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Legendary sportscaster Jim Simpson who called first Super Bowl dies at 88

Legendary sportscaster Jim Simpson, whose career included the radio call of the first Super Bowl, has died after a short illness. He was 88.

Simpson died Wednesday morning in Scottsdale, Ariz., his family said. Simpson was watching Sunday’s Washington Redskins-Green Bay Packers playoff game before being admitted to the hospital over the weekend.

Simpson called six Super Bowls, serving as an NFL play-by-play voice for 15 years. He called the Major League Baseball All-Star game 16 times, the World Series six times and the Olympics 14 times. He worked all four major championships in both golf and tennis.

Simpson, who was ESPN’s first play-by-play announcer, and Dick Vitale called ESPN’s first college basketball game together. Simpson also called college football and United States Football League games for ESPN.

Simpson was best known for his work on AFL games for NBC when he was hired by ESPN when the network launched in 1979. He worked 15 years with NBC Sports from 1964-1979. He also worked for ABC, CBS and TNT.

On Friday, NFL Network will re-air Super Bowl I — 49 years to the day after the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs met — in the first-ever replay of the historic game in a full recreation on television. Simpson’s NBC Radio call will provide the play-by-play.

Simpson was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame on May 1, 2000.

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