Terry Frei, Ron Zappolo reflect on the legendary career of Irv Brown

by Justin Michael

On Sunday, the Mile High City lost one of its most iconic voices with the passing of the legendary Irv Brown.

Various members of the media have reflected on Brown’s impact, including Doug Ottewill, who eloquently summarized Brown with the following passage:

“Measuring the greatness of a man is no easy task. Some great men touch few, but have a profound impact on those they do. Other great men have the ability to positively influence thousands, entire communities of people. Somehow, Irv Brown managed to do both. “Profound” isn’t a strong enough word. “Thousands” is too small a number. “Communities” is undeniably plural.”

On Monday morning, Terry Frei joined the Morning Drive to give his perspective on Brown and reflect on all the laughs they shared over the years on the Irv and Joe Show. Frei was the first person to publicly report on Brown’s passing and brilliantly described the impact Brown had on the state of Colorado in his column for the Greeley Tribune. 

“He would have the ability to have that catalog memory and remember your name, remember where you played high school football. He probably knew how many steps you took on the touchdown play at the end of ‘The Drive’,” Frei joked with Mark Jackson Monday morning.

Frei told stories about how Brown knew anyone and everyone in the sports industry because of his lengthy resume, which included working as an NCAA basketball referee, high school and college baseball coach, and media gigs in both radio and TV as well.

Monday afternoon, long-time Denver sportscaster and eventual FOX31 lead anchor Ron Zappolo also joined Mile High Sports to discuss Brown’s legacy.

“Like everyone else, I’m just so saddened to hear about Irv,” Zappolo told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports FM 104.7 | AM 1340.

“I don’t think I ever met anyone in my life, honestly, that treated people better than Irv. I really don’t.”

Zappolo explained how he has known Brown since the 1970s and worked with him doing Nuggets broadcasts for five years.

“Everybody that is successful in this business has to be themselves and find their own style, and that was very easy for Irv. He was totally himself on the air,” Zappolo said. “We would be on the road somewhere or even in Denver–people would come up and Irv would talk to a guy–and I’d think ‘who the hell is this guy?’–and Irv would say ‘ah I coached his kid at Arvada or I got this kid a job in Northglenn.’. I mean he absolutely knew everybody.”

Listen to the full interview below or by clicking here.

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