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Swirsky To Be Inducted Into The Chicagoland Sports H.O.F.

Jason Barrett

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Congratulations are in order for Chicago sports broadcaster Chuck Swirsky, who will be inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame on September 7th. An induction ceremony is scheduled during the 20th annual Awards Dinner. WFLD-TV/FOX 32 anchor Corey McPherrin will serve as emcee.

Swirsky’s has spent nearly four decades in the broadcasting industry. He began his career in 1979 on WCFL-AM, with a late night call-in show. He then moved over to WLUP-FM to host a weekend talk show and deliver sports updates during the week. In 1981, Swirsky signed on at WGN-AM and worked his way up to Sports Director. He provided sports updates on the station, including in mornings where he became affectionately referred to as “The Swirsk” by morning host Bob Collins. He also was the station’s first host of the long-running weekend show “Sports Central”, working alongside Jack Brickhouse. He stayed with WGN-AM until 1994.

Additionally, Swirsky served a public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls from 1980 to 1983. He also worked as a host on the Chicago Cubs Radio Network for 12 years, and on the Chicago Bears Radio Network for 10 years. Swirsky added radio play by play duties for the Chicago Sting and DePaul Blue Demons men’s basketball, and television play-by-play responsibilities for Northwestern University football. He also got a taste of filling in as a television sports anchor on WGN-TV.

In 1994, Swisky decided to leave the windy city in order to accept an offer as the Sports Director of WJR-AM in Detroit. Combined with that role was an opportunity to host the pre-game, and post-game shows for the Detroit Red Wings, and call the play-by-play for the University of Michigan men’s basketball and football games.

By 1998, Swirsky became recognized internationally when he moved to Canada to become the radio voice of the Toronto Raptors. He spent the first three years calling their games on radio, and the next seven handling their play by play duties on television. He also remained connected to radio, hosting a popular sports talk show for CJCL-AM.

After officially becoming a Canadian citizen in 2008, Swirsky had to say goodbye to the country that welcomed him in with open arms. Chicago came calling with an opportunity to become the radio voice of the Chicago Bulls, and he’s remained the team’s lead announcer ever since.

Since returning, he’s also stepped in as a fill-in television announcer for the Chicago White Sox when Ken “Hawk” Harrelson had to miss time for medical reasons.

The Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame will pay tribute to Swirsky for his decades of sports broadcasting excellence in Chicago. He has been awarded the 2016 Media Award by the organization.

For more information on the annual event and the organization, visit ChicagolandSportsHallOfFame.com.

Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College.  The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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Sports Radio News

Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job

“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

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Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.

“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.

“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’

“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

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Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.

“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”

“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”

When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.

“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.

The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.

Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”

Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”

Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.

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