By Jamie H. Vaught
For Brent Musburger, Tuesday night will be an emotional one.
The 77-year-old sportscaster -- who became a national fixture on Sundays when he hosted the ground-breaking and popular The NFL Today program during the 1970s -- will be calling the last game of his long career Tuesday night when the Wildcats face Georgia at Rupp Arena. The 9 p.m. contest will be televised by ESPN.
“What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company,” Musburger (pictured) said in a statement last week. “A love of sports allows me to live a life of endless pleasure. And make no mistake, I will miss the arenas and stadiums dearly. Most of all, I will miss the folks I have met along the trail.
“But the next rodeo for me is in Las Vegas. Stop by and we’ll share a cold one and some good stories. I may even buy!”
According to the Associated Press, Musburger plans to establish a sports handicapping outlet in Las Vegas with his family.
ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale, who worked with Musburger in last Saturday's Oklahoma-Florida game, said in his Facebook post that he will miss him. Vitale also commented that last Saturday was a sad moment knowing "it was the last time we would call a game together."
Added Vitale, "I have had so many fantastic times with Brent over the years whenever we did a game on ESPN. I am not talking just about the games but the storytelling at dinners were unbelievable. He is a guy full of life and has such a special way to deliver a story."
During his younger days, Musburger, who was raised in Montana, attended Northwestern University and majored in journalism. After spending some time for the now-defunct Chicago American newspaper as an award-winning sportswriter, he began his broadcasting career in 1968.
While working for CBS's The NFL Today, Musburger had ex-NFL player Irv Cross as an analyst along with ex-Miss America and future First Lady of Kentucky Phyllis George on the pregame set. Las Vegas bookie Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, also appeared in the program.
In recent years, Musburger received several awards and honors, including the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting as well as the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Hall of Fame.
Joining Musburger on his final telecast Tuesday night will be analyst Jay Bilas and sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung.
(Photo of Brent Musburger by Jamie H. Vaught in 1987 during the national telecast of the Kentucky-Oklahoma matchup at Rupp Arena.)