With all the talk of the NFL Draft and free agency going on, why not give a tribute to the voices of the Cleveland Browns? It is the voices through the television and radio waves that brings football to life for us. Not by coincidence, the Browns announced earlier this week that the new radio broadcast partner is 92.3 The Fan, ESPN Cleveland 850 AM , and 98.5 WNCX.
Over the years, the orange-and-brown have had some legendary voices announcing their games. Gib Shanley, Nev Chandler, Doug Dieken, Ken Coleman, Casey Coleman, Jim Donovan, and Bob Neal are a few good names that come to mind. Neal was responsible for calling the start of the historic franchise in 1946.
In the late 1980′s as a little boy, I remember listening to Chandler’s unique and exciting calls during the Bernie Kosar days. As a kid, I would practice my play calling while playing the infamous Tecmo Bowl game on my Nintendo. As most Browns fans would agree, the late Chandler is as much part of the rich history of this team than any player to don the orange helmet.
Voices like Chandlers’ share the same passion and love for the game that the 70,000 plus fans that fill the stadium and millions of others watching from their homes or other places do. Chandler died in 1994 after losing his battle with colon cancer and was will always have a place in my heart.
Coleman is a sad, but celebrated story. In 2006, Coleman passed away from pancreatic cancer. Following his father Ken’s footsteps, Coleman got in to broadcasting in 1978. As a sports anchor in Cleveland, Coleman won four Cleveland Emmy awards. After Chandler passed away, Coleman took over duties as the team’s play-by-play announcer. In 2006, Coleman was inducted in to the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame and September 26th was deemed “Casey Coleman Day” in Cleveland.
Today, Browns fans listen to Donovan and Dieken. The two are the perfect yin-and-yang to each other as Dieken fills the gap with his deep color commentary. In a way, these guys represent us—the fans. They feel the pain, joy, sadness, and every other emotion we experience every game.
Yes, the voices of Browns football do rock like the city that features the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame does. They set us up for our upcoming work week. The mood of this blue collar town is predicated by what happens on Sunday between the months of September and December. Hats off to the voices of the Cleveland Browns.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
Please Follow Me on Twitter @ryanpruiz24