Best Sports Broadcast Personality - 2001
WGNU (920 AM)
Readers' Choice: Jack Buck, KMOX (1120 AM)
In this town, "sports broadcast" and "personality" appear to be mutually exclusive terms. Except for Mike Shannon -- and let's hear it for the Moon Man -- there aren't many talking heads talking about sports that anyone with any sense or taste would want to hang with. Imagine being caught in an elevator with Malcolm Briggs. Can we crawl outta here? Or what about driving to Columbia with Dan McLaughlin? Suddenly hitchhiking would look good. But then there's 6 p.m. Mondays. If you scan into WGNU (920 AM) on your radio dial, you may think you've stumbled into some time/space warp where a combo of Howard Cosell and Buddy Blattner has returned to talk about the Rams, the Cardinals, and some obscure high-school sports team that played in New Jersey 30 years ago. Or 40 years ago. And don't forget the old St. Louis Hawks and the late Ben Kerner. That's always good for a tale or two. Yes, it's Skip Erwin, the veteran local sportscaster whose mellifluous tones most recently were heard a few years back broadcasting University of Missouri-St. Louis basketball. That may not sound like much, but if you want a more complete résumé, call in to Skip's weekly show. Of course, the show is only an hour long, and that wouldn't be enough time for the litany of Skip's broadcasting itinerary. He worked for the Hawks under Kerner. He could tell you stories. And he will. Ask him about the time Red Auerbach punched out Kerner. It's a scream. Skip worked at KMOX-AM for years. He got Tony Bennett to sing the national anthem when he worked for the Chicago Packers of the NBA. Now Skip's content to roam the press boxes of local sports venues and hold forth on Monday nights, where he gives the longest introductions of guests in the Northern Hemisphere. No, Skip Erwin is not a household name. But he's got personality, and stories. And how can you not love a guy who signs off his show by saying, "It takes a real winner to be a good loser." That's a phrase that means even more today in sports broadcasting, when there are so many losers who are promoted as winners.