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Durban Sandshark

Another Olympic Caster Silenced

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He wasn't Jim McKay. He didn't actually hosted an Olympics, but he was involved in them and still a legend. I liked him all the same. It seems like we're losing people right now as we get close to the Olympics. Charlie Jones, veteran NBC sportscaster, died in his La Jolla home of a massive heart attack in suburban San Diego at the age of 77 this past Thursday. He was the deep-voiced play-by-play man of primarily NFL and college football and even did some games of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico when NBC held the US TV rights to and retired from sportscasting in the late 1990s and was in ill health in the last few years. But with this being an Olympic-centric forum, he notably also gave the call to, of course,

No further explanation needed on that. I remember being watching this live on NBC's St. Louis' affiliate KSDK and the reactions of Carl Lewis' mother during the course of the race along with everything else. Can't believe that was two decades ago.

RIP Charlie :(

I also found out that CBC commentator Don Whittman, who covered this very same race for the Canadians, passed away too. Months earlier. Truly sad.

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"Unbelievable! NINE... SEVEN... NINE!!!!"

Even if the race was sham, that's probably the greatest track & field announcing call that I've ever heard. Charlie Jones did a tremendous job at the '88 Olympics. He also did swimming & diving in '92 and rowing/kayaking/canoeing in '96.

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Oh yeah, DrunkWithBodie, I remember that very memorable call myself. If only someone on YouTube would put up the same race but with the CBC commentary. For us North Americans, there aren't that many calls in the world of track and field that people easily recall. It may be different over in Europe, where it is huge of course. There are precious few of them, the only one I can instantly think of right now that will rival that in recent memory comes from Seven's Bruce McAveny and Raylene Boyle at the end of Cathy Freeman's 400m win in Sydney to a roaring crowd. Bruce:"What a race! What a win! What a legend!" Raylene: "What a relief!" Or possibly the ERT commentators excitedly calling Konstantin Kenteris' win also in Sydney.

I remembered his last Olympic (and for NBC Sports) sign-off call in 1996 before retiring the next year: "...And we'll see you again direct at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith, Australia."

Jones had that grandfather-like quality for me that I enjoy with a sportscaster like him. The ones who seems to do that for me these days are also legendary: Dick Enberg and Verne Lundquist. Surely they are grandfathers themselves doing what they love.

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