Brent Musburger has been one of the most recognizable and accomplished voices in the history of sports broadcasting for nearly 50 years. But after five decades of excellence, the talented play by play announcer is ready to step aside and give someone else an opportunity to blaze their own trail.
Musburger has announced that he’s leaving ESPN and his position as a play by play announcer at the age of 77. He’ll call two more men’s college basketball games, with his final broadcast scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31st at 9p ET on ESPN (Georgia faces Kentucky that evening).
His career began in local television in 1968, before advancing to the national stage in 1975. He spent 15 years calling games for CBS, and moved to ABC/ESPN in 1990, a place he’s continued working at for the past 27 years. Recently Musburger has been a steady presence for ESPN’s SEC Network, calling both college football and basketball action.
“What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company,” said Musburger. “A love of sports allows me to live a life of endless pleasure. And make no mistake, I will miss the arenas and stadiums dearly. Most of all, I will miss the folks I have met along the trail.
“But the next rodeo for me is in Las Vegas. Stop by and we’ll share a cold one and some good stories. I may even buy!”
ESPN President John Skipper added, “Brent’s presence and delivery have come to symbolize big time sports for multiple generations of fans. When he opens with his signature ‘You are looking live,’ you sit up straight in your chair because you know something important is about to happen. Brent’s catalog of big events is unmatched, and he has skillfully guided us through some of the most dramatic and memorable moments in sports with his authentic and distinctive style. He is one of the best story-tellers to ever grace a sports booth. We and the fans will miss him.”
Although he is stepping away from ESPN, the Associated Press is reporting that part of Musburger’s future plans include starting a sports handicapping business with his family. The report states that his involvement will include an on-air presence and that Musburger is not ready yet to abandon the microphone.
The departure of Musburger from game broadcasts continues a trend we’ve seen develop in recent years. Although father time catches up to everyone, it’s a better business when talents like Musburger, Vin Scully and Verne Lundquist appear regularly on our television screens. With Chris Berman having a reduced role at ESPN, and Al Michaels’ run likely to come to an end in the next few years, it’ll be interesting to see who carries the torch for sports television broadcasts into the future.
For now, a special thanks to Brent for all of the wonderful moments he’s provided for sports fans over the past five decades.