2016 was the year of incredible, fairy tale level championship in sport. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908. Leicester City, promoted to the Premier League for the first time in over a decade just one season prior, won the title despite the very longest of odds.
And the city of Cleveland, with three major league sports franchises but no titles since 1964, saw Lebron James and the Cavaliers win it all. The first two meant a whole lot to Arlo White, NBC Sports Group’s lead Premier League announcer.
“I am actually a Leicester City fan from way back, and Leicester in 2016 won the Premiere League at odds of 5,000-1, which was one of most incredible stories in the history of English sport if not world football,” White told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
“That was in May of 2016, and then the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in more than 100 year in the fall. So, that was the greatest sporting year you could ever wish for.”
White, a Leicester, England native and Foxes supporter, was on hand to throw the ceremonial first pitch and lead the seventh inning stretch of the Chicago Cubs’ 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners last night.
Given how much the Cubs have sold out both the seventh inning stretch and the ceremonial first pitch, one might have wondered why Arlo White was on hand to do this.
After all, he’s not plugging a movie/album/show, nor he is affiliated directly with one of the Cubs’ immediate corporate partners. So why was he here in town?
Turns out he’s a massive Cubs and Chicago Bears fan. He’ll be in the house tomorrow night as the Bears kick-off the NFL’s 100th season against the Green Bay Packers.
To make things even more perfectly coincidental for White, the Cubs starting/winning pitcher that night was Jon Lester.
Okay @Cubs, when are you adding @arlowhite to the rotation?
(Assuming they can borrow him, @NBCSportsSoccer?) pic.twitter.com/Fe3Y54osmJ
— Premier League USA (@PLinUSA) September 4, 2019
White has been a Cubs fan since 1986 (his aunt and uncle took him to his first ballgame at Wrigley, when he was 13) and a Bears fan since 1984.
“I actually saw the first preseason home game of the ’86 Bears. It was against the Colts,” Arlo White is quoted by the Tribune.
“We had tickets by the Bears players tunnel, so I got high-five from Walter Payton, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and the Fridge (William Perry), who was a huge star n the UK at the time. It was the most incredible day of my life to that point.”
“It remains one of the most memorable days of my life. it was incredible. So it’s been a Cubs-Bears love-in for the last 33 years.”
Arlo White also has previous experience calling the Super Bowl for BBC Radio and Major League Soccer. He also previously served as the voice of the Seattle Sounders.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.
You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.
Leave a Reply