(CBS) Thursday afternoon brings a bittersweet moment for the 670 The Score family, with longtime host Terry Boers retiring after a final show. Boers is a Score original, having worked at the station since its inception on Jan. 2, 1992. Through the years, he brought insight, comedy and kindness to all, as well as derision toward bad sports thoughts.
With Terry leaving, we opened the floor for listeners to share their thoughts and favorite memories. We received hundreds of emails. Though we couldn’t run all of them and had to edit some for brevity, we thank you for every single one of them. They were alternately hilarious and heart-warming. Most of all, they provide a glimpse of what Terry meant to so many people.
I’ve listened to and read your wise words and keen insight for many years. I was always struck by your knowledge and professionalism, a wonderful change from the shock jocks of current radio. You and Dan entertained us, made us laugh and reflect on the important side of life. I sincerely wish you the very best of good health and a long life. May the wind be at your back.
Matt from Gurnee and Sycamore:
On Sept. 11, 2001, I was 18 and living on my own in the world. I feel that was the day the station changed. It changed during Boers and Bernstein. Sports wasn’t life. Sports was not the be-all end-all to the world. This shone through on this particular show in ways that would reverberate over the next 15-plus years in Chicago sports talk radio. When awfulness occurred in sports (i.e. Penn State, Ray Rice, etc.), it was OK to talk about the personal ramifications. The human impact would be discussed and dissected, and those in the wrong would be condemned, rightfully. This is when Terry was at his finest.
I’m sure that Terry never thought his career would take him the path it did or create such an impact, but it has — more than he will probably ever know. Congratulations on retirement!
Chris from Fox Lake:
I first discovered Boers and Bernstein in the summer of 2003. I was home from college and during the summer, our work truck only got AM stations, so we listened to The Score all day. I never grew up as a fan of baseball, but during the summer, that was the only sport going on. Terry Boers made me a fan of baseball. Given his advanced age and covering sports for as long as he has, I loved listening to his passion for the sport. Once out of college, when I got a real job, I still have The Score on 24/7. I love listening to Uncle Terry talk sports, and he has a deep knowledge of the history of the games. I also love reading his written work as well, I always looked forward to his Father’s Day piece every year. I hope he gets around to that book he keeps talking about. Terry, I wish you nothing but the best.
Brett from Miami Beach:
Over the years, Terry — more than any sports radio personality — taught me that it’s OK to question the teams that I love and players I enjoy watching. Because of Terry, I went from being a part of the herd of meatheads to an isolated and thinking one. Terry will be extremely missed.
Tom in Omaha:
One day the boys were talking about Pope Benedict’s retirement from “poping,” which then led them to talking about John Paul II. The boys agreed that JP II maybe stuck around too long, something Terry had expressed before many times. The conversation continued as Dan recalled that Terry had tagged John Paul with a nickname, but neither Dan nor Terry could remember the nickname. They both knew it had something to do with his advanced age, osteoporosis and almost sleeping while saying mass. Finally a texter came to the rescue with the nickname. Terry called the former pontiff “Uncle Tilty.” I laughed so hard that I had tears in my eyes and of course I was driving. Talk about comedy bits — that was comedy gold!
For some reason there was a discussion with a caller about old quarterbacks. Somebody mentioned Otto Graham, and somebody else reacted negatively. Then someone asked, “What’s the matter with Otto Graham?” And Terry sang out “What’s the matter with Otto Graham?” like a Broadway number. That was all I needed to hear to know that I wanted to listen to this show and Terry’s weird noises.
This isn’t a specific moment I remember, but because of him, I now call people pud-whacks. My wife isn’t amused, but I find it hilarious. Good luck Terry! You will be missed.
Definitely my favorite memory is the “by cracky” for Steve Stone that killed Bernsie and staff. So many more than I couldn’t possibly mention them all. Thank you, Terry!
Justin from Tempe:
Without a doubt, B&B is the best talk radio show I will ever hear. The intelligence, silliness and humor was the perfect escape from the normalcy and regular routine we call life. God bless you, Terry. Enjoy retirement my man.
Steve, “Carlos Delgado’s Lively Bat”:
I have a 30-mile commute and have for the past 16 years, so I’ve spent a lot of time with Dan and Terry. But what strikes me today as I ponder the end of the career of a guy who I have been reading or listening to since I was in junior high is the fact that, outside of my old man, there’s probably not a single person who has influenced me as a sports fan more than Terry has. And I’m not overstating it. He has been my (almost) daily sports voice for most of my life, and in a place like this, that’s a huge deal. Hell, I can’t drive past Beard Auto Repair on Ogden Avenue and not think of him.
I have a 4-year-old son who loves sitting on the couch with me and watching whatever is on, as long as it’s sports. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Something that I hope for him is that he finds a voice that resonates with him the way Terry did with me.
All the best in retirement to you, my friend. You leave behind a legacy that is far greater than you will ever allow yourself to admit. I’m thrilled that The Score has become what it has and that you have been there to see it all happen. I’m thrilled you got a Cubs World Series. And I wish you a healthy and blessed retirement. I hope you’ll take a minute every now and then and put pen to paper, though. It’s a gift we will all miss very much.
Jeffrey in Colorado Springs:
I’ve been a Boers and Bernstein listener since October of 1999 … This summer when Terry was out I missed listening to him so much that I went to YouTube and listened to a whole bunch of past shows just to get my Boers fix. The best listen was the show after the NFC Championship game between the Bears and Packers when people were going hard after Jay Cutler for not playing. Listening to both Boers and Bernstein discuss that situation was what I consider to be exactly what talk radio is all about. They were engaging, angry, intelligent and knowledgeable throughout the discussion. That’s going to be missed by me the most. Best of luck, Terry.
I have listened to The Score and Terry since the early days. I was a 15-year-old high school kid in 1992 and have been a loyal listener ever since. I will always be indebted to Terry for his influence on how I consume and view sports. I share Terry’s affinity for baseball. I’ve been a Cubs fan a long time, but Terry has thankfully kept me from becoming a meatball fan and has made it OK to say your team sucks while also acknowledging the greatness of other players even when they don’t play on the team you cheer for. Best of luck to you, Terry. We love you and wish you the best of health, my friend!
I started out hating their ideas and opinions they had on Chicago sports and the other non-sports items they would discuss throughout the show. Over time as I got older, I realized that they were just making me a better sports fan by looking at things not as a meathead but as a rational person. Even though being a sports fan and being rational doesn’t always correlate, there’s something to be said to look at sports through different lens at different times.
Justin from Michigan:
There was a segment — I think in 2009 or 2010 — when a caller complained that the guys weren’t talking enough hockey or at least some specific hockey concern. Dan and Terry were irritated by this because, of course, it wasn’t true. Terry got onto a separate line somewhere and called in as “Guy from Hegewisch” and got off to a roaring phone call, stating his name and that his family was into hockey, but saying only, “Mom, hockey! Dad, hockey!” and finished the phone call soon thereafter. It was a small bit, but it was classic.
There are too many great memories to list, but one that made me nearly pull off to the side of the road was when he said ‘”penis bread” regarding something or someone. Dan then proceeded to start giggling for a few minutes in a way that would make Rongey proud. Random outbursts like this have always been his forte and we are all better off for it. Thank you Terry, we love you.
Mike in Davenport:
This is a relatively minor moment in B&B history, but it’s perfectly representative of why I loved the show. A few years ago, Steve Stone was on with the guys and made an offhand reference to Harry Caray. Terry, obviously needing to get the bit in but not wanting to interrupt Steve, managed to slip in a covert “by cracky!” in the hushed whisper of a child trying to talk quietly during a church service. Dan snickered but didn’t break, and I was left trying not to laugh too loud at my desk. I remember this because I’d been having a bad day, and after Stoney’s segment, my day was a little bit better. Thanks to Terry for making bad days a little bit better!
Pete from Bartlett:
Terry grew up in the same area that I did and we actually went to the same junior high, which has since been torn down and replaced by a shiny new building. Terry always meant a lot to me, because he showed me that a working class kid from a no-wheresville south suburb could actually do something meaningful. I met him once in Bourbonnais when I was in high school, he signed an autographed and played along with my dumb little joke. It meant the world to me, and I still remember it vividly 14, 15 years later. Thank you Terry!
A caller once called in and yelled “What’s up uncle fuzzy teabag?” and Terry lost his mind. I’d never heard Terry reply with laugh quite like that before. I was dying in my car by myself in rush hour. Fantastic! Also, the article Terry wrote about leaving the home his children were raised in is my favorite Terry moment. I know it wasn’t on the show, but I read that like I was there on that old sofa with him seeing all those memories for one last time. It really touched me.
B&B interviewed the guy from the American Mustache Institute and Terry by-cracky’ed EVERY SINGLE TIME it was appropriate — like 50 times.
One of the first times I listened to you was a “Who Ya Crappin’? segment in April or May of 2013. The segment featured a flashback to Rongey’s celebration of Bud Carson’s death and Damannna referring to the Steelers defense as the “Iron Curtain.” You were having trouble containing yourself with laughter. Then a crapper had a crap for a Darren Rovell tweet that I still remember to this day: “The last living Triple Crown-winning horse — Seattle Slew — died 11 years ago.” You absolutely lost it, and I can still hear your infectious laugh in the background after you pulled away from the mic. I had to pull over on the side of the road because I was crying with laughter.
I’m a woman who’s Terry’s age and have listened to The Score since its beginning. He has been a constant in my life in whatever time slot he was in. Over the years, he has been a reason that my son and I have bonded. In the old days, my son would call and say to turn B&B on, then text to make sure. He now sends me the link. Terry is also a great writer, and I hope he keeps doing that. He will be missed!
Jacob in St. Louis:
My favorite Terry memory is from about 12 years ago. It was when Terry found the sales department’s sales sheet describing his personality on the show. Just him reading through it and shouting, “They think I’m a moron! That’s the only thing you could get from reading that.” Terry is far from a moron in my eyes. It should have read ‘Terry is a comedy genius!’ Just the way he did it cracked me up. I can still get a chuckle just thinking of it. Thank you Terry for your years of entertainment.
I have a professionally designed IDOT sign hanging in my garage that reads: “Pants Required Next 3 Exits.” Good luck Terry.
I will always cherish the opening segment of B&B. When Dan would say “You can email us at Boersandbernstein.com where you can listen to us live,” then Terry would say, “What we be doing?” That was followed by Dan saying, “We are streaming at 670thescore.com.” As time went on Terry would evolve “What we be doing?” to odd sounds and noises instead. He also did this for the David Hochberg commercials. No longer did he say any words, he just made odd noises, and I always got a kick out of it. One particular moment I will never forget is when Terry made a noise that led Dan to bust out laughing, as well as I.
The Score was like a second family to me and often helped my through tough times, homesickness, etc. It was while I was in college that I first met Terry and Dan McNeil at a remote, and Dan gave me the moniker “CanuckBoy” because I was wearing a Vancouver cap. The name has stuck ever since. Throughout the years, Terry Boers and The Score have served as my own, sick version of therapy. In a fight with the wife? Go to the man cave and listen to The Score. Feeling sick? Throw on The Score for a good laugh with the boys. Can’t sleep? Hell, even the Grobber is there for a good laugh.
Back in 2004, while I was serving as Dean of Students at Prosser Career Academy on the northwest side, I left a phone message for Terry, asking him if he would be willing to come out to the school to serve as ‘Principal for the day.’ Terry responded within 24 hours with a ‘CanuckBoy, whatever you need, I’ll be there.’
The day that Terry came out, he was a riot and instantly loved by the kids. The highlight of the day was during lunch, when Terry sat with about 10, 15 students and answered questions. When a few kids asked about Terry’s secret to success, Terry gave an answer that I will never forget:
“I wasn’t a good student. I probably screwed around more than I should have. But I stand before you a combination of great fortune and hard work. Truth is, I have always tried to not say ‘No’ when given an opportunity to try something new or move up in my job. I always just worked to figure it out, even when I had no clue what I was doing. And somehow, it always worked out. I’m not sure if I am exactly successful, but if you think so, I guess I would tell you to work hard and be brave. Take chances.”
I’m not sure if Terry understood just how important that advice was to students attending a school on the corner of Cicero and Fullerton, a main corner for action from the Latin Kings and Pachuco gangs. It was an area where being brave and working hard were lessons that needed to be taught and appreciated. Terry’s message resonated with those students long after he returned to Mokena — and with me, as well.
This might have been so long ago, but never forget that Terry that a certain basketball coach — Landon Cox — was more of a vocation than a name.”
Jacob in DeKalb:
One that always keeps coming back to mind is the day that Dan and Terry were broadcasting live from Camelback Ranch during spring training. Someone had the bright idea to do the whole show from the press box while games were going on. It provided a unique and somewhat bizarre atmosphere, as only the occasional noise above a murmur reminded the audience that actual professional baseball was being played in front of the usual B&B gobbledygook. Then it happened. Perhaps inevitably, like a bolt of lightning from an angry deity, a foul ball flew toward the booth, scattering everyone. Only T Diddly was able to utter an intelligible sound into his mic, and what came out was:
“Whoa, look out, duck-sss! Whoa-oh!”
The whole crew made sure to get a lot of life out of Terry’s involuntary waterfowl mouth-spasm, and it lives on in the Boers and Bernstein soundboard, where I often revisit it. It was a classic reminder that when Terry Boers was on the air, you could never predict what he’d say next.
A few years ago, for no particular reason, a St. Louis Rams fan called the show to trash talk the Bears. Terry quickly handled the bad call by politely asking him to “Kiss a sick monkey’s wet ass, St. Louis bitch.” This not only put Dan on the floor laughing but also started his monkey collection in fine style. Here’s to the Monkeys, the members of the Monkeys and Terry.”
One Terry Boers moment that sticks out to me over the years was in 2006. They were debating the Bears defensive backfield, which resulted in Boers saying the following about Ricky Manning Jr. coming in as a nickelback: “Oh I trust him, I just don’t want him near a Denny’s.” This of course after Manning’s assault charges at a Denny’s restaurant. That Terry Boers quote cracked me up back then, as it still does today.”
Paul from Manteno:
The time they got Mike Scioscia on the phone to talk about his Angels. Terry told him that Larry Horse didnt think they were any good. Mike told him to bring Larry to a game and they would convince him they were good. Terry had him believing Larry was a real person.
B&B was something in my life that I could count on always being there since I was a kid. It’s sometimes tough to talk to my dad, but I could always bring up some B&B item with him to talk about. It helped me get through the boredom of everyday work at the start of my law career, and I can directly attribute two good friendships to the show and Terry. I couldn’t care less about the sports — I appreciate the lessons you have preached and the way you expect people to act and think. hope to think that I am a better person for it (probably not), but I know my life has been enriched, even if just a little, because of Terry and the show.
I’ll never forget soon after the Bears lost to the Dolphins at home in 2014, I happened to be listening to B&B during Dr. Death’s infamous “Well I did hear some it” press conference and heard your live reaction. Your jokes and your punches at the Bears organization for the remainder of that year made us all smile in our misery. Me and my friends still laugh over beers and often listen to those old podcasts. While the Bears made our lives worse, you made them better for five hours a day.
One B&B moment that will always stick out for me happened in the fall of 2004, when you were still doing the midday show and were followed by North and Buffone. North and Buffone were on remote somewhere that day, and they had technical difficulties at the beginning of their show. You guys signed off, went to commercial and then came back on the air imitating North and Buffone. Dan said (in the meatball accent) things like, “OK, we’ve got a great show today, we’re going to have Fritzie on later, uh, then we’re gonna give away a dog, then we’re gonna give away Fritzie, then we’re gonna give away some of Pappy’s money, so light ’em up like a Christmas tree!” Meanwhile, Terry was just making weird noises and saying “Um” and “Uh” a lot. If I remember right, that went on for at least 20 minutes, and you even took a couple phone calls from listeners who thought you really were North and Buffone.