Joe Starkey Steps Down As PBP Voice Of 49ers
December 19, 2008 at 5:13 AM (PT)
After more than 20 years as the radio voice of the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, JOE STARKEY is signing off, writes THE MERCURY NEWS. The play-by-play man announced THURSDAY that he will step aside after this season, saying his voice and body were having a hard time keeping up with his demanding travel schedule.
STARKEY will continue to serve as the voice for CAL football games, a role he has filled since 1975. But years of all-night flights and no sleep on weekends were catching up to him. "I've been at this for so long that it was just beginning to take a toll, physically," STARKEY said. "I just knew that something had to give. It was just a case of which (team)."
STARKEY had been one of a handful of announcers in the country who pulled college and NFL double duty. Because STARKEY traveled on commercial airlines, getting from a CAL game to the 49ERS game was often an epic adventure.
"I've actually thought about this for a couple of years," STARKEY said, pausing to gather his emotions. "One way or another, one team had to go. That was really hard, because this has been very special."
STARKEY started doing 49ERS broadcasts in 1987 and spent two years as the sideline reporter. Starting in '89, he became the play-by-play man.