Al McCoy:  A Legend’s Impact on A Blind Sports Fan

Story by Max Ashton

A young, blind sports fan’s perspective.

Listening to games on the radio has always been the best way for me to enjoy my favorite sports. By necessity, radio play-by-play is more descriptive than on TV, which is incredibly helpful for someone like me who can’t see what’s happening on the court. This is especially true for fast-moving NBA games. Al did an amazing job of making Suns games fun and accessible for me.

When I was a kid, I went to a Suns game, and was listening to Al on my handheld radio. He saw me listening and called me over. At the next commercial, he introduced himself and thanked me for listening. He couldn’t have been nicer, and it meant so much to me.

I’ve always been a huge sports fan, and because I’m a nerd, I’ve always been a big fan of sports broadcasters too. Meeting Al was just as cool to 11-year-old me as meeting a player. It was just an extra bonus that he was so warm and grateful to a young fan.

When it became clear that last night’s game would be Al’s last, I made sure to listen to the end just to hear him. I didn’t expect him to say anything about the blind and visually impaired community, and it was such a touching surprise. He knew the impact he had, and it was amazing hearing his gratitude towards the people who have so much from him to be thankful for.

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