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New Orleans Saints fans will feel the loss

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 4, 1998

This season, New Orleans Saints fans will feel the loss of one of the personalities that has kept the team interesting throughout the last decade, even in the franchise’s most trying years.

No, it is not tight end Irv Smith or linebacker Winfred Tubbs. In fact, it has been over 15 years since he put on a Saints uniform. That person is WWL-AM color commentator Archie Manning. Over the last decade, it has become a New Orleans tradition to turn down the sound on the television when the Saints were on and turn up the radio to hear Manning and Jim Henderson broadcast the games. Manning and Henderson made even the most boring of Yes, both cheered for the Saints, but they also told it like it is. They would celebrate good plays, but also did not hesitate to mention the bad ones as well. Their criticism could be biting at times, but it was never personal or unwarranted. Listening to games on the radio is one of the joys of life. The best announcers, like Manning and Henderson, or Vin Scully and Jack Buck in baseball, bring us across the airways and into a seat in the stadium. They talk to their audience and make them feeThe best announcers make us feel we are at the ballpark, seeing the action with our own eyes. A good broadcast is like a good book, it stimulates our imaginations and in our minds we can see a Eric Martin making a catch along the sidelines or an Alan BeneI like announcers who speak to their announcers, who describe the scene in and around the ballpark. A few weeks ago while driving back from the Freeport-McDermott Golf Classic, a couple of friends and I caught the last few holes on the radio. The NBC annoI remember growing up, turning on the radio at night to see how many games I could catch. The Houston Astros were one of my favorite teams for a while in the mid-1980s because I could catch their broadcasts almost every night. Milo Hamilton and Larry DierI still do that on long trips. Occasionally, I can catch the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox and the Shreveport Captains of the Pacific Coast League. And of course, being a LSU alum, I (See SIDELINES, Page 2C) try to catch Jim Hawthorne’s broadcasts. I still have the tape of his broadcast of Warren Morris’ College World Series winning home run in 1996.That anticipation of catching a game on the radio is what Saints fans have felt turning on Manning and Henderson over the last decade. Here’s hoping that Stan Brock, like Manning a fan favorite, can continue that tradition.

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