On a night when MVP hopeful Derrick Rose comes to town with the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls, Quicken Loans Arena will have a sold out crowd on hand to celebrate a man who will not even step foot on the court. Well, at least during the course of the game.
Joining the greats like Mark Price and Brad Daugherty, the “Voice of the Cavaliers” Joe Tait will have his name hoisted in to the rafters of The Q. Before Friday night’s tip-off, a special banner branding Tait’s name will commemorate his 39 years with the Wine and Gold. In what will be his second-last broadcast before the great Tait heads into retirement, the Q-Tube will feature several video vignettes which highlight Tait’s illustrious career while featuring well wishes from friends, colleagues and fans will run throughout the evening.
As not to overlap with fan/media appreciation night on April 13, the night where Tait’s documentary “Have a Goodnight, Everybody” will be aired, the Cavaliers opted to celebrate the legendary broadcaster on his very own evening. No word on if the banner will feature Tait’s signature Cosby-esque stripes.
After meeting Bill Fitch in the late 1960s, Tait was brought on board just eight games into their first season in existance; he has been the one constant ever since. Broadcasting over 3,300 Cavalier games, Tait – already enshrined in the Hall of Fame and the hearts of all of Cleveland – will forever be a part of Cavaliers basketball long after he calls it a career.
Unfortunately, in what was supposed to be his six-month ride into the sunset, Tait was hospitalized and subsequently forced to undergo open heart surgery early in the season. Missing the majority of the last five months, Tait took to the broadcast booth on March 27. Since his return that night, the Cavaliers – owners of the second-worst record in the NBA – have played .500 basketball winning three of their last six contests.
Tait will undoubtedly be missed.
(WFNY Bonus: Here’s some audio to get you through the morning. If you’re not going to miss every second of this, go root for Buffalo.)
And finally, the two-part Pièce de Résistance – the Miracle at Richfield: