Chuck Swirsky

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Chuck Swirsky calling a Chicago Bulls game in 2009.

Chuck Swirsky (born January 30, 1954) is the radio play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls of the NBA. He was formerly the longtime play-by-play voice of the Toronto Raptors.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., Swirsky grew up in Bellevue, Washington and is graduate of Interlake High School (class of 1972).

Broadcasting and career

Swirsky was a sportscaster for WCFL in Chicago from 1979 to 1981. He was the Chicago Bulls public address announcer from 1980 to 1983. He joined WGN radio in 1981 and remained through the mid-1990s. While he was with WGN he also did play-by-play for DePaul games alongside former coach Ray Meyer and also did Chicago Bears pre-game and post-game coverage. He also made frequent appearances on the Bob Collins radio show, Collins dubbing him "The Swirsk". During his time at WGN, a man dressed as Max Headroom hijacked a broadcast of Doctor Who and made a mocking reference to Swirsky.

Swirsky left WGN for Detroit where he did play-by-play for both University of Michigan basketball and football in the mid-1990s. Rob Pelinka was among his Michigan color commentators.[1] Swirsky began his career as the play-by-play voice of the Toronto Raptors during the 1998–99 NBA season, first on the radio then for television beginning in 2001. On March 23, 2007, Swirsky was honored by the Raptors when they gave out 18,000 bobbleheads with his likeness.[2] He was known for his famous "Salami & Cheese" phrase, which was used to advertise Raptors game packs during the 2007–08 season.[3][4] Another catch phrase was "Onions, Baby, Onions." This was said when a player makes a three point shot, and was used to advertise Raptors NBA TV HD.[5] He became a Canadian citizen on January 14, 2008.[6]

During the middle of his tenure in Toronto, Swirsky also hosted a sports radio show on CJCL (The Fan 590) called The Chuck Swirsky Show. The show, which was broadcast every afternoon (when not conflicting with any weekday matinee Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts) between 1PM-4PM, talked about the big sports issues of the day, took listener telephone calls on air, and interviewed various people in the world of sports. On days that Swirsky was unable to host the show (either due to his commitments with the Raptors as their play-by-play announcer on the road or due to vacation breaks), the duo of Doug Farraway and Barb DiGiulio served as fill-in co-hosts. He hosted the last episode of The Chuck Swirsky Show on July 31, 2008.

On May 6, 2008, Swirsky, the voice of the Toronto Raptors for a decade, left the organization for personal reasons related to his family.[7] His vacated position was filled by Matt Devlin.

He has since returned to Chicago to carry out the radio play-by-play for the Chicago Bulls[8] on its flagship station WMVP, which, ironically, is the same station as Swirsky's first employer, WCFL.

References

  1. ^ O'Donnell, Jim (1995-02-19). "Lake Talk.". Chicago Tribune. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  2. ^ "2006-07 Game Night Giveaways". raptors.com. Archived from the original on 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  3. ^ "Chuck's Salami and Cheese Pack". raptors.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  4. ^ Chuck Swirsky Commercial: "Salami and Cheese" on YouTube
  5. ^ Chuck Swirsky Commercial: "Onions, Baby, Onions" on YouTube
  6. ^ "Going Canadian... .". nba.com/raptors/news/swirsky. 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  7. ^ Smith, Doug (2008-05-06). "Raptors announcer Swirsky leaving for Bulls". Toronto: TheStar.com. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  8. ^ Smith, Doug (2008-05-07). "Now that's onions, baby! Swirsky done with Raps". Toronto: thestar.com. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 

External links