ABC's Wide World of Sports: Remembering Jim McKay and Charlie Jones

The DeciderContributor IJune 15, 2008

Sports fans need more than a passing knowledge of the impact of journalists who were also very much aware of their part in relating contemporary human history whether on ABC's Wide World of Sports, or be it the not so uncommon provocative sports photo published without textual context.

Jim McKay survived commanding a minesweeper during World War II and choose to be a journalist in the tradition of the great journalists of his era. 

Eventually he accepted a role from Roone Arledge's concept known as ABC's Wide World of Sports. 

Those early broadcasters provided fans of my age sports journalism and its historical perspective "in real time" with similar performance to the great CBS news broadcasters Edward R. Murrow and  Eric Sevareid, and now NBC's Tim Russert included by his untimely death June 13, 2008.   History remembers all of them in superlatives.

Many others working in radio and television broadcasting companies were recognized for maintaining high standards in the 20th Century, and certainly many will in the 21st.   Broadcasting producers and the executives of the broadcasting companies should take note history with not remember their accomplishments much from their to often selection of broadcast journalists in news, sports, and elsewhere for their media star "eye candy" potential only.

History revers those who broadcast with an understanding of what history means to their journalism, regardless of the unquestionable commercial entertainment value behind the incredible growth of contemporary sports broadcasting, television, and certainly the current explosion in Internet delivered video.

The rest is history and Jim (McManus) McKay, a historian, who just happened to spend the last 48 years of his life as a sports announcer on television starting with ABC's Wide World of Sports, which is merely the second half of one Century's video form factor recording history, a blink of eye in historical time.  From the beginning of human interaction to convey information to the invention of the printed word, radio and television broadcast, and now, Internet, as well as all future journalism needs contextual individual wordsmiths emoting such as Mckay to be real journalism and connect us with our history. 

People are not wired to get enough from video, and God help us if the cloning advocates genetically mess up our left or right brain capabilities. 

 Let Computers Compute. It’s the Age of the Right Brain. - New York ...

It’s the Age of the Right Brain. Margaret Riegel ... development into shape, he told The New York Times about his new approach. “It’s more right brain. ...

Sports fans who contribute and enjoy Internet websites such as the Bleacher Report know better.  Print journalism, whether it is published in newspapers, websites, or hieroglyphics's on Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave walls in France, will never go away.

McKay and his successful contemporaries may have been merely sports journalist commenting on television images. But it was done by interrelating the images and the wider contemporary historical context behind the sports performance being viewed. 

Yesterday Charlie Jones, another broadcast sports journalist, prolific writer, and historian passed at age 77, while still at work in Torrey Pines, CA covering the PGA's US Open:   Charlie Jones. Bio for Charlie Jones, co-host of "Golfing Around The World"Charlie Jones is a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and the co-author of "Be The Ball: A Golf Instruction Book for the Mind'

The power of peer to peer Internet sites such as Bleacher Report is apparent by the mere fact as I write this even USToday hasn't reported Jones' passing, although Wikipedia has, and now I report it on Bleacher Report.

I'm looking forward to Bleacher Report participants stepping up to carry on sports journalism and its insightful connection with human recorded history.




    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report