RIP Nick Charles
Those of you too young to remember when there were, basically, two places on television to get more national sports news than could fit in the three-and-a-half minutes your local TV talking head could give you probably have no idea who Nick Charles – who passed away today at age 64 after a bout with bladder cancer – was.
The polished, yet not exactly slick and never smarmy Charles was the co-host of CNN Sports Tonight from 1980 to 1997. Yes, back then, you had a choice – you could watch ESPN’s Sportscenter or watch Nick and Hick (Fred Hickman) and get a lot of the same information and highlights without feeling like you were watching two guys audition for a gig at The Comedy Store. Before YouTube, Twitter and league websites gave you everything you wanted to know when you wanted to know it, we had 11pm Eastern and clicking back and forth during commercials between CNN and ESPN.
I never met Nick Charles, but I’m sure many who knew and worked with him had stories like Keith Olbermann’s. My only story is one of an aspiring sportscaster watching a guy who seemed to just come to work, do his job, present the day’s sports news, write well and have a laugh from time to time. For that, Nick, I say thank you, and Godspeed.