Sunday, February 26, 2006

Curt Gowdy, Don Knotts, and Darren McGavin

They say they come in threes; these television icons -- to me -- all passed away this past week.

I remember Curt Gowdy from the Game of the Week broadcasts in the '60s. This was the only baseball you could find to watch at the time. About the same time I was becoming a Astros fan and listening to Gene Elston (congratulations to him on receiving the Ford Frick award this week) and Loel Passe ("breezed 'im one mo' time") on the radio, I was watching Gowdy and Tony Kubek on the tube. He also did the World Series as well as some of the first Super Bowl telecasts. The ones I clearly recall were III -- which was the seminal moment for Joe Willie Namath and the AFL -- and V, which was the first one the Dallas Cowboys played in (they lost, on a last-second field goal to the Colts, which nearly made me kick in the screen). Gowdy was just as famous for being a Red Sox broadcaster and for The American Sportsman, but to me he'll always be baseball on Saturday afternoons.

Speaking of firsts, the first thing my family ever saw on our new console color television was Don Knotts and "The Incredible Mr. Limpet". I believe it must have been 1965, since the movie premiered in '64.

And if you watch the Sci-Fi Channel you can still catch episodes of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, which made McGavin famous to me long before A Christmas Story, the "major award", and "you'll shoot your eye out". Those old Night Stalkers look awfully cheesy now, but at the time I was just short of terrified once a week by them.

RIP to three good men.

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