Eagles annnouncer Merrill Reese to receive 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

NFL Published on : 6/13/2024
  • Longest-serving current play-by-play announcer in NFL has been ‘Voice of the Eagles’ On 94.1 WIP-FM since 1977

Today, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that the longtime radio voice of the Philadelphia Eagles, Merrill Reese, has been chosen to receive its 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.

“Each year, the Hall of Fame recognizes an individual who has dedicated their career to improving radio and television in professional football, and this year’s recipient, Merrill Reese, represents exactly what we look for when we talk about who’s made a big impact in broadcasting,” said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice.”

Reese will be honored during the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week that includes the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner in downtown Canton on Friday, Aug. 2, and the Class of 2024 Enshrinement on Saturday, Aug. 3, in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

“Oh, my god. Thank you so much,” Reese said over the phone upon receiving the news. “I can’t tell you what this means to me.”

The beginning of the Eagles’ 2024-25 season will mark Reese’s 48th consecutive season as the team’s radio play-by-play announcer. After a period in the U.S. Navy as Public Affairs Officer (Lieutenant Senior Grade), he sought out opportunities in radio broadcasting, auditioning at radio stations across southeastern Pennsylvania.

Reese began his radio career as a sportscaster for WPAZ in Pottstown, Pa., calling high school football games. Following that opportunity, Reese began working for WBCB in Levittown, Pa., where he currently serves as co-owner. In the early 1970s, he worked at different radio stations, doing morning sports on WWDB and pregame and postgame Eagles shows on WIP. 

His life would change forever in 1977. That year, Reese provided color commentary alongside Charlie Swift, who had called Eagles games since 1969. During a morning show with WWDB, Reese received the news that Swift had passed and WIP wanted him to fill in as the lead play-by-play sportscaster.

Reese has said calling the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory in 2018 marks the highlight of his career. He provided fans with one of the most memorable, and enduring, calls in franchise history, “The Philly Special”: 

“Foles in the gun. Clement to his right. Now lines up behind Foles. Foles moves to the right and it goes directly to Clement, and Clement reverses it and it goes into the end zone ... And it's a touchdown by Nick Foles!"

In 1990, Reese voiced the play-by-play for ESPN’s award-winning series “NFL Dream Season.”

A lifelong Philadelphia native, Reese attended Temple University.

Throughout his illustrious career, Reese has received numerous awards and recognition, including Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year, Lindsey Nelson Award for Excellence in Sportscasting, Philadelphia’s Best Sportscaster by Philadelphia Magazine and induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Temple University Communications Hall of Fame and Overbrook High School Hall of Fame.

“I will never willingly retire,” Reese once said in an interview. “They will have to remove me with a crane, because this is what I love doing more than anything else in the world.”

Past winners of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

2023 – Fred Gaudelli 
2022 – Howard Katz 
2021 – John Facenda
2020 – Joe Buck 
2019 – Dick Ebersol 
2018 – Andrea Kremer
2017 – David Hill 
2016 – James Brown
2015 – Tom Jackson
2014 – Bob Trumpy 
2013 – Al Michaels
2012 – Len Dawson 
2011 – Jim Nantz 
2010 – Chris Berman 
2009 – Irv Cross 
2008 – Dan Dierdorf 
2007 – Don Meredith 
2006 – Lesley Visser
2005 – Myron Cope 
2004 – Van Miller 
2003 – Don Criqui 
2002 – John Madden
2001 – Roone Arledge 
2000 – Ray Scott
1999 – Dick Enberg
1998 – Val Pinchbeck
1997 – Charlie Jones
1996 – Jack Buck
1995 – Frank Gifford
1994 – Pat Summerall
1993 – Curt Gowdy
1992 – Chris Schenkel
1991 – Ed Sabol
1990 – Lindsey Nelson
1989 – Bill McPhail