Thursday, December 24, 2009

Legendary Sportscaster George Michael Passes Away at 70

Along with celebrating the season and a huge Capitals' 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres last evening, many sports fans in the D.C. area are taking a moment to remember sports giant George Michael, who lost his battle to cancer at the age of 70.

Michael was a groundbreaking visionary in the world of sports broadcasting and his direct and humorous approach in conducting interviews with countless stars from every sector of the sporting landscape made him a fan favorite, both in the D.C. market and on the national stage. He helped further the careers of several notable broadcasting personalities including Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. One of HM's many favorite memories of George Michael was watching his hilarious annual presentation of the Jack Russell terrier races on NBC-4, which always left me in stitches laughing!

Capitals' ownership and management shared their own memories and thoughts on George Michael today:

Washington Capitals reactions to George Michael’s passing:

“George Michael was one of the most respected, thought-provoking and honest reporters I ever encountered,” said Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals majority owner. “George never skirted the tough questions and always provided ample opportunity to discuss differing points of view. His knowledge and candor made D.C. a much better sports town. Our thoughts are with George’s family and many friends.”

“I remember first meeting George in the early 1980s,” recalled Dick Patrick, Washington Capitals president. “He had unbelievable energy and passion for sport and people. ‘The George Michael Sports Machine’ show established a new ground in covering and reporting on sports. George always was well prepared for any topic, fair in his commentary, opinionated in his comments and entertaining in his delivery. He was a role model for sportscasters in D.C. and around the country.”

“George Michael held D.C. sports teams to the same high standards he demanded of his broadcasts, and the entire community appreciated him for that,” said George McPhee, Capitals vice president and general manager. “He was passionate and fair, a professional whose impact in this city and the entire sports world will continue to reverberate for years to come.”

HM joins the Washington sports community in sending our sincerest condolences and prayers to Michael's family and friends.

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