He holds the record for longest-tenured broadcaster of one sports league in U.S. TV history, calling NFL football for 47 seasons (1967-2013) on NBC and CBS. Criqui retired from full-time duties for the NFL in 2012. However, on December 8, 2013, he filled in for Bill Macatee as he was having traveling issues in a snow storm in Dallas. He called the 27-26 New England Patriots victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Criqui's most recent network assignment was CBS Sports from 1998 until 2013, where he called the NFL, women's and men's college basketball and college football. From 1995 to 2012, he was the voice of New England Patriots pre-season football with Randy Cross.
Criqui is a native of Buffalo, New York and grew up in Kenmore, New York. He graduated from St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore, before attending the University of Notre Dame. He also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Criqui began with CBS in 1967 before moving to NBC Sports in 1979; he was 'traded' by CBS to NBC for Curt Gowdy. When CBS reacquired the NFL in 1998, Criqui rejoined the network, and continued to serve as a play-by-play announcer as part of the NFL on CBS until his retirement from that position after the 2012 season. From 1999 to 2004, Criqui and Steve Tasker were the designated play-by-play team for most Buffalo Bills games on CBS.
He has also announced a number of other sports for CBS, NBC and ESPN including college football, college basketball, the ABA, the NBA, the NHL, professional golf and tennis tournaments, Triple Crown horse racing, the Canadian Football League Archived October 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. and several Summer Olympics events.
During his tenure at NBC, Criqui called 14 Orange Bowl games. Criqui's most memorable call was the 1984 Orange Bowl between undefeated Nebraska and Miami. Nebraska was on a 22-game winning streak coming into the game, but lost to Miami 31–30 when the Cornhuskers failed on a two-point conversion attempt which would have won the game. His most famous college basketball call was most likely the last-second upset by St. Joseph's over top-seeded DePaul in the Mideast regional second round of the 1981 NCAA Tournament.
Criqui is currently the radio play-by-play voice of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football on the Notre Dame IMG Sports Network.
Though never the top announcer for a network, Criqui has always been a featured announcer in the American sports scene. His other projects include hosting radio talk shows about sports, serving as a part-time TV announcer for the New York Mets in 1991, and working as the play-by-play announcer for New England Patriots pre-season telecasts on WCVB-TV, Boston from 1995 to 2008 and for WBZ-TV, Boston from 2009 to 2012. Criqui was also for many years the key spokesperson for Trans World Airlines, appearing as himself in many television, radio and print advertisements as part of the Ogilvy & Mather-produced advertising campaign: "You're Gonna Like Us (sm). TWA.", which ran between 1978 and 1984 in support of the airline's domestic U.S. marketing efforts.
For years, he also served as co-host of the weekend version of the newsmagazine Inside Edition. He also served as a sportscaster on WOR radio in New York on the Rambling with Gambling show, as well as on WNBC radio on Imus in the Morning.
Memorable NFL calls
One of Criqui's memorable NFL calls came on November 8, 1970: Tom Dempsey's 63-yard field goal that lifted the New Orleans Saints to a 19–17 victory over the Detroit Lions at New Orleans' Tulane Stadium. Other memorable NFL games that Criqui took part in were the 1978 "Miracle at the Meadowlands" and the 1982 "Epic in Miami". Criqui also did play-by-play of the 1985–86 seasons of Monday Night Football and Super Bowls XX and XXI (alongside Bob Trumpy) for NBC Radio. He also called "Red Right 88" in 1980, when Brian Sipe threw an interception in the end zone to end the Cleveland Browns' season. He along with Randy Cross called the Detroit Lions' comeback victory over the Browns in 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- Pergament, Alan (August 21, 2013). American Pickers filming here, Criqui out of CBS games. The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- "Don Criqui". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Don Criqui, CBS Sports. Accessed May 8, 2012. "He was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and lives with his wife, Molly, in Essex Fells, N.J."
- Don Criqui Profile
- Profile of Don from Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
- 5 questions interview
- Rare Sports Films: 1971 ABA All Star Game
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