Had to devote a thread to Lon Simmons. Lon passed away at 91 yesterday after a LOOOONG run as a broadcaster for most of the Bay Area sports teams at one time or another. He got his start broadcasting for the 49ers in 1957, with local guy Bob Fouts (who’s son ended up being a pretty good QB). He held that job til 1980. He was also the voice of the Giants from their move west til 1973, then off and on through last year. He also was there in the A’s booth to broadcast the A’s beating the Giants. Bittersweet to say the least.
Anyone who grew up in the Bay Area in the last 60 years instantly recognized his voice. He was as big an icon in the area as any athlete. He was unfailingly described as one of the nicest guys out there, and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Unless of course it was about some of the inept teams he was covering. His laconic style belied a cutting sense of humor that got the listening audience laughing and commiserating. I was bummed he missed out on the initial Super Bowl run for the Niners, but he came back in time to broadcast the John Taylor game winning TD in Super Bowl XXIII. He has been a constant presence recently with the Giants, and he has always been a true representative of both sports and all the Bay Area teams and a true gentleman all the way.
My wife had the pleasure of meeting Lon at a Giants charity event back in the heyday of the Al Rosen/Roger Craig Giants, and said he was very nice, courteous, and thoughtful. The same couldn’t be said for Mike Krukow.
These are two of may favorite Simmons moments.
I was at the Minnesota game, sitting in the wrong end zone, and it was funny just watching the crowd on either side of the field standing up as Young got further down the field toward the south end zone. When the far end zone erupted, the rest of the crowd on our side of the field erupted as well. Like a slow-motion backward wave.
It wasn’t until we got in the car to go home that we got to hear Lon’s call. By the time he was done, we were all laughing hysterically. One of the greatest moments in Niner, Candlestick, NFL, and Lon Simnmons’ distinguished history.
Rest in Peace, Lon. Condolences to your family.