I used to listen to The Autumn Wind every gameday during high school basketball senior year. Goosebumps on top of goosebumps in the locker room. We went 4-18 but it wasn’t John Facenda’s fault.
The pride of Roman Catholic is going into the Hall of Fame and you probably didn’t know it, but this guy was a huge part of your life watching the NFL growing up. Football Follies back in the day were my Saturday cartoons. I loved watching grainy footage of players getting knocked out from hits that would get you thrown out of the league today.
The craziest part was John Facenda got his start because the president of NFL Films was in the same bar as him in Philly and heard his voice.
One night in 1965, Facenda went to a local tavern, the RDA Club, which happened to be showing footage produced by NFL Films. He enjoyed the slow-motion game sequences that were already an NFL Films trademark and would later recall:
“I started to rhapsodize about how beautiful it was. Ed Sabol, the man who founded NFL Films, happened to be at the bar. He came up to me and asked, ‘If I give you a script, could you repeat what you just did?’ I said I would try.“
So if you ever want to be a broadcaster next time you’re at Cavs make sure you start screaming over Scott Van Pelt’s highlights because you never know if the president of ESPN is going to be a couple seats down and fall in love with your voice.
John Facenda has such a beautiful voice that even when he calls your team dogshit it tickles the eardrums. In the first two minutes of this Eagles 1978 season preview John Facenda calls the Birds “the leagues most notorious loser” and “the graveyard of pro football”.
Heres some more from the Hall of Famer and a documentary about him to get you ready for camp right around the corner.
The epitome of football in one video.