Thursday, May 2, 2013



"Let's Hear It For A Living Legend"

While Thomas Banacek was in Philadelphia, he watched a televised football game between the Boston Rebels and the Philadelphia Cougars.  Gowdy was calling the game when suddenly Boston player Hank Ives disappeared from under a pile-up tackle.

From Wikipedia:
Curtis Edward "Curt" Gowdy (July 31, 1919–February 20, 2006) was an American sportscaster, well known as the longtime "voice" of the Boston Red Sox and for his coverage of many nationally-televised sporting events, primarily for NBC Sports in the 1960s and 1970s.

In April 1951 at the age of 31, Gowdy began his tenure as the lead announcer for the Red Sox. For the next 15 years, he called the exploits of generally mediocre Red Sox teams on WHDH radio and on three Boston TV stations: WBZ-TV, WHDH-TV, and WNAC-TV (WBZ and WNAC split the Red Sox TV schedule from 1948 through 1955; WBZ alone carried the Red Sox from 1955 through 1957; and WHDH took over in 1958). 

During that time, Gowdy partnered with two future baseball broadcasting legends: Bob Murphy and Ned Martin. Chronic back pain caused Gowdy to miss the entire 1957 season. He also did nightly sports reports on WHDH radio when his schedule permitted.

He left WHDH after the 1965 season for NBC Sports, where for the next ten years he called the national baseball telecasts of the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week and Monday Night Baseball during the regular season (and the All-Star Game in July), and the post-season playoffs and World Series in October.

Gowdy was said to have a warm, slightly gravelly voice and an unforced, easy style that set him apart from his peers. (Author John Updike once described him as sounding "like everybody's brother-in-law".) Unlike many well-known sportscasters, Gowdy never developed catchphrases or signature calls, but merely described the action in a straightforward manner.

Gowdy had numerous network assignments, first for ABC-TV in 1960, where he covered the first five seasons of the American Football League with broadcast partner Paul Christman. Gowdy and Christman also teamed to call college football for ABC in the 1960 and 1961 seasons.

In the fall of 1965 he moved to NBC, with whom he would be employed for over a decade. Gowdy was the lead play-by-play announcer for the network for both the American Football League (AFC from 1970 on) and Major League Baseball, but Gowdy also covered a wide range of sports, earning him the nickname of the "broadcaster of everything."

Besides Paul Christman, who followed him to NBC in 1965, his other football broadcast partners were Kyle Rote, Al DeRogatis, Don Meredith, John Brodie, and Merlin Olsen. His broadcast partners for baseball included Pee Wee Reese, Tony Kubek, Sandy Koufax, and Joe Garagiola. He also had many different partners for basketball. Al DeRogatis was also Gowdy's partner for the college football games.

After the 1975 World Series, he was removed from NBC's baseball telecasts, after a controversy over comments [about] a call by an umpire, and when sponsor Chrysler insisted on having Joe Garagiola (who was their spokesman in many commercials) be the lead play-by-play voice. While Gowdy was on hand in the press box for Carlton Fisk's legendary home run in Game 6 of the 1975 Series, the actual calls went to two of Gowdy's Red Sox successors, Dick Stockton on TV and Ned Martin on radio. Gowdy was Martin's color man on that home run.

Gowdy continued as NBC's lead NFL announcer through the 1978 season, with his final broadcast being the memorable Super Bowl XIII between Pittsburgh and Dallas. With NBC now anxious to promote Dick Enberg to the lead NFL position, Gowdy moved over to CBS and called NFL games on CBS for two seasons with Hank Stram and also did baseball on radio. 

He also called regional college football for ABC in 1982 and 1983. In 1987, Gowdy was the radio voice of the New England Patriots. In 1976, when Gowdy otherwise still worked for NBC, he was loaned to ABC to work on their Summer Olympics coveragein Montreal. Gowdy called swimming with Donna de Varona and basketball with Bill Russell.

Over the course of a career that stretched into the 1980s, Gowdy covered pro football (both the AFL and NFL), Major League Baseball, college football, and college basketball. He was involved in the broadcast of 13 World Series, 16 baseball All-Star Games, 9 Super Bowls, 14 Rose Bowls, 8 Olympic Games and 24 NCAA Final Fours. He also hosted the long-running outdoors show 'The American Sportsman' on ABC.

Gowdy called all the Olympic Games televised by ABC from 1964–84 with Roone Arledge's sports department at ABC.

In the mid-1970s Gowdy was host and producer of 'The Way It Was', for PBS, and in later years provided historic commentary for 'Inside the NFL', on HBO.

In the 1980s, Gowdy voiced a series of beer commercials for Genesee, an American product brewed by the Genesee Brewing Company in Rochester, New York. Essentially, these ads had an outdoor enthusiast theme, with Curt's tag line being "Genesee - the great outdoors in a glass".


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