Dan Dierdorf, who was born in Canton, Ohio, has been an NFL broadcaster since 1984 (making him the longest running announcer for the NFL); however, this is unfortunately about to change. CBS announced on Wednesday that Dierdorf will retire at the end of the 2013 season. It is difficult to imagine NFL coverage without the familiar face, but Dierdorf explained his reasons for exiting to SI.com (Sports Illustrated) through a telephone interview.
“The reality is, from a physical standpoint, it’s too much for me, especially the travel. I have two artificial knees, two artificial hips, nerve damage in my legs, and it’s a struggle for me to walk. That’s the reality of it. Ask anyone who has seen me go through a press box,” Dierdorf said.
Wishing a happy retirement to Dan Dierdorf who has represented U of M so well for so long. #goblue
— Jim Abbott (@jabbottum31) November 21, 2013
Dan Dierdorf, one of the all time great guys, is retiring. Great OT in Hall of Fame. Terrific analyst. One of my favorites. Good luck Dan.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) November 20, 2013
Dan Dierdorf had an impressive career prior to his time as a broadcaster. From 1971 until 1983, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals. After his successful tenure on the field, his talents were recognized in 1996 when he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The commentator known for his poised, tough exterior is not leaving the business due to backlash from multiple media and social networking sites, however acutely aware of the criticism he may be. “I am well aware of being criticized in the sense that I have grown kids and they tell me they see this on Twitter or that. I am relatively unfazed by that. I don’t go on message boards and I don’t have a Twitter account. I understand how it works. Very few people take the time to go on there to say how much they like someone,” Dierdorf explains.
This is not to say that the harsh critiques thrown at Dierdorf have never affected him, but rather his present maturity means that he is no longer influenced by petty, discouraging remarks. “Fifteen or 20 years ago it would have bothered me. Like anyone else, whenever you saw something critical, it hurt your feelings a little bit. But when you have been doing it as long as I have and been on the firing range as long as I have, I have reached a point where I am pretty much unfazed by it,” he said.
According to CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, “For 43 NFL seasons Dan Dierdorf has been a consummate professional both on the field and in the broadcast booth. Very few people in any profession can boast a Hall of Fame playing career and Hall of Fame broadcasting career.”
The opportunity to play for the NFL and then reverse gears and broadcast is a unique privilege, and Dierdorf recognizes this. “I have been blessed to spend my entire life in the game I love. I had an opportunity to go from the field directly to the broadcast booth where I have had the privilege of working with the giants of our business,” he said.