Gil SantosWe’re only about a month away from the start of Patriots training camp, which means that the still-strong pipes of Gil Santos will be heard on a weekly basis soon thereafter on the WBCN Patriots Rock Radio network…

Of course, you can catch Gil on a daily basis at his day job over in the mornings at WBZ Radio 1030, where he does the sports updates at :15 and :45 past each hour.

Santos first called Patriots games on the radio in 1966, and despite a 10-year absence between 1980 and 1990, he is the longest-serving current announcer in the NFL. His eyes may betray him at times in the booth, but the voice remains steady and strong.

During the 1980’s he did some Celtics games on TV alongside Bob Cousy for channel 56. He also did 16 years of Boston College football, 13 on the radio and 3 on television. Some of the honors he’s received in his career include a New England Emmy in 1978 for Boston College vs. Stanford Play-by-Play, four Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year Awards, 25 Associated Press Best Massachusetts Play-by-Play Awards, four United Press International Tom Phillips Awards for Best Sports Coverage for the Boston Marathon, a UPI Best New England Sportscaster Award, and two UPI National Awards for Best Play-by-Play and Sports Reading. He was inducted into The Sports Museum Hall of Fame in 2004 with a Legacy Award.





56 thoughts on “Approval Ratings – Gil Santos

  1. So what if he has Rod Shoate kicking off or Richard Bishop returning punts from time to time.

    Lifetime Achievement Award.


  2. would have approved a few years ago. Unfortunately, I think his time has passed. He’s just not that good any longer.

    1. Amen. I think it is a measure of the man that his ‘moment’ was the simple phrase “and the Patriots….are Super Bowl champions!” That pause, which said so much for anyone with even a passing knowledge of the team’s history, hit like a ton of bricks then, and today.

      And I always loved that his next big call, the win over the Panthers, was the same thing, only with the word “AGAIN!” added on. Once again, it said everything.

  3. Lost a step, maybe. Still a hundred steps ahead of the rest of the broadcasting field.

    Sucks that it is now all but impossible to listen to the radio & watch the TV. I don’t enjoy the games nearly as much without Gil & Gino.

  4. My man Freddy T from WBCN said that Gil wore a members-only jacket and smoked multiple cigs at their recent union meeting. Looks like a guy who has a gunt.


  5. disapprove with a heavy heart. would like to see him/listen to him hosting a magazine format weekly show, not calling games any longer. fastball’s gone enough that it’s a distraction, i think.

  6. I still remember the INCREDIBLE drop off when the old WEEI 590 took the Pats away from WBZ ca. 1980 and installed John Carlson as the PBP guy. It was like night and day. Gil could do with a better spotter (that Stallworth/Gaffney gaffe last season was unfortunate) but I agree that he is still better than 80 percent of current or would-be football radio PBP announcers. BTW, I am old enough to remember Gil doing color to Bob Starr’s PBP on WBZ’s Pats coverage back in the late 1960s. Starr was very good, too.

  7. I hear Meterparel has been promised the job when Gil retires. You know, just to maintain the classiness and professionalism factor. Strongly approve (Gil, not Meter.)

    1. Who promised Meterparel his job? That better not be true.

      In addition to his Patriots and WBZ duties, Gil used to do Celtics TV games many years ago and he was excellent.

      1. Assuming for a split second this is even true, then why is “flashboy in the morning” always using any opportunity or excuse to rip or take a contrarian position relative to the Pats?

  8. Approve…he’s reached legendary status, much like Heinson, and gets a free pass for making some mistakes as he gets up there in age. He captured the many magic moments of Patriots history with understated dignity.


  9. Gil has slipped over the last few years, but he has remained in the upper echelon of local NFL announcers and he has the longest tenure with one team. The use of Jon Carlson, then Curt Gowdy and Dale Arnold showed how much we missed Gil and the mistake was corrected when WBZ regained the rights in the 1990’s.

    Gil is a New Englander through and through. For his overall body of work, I give him three thumbs up. Had it not been for … you know … it would have been four.

  10. Definite lifetime achievement award from this address. His mistakes on the WBZ morning sports reports drive me nuts, but the guy truly is an institution. Plus, he regularly treats his two Main Coon Cats to Purina One. APPROVE!

  11. ….He’s NOT Dale “Icky Balooky” Arnold…..APPROVE 10,000 times over…. I hope he keeps the job for another 20 years!

  12. I like the straightforward old school style – of course the great voice can make the trivial sound momentous.

    His 01 Pats call was brilliant. Gil captured the moment. Flashboy, who sounds more and more like John Sterling, could take a hint from this old pro.

  13. Distinctive, pleasant voice. As has been mentioned, the call on the Vinatieri kick is forever a classic. So he’s not in his prime – he still has a great voice and I never feel I miss anything listening to him. You know it’s football time when you hear him talk.

    And a ton of props to Gil for writing his appreciation for BSMW’s article on spygate.

  14. I don’t care if he’s slipped a little the last few years, his voice is the one everyone imagines they sound like when they’re calling an imaginary game as a kid.

    I think he wouldn’t even be slipping that much if they replaced Gino and got someone to keep him on top of things.

  15. Sure, my mom and dad gave me the gift of life, clothed me, fed me, sheltered me, educated me, and plus lent me 3K so I could make a down payment on my first house, but they HAVE lost a step, being that they’re both dead. And plus, before Ma went, it really got annoying that she couldn’t master the VCR we gave her for Christmas. DISAPPROVE!

    Note to the rest of you – we’re ALL losing a step, every day. And when it comes time for you to get the Great Approve/Disapprove, I hope you’re judged on the very last minutes of your career too.

  16. Best P-B-P guy in Boston radio right now. Has lost just a little edge, but do what YOU do for 40-odd years and see if you’re performance matches up over that long haul.
    Ironhead is spot on-that radio call of SB XXXVI still gives me chills—APPROVE!!!

  17. Unanimously beloved. Universally respected. How many people can you say that about?

    Ranks alongside Don Gillis as the classiest men in Boston sports media history.

    Approve. Approve. Most highly, approve.

  18. Gil still has a few years left on those pipes. Gino is another story. I hope there is a plan to replace him on the game broadcasts and maybe let him do a few minutes on the pregame show. Scott Zolak, Pete Brock are two possible replacements.

  19. And Gil gets a HUGE approve from this corner as well. To me, he’s football’s equivalent of the late Ned Martin — namely, a pro’s pro whose voice is forever linked to the team he is broadcasting. Sure, like Ned in his later years, Gil messes up every now and then, but he still has the pipes and passion and there’s no one else I want to hear on the radio calling Pats games.

  20. He gets a lifetime achievement APPROVE from me. And I’m sure not going to criticize him for the crime of aging a bit and not being quite as good at his job as he used to be.

    Great, distinctive voice. I can still remember listening to his play-by-play on a little radio I had hidden under my pillow whenever the Pats played on Monday Night Football in the 70s, because Monday was a school night and I wasn’t allowed to stay up late to watch the entire game.

    Great memories. Great voice.

  21. approve of Gil, altho they should replace gino cappelletti before he becomes totally senile.

    they also need to silence those yahoo fans in the booth who can frequently be heard on the WBCN broadcasts
    going nuts while celebrating big plays/key team victories.

  22. I like Gil Santos. Very much. He has been the consummate play-by-play man for the Patriots when everyone laughed at them. So, to the victors go the spoils, and I’m happy for him. On WBZ as morning sports guy, I think his better days are behind him. The radio station is a joke, to be honest, and I think even Santos would agree whenever he’s in the midst of reciting a one-minute radio spot extolling the virtues of Purina Cat Chow. I mean, come ON: A one-minute radio spot for Purina Cat Chow? Is this to attract cats who commute to work in their cars? WBZ is so commercial-heavy in the morning and afternoon drive-time to be utterly laughable. My iPod wins out over AM radio, and has for a couple years now. But getting back to Santos: A hearty ‘Approve’ for a classy veteran of the airwaves.

  23. eyebrows often mistaken for gypsy moths but santos is not known for mass deforestation. approve.

  24. Strong approval!

    I absolutely love this guy calling Patriots games.
    He’s got a great voice, loved all three of his superbowl winning calls, is great at describing for the listener the game happening down on the field, and makes patriots game very listenable on the radio.

  25. i’ve never understood how the ball can be moving down the field “left to right on my radio dial”. how does he know what direction im facing?

  26. I think anyone who disapproves of Gil Santos should be banned from ever voting in another one of these polls.

  27. Loved Gil doing celtics, enjoyed his past Pats calls but has lost a step—if Dale Arnold is rumored to do pbp again, I will carry Gil to the broadcast booth if need be

  28. Thumbs down, based on the last few years. More than once I’ve been driving around in the car, yelling at the radio because this guy wasn’t getting the basics right. Twice in about three weeks, he called a big Patriots reception, and then… “uhhh, no, I guess he dropped it.” How about making sure the call is correct before you tell us? Thanks for the radio whiplash. Had his day, no doubt, but should have been put out to pasture a while ago.

    I’m in a big minority here, but I couldn’t listen to Johnny Most for years with his putrid homerism. Ole Johnny may have been one of the all-time worst radio guys in the country – screaming about an uncalled foul while posession changes hands twice. And people around here actually though he did a good job? Ughhh! No wonder Glen Ordway tried to push him down the Garden stairs.

  29. he’s certainly lost a few ticks off the old fastball but Santos is good people. he’s also an underrated MC at Pats rallys.


  30. I’ve said it BEFORE and I’ll say it AGAIN. When it comes to PLAY by PLAY guys, it’s all about THE VOICE…Santos has got a Great Voice….APPROVE!….would still rather listen to him than some squeeky voiced litte geek who doesn’t make any mistakes…….. and by the way, ALL play by play guys make mistakes now and then, and the amount of mistakes made by Santos is being GREATLY EXAGGERATED by some of the posters.

  31. Gil Santos is still great but he is hampered by the semi-lucid Gino Capelleti … Sadly, it appears that Gino is suffering from football-related brain damge.

    If Gil had a solid #2 man he’d be good for another 10 years.

  32. yeah Scott. Anyone who disagrees with you is wrong. Some of us actually prefer someone who gets the calls right and doesn’t misidentify players all the time.

    1. There’s absolutely NO reason for getting a call wrong when you have a seven-second delay to help you out! 😉

  33. Let’s be clear, shall we Tom? “Some of you” is at this point 78 out of 810 people.

    Some of you have awfully short memories too. Some of you engage in some ridiculous hyperbole about the number of missed calls, and for whatever reason refuse to acknowledge and appreciate the exemplary career of the kind of professional that is, sadly, becoming all too short in supply. The least we can do for Gil Santos after all his years of service to us is click an approve button on a friggin’ Internet poll.

    For some reason, you can’t bring yourself to do that. That’s your problem, buddy, not mine.

  34. I also approve of Gil’s dulcet tones, but in the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that during Vinatieri’s 48-yard FG in SB XXXVI Gil originally called it a 47-yarder, but NFL Films has since edited the call so it sounds seamless and that’s how we now always remember it.

    Agree with all those who say Gil could use a better color analyst (Gino’s best days are long gone and hard to find). As for WBZ Newsradio, it jumped the proverbial shark when they lost both Gary LaPierre and Jay McQuade and let Tom Cuddy work at least three bad puns into every afternoon sportscast. But props to Doug Kope, former WHYN radio news director a generation ago and still going strong.

  35. Scott,

    Not trying to argue here and my last post came off that way. That was my mistake. I have only heard Gil in the last few years, so that’s what I’m basing my opinion on because that’s all I have to go by. I certainly respect your opinion and that of anyone else who feels differently.

  36. APPROVE for his overall career and ability to call a game… APPROVE for his iconic TD calls.

    But DISAPPROVE going foward, his time has come and gone… too old to call games anymore. Anyone who heard the end of the Ravens game this past season knows exactly what I’m talking about. The most exciting ending of any game of the season, and Gil MISSES the game winning touchdown, calls it as :

    GIL : “Aannnnnnnnnnd…. Brady just heaves it up and throws it out of bounds.”

    GINO : “Touchdown.”

    GIL : “Touchdown ? ……… (someone obviously tells him what happens in his ear) Touchdown Tom Brady ! … Gino, my view was obstructed… from where we are I couldn’t see it…”

    M&T stadium is less than a decade old, I highly doubt they built the visiting broadcast booth with an obstructed view of one of the endzones. And even if that is the case, how then did Gino see it ?

    That’s just the most glaring example of it… it’s not just missed names and numbers anymore… listen to a game and follow the play on tv, Gil can’t follow the action very well any more and is miss-calling plays because of it. As much as I hate to say it, it’s time for Gil (and Gino) to hang it up.

  37. Shout out APPROVE!!!

    The more I understand and appreciate the Pats, their history and their divisional opponents, the more I love his broadcasts. Their depth of knowledge of the Pats and their opponents greatly exceeds the television networks and their insight is terrific. I just wish I could synch the timing better with the TV broadcasts.

  38. “It’s good! It’s good! It’s good!”

    Greatest. Call. Ever.

    I don’t care if he’s lost a step. He’s comfort food for the New England Patriots fan. APPROVE!

  39. Try listening to the broadcasters that do the broadcasts for the Dolphins, Cowboys and Indy. There is no greater way to appreciate what we have in Gil than to compare him to the truly aweful broadcasters that are out there. Gil is about the sport, the team, the game. You listen to him and he doesn’t take over the game, he enhances it. I agree that he may not be as sharp as he once was, but in my book he is still tops.

  40. Gil was a reporter whom I enjoyed listening to every day on WBZ…and his Patriots play by play was still very solid. He will be missed! One only has to tune into his replacement on WBZ, Bob Lobel, to realize what we have lost. We’ve gone from steak to hamburger or maybe a Sloppy Joe!

Comments are closed.