When the Oakland Raiders take to the field for their preseason opener Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum against the Detroit Lions there will not only will there be a new man leading the Silver and Black on the field, but also in the broadcast booth.
As John Gruden begins his second tenure as Raiders head coach, a new radio broadcast team will spread the message all cross the Raiders Radio Network.
The new broadcast team will be led By Brent Musberger. Yes, the Brent Musberger!
Who has come out of a year’s retirement to sign a three-year deal to be the play-by-play man on Raiders Radio. The contract will bridge the final years being in the East Bay to the first season of their new home in Las Vegas.
Musberger, 79, will replace Greg Papa who was the voice of the Raiders for the past 21 seasons and will be just the fourth man to call the games since the mid 1960’s back in the old American Football League and a gentleman the late Bill King.
Joining Musberger will be former Raiders offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy who will replace long time Raiders player, assistant coach, and head coach Tom Flores.
Before the current days of reporters moving from the print media to electronic. Musberger was one of the first, and a true pioneer in sports broadcasting
Beginning his career at the old Chicago American covering football including the first three Super Bowls, his first television job was Sports Director at the CBS affiliate in Chicago WBBM-TV he spent three years there.
He joined the network in 1973 doing NFL games and was host of a sports anthology show called the CBS Sports Spectacular. In 1974-75 he became the lead play-by-play man on NBA telecasts until 1980 and was the host in the studio and playoffs until 1989.
In 1975, he got his big break when CBS Sports executives Robert Wussler and Mike Pearl put together a new 30-minute pregame show before their NFL telecasts called The NFL Today.
Musberger would be the lead host along with Phyllis George and Irv Cross and would remain as the lead anchor until 1989 covering seven Super Bowls.
The NFL Today is still the gold standard on how NFL pre-game shows should be done.
In addition, when CBS acquired the rights to the NCAA Basketball Tournament in 1982 he was the host the studio and Final Four host the first three years and then from 1985-90 was the lead announcer with analyst Billy Packer.
He also was the studio host when the network acquired NCAA Football rights in 1982 he was also host of the Masters Golf Tournament as well as doing baseball and other sports for CBS Radio including the All-Star Game and hosting the World Series.
In 1990, when the network sports department had a shakeup, Musberger was fired the night of the 1990 NCAA Championship Basketball game between Duke and UNLV.
Days later he was hired by ABC Sports and spent the next 27 years doing college football and basketball. He was the halftime host of Monday Night Football for six seasons and hosted the pregame show for Super Bowl XXV and Super Bowl XXIX.
He took over for the retired Keith Jackson as the voice of College Football and did seven Bowl Championship Series games including the Rose Bowl. He also did the Major League Baseball playoffs in 1995 as well as the NBA on ESPN Radio.
When he retired in 2017, Musberger moved to Las Vegas and was the lead announcer for a group called Vegas Stats and Information Network.
In their storied history, the Raiders have had iconic voices on the radio starting with the late Bill King. When the team moved back to the Bay Area in 1995, Joel Meyers did the team for one season before Papa and Flores started their run.
Now it is Musberger’s turn to continue their tradition on the radio.