These Chicano Announcers Brought the Spirit of Futbol to the Super Bowl-Bound Panthers

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Hearing your favorite sports announcer go into a fervent frenzy after witnessing a brain-meltingly beautiful golaaazo makes your viewing experience that much more pleasurable as a fan, doesn’t it? That instantaneous moment of pure bliss is what we live for as fans. Listening to a broadcaster whose passion is relatable, reachable, and maybe even read in Spanish makes that state of elation and ecstasy even more accessible. Which is precisely why uncle and nephew duo Jaime Moreno and Luis Moreno, Jr. have been absolutely crushing it with their Spanish-language radio calls of the Super Bowl-bound Carolina Panthers.

ESPN’s Tom Friend describes the Panthers as “South America’s team,” thanks in large part to the Morenos (and Panthers coach Ron Rivera of course). It’s owing to their ingenuity that we have nicknames like Cam “El Dinosaurio” Newton (because “they don’t make ’em like him anymore”),  Josh “El Bandolero” Norman, and Mike “El Tanque” Tolbert. They celebrate everything too, and when we say everything we really mean it – coin tosses, forced fumbles, incomplete passes, you name it. “Even if there’s a scuffle between players, we’re talkin’ about goin’ down there, jumpin’ in and helpin’ them out, backin’ them up like if they were in our part of the neighborhood in Mexico,” says Luis.

Friend sums up the magic of the calls perfectly: “Part Spanglish, part song and dance, and mostly elongated hysteria. Their Spanish radio calls have gone viral – Panthers players want them translated ASAP and, if nothing else, it proves we all speak the international language of touchdown.”

The all-star announcer duo has provided a much-needed Spanish voice for Las Panteras, a team that represents one of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the South. With fútbol as the sport of choice for most of the community, Jaime saw a window of opportunity, especially in relation to the joy of scoring a touchdown. “Scores – specifically, touchdowns – would have to be the be-all, end-all. If soccer announcers could make a 1-0 contest feel like the game of the century, the Morenos figured a 30-24 NFL game could feel like Christmas morning. Their intention was to break the sound barrier every Sunday.”

And that’s precisely what they did: break the barrier and give Latino audiences a voice to connect to. “It’s related to our culture in Mexico,” Luis states. “It’s all about hope. The journey to score. And that’s how Mexicans and Latin Americans see soccer. And we transformed that into football.”

We’re not the only ones excited, either. Apparently, Rivera began showing one Moreno-narrated highlight per week, the idea being to build up his team’s desperation to earn Spanish spotlights of their own. “I’m telling you, it helped bring the team together,” says Norman.

Become a part of the magic yourself ahead of Super Bowl 50 by following the Morenos on Twitter at @LaFuriaFelina, “The Feline Fury.” Be sure to watch these Panthers highlights while you’re at it.