Reese in August 2008 at Eagles Training Camp
|Born||Merrill Alan Reese
September 2, 1942
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Sports commentary career|
Merrill Alan Reese (born September 2, 1942) is an American sports radio announcer best known for his role as the play-by-play radio announcer for the Philadelphia Eagles on SportsRadio 94.1 WIP-FM. He has been the voice of the Eagles since 1977.
Reese is a graduate of Temple University earning a bachelor's degree in Communications and Broadcasting. While in college, he learned his craft by doing play-by-play over the college's radio station, WRTI FM. At WRTI, Reese also had a music show every Wednesday afternoon where he spun 45-rpm records from his own personal collection.
Reese eventually landed a job in Philadelphia as a newscaster and sportscaster at WHAT and its FM companion WWDB. After a few years he moved on to WIP as a backup for that station's Sports Director, Charlie Swift, who did drive-time sportscasts and Philadelphia Eagles play-by-play. While Swift was vacationing, Reese began doing the pre-game and post-game shows for the Eagles on WIP and later was assigned to do color commentary during the games. He became the voice of the Eagles in the middle of the 1977 season after Swift committed suicide. Herb Adderly took over the color commentary for the remainder of the season. He is the longest-serving current announcer in the NFL.
Reese's current broadcast partner is former Eagles wide receiver Mike Quick, who joined Reese in the booth in 1998. Aside from Swift and Adderly, Reese has previously been joined in the booth by Jim Barniak (1978–82), Bill Bergey (1982–83, also filled in when Quick had knee surgery during the 2004 preseason), and Stan Walters (1984–97).
In addition to his play-by-play radio coverage of the Eagles, Reese hosts The WIP Coach's Show the day after Eagles games with the Eagles head coach, Eagles players and other guests.
Reese's autobiography, It's Gooooood!, was published in 1998. The title is a reference is to his distinctive and well recognized "field goal" call, which is usually delivered in a highly excited falsetto, in stark contrast to his baritone broadcasting voice.
His wife Cynthia is a sixth grade science teacher at Keith Valley Middle School in Horsham, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. His son Nolan has been an assistant editor of such films as Avatar, Iron Man 2 & The Muppets. His daughter Ida is a graphic designer.
Reese's mother was also a teacher at Robert E. Lamberton School in Overbrook Park, Philadelphia where the Reeses lived in the 1960's. Her love of musical theater was passed onto many of her students.