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Sportscaster George Michael Dies

This site is reporting the death of Washington sportscaster George Michael, saying he died today at age 70 from cancer. Michael anchored the sports desk at WRC (Channel 4) from 1980 to 2007.

What are your memories of Michael?

By Adam Bernstein  |  December 24, 2009; 10:11 AM ET
 
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Comments

Damn.

Him and Wilbon.

Him and Sonny.

Him, Doreen and Jim Vance.

The Sports Machine.

He was the voice of sports in DC, like it or not.

Posted by: keithrjackson | December 24, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I still miss Redskins Report. Hilarious show.

Posted by: richs91 | December 24, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Cue the music:
"The Joe Theisman Redskins Report...with George Micheal."
Thanks for the terrific years covering the Redskins Glory Years!

Posted by: CLTMan1 | December 24, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

sad, Wednesday Wrestling was always a favorite of mine when I was growing up!

Posted by: AreYouKiddingMe1 | December 24, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

He was the face of Washington sports reporting since Glenn Brenner left us. I loved his Redskins Reports and his interviews with sports figures. It was easy to tell he loved what he did.

Posted by: donsilvester | December 24, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I loved him and the Redskins Report and was sad when it went off the air. I'm even sadder to hear that he passed away.

Posted by: SusieS | December 24, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I grew up watching him and Sports Machine. He was passionate about DC sports. There will be none like him.

Posted by: visionof75 | December 24, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Rest in Peace George.
You were a true pioneer and the best at what you did.

Posted by: VaBroker | December 24, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Sports Machine on Sunday nights at 11:30pm.

Every week, it was the best.

I loved it when George would press those oversized buttons on the fake prompter.

I also enjoyed his passion for other topics like bull riding, pro wrestling, radio days in Phili.

Posted by: jimmyjimmy1 | December 24, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

What a sad day for Washington sports! The youngsters have it but they can not do it the Mike did it...RIP

Posted by: v11john | December 24, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

What a sad day for Washington sports! The youngsters have it but they can not do it the way Mike did it...RIP

Posted by: v11john | December 24, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I used to love the Sports Machine so I could see wrestling highlights. I didn't particularly care for his style, but he definitely lent an air of legitimacy to everything he covered. I remember when he sat in on Inside the Red Zone and he even made Vinny Cerrato's show seem legitimate for a few minutes. I respect the way he retired rather than let his staff get cut, too. He has been missed and will be missed.

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | December 24, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This is such sad news. I listened to him on WFIL in Philly as a kid, and moved back to DC to find him on WRC. He was a strong presence in my life since 1968. I was sad to see him retire, but hope he had some time to relax before his illness took over.

George kept sport exciting and his genuine friendship with Jim Vance always put a smile on my face. The video of the two laughing at the wobbly orange shoed model is forever etched in my memory.

Posted by: gnushell | December 24, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone stopped to think that this is an unsubstantiated rumor? These amazing Post reporters are pointing to some random website, NOT a statement from family or friends of Michael. To make it worse, its not a news article, but a blog post. Give me a break. Reporting has sunk to headlines, revenue, and much raking journalism. Sad. These three are running a blog in the Obit section... what does that tell you?

Posted by: JorgeGortex | December 24, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Rest in peace George. You were the best.

Posted by: bryjen48 | December 24, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

This just made me so sad.

George Michael was such a good sports guy. He knew what he was talking about and you could tell that sports was just in his blood.

And I used to love to watch him and Jim Vance together. They had an amazing chemistry and they were funny as hell together.

We're gonna miss him. R.I.P., Big G.

God bless and keep the family.

Posted by: bee-bee1 | December 24, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

My prayers go out to the Michaels family and his former co-workers on channel 4. I just enjoyed watching the sports when he would be on and EVERY Sunday I'd make sure to catch the Sports Machine. George was definately one of-a-kind, a true gem!!!! I loved when he'd let Jim Vance do the sports and then say, that's why you don't do the sports because he'd always get carried away. He and Sonny would do the Redskins reports and he'd give his honest opinion. He was hard on Dexter, but it was all from LOVE. That's what I'll miss the most, George and his loving ways. RIP George!!!!!!

Posted by: expedition620 | December 24, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

i remember when Glenn Brenner died in 1992 and George was reporting on it and reminiscing about him, Brenner, and Buckhantz and how while they were competitors, they were still friends and enjoyed each other's company. This is really sad.......I didn't even know he was sick all this time. Just recently I heard him on ESPN980 with Czabe and Andy Pollin.....what the heck.....R.I.P. Sports Machine

Posted by: docvader76 | December 24, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

What a wonderful guy! WRC wasn't the same after he left the air.

The Sports Machine was "must see" TV for me and my friends.

He was a pioneer and a true legendary figure, and we miss him...again.

Posted by: Explorer1 | December 24, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I just heard him on Mike Wise's show about a month ago. It was the most entertaining hour of radio that I have ever heard.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 24, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

He was just awesome! I was born in 1980, and when it came to sports news thats who I immediately think of. He was funny and guaranteed to make you laugh.

Posted by: iewaters | December 24, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

There was always something about him I didn't like, yet, I watched him (literally) everyday - Channel 4 newscast, Redskins Report/Full Court Press on Saturdays and the Sports Machine on Sundays. As a native Washingtonian born in 1978, he's just as big of a reason I'm a 'Skins fan along with Coach Gibbs, the Hogs, Monk, Riggo and all the others. I was hoping to hear him again on Comcast or somewhere. He'll be missed!

Posted by: CapHill32 | December 24, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Wow man...who am I gonna get my 'wrestling' highlights from???

Love ya GeorgieBoy...Tell Glenn B. we miss him as we will miss you

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 24, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

THE SPORTS MACHINE !!! As a kid before we got cable....this was my sports fix. Everything from F1 to WWF ( old school)

HIT THAT PLAY BUTTON!!!

R.I.P George....you will be missed very much.

Posted by: Airchuck | December 24, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

George brought NASCAR to a national stage because no other sports person or network did so. He also covered wrestling just to make his viewers laugh and laugh we did.
RIP George.

Posted by: chopin224 | December 24, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I never quite understood why he was even on the air, I guess in part because I'm to an area native. I just never liked his on air presence and delivery of the news. Nevertheless, condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

Posted by: MacDad | December 24, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

When I was new in town in the mid-1980s, my smart friend explained why she liked George Michael: "He makes sports interesting even for someone like me who isn't very interested in sports."

I was a loyal viewer of WRC news for more than 20 years because their cast was stellar, and George's show was my nightcap after Saturday Night Live. I've been missing him, and I'll keep missing him.

Posted by: pundito | December 24, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Rest In Peace, Mr. Michael. You definitely brought the local sporting community, as well as general late Sunday-nighters, a lot of joy with your innovative "Sports Machine" and "Tell it like it is" reporting.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 24, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

An excellent sports reporter and television personality.

George frequently asked the tough questions but always in his own gentle, prodding ways. He was a DC institution. I'll never forget the banter between him, Jim Vance, Bob Ryan, Doreen Gentzler, and Arch Campbell on Channel 4.

Thanks for the wonderful memories, George.

Posted by: JekyllnHyde | December 24, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

RIP George, you are a giant in the field. You passion was unmistakable and often imitated, never duplicated. :(

Posted by: regis429 | December 24, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the great highlights George, rest in peace.

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 24, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

We will miss his smile, laughter and strong questions about sports. We will miss the accuracy and understanding that he brought to the industry and to the public. We will miss his consistency to be fair and always a gentlemen. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Posted by: kk2799 | December 24, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Sports Machine was the only sport news show I would watch all of the show. He kept me interested from the first word and he was a great broadcaster.

Posted by: wlpulford | December 24, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

An absolute legend among Washington sportscasters. He revolutionized sports television nationally w/ his pioneering sports machine. This is a huge shock. I didn't even know that he was ill being out of the DC area. Rarely did I miss his sports segment on the 11 o'clock news. RIP George, you will be sorely missed!

Posted by: randysbailin | December 24, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Donsilverster said, "He was the face of Washington sports reporting since Glenn Brenner left us. I loved his Redskins Reports and his interviews with sports figures. It was easy to tell he loved what he did."

---

Let me add George Michael was a pure professional with a colloquial and smooth as silk broadcast voice that conveyed intelligence and passion for the subject being discussed or the news being broken. A superb an gifted orator underneath the wit and humor that belied a very serious investigative reporter from years of experience in numerous mediums including print, radio and television. I always felt George excelled at the "exclusive" interview, or covering the "world championship" event where the viewer expected an authority figure -- and got it.

Even if you didn't like his forceful personality, his determination to say what's on his mind, you respected him.

His passing so soon after being let go demonstrates how the work defined the man.

I truly miss this man, his presence, from the good old days at WRC to his exciting highlight show performances for all those sports as part of his legendary Machine.

He was a master of his domain, a high water mark of professionalism combined with an appealing strong-willed personality for all future broadcasters who might come through the ranks.

I'm talking about a kind of class you might find only at the Kennedy Center Honors. The Walter Cronkite of the sports world, a local hero who made it, and a man who lived for his work.

God Bless you, George Michael. And thank you, sir.

Posted by: JimGoldbloom1 | December 24, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

He's the only guy that ever got my wife to watch sports news.

We were lucky enough to meet him a few years ago at a party and I told him that, which got a big laugh and a hug for my wife. Then he posed for a nice photo with her. What a gentleman.

Posted by: Ron5 | December 24, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

My condolences and prayers go out to George Michael's family. As someone who was born and raised in Washington, DC, I would watch Sports Machine late Sunday nights in NY and NJ as a link to my former hometown. I thank him for his knowledge, his reporting and his love of the Redskins.

Posted by: lafab714 | December 24, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

A true professional. Thanks for everything, George! You will be missed.

Posted by: terpguy1 | December 24, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Adam:

The title for this blog is tasteless. "Post mortem" is thought of by most folks as a euphemism for autopsy. I realize you are trying to be cute with language, but it really, really, really doesn't work here. It does NOT make the Post.com look good in any way at all.

Posted by: JoeTink | December 24, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Sad to hear the news, my family and friends will miss him. I grew up watching him and his sports shows. Always hoped the Redskins Report & Full Court Press would come back on - now that will never happen.

My favorite sports show is gone forever!

Rest in Peace George - Americans best sports newscaster.

Posted by: rahrah | December 24, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

A sad day for Washington, DC and sports fans everywhere. I don't know a thing about most sports and I loved the Sports Machine and the Redskins Report because George was THE MAN to watch. And learn. Broadcast news took a serious hit when NBC4 broke up our original team of George, Jim, Doreen, Bob, and Arch. God bless George and his family and all of his chosen family at NBC.

Posted by: Anbran66 | December 24, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

George,Doreen,and Jim Vance they dominated local news and sports tv in the DC metro area,Michael was informative and to the point i very rarely watched the Sport's Machine but i always watched his 11:00 broadcast and reports dedicated to the Skins and Wizards that appeared on Saturday evenings, i always enjoyed the banter between the three,George Micheal filled the void after Glenn Brenner passed away,he will be sorely missed RIP George.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 24, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse


Yes, he made even the lesser sporting events seem important. He had a knack for legitimizing them and when he was on he demanded your attention. He and Warner Wolf and Glenn Brennan were big time. We are small time now.

Posted by: jackson641 | December 24, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It is with profound irony that of all the news professionals in the DC area, the loss of two sports broadcasters, first Glenn Brenner and now George will have the most profound impact on those of us who really live in DC, more than anyone else. In a town where "Watergate, Obamacare, etc." all are *the news*....the reality is that a simple man like George Michael means more to native Washingtonians than anyone or any issue, including Presidents, that anyone who does not live here will ever understand.

Tonight, I think in tribute to George, more tv's will be turned into the 6 PM WRC newscast to watch Jim, Doreen and Bob honor the memory of their lifetime colleague. They won't get through it and I doubt many of us will as well.

God Bless You George.

Posted by: tcmits | December 24, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

you washingtonians are so skewed. while i am sorry that the gentleman passed away, his nightly sports reporting was suspect. i watched michaels with regularity in the late 80's/early 90's. on any particular night, this guy showed two or three baseball, football, basketball or hockey scores when the entire league was playing. very lame. but, if i wanted a story about rodeo, studio wrestling, the dog show, or dale ernhardt, i knew who to watch.

Posted by: dgaudy | December 24, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

My heart go's out to the family...I just lost my Dad in September and it is just shocking and hard to beleve. Me and my dad were big Redskins fan and George was the guy who brought it to us and asked the tough questions. Thanks George may you rest in peace in a better place.

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | December 24, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

He was the best. Sorry to hear of his passing and having to bout cancer.

Posted by: johng1 | December 24, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm a former resident of NOVA (24 years) where I religiously watched the WRC team on a daily basis. I watched from afar as NBC decimated a winning group of newscasters and sports announcers. I particularly missed George Michael. Rest in Peace George. You were among the VERY best.

Posted by: dlcd | December 24, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

George Michael the George Mason run to the Final Four like a surgeon. He and his staff were so professional and hospitalble and very warm like no other. His professionalism will sorely be missed. My family will forever be grateful for all of the coverage and the thoughtfulness that he gave to us all. God Bless the family and he will surely be missed. Thank You for all the good times and memories. My prayers go out to the Michael Family. Pam, Myself and Family wish you all the best.

Posted by: coachbutler | December 24, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Very sad news. George Michael is the sportscaster many of us associate most with the great years of Redskins football in the '80s and early '90s. Those were happy times in Washington sports history and he made it all the more fun and interesting. In a year when the Redskins have completely imploded and likely changed the way we view the team forever, it's a terrible shame to lose George as well. We'll miss him. Sympathies to his family and friends.

Posted by: SkinsFan333 | December 24, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

RIP George. I was a young green female when I interned with him and WRC in 1984. The lessons I learned in that office I have carried with me for the past 25 years. Believe in what you are doing, don't be afraid to ask the hard questions and CHECK YOUR FACTS.

Posted by: ConnieCastillo | December 24, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

George was unique among sportscasters in that he brought the drive and energy all sportscasters need while at the same time showing his warmth and affection for his audience and for those he was covering. George, you were the best.

Posted by: tradeczar | December 24, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

When I traveled, I watched the syndicated show. I don't even like sports. I'm very sad.

Posted by: mjlayman | December 24, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Truly one of the best sportscaster ever. Without him and Glenn Brenner, sports reporting has been sort of lifeless. He will be missed. My sympathy and condolence to his family and friends. Also the Channel 4 staff.

Posted by: cntnulprze | December 24, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

ima cowboy fan in va., george was the best,he was washington sports along with glenn brenner,i really enjoyyed his reporting and was truly a professional,he will be sadly missed ,condolences to his family,R.I.P., GEORGE

Posted by: haveadoobynetzerocom | December 24, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Nooo! George Michael made me watch sports programs even though I don't like sports! I liked George, no I loved George! He made it SO interesting, SO fun! What a wonderful, wonderful sportscaster personality. I will miss you George so much, RIP. God bless the Michael family, you have my sincerest condolences.

Posted by: jerseyshore1 | December 24, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

When George left Channel 4, I stopped watching their sports. No other sportscaster, for me, can take his place.

I LOVED the dynamic between him, Vance and Doreen ... and I'm almost glad Doreen was off tonight, as I would have surely shed tears if she and Vance had to say their Good-byes.

My fav memory is actually when Jim Vance subbed for George Micheal doing the sports report. It was HILARIOUS, and I knew as soon as Jim did it, that George would laugh, have a fit and never let Vance do the SPORTS report again. Vance said EVERYTHING we would say, as viewers at home...it was soooo funny. I couldn't wait to see the sports report the next day, when George returned.

LOVED that team, and no other newscast will ever be able to replace that dynamic.

God Be With You George, as you are surely in a better place than all of us. May his family find strength during this time in their lives.

Posted by: Libramom | December 24, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

As great a sportscaster that he was, I appreciated him differently. I grew up with him as King George Michael on WFIL radio in Philly. He sported a Prince Valiant haircut and was the best Top 40 DJ in the country, back when being a "jock" required talent. He was a part of my youth I'll always cherish.

Posted by: PeBo | December 24, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

RIP sportscaster "King" George Michael. Will never forget watching you and my Pop in the early 70s playing touch football with "The Lettermen" in Cherry Hill, NJ. "You're just to good to be true. Can't take my eyes off of you..."

Posted by: mags4 | December 24, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

RIP sportscaster "King" George Michael. Will never forget watching you and my Pop in the early 70s playing touch football with the "Lettermen" in Cherry Hill, NJ. "You're just to good to be true. Can't
take my eyes off of you..."

Kathleen McDonald

Posted by: mags4 | December 24, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Best Sportscaster I ever watched. His chemistry with Jim Vance was excellent, entertaining while informative. I looked forward to watch Full Court Press and Redskins Report that he hosted along with Tony, Michael and others. In 1980s and 90s when Internet was not so popular his program was the best source of sports news for me.

It is very sad to see my favorite TV news/sports casters, Tim Russert, George Michael, and Peter Jennings (couple of years ago) leave us.

Posted by: jchalla | December 25, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

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