I can’t help it, when I think of Jim Nantz I immediately think of his opening broadcast line, “Hello, friends.” Earlier in the week Nantz was a guest on the Rich Eisen podcast where he discussed where this signature line comes from. I’m going to think of it in a whole new light the next time I hear it.
"You know the story sounds a little maudlin but it really was a tribute to my father. My father was deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s and I was doing a golf tournament. My father had very little recognition left with anything or anyone and he only had friends in his life. I told him and told him and told him all week long that I was going to talk to him on the air and my code to him was going to be ‘Hello, friends.’ I wanted him to know that was a special delivery for him. I can still remember, I was in Minnesota. The golf event — PGA Championship at Hazeltine and I came on the air and said, ‘Hello, friends. Jim Nantz.’ Which was my father’s name. I’m really known as Jimmy by all my friends. The only time I ever answer to Jim is when I’m in my professional world. My dad was Jim and I’m Jimmy. So I did that thinking ‘Hello, friends. Jim Nantz here.’ And my father would have some sense of recognition and I’ve kept it ever since."