Marv Albert

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Marv Albert
Reggie Miller TNT.jpg
Albert (right) calls a game for TNT in December 2008 with Reggie Miller (middle) and Mike Fratello (left)
BornMarvin Philip Aufrichtig
(1941-06-12) June 12, 1941 (age 73)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, USA
OccupationSports commentator (mostly NBA games)
Spouse(s)Heather Faulkiner
ChildrenKenny, Brian, Denise, and Jackie
 
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Marv Albert
Reggie Miller TNT.jpg
Albert (right) calls a game for TNT in December 2008 with Reggie Miller (middle) and Mike Fratello (left)
BornMarvin Philip Aufrichtig
(1941-06-12) June 12, 1941 (age 73)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, USA
OccupationSports commentator (mostly NBA games)
Spouse(s)Heather Faulkiner
ChildrenKenny, Brian, Denise, and Jackie

Marv Albert (born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig; June 12, 1941) is an American sportscaster. Honored for his work as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he is commonly referred to as "the voice of basketball." From 19672004, he was also known as "the voice of the New York Knicks."

Including Super Bowl XLII in 2008, Marv has called the play-by-play of six Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and seven Stanley Cup Finals. He has also called the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for TNT with Jim Courier and Mary Carillo. He also worked as a co-host and reporter for two World Series (1986 and 1988).

Albert currently works for Turner Sports and CBS Sports. He serves as lead announcer for NBA games on TNT, calls regional NFL games on CBS, and also calls NCAA tournament action for CBS and Turner.

Early life[edit]

Albert was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, where he went to Abraham Lincoln High School.[2] While growing up, members of Albert's family owned a grocery store on Brighton Beach Avenue between 3rd and 4th streets known as Aufrichtig's. He then attended Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications from 1960 through 1963. He then graduated from New York University in 1965.[3]

Broadcasting career[edit]

National Basketball Association[edit]

New York Knicks (MSG)[edit]

For 37 years beginning in 1967, Albert was the voice of the New York Knicks on radio and television (getting his start by being a ball boy for the Knicks before getting his first break on New York radio by sportscaster Marty Glickman) before being let go by James L. Dolan, the chairman of the MSG Network and Cablevision, after Albert criticized the Knicks' poor play on-air in 2004. His son Kenny Albert has been a part-time play-by-play announcer for the Knicks since 2009, whenever the older Albert's successor Mike Breen (whom he later followed on the NBA on NBC broadcasts and now works on ESPN and ABC aside from his role at MSG) is unavailable.

For a brief period before he resumed his normal broadcasting duties following his sexual assault arrest (see below), Albert anchored MSG's former nightly sports news report, MSG SportsDesk.

NBC Sports[edit]

Marv Albert was the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the NBA on NBC for most of its run from 1990-2002, calling every NBA Finals during that timeframe except for 1998, 1999, and 2000. During this time, Bob Costas had taken over the lead job and called the Finals after Marv's arrest for sexual assault had brought him national disgrace. Marv resumed his previous position for the 2000-2001 season and called Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals which was the final NBA telecast on NBC. During his time on NBC, Albert continued as lead play-by-play man for the New York Knicks on local MSG Network telecasts and began calling national games for TNT in 1999 as well. When he regained the lead broadcaster position on NBC, he continued to call play-by-play for both networks until the end of NBC's coverage in 2002.

TNT[edit]

Albert continues to be the lead play-by-play announcer for National Basketball Association games on TNT, a position he assumed in 1999. Indeed, TNT has become his primary commitment ever since his longtime employer NBC lost the NBA broadcasting rights in 2002, and may have played a role in his departure from the Knicks' broadcast booth[citation needed]. The Knicks reportedly wanted Albert to accept a salary commensurate with his reduced Knicks schedule, but also weren't happy about Albert making what Knicks management felt were overly critical comments about their team in spite of their losing record. In basketball, his most famous call is his simple "Yes!" for a basket, rendered in many variations of volume and length depending on the situation; and a catchphrase that he began using in his youth when playing pickup games with friends.

On April 17, 2002, shortly after calling a game between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers on TNT, both Albert and color analyst Mike Fratello were injured in a limo accident in Trenton, New Jersey. Albert sustained facial lacerations, a concussion, and a sprained ankle. The 2002 NBA Playoffs were scheduled to begin two days later, with Albert scheduled to call multiple games that week. Bob Costas filled in those games, and Albert returned to call Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings.

New Jersey Nets (YES)[edit]

In 2005, Albert officially became the lead play-by-play man for the New Jersey Nets franchise and started calling their games on the YES Network, often teaming with Brooklyn native and NBA veteran, Mark Jackson. With that, the Nets employed all three Albert brothers during the franchise's history; Al started his broadcast career with the Nets during their ABA days, while Steve called Nets games during the late 1970s and 1980s. Beginning with the 2008–09 season, Albert was also paired with his TNT broadcast colleague Mike Fratello on the YES Network. However with the Nets' struggles in the 2009–10 season, Nets management relegated Albert to secondary play-by-play, to avoid a similar incident while Albert was with the Knicks. Since then Ian Eagle has taken over the broadcasts. In 2011 Albert left the YES Network to join CBS Sports for NFL and NCAA tournament coverage.

Other basketball-related duties[edit]

Albert hosts a basketball-focused interview show on NBA TV, which also airs later on YES.

Since 2003 Albert has also been providing the play-by-play voice on the NBA Live video-game series on EA Sports, a role he fulfilled until NBA Live 10.

Since 2011 Albert has been an announcer for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, the result of longtime tournament broadcaster CBS handing off some of its coverage to Turner Sports.

Outside of basketball[edit]

New York Giants[edit]

From 1973 to 1976 Albert called radio broadcasts of New York Giants football games, succeeding Marty Glickman after the latter's defection to the New York Jets.

New York Rangers[edit]

In addition to the Knicks, Albert had a lengthy tenure (beginning in 1965) calling the games of another Madison Square Garden tenant, the New York Rangers. He handled the radio call of the Rangers' Stanley Cup–clinching victory in 1994.

He also famously coined the phrase "Red Light" for radio analyst Sal Messina, a former Rangers goaltender. His signature play-by-play phrase was "kick save and a beauty."

Over his years as the Rangers broadcaster, Albert would miss a large number of games for other commitments. Many other broadcasters filled in, including several who would serve long stints for other NHL teams, including Howie Rose, Mike Emrick and John Kelly, as well as brothers Al and Steve. It was Albert's absence from Game 7 of the RangersDevils Conference Championship game that led to Rose's famed Matteau, Matteau, Matteau call.

Albert left the Rangers after the 1994–95 season at the same time Rose took the job as play-by-play announcer of the New York Islanders. Albert's son, Kenny, replaced him, and has been the radio voice of the Rangers ever since. Kenny also announces part-time for the NBC Sports Network, mostly during Stanley Cup playoff games not involving the Rangers.

Monday Night Football[edit]

Albert was also the lead play-by-play voice of the Westwood One radio network's NFL coverage for several years, calling Monday Night Football as well as numerous playoff games and every Super Bowl beginning 2002. On June 4, 2010, it was announced that Albert would not be continuing his NFL on Westwood One duties beyond the 2009 season.[4]

NFL on CBS[edit]

On June 6, 2011, it was announced that Albert was joining CBS Sports to call play-by-play for The NFL on CBS.[5]

On May 29, 2014, it was announced that Albert would step down from calling The NFL on CBS and focus on basketball duties for TNT and CBS.[6]

Other network duties[edit]

Other NBC Sports duties that Albert held were play-by-play announcing for the NFL, college basketball, horse racing, boxing, NHL All-Star Games, and Major League Baseball, as well as hosting baseball studio and pre-game shows. He also spent 13 years as the sports director of the network's flagship station, WNBC-TV in New York.

Albert also called regular-season and playoff NHL games for the syndicated NHL Network in the 1976–77 season, and from 2000 to 2002 he helped call TNT's coverage of the Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament.

Popularity[edit]

Marv has gained credibility and popularity among younger television viewers during his many guest appearances on David Letterman's late night talk shows for NBC and CBS. Each time Albert appears, he brings with him a group of clips featuring sports bloopers and outstanding plays, which he narrates and dubs the "Albert Achievement Awards." The music accompanying the bloopers is "12th Street Rag."

Albert was placed as number 14 on David J. Halberstam's list of Top 50 All Time Network Television Sports Announcers on Yahoo! Sports.

In 1992, he appeared as himself on Roger Waters' rock album Amused to Death, giving a mock commentary on the destruction of an oil rig on the song "Perfect Sense, Part II".

An "Albert Achievement Awards" video was released in 1993. It featured cameos by Mike Fratello, Ahmad Rashad, Charles Barkley, David Letterman, O.J. Simpson, Bob Costas, and Tom Brokaw.

Albert became the first guest commentator in MTV's Celebrity Death Match cartoon series. He appeared in the 1998 pilot episode before being replaced with Stacey Cornbred.

Albert was briefly mentioned in the 2006 film Grandma's Boy.

Albert also appeared as a special guest on The Simpsons, in the Season 20 episode "The Burns and the Bees" in 2008.

Albert's voice is imitated in the popular video game NBA Jam. The announcer was modeled on Albert although there is no mention of Albert in the game and was actually voiced by Tim Kitzrow.[7]

Albert did play-by-play commentary in the video game NFL Quarterback Club '98.

He co-authored (with Rick Reilly) an autobiography, I'd Love to But I Have a Game, in 1993.

Honors and awards[edit]

Family[edit]

Albert's son, Kenny, is also a sports commentator, who calls baseball and football for Fox, New York Rangers games on the radio, and has been one of NBC's commentators for ice hockey at the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC's NHL coverage. His daughter, Denise, is a reporter for NBA TV.

Marv has two younger brothers who also are announcers. Steve Albert is currently the Phoenix Suns play-by-play announcer, and has also called play-by-play for several other teams, including the New Orleans Hornets, New Jersey Nets, New York Islanders, New York Mets, and Golden State Warriors. Steve is best known for his work on Showtime Championship Boxing, notably the Holyfield-Tyson bouts. Al Albert was the former play-by-play announcer for USA Tuesday Night Fights, the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets. Al also called national NBA games on the USA Network during its brief tenure in the early 1980s.

Sexual assault charges[edit]

Albert became the focus of a media frenzy in 1997, when he went on trial for felony charges of forcible sodomy.[14] A 42-year-old woman named Vanessa Perhach[15] accused Albert of throwing her on a bed, biting her, and forcing her to perform oral sex after a February 12, 1997 argument in his Pentagon City hotel room. DNA testing linked Albert to genetic material taken from the bite marks and from semen in Perhach's underwear.[16] During the trial, testimony was presented from another woman, Patricia Masden, who told the jury that Albert had bitten her on two different occasions in 1993 and 1994 in Miami and Dallas hotels, which she viewed as unwanted sexual advances.[17] Masden claimed that in Dallas, Albert called her to his hotel room to help him send a fax, only for her to find him wearing "white panties and garter belt."[18] Albert maintained that Perhach had requested that he bite her and denied her accusation that he'd asked her to bring another man into their sexual affair. He described the recorded conversation of hers with the police on the night of the incident "an Academy Award performance."[15] After tests proved that the bite marks were his, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery charges, while the sodomy charge was dropped.[14][19] Albert was given a 12-month suspended sentence.[20][21]

Ousted from NBC[edit]

Consequently, NBC – for which Albert worked for over 20 years – fired him shortly before the 1997-98 NBA season began on The NBA on NBC. Bob Costas took over for Albert on the basketball side in the 1997–98 season before stepping down after the 2000 NBA Finals for Albert's return. In addition, Tom Hammond spelled his football duties. It is also revealed on a Simpsons DVD commentary that he was to appear in the episode "Bart Star" but, due to the scandal, was replaced by Roy Firestone.

Return to NBC[edit]

NBC brought Albert back less than two years later, and he was the network's main play-by-play man for the 2000–01 and 2001–02 NBA seasons, including the finals. NBC lost the rights to the NBA to ABC following the 2001–02 season.

Broadcasting partners[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Today in history". ABC News. Associated Press. June 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ Corcoran, Tully. "KU attracts Brooklyn star", The Topeka Capital-Journal, October 26, 2007. Accessed September 17, 2009. "Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., is to high school basketball what Odessa Permian High School, in Texas, is to high school football. Basketball rules there. Stephon Marbury starred there. Marv Albert went there. Even Jesus Shuttlesworth, the fictional baller played by Ray Allen in He'ssic Got Game went there. Kansas coach Bill Self may be spending a bit of time there in the next year, too. Lance Stephenson, a 6–5, "395"-pound junior guard from Lincoln who is the No. 4 overall player in the class of 2009 recently contacted Self about his interest in Kansas."
  3. ^ "CNN/SI – Turner Sports – NBA – Marv Albert". Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  4. ^ Fang's Bites: BREAKING NEWS: Marv Albert Leaves Monday Night Football
  5. ^ Vanderberg, Marcus. "Marv Albert Joins The NFL on CBS". Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Yoder, Matt. "Marv Albert Stepping away". Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  7. ^ IGN: Breaking into the Industry: Tim Kitzrow
  8. ^ a b c Nets Broadcasters
  9. ^ Curt Gowdy Media Awards
  10. ^ [1] American Sportscasters Association
  11. ^ Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame
  12. ^ a b Jewish Sports Hall of Fame – Marv Albert
  13. ^ "Costas, Elway to Present Albert, Reilly for Hall of Fame Induction". nssafame.com. April 7, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "24 X 7". Infoplease.com. 1941-06-12. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  15. ^ a b "Marv Albert Calls Accuser A Liar". Durant Daily Democrat. 7 November 1997. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Albert Case Merges Sex, Significance; Lawyers Expect Trial To Look at Social Issues". Washington Post. 21 September 1997. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "New witness' allegations 'carbon copy,' judge says". USA Today. 25 September 1997. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Surprise witness 'belts' Marv". Reading Eagle. 25 September 1997. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  19. ^ CNNSI archive of video news coverage
  20. ^ Court Tv Online – Marv Albert Sexual Assault Trial
  21. ^ "Marv Albert's Record Cleared in Biting Case; Judge Dismisses Charge a Year After Trial". Washington Post. 9 October 1998. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 

External links[edit]