When Roger Twibell called the play-by-play of the Kansas-Missouri game on Sunday, he said that remaining objective was no problem. But . . .
"I got a little emotional before the game when they held the ceremony for the seniors and their parents because of it being the last game of the season," he said. "But once the game got going, I was fine."
Twibell, a 1972 Kansas University graduate, called the nationally televised game for ABC along with Dick Vitale. Twibell is an 18-year veteran of sports television, and this is his third year with ABC. Before he started working at ABC, Twibell worked for ESPN from 1981 to 1988, covering College Football Assn. games, college basketball, Arena Football and golf and tennis events. Twibell also worked as an anchor for ESPN's Sports Center from November 1981 to 1986.
TWIBELL, 42, attended Shawnee Mission North High School before studying at KU. He started his broadcast career as a sportscaster at Sunflower Cablevision during his last year at KU. At that time, he said, the local cable television station had just gone on the air.
"Max Falkenstien was doing the sports until they got somebody else," Twibell said. "They got me. I didn't even know how to type. I had to go enroll in Lawrence High School to learn how to type.
"We started doing Lawrence High football, KU sports and coaches shows. I did that for about four months until I got a job."
From Sunflower, Twibell moved to KGUN-TV in Tucson, Ariz., where he was a sportscaster. He then joined KATU-TV in Portland, Ore., and started calling Oregon State football and basketball games as well as local track and hockey events. In 1975, Twibell left for KDFW-TV in Dallas and then went to WTJV in Miami a year later, where he announced Miami Dophins pre-season games in addition to nightly sportcasts.
WHILE WITH WBZ-TV, Boston, from 1978 to 1981, Twibell won three awards: the Associated Press' best play-by-play announcer in New England, a New England Emmy for best play-by-play, and Syracuse University's Phillips Award for best nightly sportscaster.
At WBZ, Twibell called play-by-play for the Boston Celtics, New England Patriots pre-season and the New England Teamen soccer team.
Vitale said he enjoyed working with Twibell on Sunday because he got a chance to play the jester during the broadcast.
"I was teasing him about how he choked up during the playing of the alma mater," he said. "I also teased him about how he took his wife on a tour of the campus to show her where he grew up as a young guy. Roger loves this place. He's a Jayhawk through and through."