“They’ll be talkin about that one in Church!”
Professional sports in the Northwest has a long illustrious history, and part of that history includes the story telling that the announcing crew brings to life. For fans that are unable to attend the game in person, these gentlemen (and ladies) make you feel as if you were sitting front row.
From the late 80’s through their departure in 2008, fans of the Seattle Supersonics were privileged to have the game action brought to life on radio and television by the colorful and animated voice of Kevin Calabro.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Calabro dabbled in local minor league sports before catching his big break, one granted by future Supersonic GM, Bob Whitsitt.
Before moving over to be the voice of the Sonics, Calabro called the action for the Kansas City Kings in 1983.
While the Kings would last two more years in Kansas City, Calabro lost his dream gig when the radio station lost the rights to calling the Kings games in 1984.
In 1987, luck and Whitsitt would come across Calabro’s way as the Sonics were in need of a sidekick for Bob Blackburn, the original Sonics announcer.
While the duo would work together for two years, Calabro’s enthusiastic approach to the game would soon pave the path towards taking over the mic on a leading man basis.
For nineteen years, Calabro would be the voice of the Sonics on both radio and television broadcasts for the majority of his journey with the team.
Throughout the 1990’s fans could feel Calabro’s vibe through the airwaves on KJR – AM and on screen on KSTW. Teaming up with Marques Johnson as his color commentator, Calabro’s run during the Sonics hayday became as Barney Stinson would say…LEG EN DARY.
Unfortunately for radio followers, the Sonics contract with KSTW ended in 1998 and their radio broadcaster came to an end in 2006, which in turn left Calabro doing the television call on Fox Sports Net.
While the loss of broadcast sources would pain Calabro and fans of the Sonics, it was the relocation of the team to Oklahoma City that hurt the most.
Knowing that having Calabro on board to help ease the transition of the team and possibly retain some Seattle fans, the new owners offered to retain Calabro for the 2008-09 season, but that option was turned down as Calabro would remain in the Emerald City.
Following the departure of the Supersonics, Calabro has kept himself busy, calling both college and pro games for a variety of stations (both radio and tv) and also tinkering in a series of video games for Microsoft and Playstation.
Fortunately for Seattle sportsfans, Calabro’s voice would soon return, as he has taken over the broadcast booth for the Seattle Sounders FC games.
With word and expectancy of Seattle once again becoming home to a NBA franchise, one can only hope that for at least one game, the magnificent vision and voice of Kevin Calabro will be there to call the game as only he sees it.
KEVIN CALABRO’S BEST:
Good golly, Miss Molly
Flying chickens in the barnyard
Let’s get on a magic carpet ride
He also made our list of Top 5 Northwest sports announcers here.