Preview: Verne Lundquist on the secret to a great sports call – CBS News

Sportscasters rehearse calling big moments over and over in their heads, but few ever get the chance to make a call that will echo through the years. CBS Sports’ Verne Lundquist is one of the lucky ones who, in a 50-plus-year career, has made some of the most memorable calls spanning a variety of sports, from football to figure skating.

The key to those historic calls is a matter of balance, Lundquist tells Jim Axelrod in an interview for CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” to be broadcast March 26 on the CBS Television Network.

“The challenge is to be appropriate to the moment,” Lundquist says, “to not embellish the moment, to not overwhelm it.”

This Sunday, Lundquist will call the East Regional finals of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for CBS Sports from Madison Square Garden, and in a couple of weeks he’ll be at the Augusta National Golf Club to cover The Masters

During the past half-century, Lundquist, 76, has covered thousands of sporting events, and while he isn’t done yet, he is cutting back his workload. Last December, he ended a 17-year-run calling Southeastern Conference college football games for CBS.

Lundquist was so beloved by fans he earned the nickname “Uncle Verne,” and at each football game last fall the fans would salute him, something that touched him deeply.  “I had to swallow hard, and pinch my inner thigh to keep from crying,” he tells Axelrod.

Lundquist also talks with Axelrod about some of the thrilling highlights of his career; about his life away from sports; and how he and his wife Nancy share a love for symphonic music in the community they call home, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

“I am just so unbelievably appreciative of the way my career and my life has wound up,” Lundquist said.

The Emmy Award-winning “CBS Sunday Morning,” hosted by Jane Pauley, is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Executive producer is Rand Morrison.

Follow the program on Twitter (@CBSSunday), Facebook, Instagram (#CBSSundayMorning) and at “Sunday Morning” also streams on CBSN beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, and is available on, CBS All Access, and On Demand. You can also listen to “Sunday Morning” audio podcasts at