Late Thursday night, news broke that legendary play-by-play man Dick Enberg passed away at the age of 82. Enberg was most widely known as the lead play by play voice for NBC Sports for a number of years, calling multiple Super Bowls, Wimbledon, golf tournaments, and so much more. He would later go to CBS Sports where he would call the NFL and NCAA basketball among other assignments. Enberg retired in 2016 after a stint as the television voice of the San Diego Padres.
It’s hard to argue with Enberg’s place on the Mount Rushmore of play by play announcers. With a career spanning several decades, Enberg was the voice for some of the most monumental moments in sports. He was there for the famous showdown between UCLA and Houston in 1968 and the first encounter of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the 1979 NCAA Championship Game (alongside Al McGuire and Billy Packer, who some still consider one of the best broadcast booths of all time). He was there for The Drive and The Fumble. And Payne Stewart’s US Open triumph. And so many Super Bowls and Wimbledon Finals and so much more.
Personally, I’ll always remember Enberg calling Stewart’s 1999 US Open win and his call of Illinois’ epic Elite 8 comeback in 2005 as two of my favorite memories from his career. Another treat was growing up watching ESPN Classic air episodes of the Sports Challenge trivia show hosted by Enberg.
Enberg was remembered by his colleagues across the industry, including former broadcast partners from throughout the years.
💔My heart aches tonight to hear of the passing of my friend, and former partner, Dick Enberg. A true professional. One of the best ever. He was a true gentleman. It was an honor to sit next to him for 7 years. RIP Dick. I will miss you. He always told me, “Love ya. Mean it!” 😓
— Mark Grant (@Mudcat55) December 22, 2017
Professor, I’ll miss you coming in the booth to say hello, tell some stories and have some laughs. RIP my friend. Love ya, mean it. Mud 😓 pic.twitter.com/Ny9DJmrYrj
— Mark Grant (@Mudcat55) December 22, 2017
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the LEGEND, the Hall-Of-Fame broadcaster, the Professor, and my former colleague Dick Enberg. SO honored to have worked on the same broadcast & always loved his stories/jokes. One of the most knowledgeable men and will certainly be missed pic.twitter.com/nbIkz86QBu
— Michelle Margaux (@mmargaux8) December 22, 2017
So saddened to hear of the passing of the great Dick Enberg. A consummate professional, he made me feel so welcome as a newcomer to San Diego, on and off the field. He had a charm no one could match, unparalleled experience, a true legend in every sense. #hubbahubba #ohmy pic.twitter.com/MvBM9D9ftO
— Julie Alexandria (@JulieAlexandria) December 22, 2017
I first met Dick Enberg when I was in college, and had the honor and privilege of knowing him ever since. I grew up listening to Dick in Los Angeles, and had the great honor of working with him. He was the best of the best in every way. RIP Dick Enberg. pic.twitter.com/LuTI1uV6TJ
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 22, 2017
RIP Dick Enberg. One of the nicest men you could ever hope to meet. A total pro and legend of sports calling. I always felt honoured to sit next to him in the ESPN booth & his advice was genuine & priceless. Big hugs to all of his family & friends 😔 #OhMy
— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) December 22, 2017
Others recalled a personal encounter with Enberg, where he shared with them encouragement, kindness, and generosity.
Met Dick Enberg in Cole Field House when I was a kid. He was so kind. So warm. I never forgot it. To have called him a colleague and been able to let him know how much his kindness meant to a kid is a treasured memory. A true legend and gentleman.
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) December 22, 2017
Heart grabbing news about a very special man – I shall forever appreciate that Dick Enberg shared with me his delight that a woman was part of the NFL – his encouragment was very meaningful – to those who never met him, please know how special he was to so many.
— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) December 22, 2017
Dick Enberg, as good as it gets.
He cared about the game and the viewers. He elevated his partners. A perfect fit calling any sport .. and even better guy when you got to meet him. I will cherish our chats in Queens, Northern Michigan and at Wimbledon.
Prayers to his family.
— MikeTirico (@miketirico) December 22, 2017
Met Dick Enberg in his Angels’ booth as a 12 y-o dreamer & wannabe. I’ve learned from & admired his unmatched class & grace ever since… was immensely proud to call him an ESPN tennis colleague. Such sad news this morning. I’ll miss him deeply, especially while at Wimbledon
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) December 22, 2017
dick enberg – oh my, what a loss.
we arrived in LA about the same time, 2 midwesterners, wide eyed and excited about opportunities.
he stayed the nice guy to the very end.
RIP, my friend.
— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) December 22, 2017
And others simply remembered Enberg for being one of the best in the history of the business.
Few among us could ever say that at some point in our careers we stood atop our profession.
Dick Enberg could. RIP.
— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) December 22, 2017
Saddened to hear the news about Dick Enberg. He was such an extraordinary broadcaster and person.
— Dave Pasch (@DavePasch) December 22, 2017
One of the all time greats in our industry. Smooth, classic, elegant while still able to ride the crest of a big moment.
Fantastic sportscaster who will be missed. #DickEnberg dead at 82.
— Scott Hanson (@ScottHanson) December 22, 2017
If Dick Enberg was doing the game, you knew it was an important game. You also knew the TV audience was going to get a Hall of Fame effort from him. On behalf of Syracuse basketball we send condolences to the Enberg family. pic.twitter.com/418A0gGWtI
— Jim Boeheim (@therealboeheim) December 22, 2017
Incredible to contemplate the career of the late, great Dick Enberg.
Super Bowls. Final Fours. Wimbledon. Olympiads. MLB. Breeders Cups.
Voice of the Rose Bowl. Voice of Wooden's UCLA teams.
What a legacy. How lucky were we to get to share in it?
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 22, 2017
How lucky, indeed. Oh my.