The voice of NFL Films, John Facenda, passed away ...Diane- no one else comes close to him ...
The voice of NFL Films, John Facenda, passed away ...Diane- no one else comes close to him ... Harry Kalas comes close.
from wiki, amazing how if it weren't for sheerest luck, the NFL would have never used him:'NFL FilmsOne night in 1965, Facenda went to a local tavern, the RDA Club, which happened to be showing footage produced by NFL Films. He enjoyed the slow-motion game sequences that were already an NFL Films trademark and would later recall: "I started to rhapsodize about how beautiful it was. Ed Sabol, the man who founded NFL Films, happened to be at the bar. He came up to me and asked, 'If I give you a script, could you repeat what you just did?' I said I would try."Thus began Facenda's association with NFL Films, one that would continue until his death. Facenda narrated countless highlight films during his career with the company. His stentorian baritone was the perfect match for the highly dramatic nature of the footage he narrated, and earned him the nickname "The Voice of God." Probably one of the best-remembered (and most frequently-quoted) examples of Facenda's NFL Films narration is something he never actually said: "the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field" was a quote the sportscaster Chris Berman made up, mimicking Facenda's voice when he said it.Facenda was undoubtedly at the pinnacle of his deliveries in 1974's "The Championship Chase" with his recitation of “The Autumn Wind,” a football poem (written by Steve Sabol, son of Ed) personifying fall weather: “The Autumn wind is a pirate Blustering in from sea With a rollicking song he sweeps along Swaggering boisterously. His face is weatherbeaten He wears a hooded sash With a silver hat about his head And a bristling black mustache He GROWLS as he storms the country A villain big and bold And the trees all shake and quiver and quake As he robs them of their gold. The Autumn wind is a Raider Pillaging just for fun He'll knock you 'round and upside down And laugh when he's conquered and won.”The poem and its accompanying theme music have become an anthem of the Oakland Raiders.Facenda's speaking style is frequently emulated, often in a parodic manner, in contemporary sports news and advertising, and to this day remains the sound most closely linked with NFL Films. 'from his obit:' Robert Hosking, former vice president and general manager of Channel 10, said Facenda once gave a blank check to a co-worker who had serious medical problems in his family. "John told him," said Hosking, "not to worry about paying it back. He just told him that if he made it out for more than $10,000, to tell John so that he could cover it." TV was still in diapers when Facenda began free-lancing for the new medium. He was still a WIP announcer when he anchored his first newscast for WCAU-TV on Sept. 13, 1948. The fledgling station had been on the air for less than four months, and its broadcast day lasted only from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.In 1952, the year the term anchorman was invented to describe Walter Cronkite's early work for CBS, Facenda finally left WIP and went to work for Channel 10-CBS full-time.As a newsman, said WCAU correspondent Edie Huggins, "His credibility was at the top. If John Facenda said the sky would open at midnight and Martians would come down, people would be outside to watch."Facenda went on from there to narrate NFL Films' game footage and highlight reels for two decades, his rich, dramatic voice a perfect complement to the long passes, thrilling runs and violent line play. Always the perfectionist, he marked his NFL Film scripts with musical notations for his guidance: lento (slow down), presto (speed up), glissando (glide through it).'
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