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Frank Herzog's NBA championship call

When I posted the Frank Herzog Redskins stories the other day, several commenters dinged me for ignoring Herzog's role with the Bullets, which included the call of their world title.

In typical Steinberg style, he's all Skins all the time, so unless readers wade through the comments section, they'll never know that Herzog called the FIRST World Championship in the modern era.

Well, apologies. And in truth, when asked to discuss his most memorable moments on WTOP last week, Herzog mentioned John Riggins's Super Bowl run, covering 9/11 live from the Mall, and the Bullets' title run, including beating Philly in the Eastern Conference Finals. Here was Leonard Shapiro's story from the time:

When Wes Unseld scores the game winning points, however, Herzog's description - "Unseld rebound, back up, no, tip follow, it's good" - is barely comprehensible above the roar of the crowd, even though Herzog is yelling at the top of his voice.

When the noise dies down briefly, Herzog has regained some composure and describes the scene. "The fans are up and cheering, the cheerleaders are up and hugging the photographers," he says. "But hold it, the opera ain't over till the fat lady sings."

A couple weeks later, the fat lady sang. Herzog was on Washington Post Live with Ivan Carter this week, and the intro included his call of that Bullets' championship. If you haven't heard it, or if it's been too long, take a look and a listen.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 26, 2010; 10:56 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins , Wizards  
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frank's voice is synonymous with washington sports.

Posted by: kman2 | March 26, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Herzog's "Touchdown, Washington Redskins!" was the best sound to hear. We haven't had anything close to those great calls.

However, we do have Joe Beninati's "Ovechkin shoots, he scores!" all said in an escalating voice and in 1/4 of a second. He's the best local voice now and the duo of him and Laughlin is far superior to anything else out there for local sports.

Posted by: Section104 | March 26, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I remember that night vividly! It was the first time I ever saw a DC sports team win a national championship, and I was soooo excited. An album retrospecting the season was put out and Frank Herzog narrated it, and it included that "fat lady" call. I STILL have it. God bless you, Frank! We'll miss you!

Posted by: stwasm | March 26, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Herzog called four championships for DC pro teams I believe. Not sure if anyone will break that record.

Posted by: poguesmahone | March 26, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I've mentioned this story before, but it bears a repeat. One of my all time favorite Frank Herzog calls was during that same Bullets - 76'ers game they talked about earlier. A little background first. That 77-78 season, Philly had a team slogan that said "WE OWE YOU ONE" (to the Philly Fans). That was because they were beaten in the NBA Finals the previous year by Bill Walton and the Portland Trail Blazers. So it was their "birthright" that they were supposed to win it the following season. Well, the Bullets beat them in game 6 at Cap Center. It was PANDEMONIUM at the end of the game and Herzog yelled into the mic "The Washington Bullets have beaten the 76'ers in Six Games, AND NOW PHILADELPHIA, THE SIXERS OWE YOU TWO!!! LOL!

That was CLASSIC Frank Herzog.

Posted by: DCMixmstr | March 26, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks DCMixmstr. I never heard that call because I was one of the people at the Cap Center cheering on the Bullets. I was 10 yrs old at the time and that was one of the more enjoyable times in my life. People rushed the court (at a NBA game!) and tried to pull down the baskets. Also got to see game 3 and 6 of the Championship Series. Great times.

Posted by: nicefellow311 | March 26, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

i still can't believe he was fired for larry michaels, the skins need a new play by play, my vote is to steal charlie slowes from the nationals, behind herzog... he's the 2nd voice of D.C. sports

Posted by: destewar | March 31, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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