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June 7, 2008 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Veteran sportscaster Jim McKay dies. The host of ABC's Wide World of Sports for forty years, Jim also called the 1980 Miracle on Ice. However, he will probably be best remembered for being thrust into the role of news journalist during the 1972 Munich Games.
posted by never used baby shoes (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by TrialByMedia at 12:30 PM on June 7, 2008


Al Michaels called the 1980 miracle on ice.
posted by notyou at 12:30 PM on June 7, 2008


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posted by Thorzdad at 12:33 PM on June 7, 2008


Whoops - misread a line in his bio - he was in the studio for the Miracle on Ice.
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:37 PM on June 7, 2008


I grew up watching Wide World. He was very passionate about what he was covering.

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posted by netbros at 12:48 PM on June 7, 2008


This made me sad. I grew up with Wide World of Sports. We always watched it before (and sometimes during) dinner. Then my sister and I would go out and do gymnastics on the lawn, or pretend we were riding racehorses while zooming around on our bikes.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:10 PM on June 7, 2008


I've never been a sports fan, but I would still watch WWoS namely because I loved the commentators and how they'd make an interesting story out of an event I would normally not care about. I have so many great memories of Jim - he seemed to be very emotionally invested in any story he was covering, which made him a fave. Like I said, I watch WWoS DESPITE all the sports.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:14 PM on June 7, 2008


Archive of Television interview with Jim McKay.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:20 PM on June 7, 2008


The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.
posted by Kibbutz at 1:25 PM on June 7, 2008


A link to his book, which I suspect may be back in print soon.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:27 PM on June 7, 2008


Just yesterday I saw a "Best of Wide World of Sports" DVD at Wal-Mart on the $5 rack. I have such fond memories of that show, and almost bought it, but then I got a phone call and left without without buying it. I'm going back today.

It was one of the few shows that my whole family watched together when I was a kid. It lived up to its intro: "The human drama of athletic competition."

Good job, Jim!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 1:31 PM on June 7, 2008


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posted by briank at 1:33 PM on June 7, 2008


I grew up watching Wide World. He was very passionate about what he was covering.

I will never forget watching WWOS (I think) when Jim McKay introduced a new technology to coverage of running races: a motorcycle with a platform on the side that would allow Jim to broadcast the race alongside the runners, with his big ass headphones and microphone, of course. So this long-distance race starts, and right away Jim and the motorcycle zoom up to the front runner. And he says something like "There is a problem here! She's got a tissue and she's going into the back of the shorts! I think we very likely have diarrhea, which as you know is a common problem with these athletes," and proceeded to follow her and update the gastrointestinal narrative for several miles.

I guess that was a little too up-close-and-personal (I'm sure the athlete doesn't look back upon the incident as a high point) and I never saw this (clearly expensive) custom contraption used again.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:39 PM on June 7, 2008


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That's a mustard yellow period. I hope his family has the good sense to lay him to rest in a mustard blazer.
posted by Frank Grimes at 2:40 PM on June 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


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i, too, am not a big sports fan at all. but, i fondly remember watching WWoS as a kid -- primarily because mckay was so enthusiastic, he could make sports seem exhilarating. and nothing, NOTHING helped me deeply understand the word "agony" better than that opening sequence.

best wishes for his family.
posted by CitizenD at 3:25 PM on June 7, 2008


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posted by paddysat at 5:18 PM on June 7, 2008


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posted by Ike_Arumba at 7:21 PM on June 7, 2008


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posted by theora55 at 8:02 PM on June 7, 2008


Jim McKay profiles Vinko Bogataj (the skier whose nosedive epitomized the "agony of defeat" in the Wide World of Sports opening credits)

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posted by jonp72 at 9:48 PM on June 7, 2008


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posted by ZachsMind at 11:49 PM on June 7, 2008


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posted by Ber at 7:07 AM on June 8, 2008


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posted by bjgeiger at 11:47 AM on June 8, 2008


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posted by tommasz at 2:43 PM on June 8, 2008


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posted by mattbucher at 1:45 PM on June 9, 2008


He will be missed.
posted by notmtwain at 2:25 PM on June 9, 2008


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