Dick Irvin, Mel Allen, Chick Hearn discussed on Nets Basketball (Air Only)
And giving me advice and then a couple years later. I sent Marv a cassette tape of some play by play that I had done. And I still have the letter that he responded is incredible. Because more. It was also the sports anchor on WABC channel four New York. And the letter that he responded to my tape with the TV FOX and back then on the teleprompter, the scripts. The font used for your scripts on the teleprompter was larger than a regular typewriter and on the top of the page. It had the NBC logo, and it had w NBC four and Moore had written me out a very nice response about my play by play. And he had an incredible impact on me getting into this business. But I would also say this, and I think I may have mentioned this years ago when I was filling in for Jim because I think Jim we'll tell you this as well. We're we're all blessed to be in this position. And I've been blessed. I've done the NFL I've done NHL games. And obviously I've been doing the NBA for thirty one years. And if you told me, you know, as a kid that someday I would be able to do play by play of the NBA NHL and NFL. I would've said there's just you know. No way. So I have been unbelievably fortunate back to that just real quickly. You know, you you can talk to people in this profession, and I'm sure Jim would tell you the same thing you can sit with fifty people in this profession, whether they are talk show host of whether they're in play by play or whether they're sports anchors, and you can have fifty people in a room, and you can ask them how they got started. And they'll give you fifty different answers. You know, it's not like going to med school. Or if you want to be an attorney, you have to get you have to go to law school and passed the bar in. Well, that's not how it works in this profession, and we all have unique stories we all have things that have stood out in our careers over the time. Like, I'll never forget this. I was this is an historic that really hard to fathom. But. In Sacramento in the early nineties. They had NHL exhibition games at the old ARCO arena, the home of the Sacramento Kings, and the San Jose Sharks. Didn't even begin their franchise. They were an expansion franchise in one thousand nine hundred ninety one and there was a game at the ARCO arena in the preseason. It was the Montreal Canadians taken on the sharks, and I went to the skate around because I just love hockey so much. I grew up on hockey. It's I just love it. And I'm standing against the glass watching the San Jose Sharks have their skate around. And I could not believe it. I turn next to me and standing nearest dick Irvin, a legendary hockey announcer in Canada who is to watch all the time when I was up only green on hockey night in Canada. And we started chatting, and he says to me and again dick Irvin. I mean, he's a household name in Canada, the guys I mean, if you're in the Hockey Hall of fame, that's all. You need to know. And he says to me goes where are you from? And we started talking, and I said, well, I grew up in New York and big hockey fan, and I work here on the TV announcer for the kings. And he says to me goes, do, you know, a lot about the sharks? And I said, well, I think so I watch him play a lot. And he said, well, listen, he goes, you know, I don't really know a lot about the sharks. Would you be willing to join me on the protest tonight? And I'm I'm thinking to myself, wait a minute dick Irvin. The voice of the legendary Montreal Canadian's wants grant Napier to come up and do the game with them on the Canadians radio network. And I said dick would be an honor would be an absolute pleasure. And so I show up that night, and we go up to the top of the arena where they had set up the makeshift hockey table. And he said now, listen he goes, I don't want you doing color commentary like on the actual place of the game. I just want you to give information on the sharks and a little bit of color there. And I said, no problem, it'd be my pleasure. And that was just incredible to be with dick Irvin. A guy that is legendary. And then another time is the first time I ever covered. A major league baseball game was nineteen seventy seven and I was at in Cleveland doing the Yankees Indians. Because from New York, I'm a big Yankees fan. And I had my first press pass to a baseball game. And that's when the keys had rivers Randolph, they had Thurman Munson back at that time. Reggie jackson. The whole team. Bucky dent, Ron Gigiri, blah, blah, blah. So I get to the old Cleveland stadium three hours before the game. And I'm on the field. There's nobody else out there. I'm literally out there were some grounds crew members. And I ended up I ended up sitting in the Yankee dugout, and it's probably two hours before the game and the announcer for the Yankees back there. And one of the many announcers was Mel Allen earth. Yeah. Remember Mel from this week in baseball. How about that? You know, Mel Allen was just a legendary incredible iconic baseball announcer. Like he was God. I mean Mel Allen was a household name. Among baseball announcers for many many many years, and I'm any Yankee dugout. Nobody else is sitting there and Mel comes out, and he goes, hey, how are you? I said, I'm fine. Thank you very much. My name is grant Napier. And he goes melon, I go. Yeah. I'm from New York. So we start talking Mel Allen talk to me. Honestly, I'm not exaggerating for thirty minutes. Asking me about. Where I'm going to college. What I'm studying. What is it that? I wanna do ask me about growing up watching the Yankees asking me about Mickey Mantle asking me all these questions we had a conversation about Mel Stottlemyre who was a great pitcher for the Yankees, we talked about. I'll never forget the conversation. We had even though it was that long ago, we talked about, you know, I was a huge fan of the Yankee first baseman back then Joe Pepe tone, and we we he could not have been nicer. And that'll just end this before we get to a call when I I did the Sacramento Kings. My first game was in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight. And a couple of games, and we were at the great western forum playing the Lakers. And of course, you know, magic and Qiuping worthy Jabbar. But there was nobody that was more famous more well known than the Great Lakes occuren- chick Hearn is just the absolute legendary figure you was one of the great of all time. And I am back then the great western forum was one of the few arenas around the country where you weren't sitting courtside. The press box was actually in the upper deck and two tiered arena. The great western forum, and I'm up there. And it's probably an hour and a half before the game. And never forget it chick Hearn walks from one end of where the table was to me. And he goes, hey, how are you? I'm chicken. I said, I'm grant Napier. I said, it's very nice to meet you. And they said, yeah, you're you're the new announcement for the kings. And I said, yes, I said, you know. Such an honor. And a pleasure to meet you and chick Hearn talk to me like he had known me for thirty years. And he ended the conversation with me saying, hey, if there's anything you need at all if there's anything that we can do for you don't hesitate to ask. And over the years, I used to watch chicken whenever we played the Lakers. He used to watch how he interacted with the fans after the game like whether the game was in Sacramento, or it was in L A fans would always line up to, you know, get an autograph from chick or they have the cameras out, and they would want to take a picture with chick. And he was always so gracious and Schick would come on my radio show when we were playing the Lakers from time to time, and he didn't have to do this. I mean, you wanna talk about class you wanna talk about role models. You wanna talk about how you wanna live your life chick at the end of one of the last interviews that we did before he passed away. We were a sitting courtside at ARCO arena, and again the kings and the Lakers great robbery back in the early two thousand. Thousands and chick says over my show. Hey grant, I just wanna say this before I leave. And I said, yeah, he says I just hope that the people in Sacramento is how lucky they are to have you as their announcer. Now. I don't know if chick meant that. I don't know. But the fact is back to your question I've learned so much from like the greats before me like how to talk to a young aspiring broadcast or how to make them feel comfortable. I mean like being in the presence of a legendary hockey natural like dick Irvin or sitting in the Yankee dugout as a kid at age eighteen with Mel Allen. And how gracious he was and then to have chick Hearn while for me like those stories I'll take those stories to my grave because without those type. Of. I guess memories. Be where I am today. So I I answer that question in a very round about way. All right. Let's get to Berea. Dave, welcome. You're on with grant Napier on the Jim Rome show. How are you? Dave. Napier. How you doing, sir? I'm well. What can I do for you, man? Man. Okay. The best. But I disagree with you on this whole Bill Tucker thing, this thing is kinda beat all the charges could be fun and paying. Paying twenty dollars for you know, it's fun. Leandro playing golf golf course right now got on my pocket was coming over to the house. We watch it. It's fun. You know, twenty hours to go see a movie what movie is. What move your go to see that's twenty hours? Dave. Dot you because you walk interacting like you get feedback. You your life? Dave, Dave, Dave. What are we watching gone with the wind four times in a row? What are we doing for twenty hours watching a movie, buddy? Popcorn the Snickers all that picks, regardless. Sports. Sports. Dave happy thanksgiving. You have a great time watching it. I hope you'll love it. All right. Thanks, man. We'll get to Bobby real quick before we wrap up this show in New York. Hello, bobby? Bobby you there? No, bobby. Well, we'll get book, Bobby. I'm sorry. I got to you two quick, Bobby. What's going on? You'll wrap us up there on this holiday Friday. What's going on Bobby, man? Listen, you're you're phenomenal host today, rather probably. Listening from the heart, man. I really appreciate it. Well, I appreciate you listening. Listen, there's nobody in this business to cut here without help from others. And you're unbelievable. My parents were murdered have three different types of cancer. I've been I've been a follower one of the silent majority for the wrong show for many many years. I can never get through to Rome last time. I tried to get through twenty years ago. I got cut off by Roger Clements. And. We all know how that worked out. But I just love you guys, and I'm very thankful for Jim Rome, and I'm thankful for so many things and just keep speaking from the heart, man. Thanks, man. Hey, I always love coming in here. Fill in for Jim because. We talk about Romanian how he got his start. I've heard him talking about going from Santa Barbara down to San Diego and work in a four hour shift at night, and they moving this. And that I mean, we all have our starts and you can never forget. Just can't you cannot forget how you get started in this business. Always great to be here. I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend. Remember tomorrow on FOX buckle up for one of the great robberies in sports, Jim Harbaugh and Michigan urban Meyer and Ohio State in a battle that. Yes. The winner goes to the big ten championship. Coverage begins tomorrow seven eastern on FOX or watch anywhere on the Fox Sports until next time. Hope you have a very safe and happy holiday weekend. Thanks for listening to the Jim Rome show right here on CBS sports radio..