"You are looking live."
That was the signature phrase that Brent Mussburger always used, and I remember how excited I was back on January 25, 1987, a couple of hours or so before Super Bowl XXI was set to kick off. Of course, I am a Giants fan, and that was my team's first ever Super Bowl appearance, and so everyone here in northern New Jersey seemed excited to see it.
Indeed, for my first few years as an NFL fan, and really right up through the vast majority of the 1980's, the biggest impression of football talk on me was with Brent Mussburger, as well the duo of Pat Summerall and John Madden.
Frankly, I am not sure that anything has really topped it since. They had a style back then that was hard to beat, and that is why CBS, which covered the NFC, always seemed the best to me.
Yet, by the time that the Giants made their next Super Bowl appearance, something had changed, because Mussburger was on ABC, and was not the anchor of a football pre- and post- game show anymore.
Still, he was always a joy to watch (for me, anyway). It always meant football on Sunday afternoon in the fall, and right up to the playoffs, and even sometimes the Super Bowl itself!
In fact, though, Mussburger commentated on just about every sport, and he did a good job of it, at that!
A few days ago, he did his last broadcast. He had been covering the college basketball game where the Kentucky Wildcats hosted the Georgia Bulldogs. Kentucky won, but the big news afterward was of the departure of Mussburger, of course. The video clip (above) shows some of the highlights of Mussburger's career, although I wanted to add some of the clips from the era, and specifically from the NFL Today program that I remember him most from.
His commentating will be missed!
That's It for Brent Musburger, a Great Broadcaster by Tully Corcoran, January 31, 2017: