Speaking of Sports: 25 Of The Best Sportscasting Legends

| July 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

By Len Canter

On Friday June 1st, history was made when the New York Mets played the St. Louis Cardinals. As much of the Big Apple audience was on the edge of its collective seats as Mets pitcher Johan Santana took the mound in the ninth inning, the adrenaline was also coursing through the veins of two of the team’s veteran sportscasters—as much die-hard fans as consummate sports professionals—and there was nearly as much interest in how they would call the final out at their respective stations as there was in the actual outcome of the game.

“In the 8,020th game in the history of the New York Mets, they finally have a no-hitter. And who better to do it than Johan Santana?,” said WFAN’s Howie Rose.

“He struck him out! It has happened. In their 51st season, Johan Santana has thrown the first no-hitter in New York Mets history,” pronounced Gary Cohen of SNY, who later said that even as he was doing his own broadcast, he was thinking, “I can’t wait to hear Howie Rose’s call because, you know, Howie has lived with the same memories I have.”

When amazing moments happen in the world of sports, it’s the reporting that memorializes them. When disappointments dash our hopes, it’s the commiserating from our sportscasters that gets us through the pain. Most of us have grown up listening to one or more of these unique voices, through the good times and the bad. Some are legends who paved the way for those who followed, men and women. Others are pioneers who introduced us to new media formats, like all-sports television and radio networks. And all of them entertain and inform us with their unique styles that, love ’em or hate ’em, have left indelible impressions.

The List

MELVIN “MEL” ALLEN (ISRAEL)
A DAMN YANKEE: Allen began his long career on radio for University of Alabama football in 1933 while a student there, but is best known as the play-by-play voice of the New York Yankees from the ’40s to the mid-’60s. During that span he called 22 World Series on radio and TV. Later, Allen became recognizable to a new generation as the first host of This Week in Baseball. He was the announcer for 14 Rose Bowls and even did a stint on Jackpot Bowling.
THE “VOICE”: Allen, with his unmistakable syrupy Southern twang, was responsible for a bevy of signature calls. He started each broadcast with a “Hello there, everybody” and described Yankee homers with his trademark “Going, going, gone” or as a “Ballantine blast” (a nod to his beer sponsor), but his most enduring was his excited exclamation “How-a-bout-that!” Allen is credited with nicknaming Joe DiMaggio “Joltin’ Joe.”
A MAUDLIN MOMENT: A sick Lou Gehrig, near the end, told Mel, “I never got a chance to listen to your games before because I was always playing, but I want you to know they’re the only thing that keeps me going.” Allen broke down in tears.
A RARE JEWISH HONOR: Allen’s plaque in Yankee Stadium’s monument park reads: “A Yankee institution, a national treasure.” Upon his passing in 1996, Allen was honored with a memorial at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. If he was watching from above, he probably thought to himself, “How-a-bout-that!”

 

CHRISTOPHER JAMES “CHRIS” BERMAN

Chris Berman

THE “BOOMER”: As a host, anchor and commentator, Berman has been the popular face of ESPN since its inception in 1979. The gravelly voiced Brown grad, a six time National Sportscaster of the Year, has delivered the goods on ESPN program staples including SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, US Open Golf, the NFL Draft and MLB’s Home Run Derby.
A LIBRARY OF NICKNAMES: Berman’s wide appeal stems in part from his creation of nicknames and catchphrases and his alter ego “The Swami” who makes less-than-perfect football predictions. A few of Berman’s most enduring calls include “He could…go…all…the…way” on long football runs and “Back, back, back” used to describe long wallops in baseball. Berman has also perfected the use of puns in player names—the list now numbers in the 100s. Some of the best are Harold “Growing” Baines, Rollie “Chicken” Fingers and Al “Cigarette” Leiter.
SILENCE IS GOLDEN: Berman was praised for his Emmy worthy (non) performance when he and analyst Buck Martinez chose not to utter a single comment during the 22-minute celebration when Cal Ripkin broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game streak.

LINDA COHN

Linda Cohn

THE REAL COHN-HEAD: A Long Island native with an unaltered accent to prove it, Cohn has appeared as an ESPN SportsCenter anchor since 1992 and has contributed to their special programming in a variety of roles including Baseball Tonight. Cohn owns a piece of sportscasting history as the first woman to appear as a full-time sports anchor on national radio when she began on WABC in 1987; she is now arguably the most prominent female anchor in the business. How she cracked the glass ceiling of that formerly exclusive male bastion is chronicled in detail in her book, Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys Club.

MYRON COPE (MYRON SIDNEY KOPELMAN)
THE VOICE OF THE STEELERS: Cope, a Pittsburgh legend, began his career as a sportswriter for the Post Gazette where it was suggested that he change his name to something “less” Jewish. Cope, an accomplished journalist, was a contributor to Sports Illustrated and The Saturday Evening Post until 1970 when he began a 35-year run (the longest in NFL history) as the excitable color announcer for the Steelers. Cope became the first football announcer ever elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame.
“TERRIBLE” TIMES: With his distinctive Pittsburgh accent, Cope developed a large repertory of catchphrases and exaltations over the years including a number in Yiddish, notably “Feh!” He often yelled “Yoi!” as an expression of astonishment (Cope’s autobiography was titled Double Yoi!) and his “okel dokel” (his take on okey dokey) became a fan favorite. But it was Cope’s invention of the Terrible Towel as a good luck talisman (and one of the NFL’s best known symbols) during the 1975 playoffs that cemented his iconic status in the Steel City.
A PLACE AMONG THE STARS: Cope’s name will truly live forever—in 2008 an Earth-orbiting asteroid was named 7835 Myroncope in his honor.

HOWARD WILLIAM COSELL (COHEN)
THE MAN FANS LOVED TO HATE: “Arrogant, pompous, obnoxious, vain, cruel, a showoff, I have been called all of these. Of course, I am,” Cosell readily admitted. To many, Cosell represented the prototypical outspoken New York Jew. His detractors notwithstanding, the colorful and controversial sports journalist became a national celebrity and was so recognizable at his zenith that he appeared in three Woody Allen movies as himself.  There’s no denying that his work transformed sports broadcasting style forever. And his impact was unparalleled.
SPEAKING OF SPORTS: Cosell began his career as a provocative radio reporter, then rose to prominence covering boxing and as a defender and confidant of Muhammed Ali. Cosell exploded into America’s consciousness as an original member of ABC’s Monday Night Football crew. He built his reputation with an in-depth, “tell-it-like-it-is” intellectual style of reporting sports akin to hard news, unseen until then, and now the norm.
PIECES OF GOLD: In his heyday, Cosell seemed to be nearly everywhere on TV. Three of his calls sum up a decade plus of boxing history, “Wait a minute, Liston’s not coming out…he’s out!,” “Legends die hard and Ali is learning that even he cannot be young forever” and the incredible astonishment of “Down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier!” And then there was that crazy chemistry with “Dandy Don” Meredith in the MNF booth and his throwaway lines like “Miami has the oranges, but Buffalo’s got the Juice” (referring to OJ Simpson). But Cosell’s most poignant on-air moment may have been in 1980 when he announced to the country during football: “John Lennon, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival.” Cosell quickly ad-libbed a eulogy, replete with a quote from Keats that was accurate, word for word. Who else could have done that?

MARTIN “MARTY” GLICKMAN

Marty Glickman

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Glickman, a track star and all-American football player at Syracuse, was a member of the US track team competing at the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin. In a notorious incident of blatant anti-Semitism, Glickman and fellow Jew Sam Stoller were withdrawn from their sprint event at the last minute at the insistence of the Hitler regime and watched the event in their street clothes.
SEEN IT ALL: During Glickman’s storied 55-year career he was the radio voice of the New York Knicks and the New York Giants (famously teamed with football analyst Al DeRogatis), each for over 20 years. Glickman went on to announce for the New York Rangers, Jets and Nets (their very first announcer). “Mr. Basketball” also did local college games on WPIX and was the voice of Yonkers Raceway.
CREATIVE CALLS: In his clear staccato voice, Glickman is credited with introducing the term “swish” to hoops jargon. His typical descriptive call would evolve as “Fake, set, shot, swish—two points!” Local fans will remember his call for a successful basket as “Good like Nedick’s!,” a nod to the broadcast’s sponsor, the iconic hot dog chain.

BILL MAZER
THE AMAZIN’: Mazer, who was born in Kiev, earned his well-deserved nickname by becoming a renowned sports trivia maven. Mazer, who garnered three Sportscaster of the Year awards during his career, began in Buffalo, NY, covering baseball. He later was heard on New York Rangers and Islanders broadcasts, did golf for NBC and was the color analyst assisting Dan Kelly on CBS’s NHL games. Mazer is now 91 years old and still going strong. Like the “naked city” he served, he has a million sports stories that he can retell in infinite detail and accurate because he was there. Mazer also served for 20 years as the sportscaster on WNEW-TV in NYC and had a show on WFAN in its infancy, broadcasting from Mickey Mantle’s sports bar for three years starting in 1988.
BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE: Mazer is rightfully credited as the “father of sports talk radio.” In  1964, he became a radio pioneer, hosting the first such show on WNBC. His brilliantly conceived schtick was to invite callers to stump him with trivia questions for prizes in the “challenge round” each hour (fans found it near impossible to win). On WNEW, the local New York TV station, Mazer hosted the popular Sports Extra, co-hosted with Lee Leonard, an innovative Sunday evening wrap-up show and another programming format first—in his distinctive and melodious voice, he signed off as always, “So long. It’s been a pleasure.”

ALAN RICHARD “AL” MICHAELS

Al Michaels

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?:  Brooklyn born, Emmy winning Michaels is perhaps best known as the respected lead play-by-play voice of ABC’s Monday Night Football (with an assortment of partners from Dan Dierdorf to John Madden) for over two decades until 2006 when he joined Madden on NBC for Sunday night football broadcasts. He’s also among the select few considered as best baseball announcer of all time for his coverage of the Reds and Giants and on the national stage from ’76-’89 including his famous call of the “earthquake game” in the ’89 World Series.
HIS OWN WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS: Michaels has covered more events than any other sportscaster and is the only one to call the championship game of all four major American pro sports (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL) plus the Olympics. Add the legendary Hagler-Hearns middleweight boxing match, the Indy 500 and the three races that make up the Triple Crown and you have an unparalleled career that may never be matched.
THE MIRACLE ON ICE: Michaels’ most instantly recognizable call is the iconic and very emotional “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!,” made as time expired and the USA hockey team upset Russia at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980. Less well known is that this was only the second hockey game Michaels had done at the time.

JOHN M. “JOHNNY” MOST

Johnny Most

IF THE DICTIONARY HAD A PICTURE TO GO WITH “HOMER”: It would be that of Most, the Boston Celtics’ raspy-voiced broadcaster (and unabashed fan) for 37 years. Fans simply loved or hated him—there was no middle ground. From ’53 to ’90, the legendary Most, a protégé of Glickman, chronicled the rise and fall of the Celtic dynasty, fueled by countless cigarettes and coffees perched, as he described it, “high above courtside.” Most ranted and raved, often near hysterical and often sounding on the verge of a heart attack.
WHERE’S THE LOVE? Most was prone to savaging opponents—“Oh, the yellow, gutless way they do things here” was a lament directed at the Detroit Pistons. He referred to Magic Johnson as “Crybaby” Johnson for a decade and often described fouls by opponents as “vicious muggings.”
HIS GREATEST CALL: In 1965 the Celts played the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference finals. Boston led by a point and Philly was to inbound under the basket with a few seconds left and a shot to win. Hal Greer inbounded the ball and Most screamed, “Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over, it’s all over!,” one of the most recognizable clips in broadcasting history.
LAST CALL: Most was honored by the Celtics by having his microphone silver-plated and permanently installed at the booth in the Boston Garden, where he had concluded every broadcast with ”Johnny Most, bye for now.”

MERRILL ALAN REESE

Merrill Reese

FLY LIKE AN EAGLE: A Philadelphia native and Temple grad, Reese has been the radio play-by-play voice of the Eagles since 1977, making him the longest continuously serving announcer in sports. In fact, many Eagles fans have made a habit of turning down the sound of the TV to tune in to Reese, who has been acclaimed across the League as “the smoothest voice in football.”
BEST CALL: Reese, who usually sticks to the basics during the game, has one call that the fans always relish. When the Eagles kick a field goal, Reese breaks into a higher pitched falsetto and delivers his distinctive “It’s gooooood, it’s gooooood,” also the title of his acclaimed autobiography.
A POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES: Reese has been at the mic for two “miracles at the Meadowlands,” which rank among his favorite games. In the first, in 1978, the Giants, ahead in the game, failed to take a knee and run out the clock with a few seconds left and lost on a fumble return for a TD by Herman Edwards. In the second, in 2010, the Eagles were down by 21 late in the 4th quarter, rallied and won the game on a punt return by DeSean Jackson as time expired.

HOWARD “HOWIE” ROSE

Howie Rose

AN ULTIMATE FAN: One of the original voices for Sportsphone, the Brooklyn born Rose has been a lifelong fan of the New York Mets, from day one of the team’s inaugural season in 1962 when he was just a kid. His encyclopedic recall of Mets players and plays has made him a human database for the franchise and the perfect choice as its radio play-by-play voice, a job he shares with fellow Jew and current voice of the San Diego Chargers JOSH LEWIN, whose years of play-by-play with the Texas Rangers is chronicled in his book, Ballgame! A decade covering the Texas Rangers from the best seat in the house. In a touch of irony, Rose who also grew up a rabid Rangers hockey fan is also the TV announcer for the rival Islanders.
TWO YOU WONT FORGET: Rose’s signature baseball call is “Put it in the books,” exclaimed after the final out of each Mets victory. He has never uttered it with more relish than after the recent no-hitter (and the first in franchise history) by Johan Santana. But Rose had a career moment in 1994 when he made one of the most famous calls in hockey history and one forever ingrained in the psyche of Rangers fans when he screamed “Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!…And the Rangers have one more hill to climb, Baby,” as Stephan Matteau scored the game winner in double overtime of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final against the Devils during the Rangers run to the Stanley Cup.

STEVE SOMERS

Steve Somers

CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT: The totally laid-back Somers has been entertaining talk radio listeners overnight on WFAN since the station went on the air 25 years ago with the best Yiddlish schtick in the business. He is aptly nicknamed “the schmoozer” for his banter with the fans and his casual interviews with local luminaries from Tom Coughlin to his favorite caller, Jerry Seinfeld. Opening his show with “Good evening to you. How you be?” and an always diverting monologue delivered with precise nasal Yiddish inflection—and signature “whaaat?”—has made Somers a staple of sports radio.
ME HERE, YOU THERE…UNDER THE COVERS”: No screaming at callers or insults for sleepy listeners, yet Somers is an expert at good-natured taunting mixed with puns and his exasperated “alright already!” Whether talking to Yankee fans about “the lightning Rod” (his name for A-Rod) or lamenting the steroid use of “Barroid” (his name for Barry Bonds), Somers kvells about the teams he loves and offers a sincere “zai gezunt” as he bids goodnight to his legions.

BARRY TOMPKINS

Barry Tompkins

MAKING THE “ROUNDS”: Tompkins has had a diverse 40-year and Emmy winning announcing career, calling many major events including the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, Soccer World Cup, Wimbledon, the Tour de France and decades of PAC-10 football.  He really came to prominence, however, as the lead voice of HBO’s boxing team, calling blow-by-blow action for dozens of major fights. Tompkins then put in another decade on ESPN’s Top Rank series, making his voice near synonymous with the best of boxing and becoming the first announcer elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
IN THIS CORNER: Tompkins has had a ringside seat at some of boxing’s best shows over the decades, including the Sugar Ray Leonard/Marvin Hagler championship during which he first uttered what would become his signature call, “How do you like it?” Tompkins also lent his flair to Leonard/Hearns I, the much anticipated Larry Holmes/Jerry Cooney heavyweight brawl and Mike Tyson’s TKO of Trevor Berbick where Tompkins announced, “It’s all over, that’s all…and we have a new era in boxing!”
A RECCURING ROLE: Tompkins played the role of himself in the film Rocky IV.

SUZYN WALDMAN
MA AND PA PINSTRIPE: Waldman, a former Broadway actress who appeared as Aldonza opposite Richard Kiley in Man of La Mancha (she still exercises her pipes doing the national anthem at games), is noted for breaking a number of barriers in the male-dominated world of sportscasting. She currently serves as color commentator for New York Yankees baseball radio broadcasts on the YES Network with John Sterling (whose Jewish heritage is possible but not conclusive) and she’s the only female day-to-day announcer in MLB. All the young women breaking into broadcasting owe her a debt of gratitude.
A SERIES OF FIRSTS: When the seminal 24-hour sports talk radio station WFAN premiered in New York City in 1987, it was Waldman’s voice that was heard first, delivering a sports update as the station went on the air. Celebrating the FAN’s 25th anniversary on June 29th, she recounted how the live 24/7 format allowed breaking sports news to be aired immediately, even at 1:30 am—all she had to do was call it into Steve Somers on the overnight shift. Waldman became the first woman to do play-by-play in the major leagues and is recognized as the first one to become a full-time color analyst.
DECK THE HALL: Waldman’s story of trials and tribulations in the business (just one of many Blue Jays outfielder George Bell ranted at her and refused to allow her to participate with male reporters in a locker room interview) was added to the Diamond Dreams: Women in Baseball exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Also on display in Cooperstown is her scorecard from Game 6 of the 2009 World Series, commemorating her role as the first woman to call the action in a World Series.

WARNER WILLIAM WOLF

Werner Wolf

A LOCAL LEGEND:  Wolf, a Philly native, is best known as a local sports anchor in Washington DC and New York City where he earned three Sportscaster of the Year awards. Wolf has covered the Olympics, was a periodic host on Wide World of Sports and did some play-by-play for the NBA’s Washington Bullets and now appears regularly on FOX’s syndicated Imus in the Morning radio program and has a show on ESPN radio. He even appeared as himself in the movie Rocky IV.
GAME CHANGER: Two lines almost define Wolf’s impact on sports reporting. What fan doesn’t recognize the tag line “Let’s go to the videotape,” a term he coined at the seminal moment when sports reports turned from simple graphics of scores to loops of the best plays of the day. Often, when a video showed a bad call or glaring error, Wolf incorporated his other great line, a bombastic “Gimme a break!” Both lines became titles of books he authored.
LONG DISTANCE CALL: During the 1991 Gulf War, Wolf broadcast live sports reports for Israeli TV.

MARC ZUMOFF

Marc Zumoff

DREAM JOB: Zumoff, a Philadelphia native and Temple grad, still feels like he’s living a dream as he enters his 30th year as part of the 76ers TV broadcast team. During that span he’s received 11 Emmy awards for best play-by-play announcer.
“NOTHING DOING!”: Even during losing seasons, Philly fans agree that sometimes the best thing about watching 76ers basketball is the always passionate and enthusiastic play calling of Zumoff, and fans love to compare their favorite “Zumoffisms,” which always include the orgasmic “Oh, yes!” on a clutch basket.
ZZ TOPS: Zumoff has worked for years with fellow Jew, DAVE ZINKOFF, the “Zink,” the 76ers beloved and venerable arena announcer whose long career started way back with the Sphas  (for more on this iconic all-Jewish team see Chutzpah Winter 2010 @ http://www.pageturnpro.com/Black-Dog-Media/33399-Chutzpah-Winter-2010/index.html#46 ) and continued through the Warriors and then the 76ers eras, with Zinkoff coining descriptions that older fans will remember like “dipper dunk” for Wilt Chamberlin and “Gola goal” for Tom Gola.
THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA: Over the years, a long list of Jewish announcers has followed in the footsteps of Marty Glickman and Marv Albert at Madison Square Garden. Today New York Knicks and Rangers’ fans depend on these three TV sports mavens to keep them informed.

Sam Rosen

SAM ROSEN: Rosen has been the Rangers play-by-play man since 1984 when he succeeded Jim Gordon. Rosen has one of the more legendary travel schedules in his profession as he also does Sunday NFL games for FOX and a host of other sports including boxing, often rushing back to New York just in time for a Rangers game in the evening. Rosen’s trademark hockey call, music to a Rangers fans’ ears, ”It’s a power play goal,” is delivered with a unique inflection and emphasis on the “power.” And every Rangers fan will recall his emphatic “This one will last a lifetime!,” the moment the Rangers clinched the Stanley Cup in 1994.

Al Trautwig interviewing Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks

AL TRAUTWIG: A steady, glib and very busy commentator and host of Hockey Night Live handles the desk for Rangers and Knick games during intermissions and pre- and post-game shows, often wrangling the ex-jocks and coaches who have found a second career working alongside him. The multiple Emmy-award winning writer and announcer’s schedule has run the gamut from numerous Olympics to the Tour de France to the New York City Marathon.

The Maven, Stan Fischler

STAN FISCHLER: Broadcaster, professor, one of the top hockey analyst in the business and author of over 90 books mostly on hockey, Fischler has earned himself the nickname “The Hockey Maven” along with 5 New York Emmys for his work on the MSG network, covering the Rangers, Devils and Islanders.

THE FIRST FAMILY: THE ALBERTS
MARV ALBERT (MARVIN PHILLIP AUFRICHTIG): “Marvelous Marv,” the unmistakable “voice of basketball” and New York State Broadcaster of the Year an astounding 21 times, began his association with pro basketball as a ball boy for the Knicks. By his mid-20s, Albert was doing both radio play-by-play for the Knicks and Rangers. Albert’s vivid descriptions and enthusiasm were an integral part of the Knicks’ exciting run for two championships. During those years, Albert perfected a number of iconic calls. “Kick save and a beauty” still evokes memories of Eddie Giacomin in the Rangers net. “From downtown,” “Yes, and it counts….and the foul!” and “Serves up a facial” (on a vicious dunk)  are all phrases associated with Albert. But his trademark call, and one adopted by many other broadcasters over the years is the simple, but emphatic “Yesssssss!” following a big shot. Albert went on to achieve national acclaim for his impossibly heavy workload, which has included Super Bowls as well as NBA and NHL finals, baseball and the NFL.
AL ALBERT: Marv’s brother has spent decades as the basketball play-by-play lead for the Nets, Nuggets and currently the Indiana Pacers. Al is also a familiar voice nationally for his blow-by-blow descriptions of the Tuesday Night Fights.
STEVE ALBERT: The youngest of the brothers, Steve has served in many NBA arenas as play-by-play for the Nets, Warriors, Cavaliers and currently the New Orleans Hornets. Steve has also been a staple of Showtime’s boxing for 17 years and anchored sports newscasts on CBS and NBC TV in New York.

Kenny Albert

KENNY ALBERT: Marv’s son has certainly followed his dad’s large footsteps, currently doing play-by-play for all four major sports. He has been the radio voice of the Rangers since 1995, helps out on MSG Network Knicks games and does play-by-play for the MLB and NFL on FOX. He has also called men’s and women’s ice hockey at the last three Winter Olympics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Max Kellerman, Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant

PLAY LIST: Callin’ it like they see it
More of our favorites—from loudmouths to legends

Craig Carton

LEN BERMAN: His 40-year career included three decades as WNBC-TV sports anchor in New York.
BONNIE BERNSTEIN: After eight years at CBS, where she was the lead reporter for the NFL and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, Bernstein’s back where she started, at ESPN.
CRAIG CARTON: The brasher half of Boomer and Carton on WFAN (where he started as an intern), he’s the perfect foil for football legend Esiason.
GARY COHEN: The TV and radio play-by play voice of the New York Mets has been with the team since 1989.
IAN EAGLE: An early WFAN producer who got his own show in ’92, he’s come into his own doing NFL play-by-play on CBS and Brooklyn Nets play-by-play on YES network.
RICH EISEN: Another ESPN grad, Eisen is lead host of the NFL Network, the 24-hour cable and satellite channel that debuted in November 2003 and is married to sports reporter Suzy Shuster.
ROY FIRESTONE: Seven-time Emmy Award and ACE Award winner and acclaimed interviewer, Firestone was the original host of ESPN’s Up Close, Up Close Classic and Up Close Primetime.
MIKE GREENBERG: With ESPN since 1996, he’s co-host of its syndicated Mike and Mike in the Morning radio show and continues as one of the network’s SportsCenter anchors.
MAX KELLERMAN: Considered the heir apparent to Larry Merchant, the HBO Boxing commentator cut his chops at ESPN and has a midday radio show on ESPN 710 in LA.
SUZY KOLBER: The Philly-born ESPN SportsCenter anchor and NFL sideline reporter was one of the original ESPN2 anchors in ’93.
TONY KORNHEISER: First a columnist for Newsday, The New York Times and The Washington Post, the co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption has also had his own radio show since 1992.
LARRY MERCHANT: The longtime HBO boxing analyst and viewer favorite is revered as the standard bearer of ring broadcasters.
JIM ROME: The outspoken radio host of the nationally syndicated Jim Rome Show (The Jungle) recently jumped ship from ESPN for the CBS Sports Network.
SID ROSENBERG: The often-inflammatory talk show host has ping-ponged between New York and Miami with long stints on both Imus in the Morning and his own radio show on WFAN.
SPENCER ROSS: Mentored by Marty Glickman, Ross has done play-by-play for every New York team except the Mets and, among many honors, was inducted into the NYC Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
CHARLIE STEINER: Before his current gig doing play-by-play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Steiner’s 40+ year career included being an ESPN anchor and having the seat next to John Sterling with the Yankees just prior to Suzyn Waldman.
JOE TUCKER: AKA “The Screamer,” Tucker was the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1936 to 1967, setting the record for the most consecutive years of pro football broadcasting until Myron Cope.

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