They Saw It All: Paul Maguire

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SWC75

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PAUL MAGUIRE (born August 22, 1938) 6-0 228 linebacker/punter
Tony Romo is all the rage now as a color commentator: He talks constantly predicting plays and thinking himself the whole show. Poor Jim Nantz has to stay out of his way. My all-time favorite color commentators is Paul Maguire, a man who knew when to talk and when to shut up and let the action speak for itself. He realized he was salad dressing: his role was to highlight the natural flavor of the contest he didn’t empty the bottle. He also had a sly sense of humor and used the telestrator, if at all, as toy, to considerable amusement. He viewed the game as fun and it was with him doing the commentary.

Long before that he was a tight end at The Citadel, recruited there by none other than SU’s own Al Davis, who was an assistant coach there in the mid-50’s. In 1959, while Syracuse was winning the national championship, Paul was leading the nation in touchdown receptions with 10, (on just 32 catches. Davis had moved on the USC and then the Los Angeles Chargers of the new AFL, where he was the wide receivers coach. The chargers drafted Maguire but he wound up playing linebacker and becoming the AFL’s top punter. He played four years for the Chargers, then 7 years for the Buffalo Bills, playing on 6 of the 10 AFL championship games and being on the winning side on half of those occasions. After his playing days he went to work for NBC and then ESPN as a color commentator and studio host, a career that lasted until his retirement in 2009. I still miss him.

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