By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Merrill Reese grew up in Philadelphia as a die-hard Eagles fan and has been blessed with the opportunity to be the play-by-play announcer for his favorite team. Reese, who has been the voice of the Birds on WIP since 1977, was named the top Philadelphia sports announcer of all-time by Philly Mag edging out the late, great Harry Kalas.
“I’m just honored to be grouped with some of these wonderful voices, some of these wonderful broadcasters,” Reese told Angelo Cataldi of the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “The fact that I mentioned and talked about, it’s nice to be appreciated.”
Why does Reese love his job so much?
“I love this team,” Reese said passionately about the Eagles. “I grew up here. I rooted for this team forever. This is the team that I loved. I wore the Eagles jerseys as a little kid. I went to Franklin Field with my dad. I looked up at the broadcast booth and watched Bill Campbell and said, ‘Boy maybe some day that could be me.’ It was a dream and I love doing it. I love it more and more every single year. I have never stopped appreciating it and I have never stopped pinching myself and saying, ‘I can’t believe I am really broadcasting the Eagles games.'”
Reese, 71, explained how the passionate and intelligent Eagles fan base fuels his desire as a broadcaster.
“I am doing a sport that I love, the team that I love, and for the most knowledgeable fans in the entire National Football League,” Reese explained. “I really feel a responsibility to be at my best every single week because these people know what they’re watching and they deserve the best effort possible.”
As for the current team, well Reese says this Eagles team has a shot to win it all.
“Best team in the NFC East, by far,” Reese said of the defending NFC East champion Birds. “They are hands down the division winner. I mean there is no doubt this is the best team in the division going in. And if they stay healthy, they are a legitimate—a legitimate—Super Bowl threat.”
Could you imagine calling an Eagles Super Bowl victory?
“It would mean so much to me, not because I am calling the final seconds to an Eagles Super Bowl victory, but because these fans who live and die with this team, who put everything they have into every single game, are finally justifiably rewarded with a Lombardi Trophy.”
Listen to Merrill Reese on the 94WIP Morning Show below:
You may also be interested in these Sports stories:
[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]