The 2009-10 basketball season will be your last chance to hear Mike Nail call a game.
Nail, who has provided the play-by-play on Razorback basketball radio broadcasts since 1981, announced last week that the upcoming season will be his last behind the mic. I know that federal law requires sports fans to wax nostalgic when their teams' longtime broadcasters decide to retire, but I would do so in this case even if it weren't mandated.
That's because a Nail broadcast is so easy on the ears, a true pleasure to listen to. No cheesy or forced trademark expressions, no histrionics. Mike has always let the action on the court speak for itself.
I was in the third grade when Nail began his tenure with the Hogs, and god only knows how many hours I've spent listening to him on the radio in the years since. Think about all that has happened during his time on the air: the upset of North Carolina, Sutton leaving for Kentucky, Nolan winning the national championship and leading the program to two other Final Four appearances, all those epic battles with Kentucky in the 1990s, Nolan getting fired and the turmoil that has sadly engulfed the program in the years since.
I moved to Atlanta a little more than 12 years ago and haven't had a chance to hear Nail broadcast a ton of games since then. But every time I do, it's pretty great - like stepping into a time machine. It's kind of strange to say, but few things remind me of my youth like his voice.
Best of luck, Mike, and thanks for the memories. Your replacement has some high standards to live up to.