Verne Lundquist
Verne Lundquist in 2009.jpg
Lundquist at the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Born
Merton Laverne Lundquist Jr.

(1940-07-17) July 17, 1940 (age 81)
Other namesThe Golden Throat
Sports commentary career
Genre(s)Play-by-play
Sports

Merton Laverne Lundquist Jr. (born July 17, 1940) is an American sportscaster.

Biography

Early life and career

Lundquist was born in Duluth, Minnesota.[1] He graduated from Austin High School in Austin, Texas,[2] before attending Texas Lutheran University (formerly Texas Lutheran College), where he was one of the founders of the Omega Tau Fraternity in 1958 before graduating in 1962.[3] He is now a member of the Board of Regents for his alma mater.[4]

Lundquist attended Augustana Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois in 1962. His father was a Lutheran pastor and President of the Nebraska Synod of the Augustana Lutheran Church.[5] Lundquist played basketball and baseball and was a disc jockey at WOC, Davenport, Iowa.[6] His 'Golden Voice' was the highlight of the seminary class on preaching.

He began his broadcasting career as sports anchor for WFAA in Dallas[7] and in Austin for KTBC,[8] as well as being the radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys. Lundquist joined the Cowboys Radio Network in 1967[9] and remained with the team until the 1984 season. He was paired with future (and now current) play-by-play man Brad Sham starting with the 1977 season, the year the Cowboys went 12–2 and captured their second NFL title in Super Bowl XII.[10] He was sportscaster at WFAA during their 6pm news, while his eventual successor Dale Hansen did the 10pm news.[11]

Before becoming a nationwide sports commentator, from 1970 to 1974, Lundquist was commentator for the sports show, Bowling for Dollars, in Dallas, Texas. It aired weekday evenings on the ABC station, WFAA-TV, from 6:30 to 7:00, in north central Texas.[12] During these four seasons, Lundquist started interviewing Cowboys players and their first head coach, Tom Landry, at their sidelines, during halftimes, practices, pre-season and pre-game warm-ups, in Dallas.[13]

Network assignments

Nationally, Lundquist worked for ABC Sports from 1974 to 1981, CBS from 1982 to 1995, and TNT cable from 1995 to 1997 before returning to CBS in 1998.[14] Lundquist's patented belly laugh and his contagious enthusiasm for the events he covers have made him one of the more prominent and recognizable on-air talents in network TV.[15]

He is among the key voices of NFL Films, and in past years had called regional NFL games for CBS, NBA games for CBS and TNT, and TNT's Sunday Night Football telecasts.[16] He called television play-by-play on Seattle Seahawks preseason games from 2006 to 2008.[17]

During the 1992, 1994, and 1998 Winter Olympics, whose rights were held by CBS and TNT, Lundquist and Scott Hamilton served as the announcers for figure skating events.[18] Their performances were parodied by Saturday Night Live cast members Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond (as Lundquist) with Dana Carvey, David Spade, and Will Ferrell (both as Hamilton): in 1992 with Jason Priestley and 1994 with Nancy Kerrigan and Chris Farley. They did a spoof of the Olympics figure skating events, as both Hartman and Myers went "Oh!" when Priestly or Farley (in a pre-recorded performance) did an on-ice pratfall. Lundquist, after seeing the original footage in 1992, commented that Hartman "nailed it dead on."[19]

Lundquist filled in for Ernie Johnson Jr. as host of TNT's coverage of the PGA Championship twice, in 2006 as Johnson was battling cancer, and in 2011 when Johnson left after the second round following the death of his father on that Friday night.[20]

After his return to CBS, Lundquist served as the long-time lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports' coverage of college football on the SEC on CBS from 2000–2016.[21]

Lundquist retired from broadcasting college football games after calling the Army–Navy Game on December 10, 2016.[22] He planned to contribute to other CBS Sports programs, including its college basketball and golf coverage, for the foreseeable future.[23]

In March 2018, Lundquist announced he would not work the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, as he was still recovering from back surgery he had in November 2017 and would retire from calling college basketball.[24]

Despite his retirement from calling college football and basketball, Lundquist remains active as an announcer, continuing to call The Masters and the PGA Championship for CBS Sports since 2018.[25][26][27][28]

Currently, Lundquist resides in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.[29]

Appearances in other media

Lundquist played himself commentating on golf tournaments in the 1996 motion picture Happy Gilmore.[30]

Lundquist was a play-by-play announcer in the NBA Live 98 video game[31] and was also the play-by-play announcer in the College Hoops 2K8 video game.[32]

Memorable calls

A famous pet phrase Lundquist used on occasion is "How do you DO!"; on a huge offensive or defensive play, a phrase he took from USC football broadcaster Pete Arbogast (who in turn took the phrase from venerable broadcaster Vin Scully).[33]

Bless his heart, he's got to be the sickest man in America![34]

Maybe...YES, SIR![35]

There's the pass to Laettner...puts it up...YES!!![36]

Well, this bizarre real life movie continues.[37]

Here it comes...Oh, my goodness!...OH, WOW!! IN YOUR LIFE, have you seen anything like that?[38]

By George, the dream is alive![37]

Blocked! It is blocked! Jarvis Moss...AGAIN![39]

Blocked again! Cody again! Alabama wins![40]

Snap from Patrick Lewis … 4-man Alabama rush … got him … no, they didn't. Oh, my GRACIOUS! HOW ABOUT THAT!?[41]

Fourth-and-18 … lets it GO … OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! OH NO! Ricardo Louis! Talk about a Hail Mary.[42]

On the way … No, returned by Chris Davis. Davis goes left. Davis gets a block. Davis has another block! Chris Davis! No flags! Touchdown, Auburn! An answered prayer![43]

Dobbs heaves it. They're bunched up in the end zone. It's tipped up. It's caught! It is caught! Jauan Jennings! Jauan Jennings![37]

I am compelled to say...Oh my goodness.[44]

Well well! Oh my GRACIOUS![45]

Honors

At the 2005 Sun Bowl, Lundquist was inducted into the Sun Bowl Hall of Fame along with former UCLA Bruins football coach Terry Donahue.[46]

From 1977–1983, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named Lundquist as Texas Sportscaster of the Year for his accomplishments from his time in Dallas. The organization later inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2007.[47]

In broadcasting circles, Lundquist is affectionately known as "The Golden Throat".[48] It is unclear if the nickname is related to his vast broadcasting skills.

In May 2012, Lundquist delivered the commencement address at Hampden–Sydney College, an honor he calls "one of the true achievements of my lifetime."[49]

Lundquist is on the Board of Directors of the summer music festival, Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.[50]

On October 22, 2016, Lundquist was a Celebrity Guest Picker on College GameDay on ESPN.[51]

Broadcasting partners

Lundquist has had many broadcasting partners over his long career, including:

References

  1. ^ Nowacki, Jon (March 22, 2017). "Duluth-born Lundquist chose broadcasting over the ministry 50-plus..." Duluth News-Tribune. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Strege, John (April 10, 2015). "Ben Crenshaw, old friend Verne Lundquist pay tribute to one another - Golf Digest". Golf Digest. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  3. ^ "Verne Lundquist named Outstanding Contributor to College Football". Texas Lutheran University. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Verne Lundquist". footballfoundation.org. National Football Foundation. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  5. ^ "Special Awards Salute: Verne Lundquist (CBS Sports), Jake Wade Award Recipient". CoSIDA Conference. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  6. ^ Blevins, Dean (March 24, 2016). "Dean's List: 1-on-1 With "Golden Throat" Verne Lundquist". News9. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  7. ^ Horn, Barry (December 2, 2016). "Storied career: Ex-Cowboys announcer and WFAA-TV sports anchor Verne Lundquist made SEC football his legacy". SportsDay. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  8. ^ Smith, Doug (September 27, 2018). "Austin's Lundquist to call his 26th Masters for CBS". Austin American-Statesmen. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
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  14. ^ Deitsch, Richard. "Verne's Last Call: The voice of the SEC prepares to sign off". SI.com. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
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  42. ^ "Watch: Verne Lundquist relives 'The Prayer at Jordan-Hare'".
  43. ^ "'No flags!': Verne Lundquist tells inside story of the Kick Six". May 19, 2020.
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