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Thank You Raycom!

A fond farewell to a tradition of my childhood

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Georgia Tech
Raycom’s Mike Gminski (left) and Tim Brando (right)
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC Tournament this weekend ended a long run of covering ACC football and basketball for Raycom Sports as ESPN’s new ACC Network takes over this fall.

And if you loved Raycom, you may have shed a tear at this closing video.

For as long as I can remember every Saturday afternoon and some weeknights from September to March, ACC Football or ACC Basketball has been on WFMY News 2 broadcasting games from Raycom/Jefferson Pilot Sports.

The sweet sounds of Tim Brandt, Tim Brando, Steve Martin, Bob Rathbun, Wes Durham, Mike Gminski, Dan Bonner, Bobby Cremins, Evan Lepler, Dave Odom, Jason Capel, Brian Oliver, Tom Werme, Debbie Antonelli, Tommy Bowden, Riley Skinner, Roddy Jones, Kate Whitham, Renaldo Wynn, and Dave Archer all came through my TV set every Saturday during those months for as long as I can remember.

And of course we can't forget about Mike Hogewood. No one ever showed as much passion for the ACC on TV as he did.

Then there were those before my time. C.D. Chesley got the whole thing started as an executive and later passed it on to such giants as Rick Ray and Jimmy Rayburn. Jim Thacker, Billy Packer, and Bones McKinney covered the early days of the ACC.

Fred White, Mike Patrick, Jeff Mullins, Marty Brennaman, Brad Nessler, and Len Elmore all got their starts in broadcasting with Raycom. Woody Durham even did a few of the early C.D. Chesley broadcasts before becoming the “Voice of the Tar Heels”.

If you’re old enough, maybe you’re like my dad and remember all the words to the classic “Sail with the Pilot” opening to the Jefferson Pilot Sports ACC basketball broadcasts.

And if you had any cool teachers at all in school you remember every second week of March having one of the old box TVs wheeled in on a rolling cart and the TV being turned to Raycom for the ACC Tournament.

The new network will be nice and bring a lot more money for the conference and schools alike, but it just won't be the same as the homegrown Raycom broadcast. Saturdays in the fall just won't feel right with the TV not turned to WFMY for Raycom’s broadcast of ACC football. The Duke-Carolina basketball games won't be the same without Tim Brando’s “the iron kind/unkind” call. And the weirdest feeling of all will be not having WFMY and Raycom next March for the ACC Tournament when it returns home to Greensboro.

I’ll always be #TeamRaycom and remember to #SailwiththePilot.

Thanks for the memories Raycom. You will be greatly missed in ACC Country.