The weather may be frightful in Dallas this week, but that didn't stop the best circus sideshow under a tent from going on. Media Day once again featured a mixture of bored players being asked questions by bored reporters, with the usual assortment of oddballs thrown in for variety. On such oddball was having a homecoming of sorts.
Vic "The Brick" Jacobs -- The Original Gonzo/Zen Sportscaster
Vic Jacobs currently resides in LA, where he is part of a sports talk radio show, "Loose Cannons," which includes former CBS Sports and Access Hollywood anchor Pat O'Brien. Vic is known for his intense love of all things L.A. Lakers and for his, uh, eccentric personality and eclectic fashion style. Here is just a sample of his work.
For those with a long memory, Vic's career really took hold here in Austin 30 years ago. Jacobs came to Austin from Roswell, NM (Area 51 no doubt), to work for KXAN-TV -- then KTVV-TV Ch. 36. It was here that he honed and perfected his on-air shtick.
* Vic introduced the "Brick" here. It was a foam brick that he would periodically throw at the camera whenever he was outraged or disagreed with with a sports figure. Vic, who has mellowed in terms of his on-air delivery since leaving Austin, would yell "You see the brick? You got the brick!"
*Jacobs was a classic "homer" who would start his sportscasts with the phrase "Live! From the nation's capitol!".
*He fashioned replica hats of DKR, Disch-Falk Field, and the Erwin Center that he would wear before games.
* The Friday before the 1982 Arkansas contest, Vic did his sportscast from a meat locker. He was standing next to a hog -- wearing a white coat and holding a chain saw. He ended the cast by chewing on some sausage.
*Back when Vic was on in Austin, the non-conference opponents Sports Information Director would come into town a few days before the game to make the radio-TV rounds. Utah State was next on the schedule and the SID was to be on Vic's sportscast live at 6:00pm Friday. He was properly warned of the unusual aspect of Vic's show, however that didn't prepare him for the event.
Off camera Vic could be as kind and mellow as anyone you would meet. The SID enjoyed their conversation, and then he sat down on the set. As the commercial leading into sports finished up, Vic reached down, put on his Memorial Stadium hat, and as the red light came on, pointed to his guest and shouted, Tonight!! Live in the studio --it's THE ENEMY!!!!!
The poor Utah State SID almost passed out right there on the set.
Unfortunately, Vic's high-wire act didn't improve KTVV's 3rd place standing in the ratings, and he was fired. Protestors picketed in front of the station, but to no avail. Vic moved to California, where he refined his style and found a home in sports radio.
But for those who were there at the beginning, he will always be Austin's Vic "The Brick".