Veteran New York Sportscaster Jerry Girard Dies

Veteran New York sportscaster Jerry Girard, who always added a witty twist to his nightly jock reports, died on March 26 after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

Girard's longtime TV home, WPIX-TV Channel 11, announced his death on last night's newscast.

Girard was born and reared in the Bronx and worked for 20 years at WPIX, reporting on the local sports scene with a deadpan delivery oozing with caustic humor.

"I made a pledge to myself when I first went on the air that I was going to be myself, sink or swim," Girard said in a 1984 interview.

Girard, who lived in Bronxville, Westchester County, was 41 years old when he first went on the air, working his way up from a news writer.

He once told the Daily News that WPIX News Director John Corporon asked him to audition, but he almost didn't show up.

"I was really not that interested, and I sort of forgot about it until he [Corporon] came by one day and said, 'Don't forget the audition tomorrow,'" Girard recalled. "I hadn't prepared a script, so I went with brief notes and ad-libbed the rest. Much to my shock, they liked it."

Girard's run as WPIX's sports anchor lasted 20 years before he resigned in 1995 rather than take a demotion.

Unlike most sportscasters, Girard didn't like showing highlights from games. Instead, he would choose key plays to show and dissect. He'd punctuate his broadcasts with memorable lines that sports fans would retell around the water cooler the next day.

During the Giants' lean years, Girard quipped: "The Giants really have to tighten their defense. I saw a linebacker with binoculars. You have to get closer to the ball than that."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

(Article by Bill Hutchinson, NY Daily News)