No matter what line of work you’re in, some days are better than other. For San Jose Earthquakes radio play-by-play announcer Ted Ramey, the 2017 season finale was as good as it gets. We sat down with the longtime voice of the club to talk about what made that day so special for him.
SJEQ: What were your emotions going into penultimate game of the season in Vancouver to set up a win-and-you’re-in scenario on Decision Day?
Ted Ramey: I remember I felt good because Joe Cannon, who normally only does home games, was with us that weekend. We all knew it was a really important game. I remember Vancouver was playing pretty well at the time. They were our one road win in 2016 so I knew we had a little bit of good history there. I thought we were capable of getting a result. We didn’t know if we needed a win or a draw because of other results around the league but we knew we needed at least a point. We had some momentum on our side because we were coming off a big win against Portland. I remember Victor Bernardez making a great slide tackle to set up the second and eventual game-winning goal.
SJEQ: How confident were you that San Jose was going to defeat Minnesota United FC?
TR: I was pretty confident because we have been so good at home all year under Dom [Kinnear] and [Chris] Leitch. We really only had one bad defeat at home all year; I think Chicago on a Wednesday night. It was more of a let’s see what we can do and take care of business type of feeling. The only thing was Minnesota had had an awful start to the season and then were getting better after they made a couple trades. I felt it was going to be a battle because I know how teams can get up to play a spoiler role.
SJEQ: What went through your mind when Minnesota tied the match late?
TR: I was crushed. When it first happened, my heart sank. We had the lead and they tied it. Then we had the lead again and the tied it again. It was after the 80th minute and we were just looking for something to happen. At that point, I thought we were going to miss out on the playoffs, but at the same time, you hope for a miracle. It’s just so rare that they actually come true. We had already earned some great late results that year, so I was wondering if we had just simply run out of magic. But you can‘t count out the never-say-die spirit of the Earthquakes.
SJEQ: When Chris Wondolowski gathered the ball for his eventual game-winning assist, did you think he was going to shoot?
TR: No, I didn’t think he had the angle. I thought he was going to pass all the way. That’s the thing about him, he’s not a glory-seeking guy. I believe he set a career high in assists that season, so he had been finding guys all year long. The angle didn’t look good and he was able to get it to Marco [Ureña], who turned on it.
SJEQ: What made this one of your favorite matches to call?
TR: There was just so much riding on it. It had been a tumultuous season. The coach was replaced midseason and a totally unproven entity in Chris Leitch had taken over. He came in and said I’m going to let these guys played their strengths. There were a few players that emerged that season. They were some great moments. Tommy [Thompson] scored his first goal; Vako scored on his debut; Danny Hoesen and Florian Jungwirth came in and looked like difference makers. So, there were a lot of good things going on that year and the fact that it came down to that one game to get into the playoffs was incredible.