CBS dropped a huge piece of news Tuesday about the future of one of its most recognized on-air talents: Verne Lundquist will step down from his role as play-by-play talent for the network’s SEC coverage following the 2016 season.
The move was met with a wide variety of emotions on social media, ranging from disbelief to humor — truly befitting someone who has worked at the national level since 1974 and presented “SEC on CBS” since 2000 (Lundquist returned to the station in 1998).
Below is a small sample of the wide range of reactions to Lundquist’s upcoming retirement:
Some reacted with alarm.
When I first read some of y'all's tweets about Verne Lundquist, I thought he had died.
— Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) May 31, 2016
Which is fair, considering people tweeted out stuff like this:
Verne Lundquist is a broadcasting legend who will be dearly missed. https://t.co/xNQ4YZ7xzi
— Zach Searcy (@zsearce) May 31, 2016
Others reacted with humor.
This is the main image that shows up when you Google “Verne Lundquist.”
So appropriate. pic.twitter.com/HSn7JkthQL
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) May 31, 2016
Some in the business wanted to wax poetic about the industry titan.
This will be Verne Lundquist's last year calling SEC games for CBS. Here's a feature I wrote on him two years ago. https://t.co/0aCIEH8CR3
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 31, 2016
And of course, you had those who wanted to pay homage in the best way they knew how…
Pour one out https://t.co/kG6Fv3pkO0
— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) May 31, 2016
…while still others wanted you to know that maybe he wasn’t so great after all.
As we mourn the impending retirement of Verne Lundquist, let's remember the time he stole someone's date. https://t.co/VXEUtCEEMg
— Marcas Grant (@MarcasG) May 31, 2016
Others expressed sorrow…
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) May 31, 2016
…and still others simply were reminded of a passing encounter with the man behind the voice.
No more Verne Lundquist. It was a pleasure getting to meet this guy. He is pretty awesome, and is a legend himself. https://t.co/dRRrB5NSQL
— Heather Geller (@5NEWSHeather) May 31, 2016
Even SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, whose conference partnered for so long with CBS, tweeted in Lundquist’s honor.
— Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) May 31, 2016
Regardless, it’s apparent Lundquist has had quite a lasting effect on those in the industry. It’s only fair to wonder: Will CBS give him a send-off like the Lakers did for Kobe Bryant?