Jim McKay: Remembering A Legend

Victor AndersonCorrespondent IJune 7, 2008

When I woke up this morning ready to possibly witness history at the Belmont Stakes, I couldn't help but remember when ABC covered the Triple Crown and watching Jim Mckay on those Saturdays in the early summer. Today, in a simple coincidence, Mckay passed away from natural causes at the age of 86. Many older sports fans remember Jim as the voice and face of ABC'S Wide World of Sports for over 30 years covering a wide array of sports from cliff diving to barrel jumping and all things in between. While he was known for "spanning the globe bringing you the constant variety of sport" he was more recognized by how he told the stories of these athletes. He made you want to root for them, to cheer for them, to see them succeed at their craft.

As a former sportscaster in college, I looked up to Mckay as not only a respected and loved member of the brotherhood, but as a articulate and well-versed storyteller. I dreamed as a 5th grader that one day I would be at Churchill Downs calling the Kentucky Derby or in a city like Munich covering the Olympics. His love for this business and profession was only eclipsed by the love, respect and admiration from others. In an era where Curt Gowdy, Chris Shenkel and Walter Cronkite were the preeminent voices in that time, Jim Mckay had the best qualities of all of these man and that is what made him great. So when you watch the Belmont today or any other random sporting event, take a moment to think about Jim and how he would bring you the action. He's now got the best seat in the house today and we sports fans know he has the perfect way of bringing it to life. God Bless You Jim, You'll Be Missed...