Back in the offseason it was announced that Vikings/KFAN radio announcer Paul Allen was going to get the NFL films treatment, and the final product is now on YouTube.
The mini doc, about 7 minutes long, explores the relationship Allen has with the Vikings, and his other true love, calling horse racing at Canterbury Park.
“I see the world, to a certain extent, still through the eyes of a child,” says Allen.
Before calling Vikings games, Allen was a mainstay at the biggest horse racing venue in Minnesota, where he learned and honed his craft.
“I was smitten with racetrack announcers all my life,” says Allen. “Calling a horse race and a football play I found really in my career are very similar. There is a crescendo to be built.”
Perhaps the most interesting nugget of the behind the scenes look at Allen was that his infamous call against the 2003 Arizona Cardinals almost cost him his job.
“The owner at that time, Red McCombs, hated it. He thought was way over the top, he was sour that the team lost, so I sweat between 03 and 04 on whether or not I was going to keep the job,” said Allen.
The doc throughout is intercut with many of Allen’s notable calls, and makes for a fast and interesting viewing experience.
Paul Allen has struck me as a figure that you either love or hate. His style is very loud, even for an announcer, and that can sometimes rub people the wrong way.
One thing that is agreeable by everyone though is that Allen’s love of the Minnesota Vikings is true. He’s good enough to make the right calls with the right panache, but what truly separates him from the pack is his ability to be critical of the team that he loves.
At his core, he’s a Vikings fan, just like any one of us.
“They know where my heart is, they know how much I love the team, they know that I am never going to get personal, but they also know that I am a black and white individual. If it’s bad, it’s bad. If Farve throws across his body, then we’re that close to getting to the Super Bowl and I’m going to lose my mind,” said Allen.
Some high praise came from Head Coach Kevin O’Connell, the only individual to be interviewed besides Allen.
“He lives and breathes the Minnesota Vikings, you can just hear it in his voice, how much it means to him,” said O’Connell.
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he is at the pinnacle of his craft. Personally, there’s no one I’d rather have as the voice of the Vikings.