Radio Voice of Cavaliers Deserves His Gowdy Award

Justice HillCorrespondent IMay 12, 2010

CLEVELAND - MAY 11:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers leaves the floor in the fourth quarter while playing the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 11, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Boston won the game 120-88 to take a 3-2 series lead. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Joe Tait stood with his back against the wall Tuesday, taking friendly fire from a band of male journalists who were there to celebrate his successes and not lob verbal broadsides the man's way.

But what criticism could any of them level at the easy-going Tait, the longtime radio voice of the Cavaliers?

"How much longer are you going to do this?" one of them asked.

"Do this?" said Tait, a wry smile accompanying his words. "I don't wanna do thisever again." 

No, he didn't misunderstand the man's question. He was just playing Joe Tait, the quick-witted play-by-play guy who was fielding questions about his selection as the 2010 winner of the Curt Gowdy Media Award.

He was having fun with it all, even as he basked in this semi-serious moment, a moment that Tait looked as comfortable in as Shaquille O'Neal riding coach. Self-effacing as Tait was, he endured it more than enjoyed it. He would have preferred to have been behind the mike than to have a half-dozen of them shoved in his face.

It was Tait's work behind the microphone, however, that has brought Tait his acclaim, and he is famous here, surprisingly so for an announcer in a sports market as small as Cleveland is. This gig has been good to him. He's held it for 38 years, longer than any player on the team's roster, aside from Shaquille O'Neal, has been alive.  

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