MIAMI - South Florida wasn't always a five team professional sports region.
Until the late 1980s, there was only one team, the Miami Dolphins. Synonymous with the Dolphins was sportscaster Hank Goldberg.
passed away Monday, on his 82nd birthday, after battling kidney disease for years.
Goldberg was a trailblazer in the business, highlighted by his often abrasive, entertaining sports talk style. He was a sports-talk trendsetter, often calling people out that most wouldn't have the chops to. He served some suspensions for his comments, criticizing authority.
I recall one of the suspensions was with pay. In typical Goldberg fashion, he walked out of the WQAM radio studio saying, "OK. Suspension with pay? I call that a vacation. See ya in a week."
The first time I was on the air working in South Florida was in 1994. I did updates on Goldberg's show and was nervous as you could imagine. After my first report, Hank gave me a "good job." The confidence that gave me can not be understated.
Goldberg was a big horse racing guy too. As a 20-something-year-old making just enough to pay my bills, and sometimes not even that much, discretionary income was not on hand to go bet the horses. Goldberg would do his radio show at Gulfstream Park on certain days and I'd go check it out and get his betting tips. Well, often times when he gave me a pick and it didn't win he would ask for the losing ticket. The first time I couldn't figure out why he wanted my losing betting slip. Well, he wanted to see how much I lost on his pick and gave me that amount back.
He was a media star at a time when it was much more difficult to become one. You couldn't fake people out back then, you had to have the goods on the air. Hank did. Rest in peace Hammer, a South Florida sports legend.
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