseball, or whatnot. What would you say it really takes to pay attention to get it right to keep the play by play real, and conversational, and exciting, and entertaining.
Well it takes preparation. This particular game obviously, I will go over all the games to watch film of the previous match-up between these two teams which was in the same stadium. The atmosphere is electric and the Superdome in New Orleans. It’s Mardi Gras every Sunday when the home team plays there. It’s a weekend where the Eagles had been beaten badly not that long ago so there’s the element of revenge. There’s a lot to prepare for but that’s what we’ve got before we get on an airplane.
OK. So you don’t work alone. Maria Berral reports in Spanish from the field during the Eagles games. In what way is she a big part of what you do?
She is one of the pioneers of females in Spanish. We’ve seen over the last 10, 15 years women becoming a major part of football broadcast. You know whether it be reporting from the sidelines, following the team during the week. You know she puts together some a little inside information that we can all use during the broadcast. She loves the game. She’s got great enthusiasm and she’s really tuned into what’s happening with the team.
What are you afraid will happen in the match up against the Saints this weekend?
Well worst case scenario is that the Saints go about dismantling the Eagles and is really the only way to describe it the same way they did back in week 11 [earlier this season]. But this is a different Eagles team. They’re playing with a different quarterback. The Nick Foles magic is on the field as compared to probably the worst week in the career of Carson Wentz that particular Sunday in New Orleans. The Saints have not been the same. I think they reached their peak that afternoon against the Eagles since then they’re trending downward. The Eagles are trending upward and there’s a little something with pixie dust called Foles Magic with Nick Foles at quarterback that we’re looking to hopefully reappear again in the Superdome on Sunday.