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Thursday, December 18, 2008

A tip of the hat to Tom Suiter

Tonight is Tom's last 6:00 sports segment

A little background info on yours truly.

I grew up in North Carolina. I was born here, raised here, went to college here...I'm about as "N.C. Native" as it gets.

I've been watching Suiter do the sports on WRAL for as long as I can remember: When I thought "Sports Anchor," he was who I envisioned.

In high school, I was part of the high school football gameday atmosphere. In other words, I was a band dork. Every Fall Friday, after the equipment and the uniforms were put away and after our friends parted ways from the Hope Mills Taco Bell, there was one ritual I ALWAYS made sure to partake of, and that was to catch the highlights of my South View Tigers on Football Friday. Tom provided the commentary track to some great Tiger moments over the four years I was there, and some heartbreaking ones, as well.

The sports broadcasting world has changed a ton in the last two decades. It seems you can't get on the air these days unless you scream "Booyah" or "Jumanji!" every other word. But Suiter has a way to make his signature catchphrase--"Jamburger!"--seem almost dignified by comparison. He didn't need it, and he seemed to pull it back years later after the explosion of ESPN seemed to highlight the broadcaster more than the sports news he/she delivered. It was if he'd said, ok, been there, done that. And he had.

He's a class act and the greater Triangle market will miss him on the airwaves for sure, though he thankfully isn't completely retiring--he'll still be there for future football players and band dorks alike to run home and catch their team's highlights on The Big 5.

Thanks, Tom!

P.S. If it's not too much to ask, see if you can work in a jamburger or two tonight, just for ol' times sake!


  1. I think I still have some old videotapes from the early nineties when some friends and I did the introduction to Football Friday twice in one season.

    Tom's it, and he'll be missed.

  2. i missed the final broadcast.. anyone youtube it?

  3. It was a nice, low-key final broadcast. Perfect for Tom. The staff gave HIM the Extra Effort Award that week. Very nice. I must admit, it got a little "dusty" in the Lail household last night.

    I wonder, has any Raleigh-area restaurant ever named one of their burgers a "Jamburger" in Suiter's honor? I can't believe that hasn't been done.

  4. That would be pretty cool.

    I'll take a double Jamburger, with extra Arakawa sauce. And a large Gaddy shake, please!

  5. MMmmm.. Arawawa sauce. And don't forget the Debardelaben BLT!

  6. Or the Filet of Fishel sandwich!

  7. I imagine the Fischel Sandwich would be very dry and somewhat bland.

  8. i'll take a "Bob Debartolabin rueben", please. with extra cheese.

    and there could be a "Charlie Gaddy Melt"

  9. I think Mitch beat us all to the punch when he started offering the "Jesse Helms."