Even though I’m 28, I can remember the days when you couldn’t get the University of Kentucky pre-game shows on anything other than your radio. No iHeart radio or streaming it on a website. I can remember my dad having a radio on in the house or driving to our soccer games with 1530AM on the car radio hours before kickoff or tip-off when I was growing up in Cincinnati.
As years passed, voices changed, but Oscar Combs was always there. Living away from Kentucky these past years, I had to rely on radio shows to feel like I was back home, and Combs was that connection. The stories, the history, the point spreads and the referees — he knew it all. Hearing of his retirement took me back to sitting in the backseat of a parked minivan counting down the time before the game.
He wasn’t just a voice on the radio or the man who created the Cat’s Pause. He was that connection to home and family. Thanks to Combs for the memories. While my future children might not be able to hear his words, he can rest assured they will know his name.