Broadcaster of the Week: Chris Marlowe, Denver Nuggets
Posted Jan 10 2007 12:27PM
In my first three years with the NBA, I've called seven of Carmelo Anthony's last second, game-winning shots, Kenyon Martin has bought me and my friends' dinner in Arizona, and (despite the trade) Andre Miller still refers to me as "El Presidente." I'm not sure if that last one is good or bad, but I do know this; I must be the luckiest guy in Denver, Colorado.
Once upon a time I was the luckiest dude in California, captaining the United States Olympic Volleyball Team and winning a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. We celebrated for weeks; riding in ticker tape parades in New York and Dallas, and enjoying photo ops with the President and First Lady.
When I finally got home, it was my Mom who brought me back to reality. She said, "Congratulations now get a job."
I'd tried sports broadcasting once a few years earlier, as a TV analyst for ABC's Wide World of Sports coverage of NCAA Volleyball. It was UCLA Volleyball Coach Al Scates who got me that first job. He'd been the analyst the previous year, but this time around his Bruins were in the championship final. When ABC execs asked Al to recommend another analyst, he told them "I know a guy with a big mouth and a loud voice who might be perfect." Turns out, he was right, but I took a few career detours along the way.
For a while, I considered entering the family business. My grandfather, three time Academy Award nominated director Sam Wood found success directing films like Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Pride of the Yankees, and Kings Row. When I met President Reagan during the '84 Olympics, I asked if he remembered my Grandfather directing him in Kings Row. He paused and said "Ah yes, Sam Wood. He once made me do 14 takes of biting into an apple." I later told my mom (Sam's daughter) the story and she quipped "He probably didn't do it very well!"
My mother K. T. Stevens and father Hugh Marlowe both enjoyed successful acting careers, with Mom perhaps best known for playing Vanessa "the woman behind the veil" on the daytime soap Young & the Restless and my father for films like All About Eve, Twelve O'clock High and The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Despite a reasonable amount of success in acting myself; including a one year stint on the day-time soap opera Love of Life, small parts playing myself in films like Rounders, The 6th Man, and Look Who's Talking 2, and kissing former supermodel Christina Ferrare on TV's Love Boat, I finally decided the kissing was good, but my acting was bad.
Twenty-five years and hundreds of broadcasts later (including the rare trifecta of Acapulco Cliff Diving, The World Series of Poker and the XFL), I'm living out my dream, calling play-by-play for the Denver Nuggets on Altitude Sports and Entertainment Television.
In the last three weeks, the good folks in Colorado have witnessed the "Grapple in the Apple," two blizzards and the biggest trade in the NBA. For the Nuggets the best is yet to come. Shooting guard JR Smith is due back this week from suspension and the NBA's leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony, returns on Jan. 22. Together, with Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby and Nene, they'll form one of the most compelling teams in the league. By pulling off the trade for Iverson, owner Stan Kroenke has made it clear he's committed to winning a championship.
As I get ready for the good the times to roll, I remember what LA Broadcasting Guru Lou Riggs used to tell me long ago, "Be prepared, never say 'we' and get the names right." That's exactly what I plan to do
Chris Marlowe is currently in his third year as the Denver Nuggets' television play-by-play man on Altitude Sports and Entertainment.
One of America's most versatile announcers, Marlowe has called play-by-play for college football, basketball and boxing for a host of networks including; NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN and FOX Sports. Other highlights include calling the World Series of Poker, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball, Acapulco Cliff Diving and the World Gymnastics Championships. Prior to joining Altitude, Marlowe also completed his fifth consecutive Olympic telecast for NBC Sports at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece.