NOTE: Due to overwhelming support and interest in attending the memorial services for long-time Colorado broadcaster Irv Brown, a public event has been set for noon on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield (11450 Broomfield Lane).
The celebration of Brown’s life will include a “game day” like atmosphere, with concessions for sale, and tributes and memories from local sports celebrities, like Brown’s long-time radio partner Joe Williams and former Major Leaguers John Stearns and Jay Howell. Dave Logan will emcee the event, which will also feature video and photo presentations.
Sitting across the desk each day doing three hours of sports talk, Joe Williams said Monday, means you’re spending more time with radio partner than nearly anyone else in your life — except for maybe family.
For 37 years, Williams did just that, stared across that desk at his radio partner, Irv Brown, meaning he likely knew the Denver broadcast legend perhaps better than nearly anyone else.
“You get to where you know just about … not only know their thoughts and opinions on every single thing (but) you almost know what they’re thinking before it comes out of their mouth,” Williams said. “And it’s almost enough to make you sick on one another until you realize, you know what, people would die, they would kill to be doing what we’re doing.
“You bring it back in and you realize how lucky you are.”
Joining “The Drive” on Monday, Williams reflected on the life of his decades-long colleague and friend Brown, who passed away Sunday from an aggressive form of lymphoma.
“He was one of a kind. … I don’t think we’re ever going to see his likes again across the sports landscape, not just in Denver. I mean the whole state,” Williams said. “You can’t go anywhere where people don’t know who Irv Brown is or who he was. We’re all going to miss him.”
Brown’s influence indeed reached far and wide, with hundreds of tributes pouring in after the news of his death.
But perhaps the greatest tribute to Brown, a well-respected sports official who called six Final Four matchups, is on the day of his passing, one of his many protégés, and former radio technical operator, Terrence Miles served as the back judge for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
“There’s a lot of examples just like that, that Irv helped,” Williams said. “It was because of Irv.”
Brown, a Denver native and North High School graduate, also coached baseball, football, and basketball at Arvada High School as well as baseball at the University of Colorado and Metro State College, where he a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.
And Williams said that, despite years having passed, Brown would always remember his former pupils when they’d run into him about town or on a remote broadcast.
“He was always interested in people, not just the big-shots. Not just the stars. People that he taught and he coached in high school,” Williams said. “We’d be on remotes and people would come up to him. And I just could believe it. He would always remember their names, the dates, almost the years they played. I mean, it was incredible.
“After a while, of course, I got used to it because I realized that’s Irv. This is just who he is. And he always took an interest in people never expecting anything in return.”
Williams said Brown would always try to help people out, find people employment, even crediting his own broadcasting career to his partner.
“It was a great credit to Irv. He’s the one that got me started. I have no idea why he picked me. I have no idea at all,” Williams said. “But we had a great relationship over the years.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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