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MURPHY’S LAW: The legend of Z, Combat juggling, Funny Bearcats

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By: John Sears

The legendary Jim Zabel passed away Thursday night at the age of 91.  I don’t know if there’s much more I can add to all the glowing stories about Zabel we’ve heard in the past 2 days.  He was truly a broadcasting legend and icon.  Zabel did it his way, and it worked.  He wasn’t perfect, but he was great.

Big Z worked as the play-by-play man for the Hawkeyes for 50 years.  He worked 69 years at WHO.  69 years at the same job!!!  That’s unheard of today.  His style and voice will be remembered forever.  There will never be another Jim Zabel.  With all the social media available today, radio is far less important than it was 30 years ago.  That’s not to take anything away from today’s broadcasters, but when Zabel was on the mic, for a lot of fans that was the ONLY way to listen to a sporting event.  Smartphones, twitter, HD television, the internet, the ‘hectic-ness’ of life have changed sports watching dramatically over the last 50 years.

zabel-2Zabel was bigger than life.  There’s a good chance your sister, mother, brother have no idea who Ladell Betts is, or Bob Sanders, or Larry Station, or Chuck Long.  But there’s a very good chance they know who Jim Zabel is.  Zabel reached all audiences on all different platforms.

What a career, what a life.  91 years, over 6,000 play-by-play broadcasts.  He had fun, and he made it fun for listeners.  Raise a glass to Z, he earned it.

Congratulations to Creston/Orient-Macksburg, the Panthers won the Class 3A state golf championship.  Their first in school history.  Carson Whittington is your individual winner.

It’s been a bad year for umpires, this only makes it worse.  I want to give Umps the benefit of the doubt, but it’s getting really bad.

I didn’t know Cincinnatti had a baseball team.  Now I’m a huge fan.  Here’s why, love the fun they have. 

Watch out PCL, The I-Cubs have won 6 of their last 7 games.

Ever heard of ‘Combat Juggling?’  You have now.  This is straight off of ESPN 8, ‘The Ocho.’

I love it!  I love it!  I love it!  Thanks again Z, you’ll be missed.  zabel-1