For at least 90 percent of my lifetime, Mark Boyle has been the voice of the Indiana Pacers. The radio play-by-play man joined the Pacers right before their rise to glory in the 90's and he's been with the team ever since.
But before landing a spot with the blue and gold, Boyle struggled through the radio ranks as he called everything from rodeos to hockey. Boyle talked about his rise to the top and much more during an in-depth and very enjoyable interview with Mark Montieth during his "One on One" radio show (1070 The Fan) on Sunday.
You're going to have to clear out some space from your busy-bee schedule in order to listen to it as it is lengthy. But if you've shared the Pacers experience by listening to Mark and Slick over the years, then you will enjoy this. Boyle, who never attended college, is open about his struggles in his early radio career all the way to working with the current Pacers. He sprinkles in some funny and embarrassing anecdotes along the way.
Boyle also talks about: His favorite radio calls; why he didn't want to sound like his father; why he thought he would only spend two years with the Pacers organization; who his favorite players were (Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley surprisingly top the list); his relationship with Donnie Walsh; and he also mentions his difficulty working with Jermaine O'Neal, whom Boyle calls "too phony" in the interview.
When I was a young pre-teen back in the early 90's, I started listening to Mark and Slick because I thought that's how you were supposed to "watch" sports. I observed how my grandfather always turned down the TV audio on Cincinnati Reds ball games so he could listen to the radio while still viewing the game. As an impressionable kid, I figured I'd better do the same thing.
Mark certainly is the professional's pro at play-by-play. He stays true to the art until exactly the right moment when he delivers a line such as he famous "Ding dong, the witch is dead!" moment (in the interview, Boyle states he hates hearing that replay of Game 7 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals as it's the only time he's come up with a phrase ahead of time...yet it's one of his most endearing and famous lines).
My personal favorite was from the next series (1995 Conference Finals vs. Orlando) when Rik Smits hit the game-winner over Tree Rollins. We had the radio churning out Mark and Slick's voices with the TV sound down for that game and the repetive line of "He Hits!" still gets the adrenaline flowing today.
If you have any good Mark and Slick memories, your own favorite moment or any analysis about the interview, please tell us about it.