BOSTON -- Veteran sportscaster Curt Gowdy was signed to a one-year contract Thursday to call the radio play-by-play for 1987 New England Patriots games as the team moves to a new radio station.
'Radio to me is the purest form of sports broadcasting there is,' Gowdy said at a news conference announcing his new pact with WHDH-AM. 'You're the only link between the game and the public. I love to do radio play-by-play. It's always been the joy of my life.'
Gowdy, 68, will replace John Carlson, who served for six years as the Patriots' play-by-play announcer. Former Patriots center Jon Morris will remain as the color commentator.
'He's the type of ex-athlete who approaches the job the way it should be approached,' Gowdy said of Morris. 'He's been very honest on the air. He has great integrity.
'He's not a homer for the Patriots, and I'm not going to be,' Gowdy said.
WHDH-AM obtained rights to broadcast the Patriots in a four-year, $5 million contract with the Patriots. WEEI-AM, an all-news station, had carried the games for the past six years.
Gowdy has covered 16 World Series, eight Super Bowls, six Olympics and has had a 20-year run as host of ABC's 'American Sportsman,' which has won six Emmy awards.
From 1951 to 1965, Gowdy did the play-by-play announcing for the Boston Red Sox games on WHDH before leaving for a 10-year stint with NBC's baseball game of the week. The Red Sox are now broadcast on WRKO-AM.
Patriots' general manager Patrick Sullivan called Gowdy 'a prominent voice' who will add integrity to the Patriots' organization.
'To have him doing our games is certainly going to add a lot of credit to our organization, and I think it will be an important step for us going back to the Super Bowl,' said Sullivan, whose team lost to the Chicago Bears in the championship game two years ago.
'I won't be throwing any passes or catching any, so I can't do anything about getting you to the Super Bowl,' Gowdy replied.