There have been literally hundreds of changes in the way sporting events are televised, and nearly all of them are good.
But it feels like two mainstays of 80s and 90s TV sports are gone.
We no longer have iconic TV sports themes. The theme for the NBA on NBC. The iconic theme that CBS used for NFL games in the late 80s. (Which I still want as my ringtone) The one that NBC used leading up The Game Of The Week.
Think of what networks use now. CBS has bastardized what used to be its goosebump-inducing NCAA on CBS theme. Fox uses a variation of the same theme for every sport. I don't even know what's used for the NBA on its different networks.
It used to be that nearly every sport was as identified by the opening bars of its network theme as it was by its best players.
The themes of yesterday were often accompanied by a voiced-over narrative that told a story and set the stage while getting viewers juiced for the game. No network did this better than CBS.
No announcer did this better than Brent Musburger.
Brent is retiring. He'll call his final game - and UK/Georgia tilt at Rupp - later this month, and with his last signoff, another voice of my youth will be silenced.
When I think of Brent, a couple of things come to mind. The NFL Today in the 80s. Sly gambling references. (It's not surprising that he's hanging up his mic, in part, to start a sports handicapping business with his family). Creeping viewers out by slobbering over AJ McCarron's now wife.
But more than anything, I think of his pregame voiceover work mixed with the greatest TV sports theme of all-time....
The NBA on CBS.
Watch, and tell me these aren't awesome.
You didn't watch an NBA game on CBS in the 80s and not go out of your way to make sure you were there for the open. And no kid who had a hoop in his driveway didn't shoot hoops while mimicking the theme and a pretend Brent voiceover. That theme, and that voice signaled that a big game was coming, even if it was some mid-February game between the Mavericks and the Hawks.
I'll miss Brent. I've missed what he did best for a long time.