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From his broadcast location in Section C126 at The Q, forever to be known as the “Joe Tait Perch,” Tait will call the game that night as he has done 3,380 times before. To salute the man whose dedicated passion and understanding of the game has given voice to the history of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball, video vignettes featuring Tait highlights and well wishes from friends, colleagues and fans will run throughout the evening.
Fans will also have the chance to record video tributes and good wishes to Joe on his retirement at special kiosks throughout the concourse, which they can then share immediately via email, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Tait was the franchise’s original play-by-play man in 1970, and except for a brief hiatus from 1981 to 1982, he has been ever since. In addition, he served as the radio play-by-play voice of the WNBA Cleveland Rockers calling 188 games from 1997-2003. In 2010 he received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and throughout his broadcasting career he has been honored with a number of awards, including being named Ohio Sportscaster of the Year in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2004. He is also the recipient of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. He is a member of the Media Hall of Fame (Ohio), Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Cleveland Sports Legends Hall of Fame, Lorain Sports Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame.
Tait had announced prior to the 2010-11 Cavaliers season that he would be retiring at its conclusion, but he was sidelined in October with health problems before the start of the regular season. After undergoing successful cardiac surgery and rehabilitation he made his much anticipated return on Sunday, March 27th for the Cavs vs. Atlanta to call play-by-play for remaining home games this season. Tait’s play-by-play can be heard on the Cavs flagship station WTAM 1100 and the Cavs Radio Network, which covers most of the state of Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania.
Special thanks go out to WTAM Sports Director Mike Snyder (play-by-play) and Cavalier Legend Jim Chones (color analyst) who filled in for Tait for most games during his absence, and Fox Sports Ohio announcer Jeff Phelps who stepped in when Snyder was not available. For remaining home games, Chones is now joining Tait as color analyst and Snyder has returned to his post as Radio Studio Host. For the final six road games, Snyder and Chones will call the action as they have for the majority of the current season.