Oh, My: Saluting a Broadcasting Legend

Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune

A sports broadcasting legend has left us.

Yesterday, former NBC, CBS, ESPN, and San Diego Padres announcer Dick Enberg passed away at the age of 82. Multiple reports have stated that his family believes Enberg died of a heart attack in his California home late Thursday night. He retired as the television voice of the Padres at the end of last season, something you probably missed because Dodgers legend Vin Scully was leaving the business at the exact same time.

However, it is tremendously important that we recall what an important voice Enberg was throughout his career. He called some of the biggest events in sports over the course of his broadcasting career, which spanned nearly 60 years. Here is a list of just some of the games and tournaments he was on the microphone for in his illustrious career:

  • 10 Final Fours (with UCLA; this includes the 1968 “Game of the Century” between Houston and UCLA)
    • 6 Final Fours (with NBC)
  • 8 Super Bowls (with NBC)
  • 9 Rose Bowls (NBC)
  • 28 Wimbledons (ESPN and NBC)
  • 13 U.S. Opens (CBS)
  • The 1982 World Series (NBC)

This list likely omits several other significant assignments Enberg covered as a broadcaster. Just for some context on that list: the first Final Four Enberg called for UCLA was in 1967, and that year’s Most Outstanding Player was Lew Alcindor, who later became known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. His final NCAA Tournament game behind the microphone was in 2010 for CBS, and it featured young Kentucky stars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. That means Enberg stuck around long enough for college basketball to progress from playing without a shot clock to becoming a one-year pit stop for many of the country’s best 18 and 19-year-olds.

Additionally, his first Super Bowl, the fifteenth in NFL history, featured quarterbacks Jim Plunkett and Ron Jaworski. Super Bowl XXXII, the last Super Bowl Enberg worked, featured quarterbacks Brett Favre and John Elway.

There are not may broadcasters who can say they have witnessed the history Enberg did. And while he worked in a golden era of sports broadcasting (one that gave us legends such as Vin Scully, Al Michaels, Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, and countless others), it is important to remember how good Enberg really was and just how many important events he lent his voice to over the past 50 years.

I would write more here, but it would come at the risk of repeating things that have already been written and said. So I’ll just close with Dick Enberg’s catchphrase, a two-word ditty that aptly describes his career and accomplishments:

Oh, my!

Rest in peace, Dick Enberg.

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