Alabama Voice Rewarded

Radio listeners in Tuscaloosa missed a familiar voice of Alabama athletics recently when Chris Stewart missed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of his morning radio show on 1420 AM "The Tusk" to receive a prestigious award from a national association.

Stewart, who can be heard on Alabama football post-game, basketball and baseball broadcasts in addition to his local daily morning show, was in Salisbury, N.C. where he was named the 2004 Alabama Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA).

Salisbury is home to the NSSA, and also a Hall of Fame and Museum dedicated to the field of sportscasting and sportswriting. During the awards dinner Monday night, Fox baseball broadcaster Joe Buck and Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly received national awards.

Stewart's descriptive style, candor and obvious passion for Alabama as the play-by-play voice of the Crimson Tide made him quickly a fan favorite and earned respect among fellow sportscasters and sportswriters.

"The winners are nominated and elected by their peers. A nomination ballot is sent out to members and other sportscasters and sportswriters at random," Barbara Lockert, of the NSSA, said.

"It was incredibly special," Stewart said. "It's something that Eli Gold and John Forney have won in the past, and there may have been others connected to Alabama, also. It really means a lot."

1420-AM Program Director and afternoon host Vince Ferrara said Stewart brings all the desirable qualities in his broadcasts.

"Chris is tremendous to work with. He's a smooth operator. He brings so much to the table as far as knowledge about Alabama and he's a funny guy. His sense of humor is underrated," he said.

Other past winners include late Auburn football play-by-play man Jim Fyffe and the immutable radio personality Paul Finebaum.

Stewart said he has enjoyed a pleasant relationship with Alabama fans since joining the Crimson Tide Sports Network.

"They've been very nice and very supportive. When you get a chance to meet some of the people that listen after the fact it makes it more special. It's been enjoyable," he said.

Presenting the award to Stewart Monday night was legendary broadcaster Marty Brenneman, who was also inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame.

Stewart was a finalist for the 2004 award along with Gold, Finebaum and ABC 33/40 sportscaster Mike Raita.

BamaMag Top Stories