SBD/May 17, 2011/People and Pop Culture

NSSA Honors Tirico, King With Annual Awards, Inducts Three Into HOF

ESPN's MIKE TIRICO and BRENT MUSBURGER, SI’s PETER KING, Boston Globe columnist BOB RYAN and Brewers announcer BOB UECKER were honored last night at the 52nd Annual National Sportscaster & Sportswriters Association's Awards Banquet in Salisbury, N.C. Tirico was given the honor of Sportscaster of the Year, while King was named Sportswriter of the Year. Musburger, Ryan and Uecker were inducted into the association's HOF. ESPN golf analyst CURTIS STRANGE presented Tirico with his award, recounting how the 20-year veteran would practice his profession in front of the TV at the ripe age of three with a spoon as a microphone. Tirico thanked his friends, family and co-workers, whom he joked took up half of the audience last night. SI’s DON BANKS presented King, who was notably touched by the honor and rendered temporarily speechless. He later noted that was something many of his peers would think is all but impossible. King emphasized the power of his platform in writing for SI. He reminisced about a three-day road trip with Pro Football HOFer JOHN MADDEN, during which Madden pulled out a book on the wildflowers of America while on a stretch of road in the back country of Kansas. King said it was then that he knew his role as a sportswriter was to tell the fan what happens behind the scenes.

WELCOME TO THE HALL: ESPN's JACKIE MACMULLAN inducted Ryan into the HOF, recounting she started at the Boston Globe as a 21-year-old with Ryan, who showed her the integrity, passion and work ethic she needed to survive in the New England market. Ryan accepted the award with the same passion, stressing that sport is the single entity that galvanizes a community. Uecker, who was unable to attend the banquet due to the Brewers’ schedule, said in a video he would come to the Awards Banquet one year, promising to work at the event. He had been presented with his plaque earlier in the month when the Brewers visited the Braves at Turner Field. Musburger also was absent from the event, but he too sent a taped message thanking the NSSA for the honor. ESPN Senior VP & Exec Producer for Event Production JED DRAKE accepted on Musburger’s behalf, noting ESPN/ABC’s lead college football broadcaster is the consummate professional. The night also featured a special cake by TLC's “Cake Boss" with specially designed figurines of the honorees.
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