Saturday, June 07, 2008

Jim McKay

Fans hate national sports broadcasters. Always have, always will. It may comfort Joe Buck and Jim Nantz to know that the same dirty names they get called were lavished on their forebearers such as Joe Garagiola and Curt Gowdy, not to mention Howard Cosell. The first national sports broadcast, if I remember correctly, was the 1924 World Series. I'm sure the day after it ended, announcer Graham McNamee was deluged in hate mail.

In his entire career, I never heard a fan say a harsh word about Jim McKay. He was revered within sports journalism, and rightly so, for his performance at the Munich Olympics. To me, anyway, it's what was never said about McKay that's the real tribute to him. The man covered barrel jumping, and nobody laughed at him. That's a pro.

McKay died this morning at the age of 87 on his Maryland farm. He will be mourned by the wide world of sports he helped create.


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