FREE SHIPPING on orders over $65 / $6.95 shipping on all other orders

The Voice of God: Philadelphia’s John Facenda

July 19, 2011


Here’s an interesting video I just came across, with Philly legend John Facenda discussing his heartbreak over the 1964 Phillies. Facenda is well known in these parts. The man known to football fans as the “Voice of God” moved to Philadelphia as a young boy when his father got a job working on the Ben Franklin Bridge. As a young man, Facenda got his start at the Philadelphia Public Ledger, and later did the news for WCAU (NBC10), where his news show dominated the local ratings.

But it was a stroke of luck that he became a football deity. The following comes from a terrific story about Facenda (and his sons efforts to protect his legacy) in 2007 in Philly Mag:
In 1964, John Facenda strolled into the San Marco, a favorite nightspot on City Avenue for Philadelphia’s newsmen. People called City Avenue the “Golden Mile” then. It was a place full of swagger and splash. Much of that was due to television station WCAU’s move there in the ’50s — an extraordinary step, for a station to move its headquarters outside the city, and a boost for the area’s sense of cool.

In the San Marco, Facenda took off his hat — he always wore a hat — and took his seat at the bar. Through the cigarette smoke, he saw what was a novelty for a bar: a television. The black-and-white box meant more than easy entertainment, then. After decades of radio rule, television had taken over. Each evening the princes of the new medium broadcast the news from a few blocks away, then paraded down to the San Marco for drinks, and Facenda ruled them all. “He was the dean of broadcasters,” says Gerry Wilkinson, who now runs Broadcast Pioneers, a preservation society for Philadelphia’s television history. “He was first, and he was best.”

Down the bar, another man, Ed Sabol, watched the television as well. He worked as an aspiring filmmaker. The bar’s owner, keen to use his television to bring in business, had invited Sabol to show off some of his spectacular football highlight footage. And it was astonishing: slow-motion violence, players crashing and trampling, the high spiral of the ball dropping through snow into the waiting hands of a receiver.

Facenda marveled. He opened his mouth and his voice poured out, narrating the plays as they unfolded on the film. From down the bar, Sabol listened, then approached. “If I give you a script,” he asked Facenda, “could you repeat what you just did?”

The broadcaster said, “I’ll try.”

And so John Facenda went from local legend to national football deity. His NFL films obituary for Vince Lombardi is goosebump-inducing (“Lombardi. A certain magic still lingers in the very name. It speaks of duels in the snow and cold Novmeber mud.”), and his poem The Autumn Wind is the theme song of Raider Nation. The video above, is baseball. I chose that one because it not only shows off his incredible voice, but also shows that he was personally upset by the collapse of his hometown 9.

Facenda died of cancer in 1984 at age 71. In the years since, his voice has been used to sell everything from video games to soups. His son, Jack, has been trying to protect his father’s voice, suing NFL Films, the NFL, and Chunky Soup in recent years.




Leave a comment


Also in The Shibe Vintage Sports History Blog

Come See Us at the 1993 Phillies Reunion

June 07, 2018

The event is set for Friday, June 8th (tomorrow!) from 6-10pm at Victory Beer Hall at Xfinity Live with live music, beer, food and over 20 players from the '93 Phillies team.

Continue Reading

Underdog Playoff Shirt on CBS3

January 19, 2018

Shibe Vintage Sports co-owner Johnny Goodtimes speaks with CBS3 about our new Underdog Playoff Shirt.

Continue Reading

The Story of The #GoodBatting Collection

September 01, 2017

It's a mindset. It's a feel. It'’s simple. It's based on your WHY. It's filled with purpose and intent. It's intimate. It's individual. It's genuine. It's a complete understanding of YOU. It's confidence. It's clarity. It's controlled. It's repeatable. It's natural. 

Continue Reading

Size Charts

Select your brand and style to read more about how your purchase will fit:

American Needle fitted hats | '47 Brand hats | '47 Brand apparel | Majestic apparel | Majestic jerseys | Red Jacket apparel | Junk Food apparel | Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

 

American Needle Fitted Hats

If you do not know your size, first determine where on your head you want to wear your hat. Usually it is worn about a half-inch to an inch above the eyebrows and/or just above the ears. Have a friend hold the tape measure (cloth, plastic, or download a printable version here) at the point where you want the hat to rest on your head.  Insert the tip of your little finger between the tape and your head.  Record the measurement and find your Fitted Hat size using the chart below.  This should provide you with a comfortable fit.

 

'47 Brand Hats

 

47 Brand Adjustable Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Adjustable Hats Men's 6 7/8 - 7 5/8 55 - 61
Women's 6 5/8 - 7 1/4 53 - 58
Youth 6 5/8 - 7 1/8 53 - 57

 

47 Brand Fitted Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Fitted Hats XX Small 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
X Small 6 3/4 54
Small 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium 7 - 7 1/8 56 - 57
Large 7 1/4 58
X Large 7 3/8 - 7 5/8 59 - 61
XX Large 7 5/8 - 7 3/4 61 - 62
XXX Large 7 7/8 63
XXXX Large 8 64
XXXXX Large 8 1/8 65

 

47 Brand Stretch Fit Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Stretch Fit Fitted Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
Small / Medium 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium / Large 7 1/8 - 7 3/8 57 - 59
Large / X Large 7 1/2 - 7 5/8 60 - 61
One Size Fits All 7 - 7 1/2 56 - 60

 

47 Brand Knit Hats Size Chart Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Knit Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 3/4 52 - 54
One Size Fits All 6 7/8 - 7 1/2 55 - 60

 

'47 Brand Apparel

 

 
47 Brand Men's Size Chart S M L XL XXL
Neck 14"-14.5" 15"-15.5" 16"-16.5" 17"-17.5" 18"-18.5"
Shoulder 21" 22" 23" 24" 25"
Chest 36"-38" 39"-41" 42"-44" 45"-47" 48"-50"
Waist 28"-30" 31"-33" 34"-36" 37"-39" 40"-42"

 

47 Brand Women's Size Chart S M L XL
Size 2-4 6-8 8-10 10-12
Shoulder 14.25" 15.25" 16.25" 17.25"
Bust 32"-34" 35"-36" 37"-38" 39"-42"
Waist 26"-27" 28"-29" 30"-31" 32"-33"

 

 

Majestic apparel

Men's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 52-52 54-56 58-60
Waist 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54
Hip 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60
Sleeve 32-33 33-34 34-35 35-36 36-36 1/2 36 1/2-37 37-37 1/2
Neck 14-14 1/2 15-15 1/2 16-16 1/2 17-17 1/2 18-18 1/2 19-19 1/2 20-20 1/2

 

Women's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  XS S M L XL 1X 2X
Size 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 16W-18W 20W-22W
Chest 32-33 34-35 36-37 38-40 41 1/2-43 1/2 43-45 47-49
Waist 24-25 26-27 28-29 30-32 33 1/2-35 1/2 36-38 39-41
Hip 34 1/2-35 1/2 36 1/2-37 1/2 38 1/2-39 1/2 40 1/2-42 1/2 44-46 46-48 49-51
Sleeve 29 1/4 30 30 3/4 31 1/2 32 32 1/2 33

 

Youth Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL
Size 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20 20 22
Chest 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38    
Waist 21-23 25-27 29-31 33-35 37-39 40-42

 

 

 

Majestic Jerseys

Adult Men's Replica Jersey Sizing  
Jersey Size Small Medium Large X Large XX Large
Neck (diameter of neck) 6.5 6.75 7 7.25 7.5
Chest (underarm to underarm) 20 1/2 22 1/2 24 1/2 26 1/2 28 1/2
Sleeve (back of inside neck to end of middle sleeve) 8 1/2 8 3/4 9 9 1/4 9 1/2

 

Apparel Sizing Tips:

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

Chest/Bust: With your arms at your sides, measure around the fullest part of your chest, across shoulder blades and under arms.

Waist: To measure your natural waistline, wrap the tape so it intersects your navel. Keep tape flat, but comfortably loose.

Hips: Stand with your heels together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around your body.

Inseam: Stand up straight, and start the tape measure high in your crotch. Straighten the tape down the inside of your leg to the bottom of your ankle.

 

 

Red Jacket apparel

 

 

Junk Food apparel

 

Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

General Size Neck
(in inches)
Chest
(in inches)
Waist
(in inches)
Arm
(in inches)
Small 14-14.5 34-36 28-30 31.5-32
Medium 15-15.5 38-40 32-34 32.5-33
Large 16-16.5 42-44 36-38 33.5-34
X-Large 17-17.5 46-48 40-42 34.5-35
XX-Large 18 – 18.5 50-52 44-46 35.5-36