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From bengals.com

Original Bengal Samp dies

3-10-05, 8:35 p.m.

Phil Samp, the Bengals' first radio play-by-play man whose long career was marked by a rich voice and spare, incisive no-frlls description, died Tuesday morning at 76. Samp had moved to Tuscon, Ariz., where he died after a brief battle with liver cancer. Samp retired after the Bengals' last play-off season in 1990, ending a 23-year run that began with the club's inception in 1968.

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You know I cannot recall ever listening to a Bengals game on radio now that I think about it. Hundreds of Reds games. Especially as a kid. To me, for whatever it's reason is, football games simply don't come across as well over the radio as baseball games do! And between the two sports, I truly prefer football by a wide margin

My favorite time to listen was when it was late on a week night. I was supposed to be in bed and sleeping, (You have school in the morning you know young man! :lol: ) and as luck would have it, the Reds were in L.A. on a west coast swing and playing Tommy Lasorda's Dodgers.

This is way, wayyyy back when Cincinnati was in the N.L. West! I was usually never without my trusty little AM radio tucked into the pillow case, and that single ear bud speaker hidden from view, just to be on the safe side! :rolleyes: I remember trying...fighting...to stay awake to hear the end of every game. I don't think I ever made it even one time! :rolleyes:

Wait a minute. This ain't the Reds Forum! I'll shut up. :angry: Sorry.

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Hey Billy, it ain't the Red's forum, but I'm right there with ya!! Great memories.

I did listen to Samp from time to time growing up, especially in the early 80's when it seemed I worked a lot on Sunday afternoons at the Burger King. We'd have the game on in the back while feeding the masses. He was a good one.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Original voice of Bengals is dead

Samp announced games 1968-90

By Tim Bonfield

Enquirer staff writer

The voice of the Cincinnati Bengals for an entire generation of fans has fallen silent.

Phil Samp, a long-time television and radio sportscaster who called Bengal games from the beginning of the franchise in 1968 to his retirement in 1990, died Wednesday of liver cancer in Tucson, Ariz. He was 76.

Family, fellow broadcasters and Bengals officials recall Mr. Samp as a low-key, total professional.

"Phil wasn't glitzy. He was just effective. And I think that's what appealed to Paul Brown," said Cincinnati sports anchor Dennis Janson, who shared the Bengals booth with Mr. Samp in 1983 and 1984.

Mr. Samp was born in Beloit, Wis., played college baseball but never made the pros. After he graduated, he served three years in the Army in the early 1950s. While in the service in Rome, he met his wife Barbara. .

He joined Cincinnati's WLWT in 1964 after serving as a staff announcer for a sister station in Columbus.

For a decade, he appeared on Channel 5's evening and 11 p.m. broadcasts. He left the station in 1977, but continued doing Bengals games while working as executive sports editor for WLW radio.

Mr. Samp's son Steve Samp, of Atlanta, recalls how interesting it was to grow up in Mount Washington with a father whose face and voice were so widely known.

"He would call us at home every night, during the newscast, right after he appeared in the opening shot," Steve Samp said. There was access to countless sporting events, including the glitz of being backstage for two Super Bowls. There was the opportunity to meet countless sports figures.

"We were going through a box of old things and there was a picture of him interviewing Hank Aaron," Steve Samp said.

"We sort of took it for granted at the time. But you can't ask for a better childhood."

Jack Brennan, Bengals spokesman, said few broadcasters today do it like Mr. Samp did.

"Phil had a reputation for being a broadcaster who put the fans first. He wasn't a flamboyant personality," Brennan said. "He just gave the fans a clear and accurate picture of what was going on on the field."

Said former Bengals tight end and broadcaster Bob Trumpy: "He treated us fairly as players, right down the middle. And as a player, you can't ask for more than that."

Long-time friend, Jim Carr, of West Chester, also recalls how low-key Mr. Samp was.

"When he went out to Arizona, he never told people what he did," Carr said. "But sometimes, people recognized him anyway. I remember eating with him one time out there in Tucson in this way-out-of-the-way steakhouse and a guy comes up and asks him, 'Are you Phil Samp? I'm from Ohio and I remember listening to the Bengals games for years. You sound just like him.' "

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