Monday, March 7, 2016

R.I.P.: Syracuse Radio, TV Sportscaster Joel Mareiniss

Joel Mareiniss
Joel Mareiniss, a 46-year-old Syracuse media legend and one of the most colorful sportscasters in Central New York history, died on Saturday at the age 87 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

He was 87-years-of-age, according to

A native of Newark, N.J., Mareiniss enrolled at Syracuse University in 1946 and, upon his graduation, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Thereafter, he returned to SU in 1953 in pursuit of his Master's degree.

Dave Cohen, the Emmy-winning broadcaster with professional roots in Syracuse — and a long-time friend and admirer of Mareiniss — offers this snapshot of the man:

Joel was the voice of Syracuse football and basketball for 14 seasons, a WSYR-TV sports anchor, the host of  "Syracuse Bowls" for 25 years and the Syracuse Chiefs' play-by-play man for seven campaigns.

Throughout, he served as a mentor to Bob Costas, John Nicholson, yours truly and many others. His shtick, "Herbie the Handicapper," complete with costumes, has sort of been copied by Lee Corso on ESPN's college football pre-game shows.

Among Joel's most colorful expressions were these:
  • When a quarterback was sacked: "He ate the pig!"
  • When a basketball player jumped high for a rebound: "He climbed the invisible ladder!"
  • When a basketball player gathered in a loose ball: "He has boardinghouse reach!"

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