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Are you going to miss Max Falkenstien as the voice of the Jayhawks?

Asked at Jefferson's Restaurant, 743 Mass. St. on March 2, 2006

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Photo of Katie Rush

“Yes, of course. He has been there for 60 years. As long as I’ve known Jayhawk basketball, he’s been the announcer.”

Photo of Ryan Cramer

“I’m definitely going to miss Max. He’s become a big part of KU basketball over the last 60 years.”

Photo of Aaron Bazata

“It’s not very important to me to be honest with you. I’m kind of indifferent about it.”

Photo of Libby Strong

“Yeah. He’s a huge part of the basketball tradition at KU.”

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Linda Aikins 12 years, 2 months ago

OMG - he is the Paul Harvey of KU. Or maybe Paul Harvey is the Max Falkenstien of story telling.

Bless you Max!

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

I remember once I was on my way to Omaha during a KU game against Nebraska, so I had to listen to their radio announcers. I was getting so mad at the way they covered the game. I could not wait to get back to Lawrence to hear our old familiar voices.

Before I got the digital cable box, I could listen to Max on the radio while watching the game on tv in near perfect sync. But, now that I have the box, I still listen to Max, but it is a little disconcerting to hear that a shot goes in 3 seconds before I see it. I'll miss Max and I hope that we will get a good new announcer.

l_eustacy 12 years, 2 months ago

NO! Max is a super guy, but I won't miss listening to, " Bob...a..."

I think he did a great job overall. He knows KU sports, but I won't miss his voice.

Favorite sports voices: Bob Costas & Bob Gretz

mcoan 12 years, 2 months ago

He made a lot of inane comments and observations and wasn't that great of speaker. Sometimes, I thought, "wow, this man doesn't know what he's talking about." I respect him for hanging in there, but no, I won't miss him.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

Mcoan, is it because he's an ignorant Kansas redneck that you won't miss him?

Eh, I don't care who covers the game as long as they do a good job. I really didn't listen to the radio anyways.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

I'll miss how he'd have a near heart attack if the Jayhawks went on a 10-0 run. I love how excited he'd get! Next year will be weird to listen to the radio.

joshs_mom 12 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I'll miss Max. We always turned down the TV volume and turned on Max and Bob on the stereo. Max would add a neat story or a little-known fact to his commentary and that always made the game more fun. Max, thank you for all the good memories and hope you have a wonderful retirement. You've worked hard and you deserve it!

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, Max made some mistakes, like pronouncing "melee" like (ME-LEE) instead of the correct (MAY-LAY), and last night he said that the Colorado team became enervated in the second half at a time when they were actually energized. (Enervate means deprive of strength, weaken.) But, I look past those things. I'd rather be forgiving.

What I liked about him so much was his energy and enthusiasm and his historical knowledge. That knowledge came from being there and cannot be replaced. But, we'll move on. Go, Jayhawks!

RonBurgandy 12 years, 2 months ago

He was the color guy, he didn't have to be speak perfectly while making comments. He was there just for some extra insight and give Bob Davis some relief and someone to talk to.

Of course he will be missed.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

I don't really dig basketball, but I respect that in a sense, an era is ending and a long association is coming to a close, and I wish him a long and happy retirement.

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

My wife's vote for the most annoying announcer is ESPN's own "Dickie V, Baby!" She doesn't like his raspy voice and his Austin Powers "Baby" every few minutes. I, on the other hand, don't mind it so much.

My favorite sports talking head is Jay Bilas. He is well-informed and conservative in his predictions.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I'll miss Max...he's great!

There were times when I didn't have a TV, or no cable. Or back before KU was considered interesting enough to even be on TV...remember that?

So I listened to KU games on the radio a lot. And even when I was able to see the games on TV, I would often turn the sound down and listen to the commentary on the radio.

Good luck, Max. Sorry to see you go.

nonimbyks 12 years, 2 months ago

Any time a radio personality retires that has had a long tenure at a station is a sad day. Any generation that has tuned in to often the only form of media to listen to a live event brought to life over the air is going to miss a familiar voice no matter how they told the game. It's what's called personality.

rhd99 12 years, 2 months ago

The comment that Max is the Paul Harvey of KU is quite the comparison-A VERY accurate comparison. I will miss Max lots. He & Bob Davis are truly the best announcers College Sports or any Sports events can ever have in front of the microphone on radio or t.v. Max, though he got an earful from Glen Mason after a football game & took it like a man & didn't whimper off the air, Mason was a complete JERK to Max. The rest of these coaches from Roy to Mangino to Bill Self all showed their respect no matter how tough a game was whether they won or lost. These coaches are class acts in that they respect the fact the media, like Max & Bob, have a job to do, no matter how tough it is. I have read that Chris Piper could take over for Max. I have also read where Greg Gurley is a possibility as well. Between Chris Piper & Greg Gurley, who is best suited to fill Max's tough shoes? Max, you will be missed. WAY TO GO!

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

I will definitely enjoy basketball a lot more once Vitale is gone.

Chris Tackett 12 years, 2 months ago

Of course I'll miss him! He has been the voice of the jayhawks for my (and many peoples') entire lives.

Enjoy retirement, Max!

linux_chick 12 years, 2 months ago

Didn't Eddie Sutton say he listened to Max as a kid? That's a long time...

mom_of_three 12 years, 2 months ago

mccoan, you have no clue what you are talking about!!

All announcers have made inane comments, told quirky stories, and have made no sense to some at one time (ever heard Bill Walton announce a game?) But I will take Max over any talking head on tv ANYTIME!!

linux_chick 12 years, 2 months ago

agreed, bankboy. It will be nice to watch five minutes of a KU game without Vitale's insightful interjections about Duke and Reddick.

The guy is seriously obsessed... and I think he should see someone about that.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

Max will be missed by many people. His love of the Hawks and thorough enjoyment of the sports gave his contributions a down to earth quality. Most people just laugh and pay little attention to announcers when they get over excited or make "technical" errors in their speech. How many of us have, uh, someone, well you know, recording every word we say? I for one am glad they don't :) Much of the time we OTS posters make blunders in our posts -- and we have the opportunity to proof and correct before submitting :p

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

I agree with l_c, Vitale is the worst!!

sgtwolverine 12 years, 2 months ago

Being that I've never listened to KU basketball on the radio, I can't speak specifically to Falkenstien himself. But as someone who loves college sports, and especially the tradition surrounding so many programs, I think a man who has been a part of a program like KU for so long should be missed. Up here in Michigan, the long-time P.A. announcer for Michigan Stadium just retired (and there's some uncertainty with the football radio crew, too, as the flagship station just dumped Michigan sports after this season). The various voices associated with sports programs are important, and when such a long-time voice retired, it should be noted, and the voice should be missed.

As to irritating announcers, I would put Vitale right up near the top. Also, I have to say that Brent Musburger drives me nuts. I know there are a lot of people who disagree with me on that, but Musburger has absolutely no clue when to stop talking. I feel bad for his color commentator; I've heard numerous times that the commentator wanted to say something, and Musburger wouldn't give him an opening.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

TOB: I haven't heard of Packer, but I will take your word for it -- if he's worse than Vitale, I don't want to listen and decide for myself. What is wrong with sponsors, someone must be paying the jerk's wages?

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

I'll miss Max! What a great voice! Happy retirement, Max. (If they replace him with someone like John Madden I'll slit my wrists.) Just kidding but I will stop listening! hawk, spit

Tony Kisner 12 years, 2 months ago

O - Bob,

Here, here on the Billy Packer comments. He can ruin a game. I also think he must have posters of Bob Knight and Coach K in his bedroom. His own coaching record must be why he is a color commentator.

If I know the story correctly Max took over the mike while a student at KU, and has been there ever since. Good for him and the school to let that tradition build. In the era of high gloss sports he takes me back to the days of "Hey my school is better than your school".

Laura Wilson 12 years, 2 months ago

Was he the greatest announcer? No, of course not. He was human and, what 80 or so years old now? Naturally he'll make some mistakes, but his passion and love for the Jayhawks rang 100% true and that's what will be missed. He is a respository of KU sports knowledge and insight that will never be matched (because does anyone else think there'll be another person who'll last 60 years in the same job?) and he will definitely be missed.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 2 months ago

Billy Packer is the one that said Moody is the best walk on ever, I believe. He butchers the hell out of the game that's for sure. I can't stand Bill Walton either, ever since the KU-Illinois game in the tournament a few years ago (I believe 2001) where he kept saying Frank Williams of Illinois was God as a college basketball player. Ugh, that drove me crazy.

Vitale - I have never minded him very much. His constant talk of the ACC is a bit annoying, but it doesn't really get to me.

Best play by play announcer - Kevin Harlen, hands down. Can't say I have a favorite color guy, but Clark Kellogg is alright in my book.

acg 12 years, 2 months ago

Alrighty folks, need some help. I have to tend bar tomorrow night for a political function for state reps and senators. I haven't tended in 10 years and wanted to brush up on my drink recipes but now I can't even remember what people drink anymore (as I am old and lame). So, give me some drink names folks. What would stuffy, white political dudes want to drink these days, aside from martinis, of course. ???

outoftowner 12 years, 2 months ago

If I was a politician I wouldn't drink anything served to me if it wasn't right out of the can. (and I opened it myself!) Because u just never know...

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

acg: The blood of newborns?

Why not come up with a "GOP-tini" -- make it like a martini, but throw in something extra -- maybe the blood of a newborn, or perhaps just a little grenadene (is that the green stuff?), or make a simple martini, and say it includes a splash of "Democrat's crocodile tears" for losing too many elections. Put a little bottle with water on the bar, which has Howard Dean's picture on it. They will laugh a hearty, holier-than-thou-aren't-we-grand-old-boys laugh, and then fork over the extra buck or two you charge them for providing such a humorous moment. They will keep coming back for more, and you will just pocket the extra dough.

If it is a mixed political crowd, then also have a "Dem-tini," which is the same as above, but suggest you are adding a dash of "Dick Cheney's hunting buddies' real tears." They, too, will laugh a holier-than-thou-aren't-we-grand-old-boys laugh, and then fork over the extra buck or two.

The key is to just make some money off these politicians by playing to their "holier-than-thou-ness," whatever party they represent. Have fun!

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

If Republican women are going to be there, brush up on Cosmopolitans, too. I've also heard the Tom Collins is making a comeback. Old standbys like the Jack and Coke, rum and Coke, and screwdriver are solid.

Online bartender's guides are your friend. I can recommend, I've got it bookmarked on the home laptop. Take a quick skim through; most online bartenders will have a 'new recipes' section that follows the drink trends pretty closely (when martinis were the thing, they had ninety different variations from the appletini to the guavatini to the extra dirty blonde three-layer martini, and how I wish I was kidding about the last one!).

kellygwen 12 years, 2 months ago

Max was and forever will be a Kansas University Basketball icon. Any true fan is going to be sad to see him go. On the other hand, he has had a very fulfilling career. I would pay millions to see what he has seen.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

blue: Bloody Harry -- LOVE IT!! md: Salamander Attack -- LOVE IT!! badger: thanks for the bartender site. I will certainly investigate.

For the "Ted Kennedy," it has to be something that sneaks up on ya, like a Long Island Iced Tea. Everything is going along fine at the party, then BOOM, just like that your wasted so bad that you feel like your trapped in a car underwater. It also has to give you a really long hang-over -- you know, one that just won't go away even when you think for sure it will. Then you'll think, shoot, why didn't I just order the "Bobby Kennedy." I think the results would have been better.

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