Too on One: NBC broadcaster Dick Enberg had a few minutes before Sunday’s Connecticut-Missouri NCAA tournament game to talk with Too On One.
NBC broadcaster Dick Enberg had a few minutes before Sunday’s Connecticut-Missouri NCAA tournament game to talk with Too On One.
Q: How long have you been broadcasting the NCAA tournament?
A: I did my first national championship in 1961. To show you how much the college basketball game has grown, in 1961 the only cities that carried the so-called national telecast were Columbus, Ohio, and Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati played Ohio State. There was not even a national radio broadcast.
Q: Of all the events you’ve covered, is there a favorite?
A: I’ve been so blessed in my more than 50 years of broadcasting to have the opportunity to do so many different sports. Every one is like a beautiful woman. I feel like I’ve been marching through a beauty contest all these years.
Q: For all those years, you were with Billy Packer and Al McGuire doing college basketball. Does broadcasting get any better?
A: The shocker of all that is “all those years” were just four years. Billy and I had been a team for a couple of years and Al joined us after he won the 1977 championship. We only called the 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981 Final Fours, then Billy went off to CBS when they won the rights to the NCAA.
Q: It just seems longer because that broadcast team left such an indelible mark.
A: The funny thing was, Al was the star of that team but was so nervous about television. He didn’t understand it. It frightened him. And he depended so much on me. I was his security blanket. Billy was the one who really knew basketball. Al knew how to run a game and work officials and he knew players, so the combination … we were so different in our roles, that was the chemistry that made it work.
Up close and personal
Favorite movie: ”Field of Dreams”
Favorite TV show: ”60 Minutes”
Last book you read: A lot of media guides
What do you drive: A Lexus
Song you would sing if you were on American Idol: ”Old Man River”
Superstitions: I wake up four hours before the car is going to pick me up to take me to the game. Then I have a routine I go through: Work out for an hour, read the paper, a little time to go through my notes, shower, dress and go to work.
Worst habit: My wife can probably give you 10. I’ll give you her cell number.
Your ringtone: I don’t have a cell phone or a laptop. I’m the dinosaur.
Your first job: In 1955, I worked on the assembly line at a Dodge plant; I put the front bumpers on ’55 Dodges.
Your last meal on earth: There’s nothing better than a salad with all the best fresh vegetables we enjoy out here in the West.
A person you’d love to switch places with for a day: I’m so lucky to be me. I don’t envy anyone.
Favorite athlete you’ve ever covered: Ted Williams
Food you refuse to eat: Liver
Favorite city to visit: Paris
Your hero: John Wooden. He was a man of goodness and greatness.
Your bucket list: This last year in Turkey, my wife and I hang glided off a 6,000-foot mountain. So that was a big one. I wish I was musically talented. It has always been a dream to stand in front of a great orchestra with the power of being a conductor.