The voices of Nassau County are well represented in the world of sports broadcasting.
Williston Park’s Liam McHugh is the studio host for the NHL on NBC. For decades, Port Washington’s Len Berman proved a jack of all trades and a master of just as many of them as well when it came to calling sports. But when speaking of legendary Nassau County sports broadcasting voices, they all speak to Port Washington’s Marvelous Marv Albert being the man.
Still the voice of the NBA for Turner Sports, Albert, 79, has ascended to the mountaintop in virtually every major sport. He called Knicks and Rangers games, as well as those of the NFL’s New York Giants. Albert’s radio work also made him one of the Super Bowl favorites over the years.
Albert called play-by-play of eight Super Bowls on radio for Westwood One. Albert followed Howard David into the radio broadcast booth in 2002 and was succeeded by Kevin Harlan in 2010.
Interestingly, Albert’s word originally helped Harlan to get a leg up on a network job broadcasting NFL games. Harlan was calling games for the Kansas City Chiefs when Albert recommended him to the FOX Network.
“Back in 1994, doing the Chiefs on local radio, [Albert] gave my name, unbeknownst to me, to the folks, Ed Goren and David Hill at FOX, who were just beginning their NFL ramp up,” Harlan told Sports Illustrated. “They had hired [Pat] Summerall, they had hired [Dick] Stockton and they were looking for some younger guys and Marv gave them my name.”
Albert also called NFL play-by-play on television for both NBC and CBS. “Working with Marv and having his voice on our NFL coverage [was] a privilege for all of us at CBS Sports,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said upon Albert’s departure in 2014.
Albert’s Favorite Super Bowl Memory
Fittingly perhaps, Albert’s favorite Super Bowl memory involves the Giants, the team whose games he called from 1973-76, succeeding the great Marty Glickman, who’d jumped across the city to become the voice of the New York Jets.
Albert chose the Giants’ 17-14 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium as the top Super Bowl moment he witnessed while calling the game.
The Patriots were 18-0 coming into that game and were looking to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins (17-0) as the only unbeaten Super Bowl champions. But as much as that made the game unique, it was a specific play as the Giants were driving for the winning score that is embedded forever into Albert’s mind.
“I think the one with the David Tyree catch,” Albert explained on the Rich Eisen Show when asked to identify his fondest Super Bowl recollection. “The Giants’ victory over the Patriots.”
Giants quarterback Eli Manning scrambled away from pressure and heaved the ball downfield. Receiver Tyree leaped into the air and made a spectacular catch, pinning the wall between his right hand and helmet.
“The catch was made up against the helmet,” Albert said. “You take a second look at that and you ask, ‘Did that actually happen?’ To me that was the highlight in the Super Bowl.
“You look at the monitor and you double check. It looked like Stickum on the helmet, the way he was able to haul it in. That, I would say, was the most memorable Super Bowl moment that I’ve been
Lowering The Boom On Boomer
Albert called all of his Super Bowls for Westwood One alongside former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, who hails from East Islip, N.Y.
“I loved working with Marv Albert,” Esiason posted on Twitter. “[Eight] seasons on [Monday Night Football and [Super Bowls] 37-44. I grew up listening to him.”
Albert echoed those sentiments. “I thoroughly enjoyed my eight seasons with Boomer (Esiason) and the rest of the Westwood One crew,” Albert said.
Years earlier, the two found themselves on opposite sides of the microphone. Esiason’s Cincinnati Bengals had just lost Super Bowl XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers on a John Taylor touchdown with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Albert, working for NBC, was assigned to the losing team’s locker room postgame and was left to grill Esiason about Cinci’s failure.