The man that brought us the "Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat" has passed away. He was 86. He had many great moments but on Sept. 5, 1972, He was the one who gave the news of the 11 Jewish athletes murdered by terrorists.
Originally posted by KevintripodI still enjoy watching the Olympics, but they never were really the same once he stopped doing the commentary for them.
I think NBC had a hand in lowering the cache of Olympic programming (triplecast, anyone?), with their insistence on tape delaying all the best events until prime time, and then chopping the events up beyond all recognition to get in more ad spots and 'human interest stories' - it was like the events were the sideshow to the "storytelling". (Of course internet/instant news and steroid scandals are also involved)
For me, Jim McKay was the guy reporting on a series of 'odd' sports that you just never saw anywhere else on the three networks. Before even ESPN. Barrel jumping from Lake Placid, Downhill Skiing from Kitzbuhel, Cliff diving from Acapulco, Demolition Derby, the World Cup soccer final, King of the Lumberjacks contests, Triple Crown horse racing, as well as many of the Olympic trials.
It's somewhat odd that as we've gone from 3 to 300 channels, these sort of sports get less coverage now. Maybe "Ice Road Truckers" and "Deadliest Catch" are the modern-day equivalent. But Jim McKay was the man with class who would tie the story together for you, the way Vin Skully can still call a ballgame single-handed. I can't think of anyone like him today under 60.. losing Jim McKay makes me wonder whatever happened to Bob Costas.
In fairness, the opening musical number was pretty faithful to the source, which is also horrible. I did like Roger's it descended into gibberish and I'll have no part of it. I echo the enjoyment of Principle Lewis' bad Lieutenant-esque character.