Cowherd says Rondeau is 'better than anybody I’ve ever heard doing football.'
Count Colin Cowherd among Washington Huskies broadcaster Bob Rondeau’s long list of admirers.
“He does it better than anybody I’ve ever heard doing football,” the Fox Sports talkshow told ESPN’s Brock Huard and Mike Salk on Thursday.
Cowherd said Rondeau and Vin Scully, the longtime Los Angeles Dodgers announcer, were his childhood idols and credits them for his start in broadcasting.
“Bob Rondeau was a seminal voice in my young broadcasting career,” Cowherd said. “The two people that I really monitored were Vin Scully and Bob Rondeau. And they both had an amazing talent. They were word efficient.”
Cowherd said a medical condition causes him to slur when he talks and growing up, the 53-year-old Grayland, Wash., native who graduated from Eastern Washington in 1985, patterned his delivery after Scully and Rondeau.
“I really latched on to announcers who were good storytellers,” Cowherd said. “Rondeau and Vin Scully to me are incredible. Scully, instead of saying ‘ Here’s a 2-2 pitch. Here’s a ground ball. Through the left side of the infield and into left inning. And here comes this run.’
“Scully would go ‘Two and two. Ground ball. Through short. Here’s the tying run. Here’s the winning run.’ Crowd takes over. That’s a great art.”
Cowherd’s impersonation of Rondeau was similarly spot on.
“He’s word efficient,” Cowherd said. “‘I-formation. Backs divide. Millen drops. Orlando McKay up the Husky sideline. First down Washington.’ Twelve words. It’s a beautiful way to broadcast on radio. It allows the crowd to be so impactful.”
Cowherd said when he listened to Washington Huskies football games, he would write down and fill several notebooks with transcripts of Rondeau’s calls.
“He spoke a different language like Scully to me as a fan,” Cowherd said. “Every time I listened to the Huskies, the crowd played such a central role like it should. Most announcers over talk. I’m in the opinion space so I talk all day, but play-by-play guys generally over talk. Rondeau is a master tactician of word efficiency.”
After 37 years and over 1,400 UW football and men’s basketball games as the ‘Voice of the Huskies,’ Rondeau is retiring after the Fiesta Bowl when No. 12 Washington faces No. 9 Penn State on Dec. 30.
“Bob Rondeau – he’ll never know this – but he was so instrumental,” Cowherd said. “He is a legend to me and had a major impact in my life.”