Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

19 Oct 2005

Remembering Bill King: 1927-2005

Bill King, an Oakland radio announcer who called Raiders, A's and Warriors games, died Tuesday morning following complications from hip surgery. Those of us who never lived in the Bay Area but love NFL Films know him best for his immortal call on Kenny Stabler's famous "Holy Roller" fumble for a touchdown:

"Stabler back, here comes the rush, he sidesteps. Can he throw? He can't! The ball slips forward! There's a wild scramble! Two seconds on the clock. Casper grabbing the ball. It is ruled a fumble! Casper has recovered in the end zone! The Oakland Raiders have scored on the most zany, unbelievable, absolutely impossible dream of a play! Stabler, while being hit, the ball squirted forward. Madden is on the field. He wants to know if it's real. They said, 'Yes, get your big butt out of here!' He does."

Our friend King Kaufman mentions Bill King at the end of today's column, and you can listen to that great call here. This one will be relived forever.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 19 Oct 2005

4 comments, Last at 19 Oct 2005, 7:51pm by David A.


by Matt Bruce (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 4:36pm

King was still doing A's games right to the end. We'll miss him.

by Ed Blachman (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 5:09pm

In retrospect, we had a bunch of great announcers in the Bay Area, back when I was a kid (in the '60s and '70s): Bob Fouts (father of HOF'er Dan Fouts) and Lon Simmons with the 49'ers, Simmons and Russ Hodges (who called Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round The World) with the Giants, and best of all of them, Bill King with the A's, Raiders and Warriors. In that time and place, it was just cooler to listen to the Oakland teams than to the San Francisco teams, and King was part of that (*). In later years, after I moved away, it was always a treat to hear him call a game during an infrequent visit home.

(*) Of course, for most of that time the A's and Raiders were also *better* -- or at the very least more interesting -- than the Giants and 49'ers.

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 5:47pm

Yes, get your big butt out of here!’ He does.

I use to listen to him do the A's all the time:(

by David A. (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2005 - 7:51pm

KNBR did a "best of" sort of thing for King last night, playing clips from all three sports. I was listening while driving home from work. Just from that small sample, I regret never having had a chance to listen to his basketball work. Unbelievable.