The Popcorn Stand: ‘Oh my!’ we’ll miss Dick Enberg
It seems like I only write Popcorn Stands when someone passes away, a resolution to change in 2018.
Today, I write about a man whom I walked in his footsteps — Dick Enberg.
Dick Enberg is Central Michigan University’s most famous alumni. Or at least in my mind he is.
Enberg died Thursday night in his home near San Diego.
He was born in Armada, Michigan. But his first job in the industry he would later be a hall of famer in was as a radio station custodian in Mount Pleasant, where CMU is located. He famously told the story about how he made a $1 an hour as a junior. The owner also gave him weekend sports and disc jockey gigs, also at $1 an hour. From there he began doing high school and college football games.
Some six decades later, he made “Oh my!” a household phrase through broadcasting basketball championships with UCLA, Super Bowls, Olympics, Final Fours, Wimbledon and the Breeders’ Cup. Besides calling eight of John Wooden’s 10 national championships with the Bruins, Enberg became known in Southern California for broadcasting Angels and Rams games and, for the last seven years of his career, San Diego Padres games.
I will remember Enberg, 82, most for his call in 2003 when Central Michigan’s men’s basketball team defeated Creighton in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The age-old rule of no cheering in the press box was true that day but Enberg, you could tell, was routing for the Chippewas.
“To me, Dick Enberg was the greatest all-around sportscaster who ever lived and will never be emulated,” former Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said in a statement. “He had my respect, admiration and my friendship. He will be sorely missed.”
Enberg, Scully and the late Ernie Harwell are the voices of so many sports memories. They are national treasurers who don’t come around often. Sadly, another one has gone silent.
— Adam Trumble