Legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, 82, dies in San Diego

Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. broadcaster Dick Enberg, who charmed sports fans with his "Oh My!" declaration as he called some of the most memorable sporting events during the last five decades, died on Thursday, ESPN reported. He was 82.

Enberg was found dead at his home in San Diego. His wife Barbara told the San Diego Union-Tribune that her husband failed to catch a Thursday flight to Boston, where they were supposed to meet.

"He was dressed with his bags packed at the door," she said. "We think it was a heart attack."

Enberg worked for NBC, CBS and ESPN, calling some of the world's biggest sporting events, including 10 Super Bowls, 28 Wimbledons and eight NCAA men's basketball title games, according to ESPN.

Enberg was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University, where he began his broadcasting career, ESPN reported. He moved to California and covered the UCLA Bruins basketball team, which won eight NCAA titles during his tenure.

"Sportscasting is a kid's dream come true, which is one of the reasons that I keep doing it," he said in his autobiography, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I can't let my dream go. I'm still love with what I do."

In 1968, Enberg called what was dubbed the "The Game of the Century" between UCLA and the Houston Cougars, the first prime time NCAA regular-season game broadcast nationwide, according to ESPN. The Bruins' 47-game winning streak came to an end that night.

"That was the platform from which college basketball's popularity was sent into the stratosphere," Enberg said about the game, ESPN reported. "That became a monumental event."

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Colin Kaepernick, who began taking a knee during the national anthem prior to games in 2016 as a protest against police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S., remained unemployed after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

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After President Donald Trump stated his belief that any athlete who kneels as a form of protest during the national anthem should be fired, dozens more players around the NFL began taking a knee. The protest continued throughout the season, but reached its height in the weeks following the president's comments on September 23. 

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Three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, were arrested for shoplifting while in China. The news reached President Trump, who reportedly asked for their release from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The students were released back to the United States without serving any jail time, but a feud began between Trump and LiAngelo's father, LaVar Ball. 

LiAngelo was later pulled out of UCLA by his father without having played a game. 

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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott went through a lengthy court battle to have his six-game suspension for domestic assault overturned.

Elliott ultimately had to serve the suspension, beginning in Week 10. 

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Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was called out by name by President Trump as being uninvited from the traditional visit to the White House taken by championship teams.

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Derek Jeter has faced harsh criticism in his first months as co-owner of the Miami Marlins after dealing several of the team's high-profile players, including Giancarlo Stanton.

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A feud that had reportedly been brewing between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's personal trainer and fitness guru, Alex Guerrero, reached a boiling point as Belichick banned Guerrero from the team plane and sideline

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On October 16, University of Louisville men's basketball head coach Rick Pitino was fired after an investigation into the school's recruiting processes. 

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The University of Tennessee planned to announce Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as its new head coach, but backlash over his connection to the Penn State child abuse scandal caused the school to retract the offer. 

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During a matchup on October 15, New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins appeared to fumble the football into the end zone against the New England Patriots. The play was initially ruled a touchdown on the field but was declared a touchback after review.

The Jets went on to lose the game by a touchdown. 

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On December 17, NFL referee Gene Steratore measured a crucial fourth down call with a piece of paper, spurring backlash about the league's measurement tactics.

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During a consequential game in Week 15 with the AFC's No. 1 seed on the line, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James appeared to score a touchdown to take the lead in the final seconds against the New England Patriots.

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Late in the MLB season, the Boston Red Sox were accused of using Apple Watches to steal signts during games against the New York Yankees. 

The Red Sox fired back and accused the Yankees of using television feeds in the dugout to steal signs. 

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The NFL's concussion protocol was heavily criticized throughout the season after several players, including Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage who appeared to have a seizure on the field, remained in games after sustaining traumatic hits to the head.

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Enberg was honored with awards from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He also won 13 Sports Emmy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy.

His last job was calling San Diego Padres games, which he retired from in 2016.

“We are immensely saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg,” the Padres said in a statement released late on Thursday to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Despite leaving the broadcast booth, he continued to work on his podcast "Sound of Success," which last aired on Thursday with an interview of Andy Friendly, a TV producer and executive, ESPN reported.

"I am talking to broadcast royalty today, and I am thrilled to be doing it," Friendly said, according to ESPN. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Sonya Hepinstall)

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