7/21: Baseball Thrown Out as America’s Pastime?

July 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Verne Lundquist

Has baseball lost its place as America’s pastime?  CBS Sports broadcaster Verne Lundquist, who admits he’s lost enthusiasm for baseball, talks to the Marist Poll’s John Sparks about why and shares his thoughts, both, on the proposed realignment of the American and National Leagues and this year’s pennant races.

Listen to or read the transcript of the interview below.

Verne Lundquist

Verne Lundquist

John Sparks
Verne, we just passed the halfway mark for the baseball season, and I do want to talk about this year’s pennant races, but first I’d like to talk a little bit about the fans.  For the second year in a row, a majority of Americans say they are not baseball fans.  In fact, 52% tell the Marist Poll they won’t watch a single game at all this year.  So, I’m wondering is baseball no longer the national pastime?

Listen to Part 1:


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Verne Lundquist
I don’t think it is, John.  I think they yielded that title to the NFL and not recently. I think football in general, but specifically the National Football League, became America’s pastime, favorite pastime, oh my gosh, maybe 10, 12 years ago. I think that baseball kind of lost its way, and they’re having difficulty getting people back and caring about it.

John Sparks
I’m curious about the reasons for the decline, time zones, perhaps, after expansion?

Verne Lundquist
Well, I understand that if you’re… listen, I live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. So I live in the time zone that the country forgot.  We always get irritated, if I can use that word, about the television networks for whom one of which — for whom I work.  That’s grammatically incorrect, but you get my drift. It’s always 9:00 Eastern and Pacific and 8:00 Central, and we sit here with our mountain goats and our mountains and say, “What about us?”  But, I do think that the West Coast teams, you know, it’s tough for East Coast fans to get truly involved in what’s going on.  You could even make the case, I guess, in Texas with Houston and the Astros and up through the middle part of the country, but especially with the teams beginning with the Colorado Rockies, and I don’t think that there’s a fan base that really is evident back East for teams from here in Colorado on out to the West Coast with L.A. and San Francisco and Seattle and San Diego.

John Sparks
You know, I always thought of baseball as a blue collar sport, but I’m wondering, it seems that today’s players are more part of an elite class that I’m wondering if fans can just no longer identify with.

Verne Lundquist
Well, I think economically they certainly are, and you know, it’s tough to be sympathetic to owners who keep paying these astronomical salaries. I don’t remember what the figure is now, but I got tickled in the divorce, the publication of the Frank McCourt divorce papers, when they sought legal help that I think the Dodgers owed, I’m going to say this, and I’ll be within 5 or 6 million, they owed Manny Ramírez $21-million in guaranteed salary, and there was a footnote to the whole thing that somewhere along the line, they owed Vin Scully $165,000.  Well, that tells me something about the relative merits that they place on one of the great broadcasters ever in this pay-for-play guy that was there you know, for a couple of years.  But that’s true.  You know, John, that’s true not only in baseball. The salaries are — and let’s face it, you know, the television networks and the cable networks keep paying these astronomical rights fees, and the salaries are just out of sight — baseball, basketball, and football — in my view.

John Sparks
Is there any way that the waning interest in baseball might be turned around?

Listen to Part 2:


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Verne Lundquist
I don’t know.  I’m pausing a long time because I would count myself in all candor as one of those people who’s lost interest. I lost interest in the game because I just found — I found the game not…  I mean if you talk to a passionate baseball fan, and I know hundreds of them who just absolutely live and die with their teams, most of them involve the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Mets, as you can imagine, because my work environment is primarily centered around the East Coast, but they — I mean they can do sermons on the benefits of being a baseball fan. The whole sport has kind of turned me off for a long time.  I find it way too slow paced. I find it difficult… The season is forever, and the single…  I get all the arguments about how it’s a whole 162 game season, but I don’t…  How do you instill a sense of excitement back into the game?  Well, they did one thing, didn’t they, in the ’90s?  They allowed steroid use, and the sport I think suffered for that and is suffering for that, and the ownership kind of looked the other way, and in my view most of the baseball fans, the hard core fans, looked the other way during the steroid era. They were much more excited by the Sammy Sosas and the Mark McGwires and the battle to surpass, you know Barry Bonds.  It was just you know forget what you’re putting in your body, it’s the end result.  So, fans bear some responsibility for that too.

John Sparks
You know, one recent remedy has been suggested.  It’s a new proposal for realignment.  They talk about doing away with divisions and balancing the league so that the American and National League would each have 15 teams, and then the top four teams in each league would be eligible for playoffs, but they would also do away with interleague play. I wonder what your thoughts are around that.

Verne Lundquist
Well. I don’t think…  and again, this is from a guy who does not pay fervent attention to the regular season.  I just don’t..  But I…  again, this is just a personal expression, I don’t think people have ever gotten all that excited about interleague play. I suppose they have in Chicago, and I’m sure they have in New York to a lesser degree probably because everything sports-related in California seems to be less emotional for the fans than it is in other parts of the country.  I suppose where you’ve got San Francisco, Oakland, or you’ve got the Dodgers and the Angels, there’s a certain amount of interest generated by interleague play.  But I think on a whole, it’s not a bell ringer with most folks, and I’d…  The idea of the wildcard, I love the idea of going to the four best teams qualify, and let’s go from there. And then after they do that, they can do away with the designated hitter and everything’s going to be perfect.

John Sparks
Let’s talk briefly about the pennant races.  I’d like to talk about the American League first.  The Yankees and Red Sox are on top in the Eastern Division. In fact, those two teams were the ones that fans that were polled by the Marist Institute mentioned most as being contenders for this year’s World Series.  In the American League Central, surprise, the Cleveland Indians all of sudden have come from nowhere, and they’re in a two-way race with the Tigers.  And then, of course, in the West, the Rangers having come off of a Cinderella season last season are battling with the Angels, but still, Verne, the leaders in the West and the Central as far as their percentage goes is way below that of the Yankees and the Red Sox.  Do you think that in the end it’ll be Yankees and Red Sox again?

Listen to Part 3:


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Verne Lundquist
That would be my guess.  Boston has kind of owned New York this year, and the country — I think the country cares about those two teams to a much higher degree than they do most others. I don’t want to make that a patent statement. I think you would agree with me that ESPN would have no Sunday night program if the Red Sox and the Yankees didn’t play each other because that is a staple of what they do, but you know, they’ve excelled over the last several years, and my guess is that they will again.  And, I agree with you about the Rangers’ Cinderella season.  I just… as a person who lived in Dallas and Fort Worth for a long time, of course, that is where I have a still live rooting interest, and I’d love to see them come back and do what they did last year.

John Sparks
Very briefly, the National League, the Phillies have become a powerhouse…

Verne Lundquist
Yeah.

John Sparks
…in the East; and in the Central, the Pittsburgh Pirates for crying out loud are kind of like the Indians; they’re back after a number of lean years, and of course, you’ve got the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Giants appear to be repeaters in the West.  Any thoughts about how the National League might turn out?

Verne Lundquist
Well, I’ve noticed the Lance Berkman contribution to the Cardinals and you know with Pujols hobbled, that’s really good to see. I’m surprised like you are at Cleveland. I think Philadelphia is the best team in the National League, and all they’ve done is in the off season they added Cliff Lee with a wonderfully adept starting pitching rotation. I think that over the long haul, I would be shocked if they were not back in — if they weren’t in the World Series when it was over.  They’ve got to be the overwhelming favorites I think.  Yes, I know San Francisco makes a lusty claim, but — and as one, as I mentioned, I live in Colorado, you can only imagine how excited people in Denver got at the start of the season, and now they’ve kind of settled down, and they’re mediocre. But the whole… The Giants are the best team in the West, and the Phillies are the best team in the East and let’s — as they say, let’s watch them play in the middle of the country.

John Sparks
Well, it’ll be interesting to watch and also to see as we approach the end of July, which is the trading deadline, to see if what kind of fine tuning some of these ball clubs do.  Verne, it’s always pleasure to talk with you.  I know you’ve been on vacation for the last month or so and out of the country. I’m just curious, back to work with CBS and what might be on the horizon for you professionally.

Verne Lundquist
Well, we have enjoyed this time off, and I got in touch with my roots.  Nancy and I spent a month in Norway.  We touched in Denmark and Sweden, but mostly in Norway, and we just had a wonderful time, and it was really invigorating.  I’m up next with the PGA Championship in Atlanta the second week in August and then a little bit of a hiatus, and then we go, Gary Danielson and I are back doing the SEC.  We open with what has become an annual right of autumn for us, Tennessee and Florida, and the game this year will be in Gainesville.  And just one more little plug, John, since you’ve given me a chance to do this, our prime time game, we only get to do one in prime time each year, but we’re doing Alabama at Florida the first Saturday night in October, and I think that could be a doozy.

John Sparks
We’ll look forward to seeing that as well as the other games with you. It’s always a pleasure talking to you.

Verne Lundquist
Thank you, John.

11/23: Hard Hits on the Gridiron

November 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Verne Lundquist

What should be done to reduce the number of head injuries in, both, the NFL and college football?  The Marist Poll’s John Sparks took up the topic with Marist Poll Analyst and CBS Sports Play-By-Play Broadcaster Verne Lundquist.

Verne Lundquist

Verne Lundquist

Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.

John Sparks
Verne, there’s been more talk about football and head injuries this season than any other that I can recall in quite some time.  What’s the reason?

Listen to Part 1 of the Interview:


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Verne Lundquist
Well, I think it’s the growing awareness that there’s been trauma because of head injuries, not only in the National Football League, but also in college and on down to high school.  It just seems to me that the more science explores the impact of football and head injuries, the more they learn and the greater the safety precautions need to become, and so, I think that there’s just a heightened awareness about all of it.

John Sparks
You know even Congress has gotten in on the act.  There’ve been hearings.  You think there’s an answer on how we can reduce or eliminate concussions suffered on the gridiron?

Verne Lundquist
I don’t know, John, unless it’s in the increased safety level and increasing technology in the development of the helmet.  It is and always will be a contact sport as long as football is played with the current rules.  I think you can change some of the rules too to — but you can’t change the nature of the game. I think it’s all going to be dependent upon technology and an increase in the safety of the helmet.

John Sparks
You know hard shell helmets, as we know them, were developed in the late ’40s to prevent fractured skulls, and some say that the helmets actually encourage players to hit harder and with more force because they feel they’re so protected.  Do you think that’s true?

Verne Lundquist
Well, I think for years the technique was taught to lead with the helmet. I think it was a coaching technique, and kids, probably not in junior high but in high school and certainly in college, were taught that technique and then perfected the — not the art of it, but the technique of it as they advanced into the higher levels of the sport. And, this goes back to the increasing awareness of the damage of helmet, not only helmet-to-helmet hits but helmet-to-body part hits.  I just… I think that the technique…  Well, not the technique, the coaching aspects of it need to change, and I think they are.  I… You know the NFL is cracking down now on helmet-to-helmet hits.  The college game is.  We had an example in a recent big time game, Georgia and Auburn, where one of the Auburn defensive players was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. He used his helmet to spear the opposing quarterback in the small of the back long after the ball had been released and was gone. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike, but that was a potentially serious injury, a potential serious injury, and there’s a school of thought that he should’ve been suspended for a game, and the more suspension…  I did see somewhere someone was suspended just this past weekend in college, and I think we need to have more of that.

John Sparks
So, in the NFL, for instance, a player who commits an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit, think they ought to be fined or suspended then?

Listen to Part 2:


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Verne Lundquist
Well, I think suspension works better than fines because it’s so — it’s such an incidental part of their financial compensation package.  For these multimillionaire athletes, I think suspension without pay is much, much more effective than strictly a fine.  It’s a pittance for most of them.  It sounds great to the average American, you know $25,000.  That’s a salary — a yearly salary for some folks, and at least a half yearly salary for most people.  But, for a guy who’s making $3 million a year, it’s the cost of doing business.  So, I’d rather see them suspended without pay for a game or two.

John Sparks
There’s been a suggestion by some folks that we just do away with helmets; we slow down the game; we change it. That would ease parents fears who worry about injuries to their kid.  Do you think we’d ever seen anything like that happen?

Verne Lundquist
Well, we have a sport; it’s called rugby, and it’s as violent as football is except it’s played with no pads and no helmets, so I don’t see it happening.  I think the sport is so popular that they’re not going to do away with helmets in the game.  At the base of the attraction of football for most of us is the anticipation.  It’s not anything we should be proud of, but I think there’s an attraction to… not the violence of the game, but the aggressive nature of the sport.  I think that is part of what makes it attractive to fans and players, so, you’re not going to completely get away with that — get away from it rather.

John Sparks
I didn’t realize it, but I’m not surprised, there is an organization called the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.  Now, that’s a mouthful.  But, one of its board members who is a…

Listen to Part 3:


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Verne Lundquist
I didn’t know that either.

John Sparks
One of its board members, he’s a neurosurgeon up in Massachusetts, and he says you can prevent concussions, but to do that, the helmets would have to be much larger and the padding much larger.  And, he add that other than making players look like aliens from another planet, the hit of your helmets would be more likely to cause neck injuries.  So, here we again.  Do you see that we might get to this stage where we drastically reformat/redesign the current paraphernalia that we wear?

Verne Lundquist
No, I don’t think so.  Remember there was a kid — a kid, a young man from Buffalo Bills, I want to say his name was Mark Kelso, and he had his helmet designed with the padding on the outside of it, and so his helmet was much larger than most.  And, God bless him, he did look a little like an alien, and he paid a price every week in the taunting that he received from the opposition, and I just think the innate  narcissism of most athletes is that they’re not going to go for anything that makes them look less attractive, and that certainly would.

John Sparks
I guess the bottom line is that really football wouldn’t be football if you changed the game, and everything I sense is that it’s the most popular game in the country.  I know you’re preparing for the current CBS Game of the Week. I presume that ratings are as high as ever.

Verne Lundquist
Well controversy helps, doesn’t it, John?  And, we’re in the midst of this Cam Newton scandal or non-scandal, depending on your perspective, and so last week we had Georgia/Auburn game featuring Cam Newton: Will he play?  Won’t he play?  And, we had our highest rating of the year.  So, I mean we all know that.  P.T. Barnum taught us all that 125 years ago that if you can get them into the tent, keep them entertained, and it’s kind of sad.  It’s not a grateful — gracious commentary on the fan base, but it’s true, and we know it.  And, it goes back to the point I made: I think the element of violence is part of the attraction of the sport of football. I really… I’m not proud to say that, but I think it’s true.

John Sparks
Hey, I appreciate your time, Verne. It’s always a pleasure talking with you.  Good luck with the broadcast this weekend.

Verne Lundquist
Thank you, John. I’ll talk to you down the road.

Related Story:
Poll: Helmet-to-Helmet Hits — Football Fans Define the Penalty

2/11: The Winter Games: An Interview

The Winter Olympics come around once every four years, but how popular are the games today?  Verne Lundquist is CBS Sports Play-By-Play Broadcaster who has covered the 1992, 1994, and 1998 games.  And, in a candid interview with The Marist Poll’s John Sparks, he discusses this year’s competition, addresses the issue of steroid use, and shares some of his own memories covering the games.

Verne Lundquist

Verne Lundquist

John Sparks
Verne, you worked through Winter Olympics in ’92/’94/’98, I believe, for the network and of course you followed the Winter and Summer games for years. Do you think that folks follow the Olympic events as much as they have in years past?

Listen to the Interview, Part 1:

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Verne Lundquist
I get a sense that they don’t follow them quite as much, and I think particularly that’s true of Vancouver that’s coming up. I don’t … I just sense a general lack of a buzz about the games. And I live in a ski resort and we’ve got 17 athletes who either live in Steamboat Springs or train in Steamboat Springs and even there where you would expect to have a lot of conversation about what’s going to happen in Vancouver, I don’t get that the sense that it’s that prominent on anybody’s radar.

John Sparks
What do you think is the reason for that?

Verne Lundquist
I don’t know. I really don’t know. There just seems to be a real lack of awareness that the Olympics are going to take place.

John Sparks
You know when I think of your covering the Olympics, I immediately think of figure skating, of course. Is figure skating the event that you like the most?

Verne Lundquist
Yeah, absolute. Yes, absolutely it was. I just accidently fell into that. I can vividly remember when we were awarded the Olympic Games at CBS in the late ’80s and our first one was going to be in 1992. And as I just mentioned, I live in a ski resort, so I naturally assumed that I would get the chance to do the Alpine events, the downhill slalom, giant slalom. Billy Kidd was then our CBS analyst. He’s the director of skiing at Steamboat and a good friend, so I thought well that’s – - it’s just so natural. And then I got the call from New York and they said, “You’re doing figure skating.” And my initial reaction was not really positive, and the dirty little secret that I’ve managed to keep now, for what, almost 20 years, 18 for sure, since the ’92 Olympic games in Albertville, I didn’t know one jump from the other, and that’s where my dear friend Scott Hamilton saved my professional reputation because every time a jump was about to come up, he would reach over and just tap me on the forearm as if to say, “Shut up now, and I’ll take it.” And we’ve remained dear friends, and I’ve grown to love the sport.

John Sparks
Are there other events that you especially enjoy from the winter games?

Verne Lundquist
Yes, there are. There’s one particularly, and I think it would surprise folks, but again it goes back to where I live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Over the course of the last half century, maybe even more than that, our little community has sent now more than 80 athletes to the Winter games, 80. It’s astounding, and the most prominent of those who have represented our country from Steamboat are the Nordic Combined guys. And Todd Lodwick is kind of the leader of that group. He grew up in Steamboat, and I’ve known Todd for better than 20 years. Johnny Spillane is another Steamboat native who’s a part of the group, and a young man named Bill Demong, D-E-M-O-N-G, is from upstate New York, but he’s lived in Steamboat for a decade, and those three kids, not kids, I mean Todd’s in his 30′s now, and this will be his fifth, fifth, Olympic Games. That’s (unintelligible). But they might medal in Vancouver. They’ve gotten that good. So our whole community is going to be watching that event, the Nordic Combined. It’s a combination of ski jumping and cross-country racing and it’s really not on anybody’s radar in our country. It’s enormously popular in Scandinavia, as you can imagine.

John Sparks
Is there one particular event, one particular performance that stood out above all others in your memory at a Winter Olympics?

Listen to the Interview, Part 2:

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Verne Lundquist
Oh yeah. Yeah, John, 1994, we were involved in the cartoon that is known as Tonya and Nancy, right. And Scott and I were right in the middle of it, the whole unbelievable build up to that event. I just got a word from CBS, one of my friends who’s a vice president at the office in New York just sent me word that our Super Bowl coverage had an overnight rating of 46, a 46 share, which — or 46 rating rather, and that is the highest since 1987 for a Super Bowl, so we’re going to set a record number of viewers. In 1994 for Tonya and Nancy on the ice in Lillehammer, we had 48.5, and it’s the all-time highest rated Olympic show, and I don’t think anybody’s going to top that now on a fractured universe. So just to be a part of that is very, very memorable.

John Sparks
I can imagine. As a follow-up, do you have a favorite Olympic athlete who will be competing this month in Vancouver?

Verne Lundquist
Yes, I do, and I already mentioned him, Todd Lodwick. He’s … his grandparents lived in Steamboat Springs. His mom and dad served as the grand marshals of our winter carnival last weekend. The 97th winter carnival in Steamboat history, and it is — for a small community, it’s a huge event, and I’ve known Todd not since … well, since he was a teenager, a young teenager, and I first saw him compete in the Olympics in Lillehammer in ’94, and he’s been a part of everyone since, and they finished fourth, the team did, in Salt Lake City. They had a breakdown at the last minute, so I know how much it would mean to him if he could lead the Nordic Combined team to any kind of a podium finish in Vancouver.

John Sparks
Verne, there’s always been this issue about athletes being role models, and it’s difficult, as you know, to make a broad general assessment, but I’m going to ask you anyway. Do you think that the actions of the Olympic athletes teach our kids mostly good things or bad things?

Listen to the Interview, Part 3:

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Verne Lundquist
I think mostly good. I’m an optimist in some ways about what the lessons are that emanate from the athletes down to — into the young people’s world. I think the whole Olympic concept, I know it’s over-commercialized. We all understand and accept that, and I know that in the summer, I mean, the shoe companies just dictate so much and it — that tends to make one very cynical. But here again, I keep going back to these — the two sports in the Winter Olympics that I know best — figure skating and Nordic Combined. I really do know the kind of sacrifice that skaters, male and female, go through to earn a spot on their respected Olympic teams and the effort that’s put in, the dedication that’s required, and I know the same about the much less popular sport of Nordic Combined. And I think, I really believe, that on the whole, the lessons learned from these people who compete at that high level are beneficial to our youngsters.

John Sparks
Now Verne, no matter what the sport may be, whether we’re talking amateur or professional, the issue of drugs comes up, specifically these days performance enhancing drugs. And I’m just curious how common you think the use of steroids is among our Olympic athletes?

Verne Lundquist
Well I was optimistic about the previous question. I’m a little pessimistic and somewhat cynical about this one. It’s there, and it’s a constant race between those who find ways to mask the use of steroids or other performance enhancing drugs and those who try and catch them. We’ve seen what happened in baseball. I’m not foolish enough to think it doesn’t happen in the winter sports and the summer sports as well. I mean what track and field has gone through and may still be going through is alarming, and we’ve all heard about blood doping and other — anything it seems to me that by a certain group of people that can help you go become stronger, faster and jump higher, their level of cynicism seems to be a dominant facet of their lives. I’m going on and on here, but it bothers me. As pure as I’d like to think they are, I’m realistic enough to know that not all of them are.

John Sparks
Verne, anything else you might want to comment on concerning the Olympics which we haven’t talked about, and then I certainly want to ask you what’s going on with you these days?

Verne Lundquist
I’m heavily involved in our college basketball. I’ve got … I did a game in the West Coast last week. We had — Duke-Georgetown a week before in Washington and were blessed to have the President do commentary with Clark Kellogg and me. If I had to do one event before it’s all over for me, I’d love to get a shot at one more Olympics, either winter or summer. I’ve never done the summer, ever, ever. I’m terribly envious of Tom Hammond, who at NBC, who gets to do track and field in the summer and figure skating in the winter. That would be something I’d really love to do.

Related Story:

2/11: Let the Games Begin! 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Verne Lundquist

February 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Verne Lundquist

Verne Lundquist first joined CBS Sports in 1982.  During his tenure, he has broadcast over 20 different sports for the Network. Currently, Lundquist serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports’ coverage of college football, alongside analyst Gary Danielson. In addition, he serves as a play-by-play announcer for the Network’s coverage of NCAA Basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. He provides commentary for the Masters , the PGA Championship, among other PGA TOUR events. Lundquist was inducted into the National Sportscaster and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in April 2007.

Verne Lundquist

Verne Lundquist

He marked his 25th year covering the Masters in 2009 and was a regular member of CBS’s golf announce team from 1983-95. Lundquist returned to CBS Sports in 1998 after having previously worked for CBS from 1983-95. During his career, he worked with Terry Bradshaw and Dan Fouts, and occasionally with lead analyst John Madden, on the Network’s NFL broadcasts and was lead play-by-play announcer for CBS’s coverage of figure skating during the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Olympic Winter Games. He had extensive involvement in the Network’s previous coverage of the NBA.

His extensive credits at CBS Sports include track and field, swimming and diving, boxing, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, weightlifting, free-style skiing, archery, horse racing and horse jumping. He spent eight years at ABC Sports and three years as a play-by-play announcer for TNT’s coverage of the NFL, NBA and golf and figure skating coverage (1995-97). He is well-known in Texas as the long-time radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys (1972-84). Lundquist was sports director at WFAA-TV in Dallas for 16 years and won seven consecutive Texas Sportscaster of the Year Awards (1977-83). He was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2003. Lundquist was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.

It was the first time in the 55-year history of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame that members of the media were inducted. Lundquist was part of the inaugural class along with seven other legendary sportscasters and sports writers. He was named a 2005 Legend of the Sun Bowl by the Sun Bowl Association. Lundquist presented former Pittsburgh Steeler great Terry Bradshaw at his induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He began his career at KTBC-TV in Austin at a station owned by President and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson.

Biography from CBS Sports