Five Questions for Dick Enberg

by Andrew Marchand, New York Post

Q: In your 50 years in the business, who is the most fascinating person you have met?

A: That would be Al McGuire, without question. No one is in second place.

Q: A lot of people know your signature call is “Oh my!” Where did that begin?

A: When I arrived at Indiana University as a graduate student, I auditioned and won the new role as the voice of the IU Sports Network. It was in its first year in 1957. Winning that audition, I thought, here I am the voice of a Big 10 football and basketball network, I need a signature call, an exclamation mark, and all the good ones had been taken from, “Oh doctor!” to “How ‘bout that!” to “Holy cow!” My mother said, “Oh my!” frequently. It is a common Midwestern expression. It is one of acclamation. You hear two people talking and one would say, "Oh my, that is interesting," or "Oh my, that just happened." So I tried it and it worked.

Q: With your Indiana background, what is your opinion of Bob Knight?

A: I’ve gotten to know Bob Knight very well and he is a complex personality. There is much to like about Coach Knight. He is generous, but he doesn’t want it to be publicized. He donated his shoe money to the Indiana University Library and he didn’t want anyone to know that. He has his temper and his crazier moments, but I think those have been muted somewhat as he has matured through the years.

Q: When you recently heard that Greg Gumbel would be moving from the studio to be CBS’ No. 2 NFL play-by-player and you were being bumped to the No. 3 team, what was your reaction?

A: I was naturally disappointed. I felt that my six years together with Dan Dierdorf were terrific years. I thought we had our best season last year. We were as solid as any broadcast team doing NFL football. The breakup of that relationship was the first reaction.

Q: Is there a point when you might want to retire, or do you want to keep going as long as you can?

A: I have no desire to retire. I enjoy what I do. I love the homework. I think that is the ultimate measure of your passion for what you do. I look forward to the assignments.