One of the traits you learn as a sportscaster is survival. The sportscasting business is fraught with politics, subjective evaluation and huge egos. But, one guy was honored this past Friday for surviving all that with class. Al McCoy for 35 years has described the action for the Suns.
Al McCoy has been the Voice of the Suns for 35 years.
Not only did he survive, but he crafted a style that will never be duplicated. His ability to paint the picture has been a way of life for Suns Fans. As my producer David Hughes of the Fox Arizona Games put it, “he is the greatest Sun ever.” Al for David was the Suns.
I marvel at the way Al coined phrases such as “Shazaam” and, “Oh brother” to let you know immediately what happened. He became the way people talked about the games, continually repeating his trademark phrases around a cup of coffee or their favorite brew.
What is so nice about the recognition for Al is that he such a good guy. An Iowa farm boy who admitted he just can’t believe he lived out his dreams! The Suns Organization is to be commended for giving Al this honor now instead of posthumously. The Lakers had their own legend in Chick Hearn who for 40 years was the “voice” of the Lakers only to struggle with failing health at the end of his career and then not having a street and media room named in his honor until he passed on.
It seems everybody thinks they can do play-by-play! Admit it, you who are reading this probably think you can do a better job that I can. Recently the trend at the networks is to take a “studio host” move him into an arena and turn him loose. But, the guys like Al who learned a discipline, developed a style in the small towns like Iowa are… special!
When somebody tells me that Al can be difficult, my response is, he’s earned the right to protect his territory. I tell young guys in the business don’t be so quick to think you are Al McCoy. There is only one “Real McCoy”, and we have all been blessed to have him! For 35 years his has gotten the job done with excellence.
I am just proud to have him as a friend and peer. Shazaam!!!