"Turn down the TV and turn up Jim."
It's been a New Orleans Saints gameday ritual for decades — muting the television sound and tuning into the WWL Saints Radio Network to hear Jim Henderson call the game.
Those days are over. "Hondo" has announced his retirement.
“It’s time. This is a good year to go out," Henderson said in a press release from Entercom Communications today, "It was a great season; the Saints were in two highly competitive playoff games and the future looks bright. It’s good timing."
Henderson began working at WWL-TV in 1978 and moved to a part-time position at WVUE-TV in 2012. Among his most famous utterances was "Get ready to party with the Lombardi, New Orleans! The Saints have won the Super Bowl!"
Henderson, who brought a literate and seemingly effortless touch to the on-the-fly world of play-by-play announcing, worked for years calling game with the late Hokie Gajan. In recent years, his on-air partner has been former Saints running back Deuce McAllister.
"In a way you wanna cry, but in a way you’re so happy and proud, because you know the work, the heart Jim put into his job," McAllister said in a statement. "This brought joy to everyone who loves Saints football."
No replacement was named. In the Entercom statement, Diane Newman, WWL-AM operations and program director, was quoted as saying "Now the search begins."
(And good luck with that