At age 77, broadcaster Brent Musburger is ready to step away from the microphone following decades as a marquee voice in sports.
Musburger, a former sportswriter, became the voice of CBS in the 1980s. He grew to prominence as part of the NFL pregame show "NFL Today" on CBS and was part of the top broadcast team for all major sporting events in the network just years later.
"Nothing in the world replaces the friendships I've made -- with crews and people," Musburger said. "And that includes the fans. I mean, I'm never alone. Wherever I go, someone's gonna come up. Someone's gonna come up and ask about a team. Or a game. Or an experience. I've got millions of friends out there, OK?"
Musburger's most noted calls include the 1984 college football game between Miami and Boston College that ended on completed Hail Mary pass form Doug Flutie to Gerald Phelan, Villanova's NCAA basketball championship game upset over Georgetown in 1985, several marquee NFL games, the Final Four, Masters, Belmont Stakes and tennis' U.S. Open.
Fired by CBS after 15 years in 1990, Musburger was hired by ABC and ESPN.
For ABC, ESPN and more recently Disney-owned SEC Network, Musburger was on the play-by-play call for NBA, college football (including seven BCS Championship Games) and basketball, golf, NASCAR and IndyCar races and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He called the Little League World Series from 2000 to 2011.
"Brent's presence and delivery have come to symbolize big time sports for multiple generations of fans," ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement. "When he opens with his signature 'You are looking live,' you sit up straight in your chair because you know something important is about to happen."
Musburger's final call will be at Rupp Arena and the University of Kentucky on Jan. 31.
He said his retirement focus will be helping his family start a sports handicapping business. Stepping away from ESPN, Musburger said, was important now to keep the family of networks from having to defend Musburger's affiliation with gambling.
Musburger was never afraid to reference the latest Vegas line, especially in late-game situations when point spreads were relevant.
Some of his commentary in-game drew national attention, including during the 2017 Sugar Bowl. Musburger and ESPN said Wednesday that there was no tie to backlash against Musburger's defense of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon during the game earlier this month.
Musburger said on the call that he wished Mixon, suspended for a year after punching a woman and breaking her jaw, well and hoped that he would make the most of his second chance.