Sunday, September 11, 2005

Media Note

Legendary sportscaster Chris Schenkel died this morning at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.

MORE: Schenkel's obituary in the Indianapolis Star

UPDATE: I invite all FWMN readers, whether fellow journalist or viewer, that have a favorite memory of Chris Schenkel -- and I know many of you do -- to share it by adding a comment to this post.

UPDATE UPDATE: From the JG story on Schenkel's death:
“I think Chris was one of the most considerate men I ever knew,” said Komets announcer Bob Chase, a longtime friend of Schenkel’s. “I don’t know that he ever had a bad word to say about anyone. He was very humble and extremely talented. To have him as a friend was a privilege.”

Chase said Schenkel was a pioneer in televised college football, teaming with legendary former Oklahoma football coach Bud Wilkinson to become one of the first broadcasting teams in the days before the personalities of the sportscasters overwhelmed the game itself.

“Chris would do his thing calling the play and then Wilkinson as the expert would pass his judgment on the play itself. They were very low-key and very authoritative.”

Schenkel was famously nonchalant about his voice.

“People say, ‘How did you develop your voice?’ I tell them I didn’t. I’ve had it since I was 12,” he once told an interviewer.

[...]“I’m not one to wax sentimental,” said Phil Olofson, former business manager for the Fort Wayne Pistons, “but he was as kind to the guy at the junkyard as he was to the bank president. It didn’t matter to him.”

Schenkel was honored with the Mad Anthonys Red Coat in 1964, Olofson recalled, and “after about one martini too many,” Schenkel delivered a long-winded speech that prompted then-ABC Sports president Roone Arledge to pipe up from the audience: “Chris, if you don’t shut up and sit down, you won’t have a friend left in Indiana.”

Schenkel sat. The audience roared.
AP Photo/Los Angeles Dodgers

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