View Full Version : Chiefs Bill Grigsby just passed

big nasty kcnut
02-26-2011, 10:22 AM
Per josh looney RIP Bill

Here the chiefs article

The Kansas City Chiefs are saddened by the passing of longtime Chiefs icon and broadcaster Bill Grigsby.

Grigsby retired in 2010 after a 62-year career in broadcasting. He enjoyed a remarkable and memorable career that spanned over six decades calling the action and entertaining fans. The Chiefs honored him with an on-field pre-game ceremony during the 2010 season with a replay of some of his most memorable play-by-play calls.

“Like all Chiefs fans, our thoughts and prayers are with Fran and the entire Grigsby family at this difficult time,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Bill’s voice brought some of the most memorable action and exciting plays in Chiefs history to our fans. He will be truly missed.”

Grigsby became a vibrant part of the Chiefs broadcast scene in ’63 after he and the first of his many partners, Merle Harmon, defected from the Kansas City A’s to join Lamar Hunt’s upstart American Football League team. He owns the distinction of calling the play-by-play for both Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV.

As versatile as he was enthusiastic, Grigsby broadcast games in both the AFL and the NFL, in addition to working in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. He has been honored with the Regional Media Hall of Fame Award from the Department of Communication at Missouri Southern State University. He has also earned spots in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame.

02-26-2011, 10:24 AM
Damnit. RIP Grigs.

02-26-2011, 10:24 AM
loved the man's perspective and drive.
he will be missed.

02-26-2011, 10:24 AM
Sad, sad day....

02-26-2011, 10:26 AM
Bill Grigsby and Tony DiPardo both represented the best of Chiefs tradition. To lose them both so close to each other is a tough pill to swallow.

I pray for their families and those who knew them best!

02-26-2011, 10:29 AM
Damn. R.I.P. Grigs.

02-26-2011, 10:30 AM
God bless Mr. Grigsby. It will forever be the Chiefs Rrrrrradio network and PRRRrrrice chopper to me sir.

You were something special and you will be missed.

02-26-2011, 10:30 AM
damn RIP grigs

02-26-2011, 10:31 AM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.

02-26-2011, 10:42 AM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.Couldn't have said it better myself.

02-26-2011, 10:44 AM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.

Well said. RIP Bill.

02-26-2011, 10:47 AM
RIP, grigs.

02-26-2011, 10:49 AM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.


02-26-2011, 10:53 AM

02-26-2011, 10:55 AM
What a guy. http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRSWv1vrZvhReF43er0DWZpsaLkfh68HWsuLpszFFmgCBWyfaHJ

Nice story on Bill:


Nice and awesome Video on Bill:


Adept Havelock
02-26-2011, 10:57 AM

02-26-2011, 10:58 AM
Damn, hate to hear this.


02-26-2011, 11:13 AM
Nice life.

02-26-2011, 11:28 AM
He definitely lived life to its fullest. RIP Grigs.

02-26-2011, 11:32 AM
The JAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Where theres a party Evvvvvvvverrrrrynight.

02-26-2011, 11:34 AM
RIP Bill.

dirk digler
02-26-2011, 11:37 AM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.

Nothing else to say...

02-26-2011, 11:52 AM
RIP you will be missed!

02-26-2011, 11:59 AM

02-26-2011, 12:21 PM
RIP Grigs.

02-26-2011, 12:22 PM
RIP, Bill. :-(

02-26-2011, 12:24 PM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.

Indeed. R.I.P.

Rudy lost the toss
02-26-2011, 12:36 PM
Trampoline accident?

Oh. Bill.

02-26-2011, 01:08 PM
thats sad, RIP.

Wyatt Earp
02-26-2011, 01:10 PM
:( R.I.P Bill

02-26-2011, 01:17 PM

02-26-2011, 01:42 PM
RIP, Grigs.

02-26-2011, 01:50 PM
I never got to hear him do play-by-play but I did always enjoy his on-field commentary.
What a great voice.
Posted via Mobile Device

02-26-2011, 01:59 PM
RIP Grigs....

Heaven must have needed a Priiice Chooopppper promo guy....

02-26-2011, 02:01 PM
RIP Grigs....

Heaven must have needed a Priiice Chooopppper promo guy....
I doubt they have Price Choppers in heaven.

Holy shit, you know what?
That's an awesome title for a country song. Except replace Price Chopper with Wal Mart.
Posted via Mobile Device

02-26-2011, 03:37 PM
Glad I was there to see the tribute to him at the 49er game. Life well lived sir. Vigil at your local Prrrrrrriccccce Chopper.

02-26-2011, 03:50 PM
RIP Grigs

Royal Fanatic
02-26-2011, 03:54 PM
Back when the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry was at its peak, it was always fun to hear Bill Grigsby say "They'll be dancing in the streets of Kansas City tonight!" whenever the Chiefs beat the Raiders in a big game.

He will be missed.

Rain Man
02-26-2011, 03:58 PM
i've heard the name, but if I never lived in kc would I have ever encountered this gentleman?
Posted via Mobile Device

02-26-2011, 04:10 PM
Sad day to lose Grigs. He will be missed.

02-26-2011, 04:10 PM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.

Good call KCFalcon

RIP Grigs

02-26-2011, 04:12 PM
I'll toast ya Grigs. You were part of what brought the Chiefs to life for me. "May the road rise to meet you"...
Posted via Mobile Device

02-26-2011, 05:33 PM
Sad day in Chiefs kingdom.
May his soul rest in peace.

02-26-2011, 06:05 PM
God Bless you, Bill...

02-26-2011, 06:11 PM
R.I.P. It may be a sad day here, but it's a beeeuuuuttttiiifffuuuuuulllll day in Heaven.

Well said..

02-26-2011, 08:17 PM
That's sad. Class guy.

Red Brooklyn
02-26-2011, 10:45 PM
That is sad.

RIP, Grigs.

Dave Lane
02-26-2011, 11:01 PM
That just sucks. I'll miss his enthusiasm.

02-26-2011, 11:07 PM

02-27-2011, 04:23 AM
I never got to hear him do play-by-play but I did always enjoy his on-field commentary.
What a great voice.
Posted via Mobile Device

you missed out.

02-27-2011, 04:27 AM
RIP a sad day in the kingdom.

Simply Red
02-27-2011, 05:50 AM
My dad will be upset - he'd go to the races w/ Bill a lot. They got pretty close. That's sad man, RIP. :/

02-27-2011, 08:44 AM
RIP Grigs....you will be missed!

Simply Red
02-27-2011, 11:28 AM
Just talked to dad and he'd planned on taking a trip with him to see the Arkansas Derby this year, they'd gone last year - he grew up in Joplin and my dad grew up in Carthage -

but i guess He broke a hip and that did him in - his cancer situation was improving all of the time.

he had a good long life though.

02-27-2011, 11:34 AM
Who better than Joe Posnanski to write about Bill's passing?
Every city and town in America has a Bill Grigsby. And no other place on earth but Kansas City has a Bill Grigsby. That's about the only way I know how to tell you about my old friend. Cities across America have certain people who are only famous within the boundaries of their hometowns. They are distinctive disc jockeys or longtime newspaper columnists or local politicians who fight the good fight. They are storytellers or local historians or police officers or former mayors or people who seem to be involved in every charity or just quirky characters who are famous because they are famous, and you have to live in the town for a little while just to understand. They are the backdrop for the places where we live.

Bill Grigsby was an announcer for The Kansas City Chiefs for almost 50 years. This would be the way you would describe him to people outside Kansas City if they asked, "Who is this Bill Grigsby guy?" But that description is like calling chocolate "A food produced from the seed of the Cacao tree." It is technically right. And it entirely misses the point.

Bill Grigsby was an announcer. He was also salesman. He was a promoter. He was a storyteller. He was a businessman. He was a bar owner. He was an insurance salesman. He was a pool hustler. He was a job recruiter. He was a guy who worked for the Kansas City A's in the years when they were dreadful and largely irrelevant -- this would cover all the years of the Kansas City A's -- and when people would call the office to ask what time the game started he would reply: "What time can you get here?"

He was a guy who was a part owner of the short-lived Kansas City Scouts NHL hockey team ... and with his sports background he helped scout players. Unfortunately, he did not know a single thing about hockey and so he helped by picking the ones whose names sounded most to him like hockey names. This was how the Scouts got players like Simon Nolet, Guy Charron, Jean-Guy Lagace, Wilf Paiement, Bart Crashley and Butch Deadmarsh. This was also how the Scouts won only one of their last 44 games before moving to Denver.

He worked for a while with the nuns at St. Theresa's school and at that same time he was a wrestling promoter, which led to one of his favorite lines, which was that when the phone rang he could never be sure if it was Sister Bernice or Dick the Bruiser. He claimed to beat the great Willie Mosconi in three-cushion billiards, though when asked if he was a successful pool hustler he would say: The thing that scares you about hustling pool is that you will run into somebody with less money than you have.

He used to say that he had a lot of stories, and some of them were even true.

One of those true stories was about the time he went up to St. Joseph to do a speaking engagement with former Chiefs coach Hank Stram. There was a long version to this story, and an even longer version, but the short one is that they had decided to split the money. While Stram was speaking, they handed Grigsby an envelope. He sneaked off to the bathroom and saw there was $400 in there -- way more than he had expected. He skimmed $100 off the top, resealed the envelope, and came back. When Stram was finished talking, Grigsby gave him the envelope and did his talk.

When Grigs was finished, he went over to Stram and said: "How'd we do Henry?"

And Stram said: "Great. We've got $200 to split right down the middle."

If I tell you that Bill Grigsby had literally an unlimited number of these kinds of stories, I would still not be doing him justice. I used to say to him that he must sit at home and think them up. He did not deny the charge. I think that's what struck me most about him. Bill saw life through a prism of stories and one liners and wonderful little memories. "I will never forget ..." is how he began so many of his sentences, and he never did forget, and he sometimes remembered a bit too happily, which he saw as the greatest gift of all.

He once announced seven basketball games in one day. He relayed this by saying that for weeks afterward he would call his wife "Fran, a shooting guard from Georgia Southern." He was radio announcer for the Joplin Miners when they had a raw and young shortstop named Mickey Mantle. He remembers this with the line: "Mantle made so many errors at shortstop that after games I used to have to hold his beer for him." He called the famous triple overtime National Championship game between Wilt Chamberlain's Kansas and North Carolina. "Wilt was the greatest athlete I ever saw,' he would say.

"No funny line?" I would ask.

"Wilt was the greatest athlete I ever saw," he would say again.

He lived life at a frenetic pace. He often told me he never felt comfortable, not after growing up during the Depression. If he wasn't doing something, he was dying. And Bill had no intention of dying, not before his time. "I'm 108 years old," he said whenever anyone asked his age. I thought that was telling. Satchel Paige stayed 39 forever. Most people want that. Bill Grigsby was 108 years old long before he was even 80.

"Enthusiasm is what keeps me going," he would say. "I believe in enthusiasm. I think it's the best medicine. I think it's the best exercise. I think it's the best way to live."

He became known in town mostly for the way he said the word "Beautiful" before Chiefs games. That was his trademark. He would growl a bit at the beginning, and stretch out the vowels as long as he could -- especially the E -- so it sounded like BEEEEEEEEEEEE-yooooooo-teee-fuuul. Every day was beautiful, of course, even when the rain turned the field to mud, even when cold turned the streets to ice, even when the sun and humidity turned Kansas City into a sauna, even when the economy was bad and the news was bad and there was sadness lingering in the air. It was OK to feel sad, he thought. But nothing could keep the day from being beautiful.

A few weeks ago, another Kansas City character, an old trumpeter named Tony DiPardo died at 98. With Tony, like with Grigs, a one word summation like "trumpeter" feels entirely wrong because his life was so much richer than that. He was known in Kansas City for playing the trumpet at Chiefs games from the very beginning, but his life was one of music and family and bringing joy to people who knew him. Then again, in Kansas City, people knew him. They knew his heart. People in Kansas City didn't need too many words to trigger their own feelings about Tony. The word "trumpeter" was enough.

And so it goes with Bill Grigsby. Outside of Kansas City, most people didn't know his name. He never minded that. Inside Kansas City, he was loved. Bill Grigsby died Saturday. He was 89 years old. I could tell again his story of the midget women wrestlers or the one about Len Dawson at the first Super Bowl or the many about A's owner Charlie O. Finley or the one about golfing with Tom Watson or a thousand others. I'm sure I will tell many of those stories over the rest of my life. For now, though, I think only of that one word, his favorite word, the word that doesn't just describe his life but how he felt about life. The word, of course, is beautiful.

02-27-2011, 11:44 AM
Bill Grigsby was one of my favorite Chiefs characters. He was an unabashed homer, illogical unflappable optimist, and legendary party animal. Dude has a statue of him holding a martini glass in front of the clubhouse at the National Golf Course. How cool is that?

I can remember in the 1980's when the Chiefs were awful, sitting in the parking lot before December games, Chiefs record in the toilet, 20,000 fans in the stadium, Grigs on the air saying stuff like "22 crisp degrees, winds today out of the northwest at 30 miles per hour, maybe some freezing rain during the contest....BEAUTIFUL day for football!"

Grigs truly loved the Chiefs, and he was one of a kind. He's going to be missed. You gotta love the genuine characters in life, and he certainly was one.

Here's a picture of Ol' Grigs I took from my seats at Arrowhead a few years back. He's headed down the stairs to the tunnel before the game starts. We asked him for a picture, and he stopped and smiled. This is how I'll remember Grigs.

Also: More pics of Grigs from the KC Star website:

Interiews with Grigs: Joel Nichols from KMBC, very funny stuff:

02-27-2011, 02:14 PM
RIP Grigs.

02-27-2011, 02:37 PM
Anything yet for the public to pay respects?

02-27-2011, 07:07 PM
Why isn't this a sticky yet?