Ian "Birdman" Eagle
Nets veteran play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle won a New York Emmy in the category "On-Camera Talent: Sports Play-by-Play" at the 56th Annual New York Emmy Awards Gala Sunday night.
"The Bird" beat out fellow YES announcer and Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay, MSG's Mike Breen and SNY's Gary Cohen for the award. The award commemorates Eagle's work for all of last season. This is Eagle's second New York Emmy, having won in 2002 for for his work on Madison Square Garden Network’s telecast of the Pacers/Nets Game 5 of the 2002 NBA playoffs.
After only one year as the radio voice of the Nets as a 24 year-old in 1994, Eagle became the Nets play-by-play announcer for telecasts the following season, a position he has held for the past 18 years. The Syracuse grad is known for his upbeat personality, extensive knowledge of basketball and razor sharp wit.
A shining example of this broadcasting acumen came in December at a Nets home game against the Pistons with comedian Jerry Seinfeld in attendance. After Joe Johnson buried a triple at the buzzer in double OT to win, the camera panned to Seinfield. Eagle then seamlessly said, "That was real...and that was spectacular!" a reference to a popular episode of "Seinfeld."
Eagle is one of the hardest working professionals in sports broadcasting, calling everything from collegiate basketball to tennis and football. From his YES Network bio:
"In addition to football, Eagle has called the NCAA Tournament for CBS for the past 15 years, the Army/Navy football game, boxing, and anchored the “Sportsdesk” and “At the Half” at CBS Sports. Eagle also handled English-language play-by-play for the international telecasts of the NBA Finals in 1995-98, and has worked the Masters and PGA Championships for CBS/Direct TV.
Eagle broadcast the NBA Playoffs for NBATV from 2003-2008, and for TNT in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He has also handled play-by-play for the NCAA Track and Field Championships on CBS and currently on ESPN, and the French Open for Tennis Channel. He has covered the last nine US Open tournaments for CBS, and was the voice for the Sony PSP 2010 NBA video game with Kenny Smith. From 2005-2008, Eagle hosted a variety of shows on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, including “Full Court Press” and ‘The Phil Jackson Show”. Eagle is also a play-by-play man for Westwood One Radio working its Thursday Night NFL broadcasts and the NCAA Tournament Regional Finals."
From all of us at The Brooklyn Game, congrats Ian! We would love to buy you some sizzling hot fajitas sometime to celebrate this milestone.