CBC sportscaster Don Wittman died last week, ironically on the same day as the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Football League, for which he was a regular play-by-play commentator (at least until the CBC decided they needed someone younger).
CBC.ca has a feature section on Wittman, including some clips of his more memorable moments (which I think understate how recognizable a voice he was on CBC Sports).
But while the news focuses on his calling Ben Johnson’s track-and-field win, then Donovan Bailey’s world-record-setting 100-metre run at the 1996 Olympics, and his unexpected foray into news reporting at the 1972 Munich games, but my favourite is this bench-clearing brawl during the 1987 world junior hockey championship, which was so out of control that the officials turned the lights out to get everyone to calm down:
Some other videos worth watching:
- CBC news report on Wittman’s broadcast history and his induction into the hall of fame
- Hockey Night in Canada segment, including clips from the induction speech of Peter Mansbridge
- Wittman calls the greatest moment in Vancouver Canucks history: After being down in the playoff series 3-1 against the Calgary Flames, the Canucks force a Game 7 with two overtime wins, and Pavel Bure scores the Game 7 winner in double-overtime.