The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

July 18, 2009

Cronkite learned from OU football

Who would have thought the young man doing University of Oklahoma football games over WKY Radio in 1937 in Oklahoma City would become the icon of broadcast journalism.

The lessons Walter Cronkite learned doing the Sooner games would serve him well in career in which he would earn the title “the most trusted man in America.’’

Cronkite, in his biography “A Reporter’s Life’’ told of his disastrous first broadcast as the OU play-by-play man — a game at Tulsa.

He had an electronic board where spotters would press buttons to light the bulbs that would indicate who carried the ball and who made the tackle. He said he felt doing live games would be no different from the recreated ones he did on radio in Kansas City.

“The broadcast was a disaster,’’ he wrote. “My spotters weren’t worth a darn and the electronic board was worthless. I was trying to get the numbers off the jerseys as the plays progressed, refer to the program and finally deliver some sort of report on the play, which by then had unfolded some minutes before.

“The cheer for the play had long since died down and were being succeeded by the cheers for the next play before I had identified the players in the first one. I was hopelessly behind.’’

His boss, Gayle Grubb, told him after the game he would want to see him in his office the first thing Monday morning. Grubb called him early Monday to say Edward Gaylord, the station owner, wanted to see them at 8:30 a.m.

Gaylord, to Cronkite’s surprise, told him he thought the broadcast was good.

“A few little things I know you’re going to fix up, but I just wanted you to know that we liked it around here.’’

He fixed those little things by learning the names, numbers, positions, hometown, weight, height and record of every player on both teams. Perry Ward, his color man, volunteered to be his spotter.

Text Only
Sports
  • Moving In? Indoor football coming back to Enid?

    Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers manager Mark Timberlake are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Morris Claiborne Claiborne wants to prove worth to Dallas

    Morris Claiborne had already told reporters he was ready to prove he was worthy of Dallas’ dramatic move up the draft board to get him with the sixth overall pick in 2012. He didn’t waste any time showing some urgency.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Tebow NCAA proposed settlement raises medical questions

    A key feature of a proposed settlement of a head-injury lawsuit against the NCAA is the creation of a $70 million fund to pay for medical evaluations of current and former college players in several sports.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Attorney: OU's Mixon acted in self defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon said the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 29, 2014

  • OSU no longer faces APR restrictions

    NCAA officials say Oklahoma State’s football program no longer faces restrictions for the upcoming school year because its Academic Progress Rate has been amended.

    July 29, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-30-14

    July 29, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rice's punishment hardly fit the crime

    Two games, just over 12 percent of the 16-game regular season. Two games for hitting a woman hard enough to knock her out cold.
    Rice said Monday he will not appeal his suspension, which could wind up costing him $529,411 in fines and salary. And why wouldn’t he? He must feel like he got off scot-free.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SamBradfordpicturejpeg Bradford used to being at 'career crossroads'

    It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford.
    Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • TU wins C-USA academic honor

    The University of Tulsa earned the 2013-14 Conference USA Institutional Excellence award by posting the highest grade point average during the 2013-14 academic year for all student athletes in conference-sponsored athletes, the school announced on Monday.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hixon added to West All-State football team

    July 28, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.