Friday, December 19


A sad piece of news to report from the Seattle Times this morning, where Steve Kelley reports that Bob Blackburn, the original Sonic broadcaster, is in the hospital after suffering a head injury in a fall.

Back in October, we ran our final SuperSonicSoul Hall of Fame article, and it covered the two titans of Sonic broadcasting, Blackburn and Kevin Calabro. In retrospect, I'm glad we were able to put that story up when we did, so that he could know the words came from pure appreciation, and not the inevitable sentimentality you hear when a legend's health is in jeopardy.

But I'm even more glad I had the opportunity to listen to Blackburn for more than a decade, that my initial introduction to basketball came from his voice, and that no matter what the future holds for basketball in Seattle, a part of my memory will always contain his descriptions of a Sonic highlight. At this point, I can only offer my best wishes and prayers to Bob and his family, and our hopes that he makes a complete recovery.

The greatest moment in Seattle sporting history occurred when the Sonics defeated the Bullets three decades ago. How lucky we are that a wonderful man like Bob Blackburn will live forever as the chronicler of that event.

UPDATE: If you would like to send your best wishes to Bob Blackburn, he can be reached at: Bob Blackburn c/o Timber Ridge at Talus, 100 Timber Ridge Way N.W., Issaquah, WA 98027 (courtesy of the Seattle Times)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words. He's doing a litle better each day. It will be a struggle with him going forward but he is a fighter. He's had many physical issues thoughout his life but he has managed to overcome them all. Words or prayer and well wishes are a part of our families daily routine to encourage him to get better. Thanks to all those who have written such nice comments on behalf on our father. Some great memories. Son, Dave

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you're getting to see some improvement, Dave. That's truly wonderful news.

I'll put this out there for the readers - I sent Bob a card c/o the address listed on the story, and I'd encourage everyone else to do the same. If you've ever been with someone who's in the hospital for an extended period of time, you know the greatest battle other than the illness itself is passing the time in bed. None of us is capable of any medical help in this case, but we are capable of spending 10 minutes to write a card and mail it.

Think of it this way: Bob Blackburn spent more than 10,000 hours telling us about the Sonics. Can you spend 10 minutes telling him thank you?

Anonymous said...

Cards are really his best rehabiltation for now. It's going to be a long process and he had a small set back yesterday. Thanks for sending him a card as well. My mother has been spending night after night there sleeping in the room to make sure someone is there when he does come to and at times when there are incedents where medical attention is needed quickly. She also stated that my father is still having some difficulty talking at times but has been alert enough to take in some long distance calls from Gus Williams, Jack Sikma, Lenny Wilkens, and a few other Sonic notables like Wally Walker, etc who have stopped in. Truly the family is honored by such an outpouring of response and concern for "The Voice." Kevin Calabro and Bob Kloppenberg where a few of the first to get in as others have been very respectful of his time and condition. Living in Texas, this has been my therapy as well reading from your website as well as checking others thoughout the days. Thanks again for all you've done to get the word out and hopefully we'll have "The Voice" back home again soon. Dave B.

Anonymous said...


Any updates on your dad's health? We'd all love to hear that he's back home and enjoying life again, or that the doctors have some good news.

Peter Nussbaum

Anonymous said...

Hey Peter. Thanks again for the kind words. The "Voice" continues to battle and so far is winning. It was touch and go for a while but his will power continues to prove us and the doctors wrong. He is currently in a hospital in Northgate and the latest is that he should be going back home to the Timberridge complex this next week. Many have sent cards of well wishes and prayers and we thank you for your encouragement of those who have sent him and the family a note. In a brief conversation I had with him the other day, he was starting to get his sence of humor back. That was encourging to me. I'll stay in touch and give you updates from time to time when applicable.