The League

Jim McCormick
Blitz Magazine Publisher

Jim McCormick

The editor and publisher of Blitz Magazine

Deep Voice, Deep Loss

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The voice.

That's what we all remember. And miss.

A legendary sports announcer is such a special treasure because they outlive the legends from the field. As players come and players go, they remain.

Myron Cope's raspy, guttural calls still resonate in Allegheny County. Harry Cary's indelible versions of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" still reverberate in Wrigley. Howard Cosell's potent tongue and patented cadence helped make the NFL what it is today.

And for the millions in the Delaware Valley who were lucky to hear Harry Kalas call Phillies games for the last 30-odd years, we'll never forget his deft, famously deep baritone. The voice of my childhood, that called all those Michael Jack Schmidt dingers, also called the pitch that resurrected my city's spirit just over five months ago.

More than just a local treasure, Harry was the weekend voice of Westwood One covering NFL and Notre Dame football. He narrated miles of celluloid for NFL Films in what was the perfect marriage of a man's voice and triumphant orchestral instrumentals. A booming, bass-heavy song and Harry's booming, bass-heavy voice danced together over beautiful shots of NFL violence with ease.

Is Harry the most beloved voice in the history of professional football? I'm not sure that's the case; especially given that the man is best known for his work perched above the diamond.

But it can be said that whether it was a Campbell's Soup commercial, a retrospective on the '86 Bears or a baseball game in June, that we'll all remember that wonderful voice, and that wonderful man.

By Jim McCormick  |  April 13, 2009; 3:31 PM ET  | Category:  NFL , New York Giants Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Harry Kalas was a nice guy, but even for NFL Films, he was no John Facenda.

Posted by: cptspaulding | April 13, 2009 10:33 PM

Philadelphia Phillies fans have been fortunate to have heard Harry as well as Richie Ashburn and By Sahm call games over the last 50 years. "Outta Here" probably has Harry's copyright. His successors will have a hard time filling his shoes.

Only time will tell if Harry Calas upends John Facenda as NFL Film's signature voice. John had the advantage of spending decades reporting the news on TV and radio.

Posted by: Renpech | April 14, 2009 8:28 AM

Philadelphia Phillies fans have been fortunate to have heard Harry as well as Richie Ashburn and By Sahm call games over the last 50 years. "Outta Here" probably has Harry's copyright. His successors will have a hard time filling his shoes.

Only time will tell if Harry Calas upends John Facenda as NFL Film's signature voice. John had the advantage of spending decades reporting the news on TV and radio.

Posted by: Renpech | April 14, 2009 8:28 AM

Why is everyone so set on comparing Harry to Facenda? It doesn't matter who's better.

Posted by: wxcbs | April 19, 2009 9:03 PM

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