The loss to South Carolina means the end of Duke’s season but it also means the end of Bob Harris’s epic broadcast career as he is retiring this year.
Most of us have no memory of Duke basketball without Bob Harris. He has been behind the mic since the mid ‘70s. He’s been under appreciated for most of that time.
Bob has many gifts, including the ability to talk forever. Seriously - you try it. It’s very taxing to keep talking for hours. Part of that is also just an amazing energy level.
But just being able to talk isn’t enough. There are a lot of people who talk all day who we’d all rather shut up.
One of Bob’s great strengths that never really gets discussed is his innate human decency. He’s just a very fine and kind person. A lot of people probably don’t know that he’s worked at Duke all these years without a contract. He’s operated the entire time on a handshake deal.
He is in other words a very special man, perfectly suited to his craft. His retirement, though planned and expected, is still jarring.
One of the sad things that it almost certainly means is that the regional nature of ACC broadcasting is almost over. Woody Durham, who like Bob is from Albemarle, had a wonderful North Carolina accent too. Most of the State crew does as well.
That’s changing. We’d be surprised if Bob’s replacement has any discernible accent at all. It’s not good or bad, just the changing nature of society and partly because of radio itself.
That’s for the future though. For now, we can only say: thanks Bob. Thanks for four solid decades of doing things the right way. Thanks for being an ideal representative of Duke and Duke sports. Thanks most of all for your innate sense of decency and fairness. Thanks for taking us along for so many great rides. Thanks also for hanging in there during the darkest times for Duke football. Not many people could have done as well.
To say you’ll be missed is a terrible understatement. Duke sports will never be the same again.
Source : http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/2017/3/20/14983168/hey-bob-harris-thanks-for-everything-duke-broadcaster-retires