If you’re measuring social media posts and T-shirt production, it’s been Rickie Ricardo’s most remarkable call to date: the 37-second narration of Cody Parkey’s missed field goal.
Ricardo, 57, the Cuban American sports announcer born in Newark, N.J., is the only Spanish-language play-by-play guy the Eagles have had since the team started broadcasting for Hispanic audiences eight years ago. He was in the booth with analyst Gustavo Salazar at Soldier Field in Chicago, waiting for the kick along with 75,000 fans.
English-speakers have been sharing on Twitter his “¡No, señor! ¡No, señor!” shouts, but the full translation goes like this:
“The season is in the foot of Cody Parkey. Forty-three yards. The snap. He puts his foot in. Distance ... directiooon ... It hit the pole! No! He missed the shot! No, sir! No, sir! No, sir! No, sir! No, sir! No, sir! No, sir! The Eagles leave with the victory! Oh, daddy... no, sir! Chicaaaago, Chicaaaago ...we are going to New Orleans! Philadelphia wins!”
For 38 years, Ricardo has been a broadcaster for commercial radio, starting in Orlando before making his way to New York City, where he hosted the renowned Spanish-language talk show El Vacilón de la Mañana with Luis Jiménez, and cofounded the first La Mega radio station with Alfredo Alonso.
In 2005, Ricardo had his first experience with sports radio when he founded La Mega 94 FM in Miami and started to announce the Marlins games. Then in 2007, he started doing play-by-play in Spanish for the Phillies, which led to broadcasting for the Eagles in 2010. Subsequently, he started announcing for the New York Yankees in 2014, and he hosts an English-speaking sports show for 94.1 WIP in Philly.
His Spanish-language narrations for the Eagles can be heard on La Mega 105.7 FM and WTTM 1680 AM.
Is this your signature call for field goals? Do you have one for touchdowns?
The terminology used to broadcast football in Spanish for words like quarterback [mariscal] or touchdown [anotación] come from a guide created by Mexican former player and NFL analyst Raúl Allegre. My calling is ‘¡Sí, señor! -- Yes, sir!,’ when in a field goal the ball hits in the right direction. Last night was the opposite. ‘No, sir!’ was the calling, because it fell in front of the pole. And I burst in Hispanic emotion.
How did this become your call?
During these years of work with the Eagles, I’ve wanted to simplify the broadcasting of football for Latino and Hispanic audiences, since baseball and soccer are the passion sports for our countries. But I want people to live the moment, so I keep my narration to translating to listeners what the key elements are — a touchdown, a field goal — while I add the emotion and passion that Hispanics have for any other sport. Sí, señor and No, señor are very simple words that people who speak English or Spanish understand. It’s a style that I’ve developed for bilingual Hispanics so that all listeners get the feeling of the game, despite the language.
You’ve had airplay before for your ¡Sí, señor! calling. What do you think made this one go viral?
Well, Philadelphia lives and dies with the Eagles. I believe this has been like crazy glue today because English-speaking announcers have highlighted last night’s game.
Are you hoarse today? What are you drinking for it?
I am completely hoarse today. I’m drinking lemon tea and honey.
Who inspired your work?
My style is based on American English-speaking announcers like Jon Miller, the voice of the San Francisco Giants, but the rhythm comes from legendary Cuban American sportscaster Rafael Ramírez with the Miami Marlins.
Do you prefer football or baseball announcing?
Baseball is 162 games in six months, mostly every day. But football is 16 to 20 games, once a week. My passion is baseball, but the emotion that you feel during a game that comes every week, the battle of 11 men against one another, is what makes football a different experience.