Today’s story is about a legendary sportscaster…..who grew up with Bone Daddy, the original Sportphile, and his sports bar Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place at 302 E. 6th Street in downtown Austin, Texas during the mid- 1970’s….and on through the decade of the 1980’s….as both started out as infants in the business of sports….and grew into legends by the 1990’s….which is why we have so many events and so much content of Brent Musburger’s work in our video library….which makes him one of our legendary sportscaster class here at ImaSportsphile….which includes so many great voices “behind the mike” like Jim McKay, Chris Schenkel, Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, Dick Enberg, Curt Gowdy, John Madden, Pat Summerall, Jim Lampley, Barry Tompkins, Marv Albert et al….for these are the guys that made the events and achievements happening on the fields of play come to life.
Comedy – 1987 – SNL Season 13 Skit – NFL Today With Brent Musburger (Kevin Nealon) + Jimmy The Greek (Phil Hartman) + George Plimpton (Dana Carvey)
Brent Musburger is an American sportscaster, currently the lead broadcaster and managing editor at Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN)….and radio play-by-play voice for the Las Vegas Raiders. With CBS Sports from 1973 until 1990, he was one of the original members of their program The NFL Today….and is credited with coining the phrase “March Madness” to describe the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament….while covering the Final Four. While at CBS, Musburger also covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, the World Series, U.S. Open tennis and The Masters golf tournament. Joining ESPN and ABC Sports in 1990, Musburger continued to cover the NBA Finals, as well as hosting Monday Night Football and providing play-by-play for Saturday Night Football and the SEC Network. He covered the Indianapolis 500, U.S. Open and British Open golf, the World Cup, the Belmont Stakes, and the College Football national championship among other big events. In January 2017, he left the ESPN and ABC television networks after 27 years, briefly retiring from play-by-play of live sports.
Sportscasters – 2017 – USA Today Sports Special Interview With Brent Musburger – “Where Did The Phrase March Madness Come From”
Musburger was born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Billings, Montana, the son of Beryl Ruth (Woody) and Cec Musburger. He was an umpire for minor league baseball during the 1950’s….and was also a boyhood friend of former Major League pitcher Dave McNally. His brother, Todd Musburger, is a prominent sports agent. Musburger’s youth included some brushes with trouble when he was 12 after he and his brother stole a car belonging to their mother’s cleaning lady and took it for a joy ride. His parents sent him to the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota….and then was educated at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism….when he was kicked out for a year for owning and operating a car without a license.
Sportscasters – 2017 – The Post Game Special Interview With Brent Musburger – Talking About “The Brent Musburger Drinking Game”
Musburger began his career as a sportswriter for the now-defunct Chicago American newspaper….where he worked with legendary sportswriter Warren Brown. In 1968, Musburger penned a column regarding Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s protest of racial injustice in the United States with a Black Power salute on the medal stand during the 1968 Summer Olympics….in which he stated “Smith and Carlos looked like a couple of black-skinned storm troopers”…. who were “ignoble,” “juvenile,” and “unimaginative.” In a 1999 article in The New York Times, Musburger stated that comparing the two to the Nazis was “harsh”…., but he stood by his criticism of the pair’s action by saying “Did [Smith and Carlos’ action] improve anything? … Smith and Carlos aside, I object to using the Olympic awards stand to make a political statement.” According to Carlos, Musburger never apologized….as Carlos was quoted as saying….”We are talking about someone who compared us to Nazis. Think about that. Here we are standing up to apartheid and to a man in Avery Brundage who delivered the Olympics to Hitler’s Germany. And here’s Musburger calling us Nazis. That got around. It followed us. It hurt us. It hurt my wife, my kids. I’ve never been able to confront him about why he did this. Every time I’ve been at a function or an event with Brent Musburger and I walk towards him, he heads the other way.” Carlos later told Jemele Hill during a 2019 discussion that “Brent Musburger doesn’t even exist in my mind. He didn’t mean anything to me 51 years ago. He doesn’t mean anything to me today. Because he’s been proven to be wrong.”
MLB – 1995 – ALDS Game 5 Highlights – Yankees Vs Mariners – Brent Musburger Calls The Mariners Walk-Off Win
NBA – 1980 – CBS Intro NBA Finals Game 1 – Lakers Vs Pistons – With Brent Musburger
In 1968, Musburger began a 22-year association with CBS, first as a sports anchor for WBBM radio and later for WBBM-TV…..when in the mid-1970’s, Musburger moved to Los Angeles….and anchored news and sports for KNXT (now KCBS-TV)….where he worked alongside Connie Chung as a co-anchor on KNXT’s evening newscasts from 1978 until 1980….then he joined CBS Sports full-time.
NCAA Football – 2016 – Rose Bowl Special – Brent Musburger’s Salute To The Rose Bowl Classic
Beginning in late 1973, Musburger was doing play-by-play for CBS Sports….as he started out doing regular season National Football League games….along with future The NFL Today co-host Irv Cross….who was also doing NFL games at that time as well. Musburger was paired with Tommy Mason or Bart Starr, who provided the color commentary…..when a year later he would be paired with Wayne Walker in the booth….whereas by 1975 at CBS, Musburger went from doing NFL play-by-play….and other items, mostly on CBS’ Sports Saturday/Sunday programs….when he rose to prominence as the host of the network’s National Football League studio show, The NFL Today. Suddenly, Musburger began to cover many assignments for CBS Sports…..including other events either as studio host or play-by-play announcer such as college football and basketball, the NBA, horse racing, the U.S. Open (tennis) tournament and The Master golf tournament…..plus he would even lend his talents to CBS’s weekend afternoon Sports Saturday/Sunday program such as The World’s Strongest Man contests et al….as Musburger also called Major League Baseball games for CBS Radio.
NCAA Football – 2013 – College Football Primetime – With Kirk Herbstreit + Brent Musburger – With Special Guest Eminem (Marshall Mathers)
But it was Musburger’s association with The NFL Today that made him famous. During his tenure, CBS’ NFL pregame show was consistently the # 1 rated pregame show. One of the signatures of the program was Musburger’s show-opening teases to the various games CBS would cover….along with live images from the various stadiums….and his accompanying intro to each visual, “You are looking live at …” became one of his catch phrases. In promoting the network, his voice often tailed off on the last letter of “CBS” (“C.B. eeezz”), creating another catch phrase.
Sportscasters – 1973 To 1990 – CBS Sports Special – The Best Of Brent Musburger – “You Are Looking Live….” Et Al
Musburger made headlines when he got into a fist-fight with The NFL Today‘s betting analyst Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder in a Manhattan bar on October 27, 1980. However, the fist-fight incident was quickly regarded as water under the bridge as the two cheerfully suggested. By the late 1980’s, Musburger was CBS’s top sportscaster….as he was the main host and play-by-play announcer for the NBA Finals, college basketball, college football, the Belmont Stakes and the College World Series. He also hosted a New Year’s Eve countdown for CBS….and he is regarded as the first broadcaster to apply the term March Madness to the annual NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship tournament. Early in 1990, CBS underwent a significant management change….which resulted in Musburger being fired from CBS in April of 1990. His final assignment for CBS came the following evening….while doing play-by-play for the 1990 NCAA men’s basketball final….which was Duke versus UNLV….and when the game was completed, he thanked the audience and CBS Sports….along with the analysts that he had worked with through the years like Billy Packer….who was standing next to him. At the time of his firing….which he originally thought was an April Fools joke….he had been set to handle play-by-play duties for CBS’s television coverage of Major League Baseball later that month….when he was replaced by Jack Buck in that capacity…..while his position at The NFL Today was filled by Greg Gumbel…..and his position as the lead play-by-play announcer for college basketball was filled by Jim Nantz.
Sportscasters – 1981 – NFL Week 2 – THe NFL Today – With Brent Musburger + Phyllis George + Jimmy The Greek + Irv Cross
NFL – 1983 – Week 3 – The NFL Today – With Brent Musburger + Irv Cross + Jimmy The Greek
NFL – 1989 – Week 14 – The NFL Today – With Brent Musburger + Irv Cross + Jimmy The Greek
Following his dismissal from CBS, Musburger considered several offers….which included one to return to Chicago to work at WGN-TV…. but he instead settled at ABC. With Al Michaels entrenched as ABC’s top broadcaster….so Musburger focused on college football and basketball….then soon after his hiring, ABC mergered with ESPN under the Disney umbrella…..which allowed him to work on ESPN as well….as that included Major League Baseball, NBA games, ESPN Radio, golf tournaments, horse racing, the Indianapolis 500, Little League World Series, soccer games, college football and even some NFL games (including hosting halftime duties for Monday Night Football and Wild Card round games). Musburger was also the main studio host during ABC’s coverage of the 1998 World Cup….and the 2006 World Cup….and was briefly the studio host for ESPN and ABC’s NASCAR coverage…. as well as hosting Tour de France coverage for ABC. Musburger’s college football duties for ESPN and ABC have included calling seven BCS National Championship games in 2000, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Sportscasters – 2008 – ESPN Saturday Night Football – Funny Moment With Brent Musburger + Kirk Herbstreit
Beginning in 2006, Musburger called ABC Sports’ college football prime time series….along with analysts Bob Davie and Kirk Herbstreit….while he called the 2007 Rose Bowl….after taking over for the retired Keith Jackson….plus, he also called games on ESPN during his time at ABC….when during the 2013 BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame….as a camera turned to Katherine Webb….who was in the stands cheering for her boyfriend, Alabama quarterback, AJ McCarron…..when Musburger, impressed with Webb’s beauty, remarked, “I’m telling you, you quarterbacks get all the good-looking women. What a beautiful woman. Wow!”…..and continued commenting in a similar fashion…..so, the next day, ESPN apologized for his comments, saying they “went too far”….but the controversy died down quickly afterwards….which was largely due to Webb stating that she was not bothered at all by Musburger’s comments. As the Raiders’ new radio broadcaster in 2018, Musburger jokingly revisited the incident with a Twitter post welcoming the now-married McCarrons to Oakland after the Raiders acquired AJ from the Buffalo Bills. Musburger has a reputation for pointing out attractive women in the crowds of the games he calls….as among those who later rose to fame in part because of Musburger’s attention are Susan “Busty Heart” Sykes, Jenn Sterger and Katherine Webb McCarron.
Sportscaster – 2013 – BCS National Championship – Bama Vs ND – With Brent Musburger On Katherin Web McCarron