Halby's Morsels

Cris Collinsworth and son Jac, were the weekend of conversation; dad was hoarse, the other youthful

As we’ve embarked into another season with a country ready and enthralled, these are random notes of interest.
  • His voice thick, husky and hoarse, Cris Collinsworth labored thorough a broadcast of a blowout win by Tom Brady and the Bucs over the Dallas Cowboys. I guess there not lots to say after the game. So the subject of conversation was that fact that Collinsworth’s voice wasn’t in fine fettle. Apparently, no big deal, albeit lots of coverage in the papers this morning.
  • On the network side, boyish and callow Jac Collinsworth hasn’t really been tested yet (with NBC partner on ND, Jason Garrett). At least on the football side. He’s done a variety of minor sports and some basketball. Still, NBC gave him Notre Dame play-by-play job beginning this season when Mike Tirico succeeded Al Michaels on Sunday Night Football. Frankly, I thought that Paul Burmeister would be assigned the coveted Irish TV job. Paul does ND radio and work for NBC TV too. He quarterbacked at Iowa. Nepotism? Jac’s dad Cris is superb. He always sounds happy, loose and unpredictable. Cris and Al made a fine team on SNF. Jac’s grandpa Abe won a national title playing hoops for Adolph Rupp at Kentucky. Burmeister remains with ND radio.
  • Thinking about voices with new addresses or in new network outfits: Jason Benetti, from ESPN to Fox, and Noah Eagle caught tiptoeing away from CBS to FS1. Al Michaels and Herbie, a Thursday NFL partnership on Amazon Prime. They’ll make history, launching exclusive regular season coverage of the NFL on a streamcast. (Chargers and Chiefs in Kansas City, 8:15 pm).
  • Tonight Joe Buck and Troy Aikman join forces, taking their silverware to ESPN. (Denver at Seattle, 8:15 pm). We know what to expect for sure. Chemistry!
  • Kevin Brown who does Orioles will work a schedule of football again for ESPN. Brown lives in New York.
  • Michigan has appointed Doug Karsch and Jon Jansen to replace Jim Brandstatter and Dan Dierdorf as the team’s new radio broadcast football team. Most popular ever, Bob Ufer. in the 60’s and 70’s. He would bombard support, “Micheegin!”
  • Jason Benetti now does play-by-play for Fox Sports, moving over, from ESPN. Jason’s also an attorney. With so many announce today, one reminds me of another. There’s a tinge of Dick Enberg in Jason.
  • The future whereabouts of CBS’ Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson are still far from certain. Lots to sort out.
  • Tim Roye, longtime radio announcer for the Warriors, will take games off to do Stanford football. Tim gives it his all, whatever he undertakes. He was born in California, started his career in Utica, New York. In 1989, he joined the Sacramento Kings, assisting Gary Gerould. By 1995, he was hired by the Warriors. He’s been there since and will continue in his 27 th season. Stanford has has competitive football teams but not recently.
  • Joe Starkey, an institution in Northern Cal, did years of the Niners, the early season of the NHL Sharks and the famous, “The band ran out on the field!” He retires at 81.
  • Gene Deckerhoff is back for the Tampa Bay Bucs. He will no longer multitask doing Florida State football/basketball. It’s behind him although he still lives in Tallahassee.
  • Sean Kelley landed the University of Florida football and basketball job, replacing the committed Mick Hubert. I’ll be curious to see how Sean will be accepted there. He came from Tulane, to New Orleans to the NBA, ESPN and now the University of Florida. Hubert was in Gainesville  for 33 years. Sean had restless eyes, always seemed to be looking. A tidbit! In New Orleans he was a firefighting volunteer. In fact, I remember him missing a game or two because of fire fighting duties.
  • In one of my last conversations with Vin Scully about the state of baseball, he interestingly disagreed with most, who feel baseball runs too long. It surprised me to hear it from Vin because he grew up when the game ran a couple hours and change. What he didn’t like was the complicated way in which baseball is presented on both television on radio. He like it presented with simplicity. Double and quadruple seamers aren’t music to his ears.
  • Saluting a retirement. How about Joel Utley’s? He was the Voice of the Kentucky Wesleyan College basketball Panthers. He’s hanging it up after after 61 years and the radio play-by-play of 1,933 KWC games. Utley’s 60-plus years make him college basketball’s record holder for play-by-play longevity. Utley’s local legacy started at the Owensboro Sportscenter on December 2, 1961.
David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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Michael Green
1 year ago

The only objection I ever remember Vin voicing was about bases on balls. He felt too many of them made for a more boring game. Of course, I didn’t view the games as long and boring as long as Vin was broadcasting them!