Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Salute for a sports broadcaster: because I like to remember the late Glenn Brenner

I've written about this before for this blog, but I felt like sharing again...

RFK Stadium is far, far past its useful life as a sports venue, as D.C. United's learning on a regular basis, but as a former D.C.-area resident who had the good fortune to decide "OK I'll follow the local NFL team" the last season that the Redskins won the Super Bowl, I have a better memory of the place. It's for a sad reason, but it's still a good memory.

During the 1991-92 NFL season, D.C.-area sports broadcaster Glenn Brenner was ill. He was in physical therapy after he'd collapsed while running the Marine Corps Marathon. (Whenever he'd run it in the past, as a joke he'd later play footage of him coming in well among the later runners, in slo-mo and to the theme to CHARIOTS OF FIRE.) December 1991, all sorts of people from all walks of life were taping "We miss you, Glenn!" videos that his channel would play; lots of people, including me, genuinely liked the guy and wanted him to get better. And for a time it looked like he was. He somewhat sardonically gave this message through the Washington Post's TV columnist (paraphrased from 21-year-old memories): "I feel lousy, but that's actually an improvement." Then...he felt worse.

When his condition deteriorated in January 1992, doctors found out the real reason for his problems: Glenn Brenner had an inoperable brain tumor. The hospital and the news announced this on a Friday. Early the next week, Glenn Brenner died. His was the sort of death that had people on local TV crying...even, if I remember correctly, the sports anchor at a rival TV station. (I do remember his Channel 9 colleague Ken Mease crying on air, and their mutual friend, anchor Gordon Peterson, comforting him.)

In between the announcement and Glenn Brenner's death was an NFL playoff game in RFK Stadium. And hanging in the stadium was the fan-made banner "Win One For The Brenner."

Thank you, Glenn Brenner, for being the sort of good and talented person who inspired the sort of love you did.
Tags: sport!

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