April 2, 1990: the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels defeated the Blue Devils of Duke 103-73 in the most lopsided championship game in NCAA Tournament history.
That was the first title game I watched with both anticipation and interest. I taped it that night, and in the years that followed I saw it probably 300 times. I had every word of play-by-play memorized.
It happened to be the final game at CBS for legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger, though the name and voice meant nothing to me at the time.
Last night I watched Kentucky beat Georgia in overtime on ESPN, with a 77-year-old Musburger on the call. Twenty-seven years after that “final” broadcast he was giving his real final broadcast, and this time the name and voice sounded to me like broadcasting manna.
In an era of who can be the loudest on air or in 140 characters, the voice and style of Brent Musburger is a refreshing oasis. Classy to the end, Musburger’s final sign-off last night hit all the right notes. “The Frank Sinatra of broadcasting,” he was called by his EPSN colleagues. That’s not a term I through around lightly, but yeah, that’s pretty much how it is.
I think the best summary of Musburger’s work I heard last night went something like this: You know it’s a big game when Brent Musburger’s on the call.
Yup, that’s it. And last night’s game between Kentucky and Georgia—one-sided on paper though it was—did not disappoint. It’s going into overtime was just God’s way of saying He wanted five more minutes of Brent Musburger.
Just five more minutes, please.
I think that was my excuse to watch that game back in ’90 too.