Moore for the Packer Hall of Fame

Readers know that Ted Moore was the radio voice of the Glory Days Packers.

Moore’s son, Richard, is now trying to get his father inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame. If Ray Scott, who covered the Glory Years Packers for CBS-TV, belongs in the Packer Hall of Fame (and he does and is a member), and if Jim Irwin, who replaced Moore in the booth (first working with Gary Bender, then as the play-by-play guy), belongs (and he does and is also a member), then Moore absolutely belongs. (Also in the Packer Hall of Fame is Russ Winnie, who was the announcer when WTMJ radio started carrying Packer games in 1929.)

The case for Moore, who is a member of the Wisconsin Broadcasting Hall of Fame

… is, to quote our Founding Fathers, self-evident. Until 1973 the NFL prohibited games from being telecasted in the home team’s TV market, which is the Packers’ case is Green Bay and Milwaukee, due to concerns about not being able to sell out the stadium. (As if that would ever have been a worry with Lambeau Field.)

So if you lived in the eastern third of the state and you didn’t have tickets to the game at Lambeau or Milwaukee County Stadium (where fans probably should have brought a radio thanks to the fact that County Stadium was a rotten place for football due to where the seats were), you had to listen to Moore, who worked every minute of every game, preseason, regular-season and postseason (two more years than Scott did, though that was CBS’ doing by ending the team announcer arrangement, which should be brought back for TV) — and mostly by himself, as you can hear from the Ice Bowl game — including six NFL championship games (the 1962 game for NBC-TV), three other NFL playoff games, the first two Super Bowls and, for what it’s worth, two Playoff Bowls, featuring the runners-up of the NFL’s two conferences, a game infamously called by Vince Lombardi “a game for losers, played by losers.”

I don’t remember Moore doing Packer games. Bob Fox does:

I grew up in that era. It was the golden age for Packer Nation, as Lombardi’s Packers won five NFL titles in seven years, including the first two Super Bowls. The team also won an unprecedented three NFL championships in a row, a feat that has never been duplicated in the playoff era of the NFL going back to 1933. …

Scott was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2001. So were a couple of other legendary Green Bay newspaper reporters who covered the Packers back then, as both Art Daley (1993) and Lee Remmel (1996) have been enshrined as well. So was the team photographer during that time, Vernon Biever (2002).

Basically everyone who covered the Packers during the Lombardi era is in the Packers Hall of Fame. All except Moore.

Ted Moore and Vince Lombardi

Now there have been two Packer radio announcers who have been inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. They are Russ Winnie (2016) and Jim Irwin (2003).

I expect them to be joined at some point by Moore and current radio play-by-play man, Wayne Larrivee.

I got to know Irwin pretty well at WTMJ in 1980 and 1981 when I worked there, first as an intern and then as a freelance reporter. In fact, I got to know Irwin so well, that he was the No. 1 reference listed on my résumé while I was looking for broadcasting and journalism work out of college.

Now longevity in covering the Packers does play a part in getting into the Hall of Fame for the team. Daley (68 years), Remmel (62 years) and Biever (61 years) each covered the Packers for over six decades.

Scott (10 years), Winnie (17 years) and Irwin (29 years) all covered the team for at least a decade and in Irwin’s case, almost three decades.

Moore spent 12 years broadcasting games for the Packers. And it was he who first hired Irwin.

Like I mentioned in my most recent story, the quarterback sneak by Bart Starr in the 1967 NFL title game between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, was one of the most iconic plays in NFL history.

And it has to be the greatest play in the history of the Packers. It was Moore who provided the play-by-play on that legendary moment in Green Bay lore.

“Third down and inches to go to pay dirt. 17-14, Cowboys out in front. Starr begins the count and he takes the quarterback sneak and he’s in for the touchdown and the Packers are out in front. The Green Bay Packers are going to be world champions,” Moore yelled out, as the 50,000-plus frozen faithful in the Lambeau Field stands went delirious.

The thing about Moore that is different from nearly every play-by-play announcer (including myself) today is his voice. In the days when radio voice quality mattered more than it seems to matter today (however you feel about that), Moore had a more modulated, deeper, richer voice than you generally hear today. CBS-TV’s Verne Lundquist and late NBC-TV announcer Charlie Jones don’t and didn’t sound like Moore, but those two are probably as close today voice-wise as you’d find to Moore.

The other thing about Moore is that, like announcers of that day, he came across as perhaps more booster than reporter, which again was common in those days and isn’t necessarily uncommon today. (Though it seems more obnoxious today.) It’s certainly not as if current Packer radio announcer Wayne Larrivee doesn’t want the Packers to win, but Larrivee will be critical if the Packers aren’t playing well. I gather that Moore didn’t go out of his way to be critical, though he announced bad plays if they were bad plays. That’s the way things were in those days.

Moore had the good fortune to get hired to do Baltimore Colts games in time for Super Bowl V, which was one of the worst (11 turnovers), yet closest, Super Bowls in history.

Moore also announced UW football, partnering with former Milwaukee Braves announcer Earl Gillespie, and also for a while announced Badger basketball on TV. That gave him the chance to call Magic Johnson’s last college basketball loss, when UW beat Michigan State on a buzzer-beating half-court shot by Wes Matthews. (I have that on tape somewhere.)

Moore was as much a part of the Glory Days as Scott was, and if for only that reason certainly belongs in the Packer Hall of Fame.


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