For those of us who first discovered the NFL in the 1970s, The NFL Today was a major part of it.
And that meant, before every Sunday’s slate of games, gathering with Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Phyllis George, and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder for the kind of football discourse that simply wasn’t available anywhere else in those days.
Phyllis George died this week at the age of 70. Musburger praised his former colleague, in comments posted by vsin.com.
“Phyllis George was special,” Musburger said. “Her smile lit up millions of homes for The NFL Today. . . . Phyllis didn’t receive nearly enough credit for opening the sports broadcasting door for the dozens of talented women who took her lead and soared. Folks — men and women — were comfortable with Phyllis talking about their favorite sport. And in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, they loved Phyllis despite her Dallas Cowboy bias. . . . Irv Cross and I will miss you dearly.”
It was a special time for football and a special time for sports broadcasting, and Phyllis George was a special part of it. Plenty of clips of her segments and interviews are making the rounds on social media and elsewhere. For those of us who grew up with football in the ’70s, the videos trigger feelings not just of nostalgia but saudade; for the rest of the crowd, it’s a time capsule that provides valuable context as to how far the sport and the coverage of it has evolved.