Reghi firing a disappointment

After hearing that Cavs play-by-play announcer Michael Reghi was fired by the team yesterday, I was totally shocked. Many fans in Cleveland, including myself, loved his colorful passion that he brought to each and every game. Reghi is as good as they come in the broadcasting business and it’s just a shame that his 12 years as the Cavaliers’ TV announcer had to end on such a sour note.

“While I understand an owner of a professional sports franchise has the right to make the decisions he chooses with his organization, I am extremely disappointed and disillusioned by the timing of my removal,” Reghi said in a statement.

“Cleveland is my home and where my heart belongs,” he said. “I’ve poured extreme passion into my work with the Cavaliers.”

The decision was not that of FSN Ohio, but that of the Cavs organization. The firing came from up top because owner Dan Gilbert wanted to bring in his own guy, Detroit Piston announcer Fred McLeod. Reghi had two more years left on his contract and the timing of this whole thing was just horrible. While Gilbert has done everything in his power to build the Cavaliers organization into a first-class environment and while he has made all the right decision thus far, the firing of Reghi was not one of them.

What makes Cavs games so enjoyable and exciting isn’t just number 23, but Reghi’s signature calls and announcing style. Nothing pumps me up more than to hear Reghi’s “Bang” or “Flight #23” when a Cavs player makes a big shot or LeBron glides through the air to throw down a dunk. True, he’s only an announcer and they can be replaced, but Reghi was special. He had become a fan favorite in this city and the Cavs and Reghi were almost one in the same. I’m not taking anything away from McLeod because I’m sure he will do a decent job and it’s unfair to judge him yet because we don’t know much about him. But, Reghi was a part of Cleveland basketball and his firing was unfair. He had poured so much enthusiasm into Cavalier games and his voice behind the mike at The Q will be missed.

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