Sports and their voices often become synonymous. Vin Scully and the Dodgers, Harry Caray and the Cubs, Dick Vitale and Men’s College Basketball, Marv Albert and the NBA. For fans these voices become as recognizable and familiar as the players and sports themselves, a sort of stable, guiding light. For over forty-four years that guide for Saints fans has been Jerry Romig.
Romig began his career at sixteen working for the Times-Picayune and after an almost seventy year career spanning everything from production, to writing, to the announcing he was most known for, Romig informed the Saints this afternoon that his last game behind the mic would be this Friday.
Romig has never once missed a Saints home game in his time as announcer, a stretch that spans 445 games, 446 on Friday. That dedication and endurance was not lost on Saints fans, many of whom were sad to hear the legend would be hanging up his microphone. But in true New Orleans fashion many celebrated the memories of a voice and man they grew to love.
This afternoon I was lucky enough to conduct an interview with Mr. Romig for WDSU at his home in Harahan. On the drive over to his house there was a large billboard for McDonald’s promoting their affiliation with the Saints. In the middle of the billboard was one phrase: “It’s Good!” Along with “Firstdown Saints,” “It’s Good!” is Romig’s most famous call, and one he yells after each Saint’s made field goal or extra point. The Golden Arches taking advantage of the golden voice of the black and gold, well it all fits rather nicely together.
Romig doesn’t move very well these days. A fall at the Super Dome led to two back surgeries, and was ultimately the reason he decided to call it quits, but the man still has the same voice and passion for Saints football. He has fond memories of his time: from Tom Dempsey’s record breaking kick at old Tulane Stadium, to the Saints win over the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game that sent the franchise to its first Super Bowl. For Romig, though, the most special part about his announcement is not looking back to the memories of the past, but rather looking forward to the future. That’s because Romig’s son Mark will be taking over his father’s post, rightfully keeping a Romig in the box.
When the Saints take the field to open the season against the Falcons on September 8th, fans in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be missing out on Romig’s famous calls, but dont worry, he will still be in the announcer’s box enjoying the games and guiding his son much in the way he guided Saints fans for over forty years.
Romig will call Friday’s game against the Raiders, his last time in the booth.
The Saints will honor Romig before the season opener against the Falcons with a Super Bowl XLIV ring, and will also rename the house control booth the “Jerry Romig House Control Booth.”
Romig announced the first four Super Bowls held in New Orleans as well as every Sugar Bowl and BCS bowl held at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome.