Thank you Joe!
Joe is a family friend. There was a family that used to host post-game ragers in the eighties for alums at their place near Lake Merritt. Joe would stop by on occasion. In fact, I do remember him stopping by very late after the '82 Big Game. He used to cover bball as well, and I can remember talking to him about Derrick Chevius, who played at Mizzou and who we played at Harmon. Joe's son was my roommate at St. Mary's baseball camp. Joe did a nice on-air tribute for my dad when he learned he had passed. He's clearly past his time, but having him on air even well after he has lost his fastball has been a nice thread to some very happy memories.
I've been making fun of him for decades but now I feel nostalgic about him (47 years at the mike!) and wish him nothing but the best.
Farewell tour for a legend. Hopefully we'll find a legend-in-the-making to continue his legacy.
As someone who moved away from the Bay Area in the mid 90s and as the internet got off the ground to make radio broadcasts available to us exiles, Joe was the bane of my Cal fandom from then on. Engaging personality, bled blue and gold, absolutely the worst radio play by play guy I have ever heard. I always said he would've been an amazing play by play guy on TV where his excitement and personality would've made for great watching. Take The Play for example. Paired with video its incredible stuff that gives me goosebumps ever time I see it and hear Joe shrieking in amazement.
Then listen to it without video and try to figure out what the shit happened. You can't. Radio play by play guys should tell a story of the game with their words. Joe was more interested in The Cupper's bowel movements, incoherent shouting over incomplete passes and mentioning down and distance once every quarter or so. I hope Roxy or Kate get the opportunity to build their own legacy next...
I too grew up with Joe on the radio and he is without a doubt a Cal legend. But
Only announcer I've known in my lifetime for the Bears. Since 1987 I've heard Starkey. I'm sure the next person will be great too, but I appreciate all he did to make the games come alive. Thank you, Sir.
Joe's play by play always made you feel more like you were in the stands most other broadcasters.
Holy shit. End of an era. Hope we send him out well, on and off the field.
Joe Starkey got me interested in Cal football when I was a young lad going to college in Sacramento. I remember pulling weeds in the front yard on a Saturday afternoon and tuned into a Cal/Texas AM game. I had no particular reason to like Cal and was more interested in what was going on with UC Davis football since I got recruited to play there. But there was a something about the timbre in his voice - unusually high pitched for a broadcaster - that pulled me in that afternoon.
It took a move to the Bay Area and actually attending some games at Memorial before I got truly hooked, but Starkey was the catalyst. I still love hearing him on the radio when a TV is not available.
This man is an integral part of me and my enduring love for Cal football. Bittersweet appreciation for him but very sad to see him go.
I love me some Joe. This news is both sad and welcome - while he was never a great play-by-play person, he was clearly the voice of Cal football, and will of course be a critical part of the history of the program forever.
I definitely know who I'd like to take over. Unfortunately she just got what's probably a dream gig on the east coast, so probably isn't available.
What a bonanza! If not the worst announcer of all time, then definitely in contention. Joe's signature call of "The Play" was the one time when his ineptitude actually seemed to work. Have you heard Joe try to do play-by -play lately? Every play sounds like "The Play".
Love Starkey. It’s the end of an era, almost 50 years, and the only voice I’ve ever known for Cal football. Some people love to rip him on technical grounds, as his strength is not painting an in-the-moment, accurate, detailed picture for someone who is not watching the game. Previous posters have mentioned his call of The Play as an example of this. His call of The Play is also a great example of his strength: conveying enthusiasm, joy, and love for for Cal football. I share this love, enthusiasm, and joy in Cal football and will miss him being there to convey it over the airwaves.
So used to general blog posts over the years, that I had freudian slip and read "should" instead of the printed would.
I don't get the "hate" (I know, too strong a term) for Joe. I've always thought he was great.
In any case, he and my Dad were in the Monks Faculty Choir together. Joe invited my Dad to sit in the press box with him one time. Dad invited me but it was just one of those times (small kids, hard to get away) that I will always regret missing. Dad said it was spectacular.
Joe, I'm a CAL alum. I'd listen to the games on the radio where I was living. I almost, almost, almost turned that game off in the last 4 seconds. As it was, you totally whip me up into a frenzy! Great career, thanks and I wish you all the best. Won't be the same without you.
Why not have the Big Game also be the Joe Starkey Game. When is the Joe Roth game?