After what has been a strange year for John Forslund, the broadcaster will be back as the lead voice of an NHL team next season, joining the Seattle Kraken as the organization’s first television play-by-play announcer.
2021 will be the inaugural season for the Kraken, the NHL’s 32nd team beginning next fall. With Everett Fitzhugh already named the team’s radio voice and the first Black play-by-play broadcaster in NHL history, the organization also landed a prime announcer for their telecasts on ROOT Sports.
Forslund spent nearly 30 years with the Carolina Hurricanes franchise and two-and-a-half decades as their play-by-play voice, following the team’s move south from Hartford in 1997. Last summer, Forslund and the Hurricanes were stuck in a contract dispute that went unresolved. In addition to his local work, Forslund also calls NHL games for NBC Sports.
“It is an honor to join the Seattle Kraken as their inaugural television voice,” Forslund said in the press release. “I am looking forward to reuniting with (general manager) Ron Francis and working alongside (radio play-by-play broadcaster) Everett Fitzhugh. Throughout my career, I have cherished my connection with fans. To get the chance to create that bond and tell the Kraken story from Day One is a magnificent opportunity. I would like to thank the Seattle Kraken for this chance.”
The last 12 months have been unique for everyone, Forslund included. Not only did he see his nearly three-decade long tenure with the Hurricanes come to a close, but Forslund was also one of the first sportscasters impacted by COVID-19.
Last March, Forslund self-quarantined after he happened to stay in the same Detroit hotel room that was previously used by Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Later that week, Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, jumpstarting the suspension of most American sports.
But having landed a new gig in Seattle, 2021 is already off to an exciting start for Forslund.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts
“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”
FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.
“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”
ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.
“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”
Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC
“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”
Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.
“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”
Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.
Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game
“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”
FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.
USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.
The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.
“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.
Garrett Searight is the Editor of Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media. He previously was the Program Director and Afternoon Co-Host on 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. He is also a play-by-play announcer for TV and Radio broadcasts in Western Ohio.