Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Dick Enberg is a Legend

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dick Enberg is a Legend

I have been a fan of Dick Enberg for as long as I can remember. I think it is safe to say that I am in the top percentile of Dick Enberg fans (there are not many of us). The man is a legend.

The days of classy, sophisticated sports broadcasters are fading. I still respect a few commentators out there, such as Bob Costas, but for my money, Dick Enberg simply cannot be beat. There is, of course, the legendary "Oh My!" phrase that he made famous, but it goes much deeper than that.

The year is 1987. The most coveted of all Grand Slams, Wimbledon, has come to a close. The most unlikely of champions, Pat Cash, has placed his stamp on tennis history. As is custom for any Grand Slam, there is a final video montage of that particular years event. The montage in 1987 for Wimbledon is the best I have ever seen. It was put to the emotional music of "Terms of Endearment" and Dick Enberg narrated the tribute. It sealed his legendary status for good. There has never been a more soul stirring, meaningful 5 minute video montage than what Enberg narrated in 1987. I will never forget it. Jimmy Connors made a great run in the 1987 Wimbledon and only Enberg can say "James Scott Connors" without coming across like a total buffoon. Fast forward to January 22, 2007. I am watching the Australian Open. Andy Roddick, who Jimmy Connors is now coaching, was playing. Enberg, the legend, was commentating alongside Patrick McEnroe. For a moment the video showed Connors in the stands watching Roddick play. Enberg says, "There is James Scott Connors looking on." I stood up and threw both my hands in the air. Not only did he say "James Scott Connors" but he also said "looking on", another classic Enberg line. The guy still has it my friends.

There are just those few people who happen to come across your life, both personally and through the television or silver screen, that make things a little better. When I hear Enberg, I am comforted. As long as he is still behind the mic, things are ok. Sports broadcasting has become almost a comical thing these days. Younger guys, many former players, are out with their super duper double breasted suits trying to look cool and say something insightful. I think Enberg lets them have their moment, flashes a quick grin as he walks down the hall, and reminds himself that only a select few really know how to call a sporting event. And he is one of the few.


Anonymous Rexwilder said...

"...and made us smile; through tears."


January 23, 2007 11:22 AM  

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