Monday, April 13, 2009

A Generation of Philly Phans Mourn

If you grew up as a sports fan, you probably have a certain voice etched into your head. It was the the susurrus that you went to sleep listening to or the sound you equate with running around in the front yard and throwing the ball.

Everyone knows the famous voices like Harry Carey, Myron Cope, and Jack Buck. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. You don't know how popular a sports announcer is until you actually live in city he talks to.

For an entire generation of Phillies supporters, today marked the end of an era with the death of long time announcer Harry Kalas (he's been broadcasting Philly baseball since 1971.) I don't like Philadelphia, or the fans, or the sports teams that play there, but I understand the loss of a legendary voice.

And Kalas was definitely legendary. He belongs in the same class with the Careys and Copes of the world.

I didn't think I knew him since I don't like Philadelphia teams or fans. But I know I've seen NFL Films. If you ever watched Inside the NFL on HBO, then you've heard Kalas. He's the voice on all of the game replays.

Hell, my girlfriend is taking his death has hard as I am because Kalas is even the voice of the Puppy Bowls that are played every Super Bowl Sunday.

So today give that obnoxious Philadelphian in your office a break today. They just lost the only voice the Phillies have had since Nixon was sitting in the White House being paranoid. And all sports fans lost a man who they may not recognize in person, but whose voice ushers in a warm feeling from the past.

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