Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sportscaster Brent Musburger To Sign-Off Tuesday

Brent Musburger, one of the most recognizable and accomplished voices in the history of television, has decided to end his legendary play-by-play career at month’s end. Musburger, who has worked in the industry for nearly 50 years as host and play-by-play commentator – including the last 27 with ABC/ESPN – will call two more men’s college basketball games, punctuated by his final telecast, Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN (Georgia at Kentucky from Rupp Arena).

“What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company,” Musburger said. “A love of sports allows me to live a life of endless pleasure. And make no mistake, I will miss the arenas and stadiums dearly. Most of all, I will miss the folks I have met along the trail.

“But the next rodeo for me is in Las Vegas. Stop by and we’ll share a cold one and some good stories. I may even buy!”

ESPN President John Skipper added, “Brent’s presence and delivery have come to symbolize big time sports for multiple generations of fans. When he opens with his signature ‘You are looking live,’ you sit up straight in your chair because you know something important is about to happen. Brent’s catalog of big events is unmatched, and he has skillfully guided us through some of the most dramatic and memorable moments in sports with his authentic and distinctive style.  He is one of the best story-tellers to ever grace a sports booth.  We and the fans will miss him.”

Among the long list of momentous events Musburger has called was the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship when Villanova pulled off its historic upset over Georgetown. Fittingly, that game was played at Rupp Arena, site of Musburger’s final scheduled play-by-play telecast January 31, a game he will call with analyst Jay Bilas and reporter Kaylee Hartung. Musburger’s second-to-last game will be this Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. when he calls Florida at Oklahoma with analyst Dick Vitale and reporter Hartung.

Musburger’s incredible career resume also includes play-by-play or hosting responsibilities (TV or radio) for Super Bowl, College Football Championship, Final Four, Masters, Rose Bowl, Little League World Series, FIFA World Cup, Indianapolis 500, NBA Finals, MLB Playoffs, U.S. Open tennis, Belmont Stakes and much more.

77-year-old Musburger began his career in local television in 1968 and has been on the national stage since 1975.  He joined ABC in May 1990 after 15 years as CBS Sports’ primary host and play-by-play commentator.

In his current role, he has primarily called college football and basketball, highlighted by SEC Network football since the network launched in 2014 and ESPN college basketball telecasts (mostly SEC action this season). He has also worked on select bowl games, including the 2016 Rose Bowl and the 2017 Sugar Bowl.

During his career at ABC and ESPN, he has hosted and/or called play-by-play for college football (including seven BCS Championship Games) and basketball, golf, NBA, NASCAR and IRL races and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  He called the Little League World Series from 2000-11.  He also hosted Super Bowl XXV’s pre-game and half-time shows as well as the 1991 Pan Am Games from Cuba. He has also been part of ESPN Radio since 1992.

For CBS, he was host or play-by-play on NFL games and the ground-breaking The NFL Today, the NCAA Final Four, tennis’ US Open, the NBA, the Masters, the Belmont Stakes and the College World Series. He also did baseball play-by-play for CBS Radio.

Born in Portland, Ore., and raised in Montana, Musburger attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism before joining the Chicago American. His broadcast career began in 1968 as sports director at WBBM-TV in Chicago.  He then moved to Los Angeles as sports anchor and later, co-anchor of the nightly news at KNXT-TV.

In November 2016, Musburger was presented with the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting, presented by Fordham University’s WFUV radio station. It is named for the legendary Dodgers broadcaster, a Fordham graduate.

Musburger also received the 2011 National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Football Hall of Fame Outstanding Contributor to Amateur Football Award, as well as named to the 2011 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Hall of Fame.

Brent Musburger's Career Timeline

Brent Musburger’s broadcast career begins as Sports Director at Chicago’s WBBM-Radio and TV.  It was the start of a 22-year association with CBS.  Raised in Montana, the one-time minor league baseball umpire had attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and worked for the Chicago American (since defunct) as a sportswriter.

Musburger begins calling NFL games for CBS Sports, often teamed with Tommy Mason, Bart Starr or Wayne Walker.

Musburger is named host of CBS’ re-imagined and re-named NFL pregame show, The NFL Today, working with Irv Cross, Phyllis George and “Jimmy The Greek.”  In 15 years with Brent as host, the show was the standard bearer for the sports studio pre-game show.

For CBS, in addition to the NFL, he was host or play-by-play on the NCAA Final Four, tennis’ US Open, the NBA, the Masters, the Belmont Stakes and the College World Series. He also did baseball play-by-play for CBS Radio.

Working for CBS alongside analyst Rick Barry, Musburger calls the NBA Finals, including the epic Game 5, a triple overtime classic between the Celtics and the Suns that some refer to as the greatest game ever played (Boston won 128-126).

Musburger moves to Los Angeles as a sports anchor and, also, later the co-anchor of the evening news for KNXT-TV (now KCBS). His co-anchor for some of that time:  Connie Chung.  For a short period of time, Musburger anchored news and sports segments on the same newscast. He continued to anchor the news to 1980 even while becoming a larger part of CBS Sports.

Made film acting debut in “Rocky II” and “The Main Event.”

Musburger calls Doug Flutie’s famous “Hail Mary” as Boston College beats Miami 47-45.

Musburger calls Villanova’s “perfect game” in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, a stunning 66-64 upset by an No. 8 seed over Georgetown, a No. 1 seed.

Musburger joins ABC in May 1990, focusing on college football and basketball.  Over time, his assignments grew in number and variety, including for ESPN:  hosting and/or calling play-by-play for the NBA, college football (including seven BCS Championship Games) and basketball, golf, NASCAR and IRL races and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  He called the Little League World Series from 2000-11.  He also hosted Super Bowl XXV’s pre-game and half-time shows as well as the 1991 Pan Am Games from Cuba.

Musburger has also been heard on ESPN Radio, beginning in October 1992.  He was the original host of its daily ESPN SportsBeat segments of news, interviews and commentaries, which premiered in January 1993, and for many years called NBA play-by-play, including The NBA Finals.

Musburger calls the BCS Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., and Auburn wins the national championship 22-19 over Oregon with a 19-yard field goal as time expires.

Musburger calls the BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl, where Auburn takes a 31-27 lead over Florida State with 1:19 remaining, but the Seminoles score a touchdown with 13 seconds to go for a 34-31 victory and the national championship.  It was the last of seven consecutive BCS Championship Games he called (first two on radio, last five on TV), bringing his trademark flair, folksiness and ability to convey the magnitude of the event, making memorable calls at big moments of the biggest games.

Musburger becomes the lead football play-by-play caller for the new SEC Network.  In the fall of 2016, his ESPN college basketball assignment focus shifts from Big 12 to SEC.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to see you retire, Brent, from a selfish point of view. I will miss you. You're GREAT!!! Enjoy Retirement!!!