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Nantz, others speak at McKay memorial

6/10/2008

BALTIMORE -- When Jim McKay traveled to St. Andrews in
Scotland to cover the 2000 British Open it was his final overseas
event in more than 50 years of broadcasting.

Sportscaster Jim Nantz visited McKay in his tiny, sparse hotel
room before the final round. He recalled that McKay wasn't
emotional about the end of his career; he was upset about being
away from his family.

"He longed to be home. That's all he wanted to talk about,"
Nantz said Tuesday at a funeral Mass for McKay. "He no longer had
any appetite for the life of the lonely road warrior."

About 200 people filled the pews of the cavernous Cathedral of
Mary Our Queen for the funeral of McKay, the venerable host of
ABC's "Wide World of Sports" who died Saturday at 86 at his
Maryland farm.

Relatives, friends and colleagues remembered McKay, born James
Kenneth McManus, as a man who, despite his globe-trotting TV
persona, longed for the simple pleasures of home and the company of
his wife, Margaret, his son and daughter and his three
grandchildren.

"He taught me how to drive a car and how to drive a golf
ball," James Fontelieu, McKay's oldest grandson, said through
tears. "He was my best friend."

Among those in attendance were NBC Olympics host Bob Costas,
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric and NBC Sports chairman
Dick Ebersol.

"He's one of the greatest broadcasters in the history of the
medium," Costas said. "Jim essentially created the role of the
modern Olympic host. He set the standard."