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Super Bowl Notebook

January 27, 1999

MIAMI (AP) _ Dave Kearsley gave up doing impressions of famous people a long time ago. What he couldn’t let go of was a deep resonant voice that would land him two tickets for the Super Bowl.

The 41-year-old astrophysics student from the University of Minnesota won the finals of a John Facenda sound-a-like contest Wednesday and will watch his first NFL game in person Sunday at Pro Player Stadium.

Facenda was the legendary voice of NFL Films before his death in 1984, known for his booming delivery and a dramatic style of storytelling considered a perfect complement to highlight reels.

Kearsley was one of three finalists in a contest that began in the selected NFL cities of Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa and Minneapolis in mid-December.

Steven Kearney, an intern for a San Francisco television station, was the runner-up. Bill Carroll, a college professor from Chicago, was eliminated after the first of two rounds Wednesday.

Kearsley, from Tarrytown, N.Y., grew up listening to Facenda on weekly highlight shows and said he once did decent impressions of entertainment personalities like Bill Cosby and Howard Cosell.

He said the key to sounding like Facenda, dubbed by some as the ``Voice of God ,″ was detailed preparation for the contest and a naturally deep voice.

``Once I found out that we’d be reading from a prepared text, I sat down with two computers and listened to the music in one ear and the words in the other,″ Kearsley said.

Sunday’s game between the Broncos and Falcons will be the first NFL game he’s watched in person. The other finalists won three-day cruises to Nassau.


THANK YOU: Players for five teams, including the Broncos and Falcons, will thank fans in their communities during a 60-second NFL commercial that will air during Sunday’s game. Denver’s Terrell Davis, Ed McCaffrey, Howard Griffith and Vaughn Hebron and Atlanta’s Chris Chandler, Jamal Anderson, Ray Buchanan and Bob Whitfield are among 20 players reaching out to fans at their homes, in grocery stores, restaurants, railroad stations and beauty salons.


PARTY WORM: There’s no word on how fast tickets are going for the party Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra will co-host Thursday night at Liquid on South Beach. The $30 admission charge allows access to the Triple-X No-No Room, the Retro Drag Room and the Funk Room.

Last time anyone heard, they were still man and wife.


SUPER VOICE: Fox play-by-play announcer Pat Summerall, covering his 14th Super Bowl for network television and 26th overall, doesn’t see himself following long-time college football voice Keith Jackson into retirement any time soon.

Jackson retired after the Fiesta Bowl this month. Summerall, 68, sees himself continuing as long as he’s healthy and doesn’t get to a point when his job feels like work.

``As long as I don’t mind flying and traveling. As long as I enjoy the game. As long as I feel like I haven’t lost touch with what’s going on. No, I wouldn’t voluntarily retire,″ he said.

``Fox may say: ‘Hey, we think that’s enough.’ In that case, I guess it depends. But I don’t plan any great announcement or anything like that.″


FANS UNITE: A national fans group is calling for a massive ``mute out″ of Sunday’s halftime show. The National Sports Fan Union is asking television viewers to turn off the program in protest of being taken for granted ``in a sports world featuring lockouts, outrageous ticket prices, and owners holding cities hostage for new stadiums.″

``By participating in this `Mute Out,′ fans will be sending a clear message that the greed in sports has gotten out of control, and that changes must me made,″ said Steve Goldstein, co-founder of the group.

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