The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat: RIP Jim McKay

It’s possible that only half of TV Bacon is sports-crazed (although ask Susannah about boxing sometime), but we would be remiss not to note the passing of renowned sports commentator Jim McKay. For a lot of people, he, along with perhaps Howard Cosell, was the voice of televised sports. While the splintering of the television universe with the advent of cable and satellite has meant the expansion of televised sport–just this week, you could watch college lacrosse or major league baseball of Euro 2008 soccer or the French Open or the Belmont Stakes–it also means we’ll probably never see the likes of Jim McKay again. With so many television outlets, can you imagine one man being so linked with the major sports story of an era, as McKay was with his grim announcement concerning kidnapped Israeli athletes at the 1976 Munich Olympic Games that “they’re all gone”? Can you imagine anyone so associated with televised anything as the man who introduced Wide World of Sports for 40 years by reminding us that sport shows us both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat?

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