While Georgetown’s legendary radio voice Rich Chvotkin has become famous for his victorious post game theatrics, there will be much to celebrate when the ball is tipped sometime around noon on Sunday when the Hoyas host Providence.
Chvotkin - who started calling Georgetown games at the start of the 1974-75 season - is being recognized by the university for hitting the big round number of 1,500 games.
Yes, that’s right.
One Thousand. Five Hundred.
“I never had long term aspirations,” Chvotkin admitted in a phone interview on Saturday.
In his 48th year calling the Hoyas, Chvotkin is one of the longest active broadcasters in the country. Duquesne’s Ray Goff has the longest current run at 54 seasons.
“We were lucky just to get on the air. We were very lucky to find stations. We were on four or five different stations before [Patrick] Ewing arrived as a player.”
Chvotkin, who made audition tapes during John Thompson Jr’s second season, did enough to impress the Hoyas Hall of Famer and got the full-time gig starting against Upsala on Nov. 30, 1974. While he says there was no way he or anyone else could have predicted the heights of Hoyas Hoops during his time on the call, he was drawn to the potential of the then-still new coach.
“I knew Thompson was going to turn the program around,” Chvotkin said.
“Never could have imagined the Final Fours but I wanted to be part of a good basketball tradition and I saw the potential.”
Chvotkin had done radio as an undergrad at Scranton and eventually ended up in the DC area with the Army at Walter Reed. A couple seasons into the job and there was serious doubt that the show would go on as Chvotkin had to once again try and sell the Hoyas locally.
“It was mid October and we didn’t have a station,’” Chvotkin remembered after WOOK decided to pull the plug on the operation.
“I went to the yellow pages and I looked up WEAM in Arlington. It was a Saturday morning but I still gave them a call. An engineer answered and he said to call back on Monday because it might be something that they were interested in. I called back and we got on the air. It was rough because for the first few games we didn’t have commercials so I was just on the air the entire time. Eventually they were sold on DC team with DC kids and the advertisers agreed.”
A psychiatrist by day, Chvotkin missed a large chunk of games in the 1990-91 season when he was called back to serve in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia. He was involved in combat stress control for the troops and even found time to catch the Hoyas NCAA Tournament games on Armed Forces Radio.
It’s always been about time management for Chvotkin who has to be able to juggle a full-time job, his family, and the Hoyas for half the year. He says he owes his family a bunch of holidays back - particularly Thanksgivings as he’s normally on the road with Georgetown during that busy time of the season. He credits his wife and children for always being very supportive of his part-time job that requires full-time passion. Speaking of family he’s very proud that his three children have ended up in the sports world for most of their adult lives after growing up in that environment.
Check this out to see what it’s like to watch Chvotkin call the end of a game:
Using the most recent numbers on sports-reference, Georgetown has played 2,803 games entering Sunday’s matchup with Providence. With 1,500 games soon to be under his belt, Chvotkin has called well more than half of all Georgetown games ever. Crazy, right?
As for the future, Chvotkin describes himself in good health and has no plans in slowing down anytime soon. That’s good news for Hoyas fans everywhere who need their fix of: ‘HOYAS WIN, HOYAS WIN’.