The New Orleans Saints longtime public address announcer, Jerry Romig, joined the Eyewitness Morning News Wednesday to discuss his 44 years behind the microphone and his pending retirement.
Romig, the iconic voice of the Saints for nearly all of the team’s history, as public address announcer inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, will retire from his post this week, the team announced Tuesday.
His last game will be Friday’s preseason matchup against the Oakland Raiders, ending a 44-season, 445-game run in the position, both at the Superdome and at Tulane Stadium.
Jerry's son Mark will replace him as public address announcer, beginning with the season opener on Sept. 8, the team announced in a news release.
"Jerry has been a part of the Saints family since our third season and we couldn't be more grateful for his passion and love for the Saints as our PA announcer," said Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson.
"We are thrilled that his son, Mark, will carry on the Romig torch as our fans have an incredible affection for Jerry and his trademark call during games. Jerry's voice is embedded in our game experience and we know that fans will enjoy Mark as our new announcer as he carries on his father's legacy."
Romig proudly never missed a game, even during the post-Hurricane Katrina season when the Saints played in San Antonio, where he traveled to each game.
Romig, 83, has served as public address announcer since the team’s third season in 1969. Only two other people have held the position: Jack Dolan and – believe it or not – Buddy Diliberto.
Romig's booming voice - "First down, Saints!!!" and "It's Good!!!" - has accompanied more than four decades of memorable moments inside the Superdome throughout Saints history.
“It has been such a great honor. I have been honored by the leadership of this community, the Superdome and the Saints organization to be the voice of the Superdome,” said Jerry Romig in a statement.
“I’ve enjoyed every moment – there have been some great moments. There will probably be tears on Friday. I’m going to miss it; no doubt about it. I’m a fan and I like to keep that in mind all the time. I’ve been blessed–somebody has been watching over me for along to have kept me in front of that microphone for such a long time.”
In addition to Saints games, Romig has announced four Super Bowl games in New Orleans, as well as every Sugar Bowl and BCS contest.
Recent health issues, including back pain and several surgeries, have slowed Romig down some, which he and family members said led to his decision to retire, though his voice and mind are still as sharp as ever.
The Loyola University and Holy Cross High School graduate is a legend in local public relations, journalism and broadcasting circles as well, as a former executive at WDSU-TV, where he worked in the news, public affairs and programming department during the founding years of local TV in the 1950s and 1960s; and WLAE-TV, which he helped establish in the 1980s, as station manager and program host.
Just last month, Romig was honored by the Press Club of New Orleans with a special award recognizing his 50 years of service to the club, which he served as president in the 1960s and one of the founders of the Gridiron Show annual fundraiser and satirical review.
In 2009, he received the Joe Gemelli Fleur De Lis award from the Saints Hall of Fame, an award given to a person who has contributed to the betterment of the New Orleans Saints organization.
To honor Romig, the Saints will present him with a Super Bowl XLIV ring during pre-game of the Saints’ home opener against the Falcons.
Additionally, the house control booth inside the dome will be renamed the “Jerry Romig House Control Booth” in his honor, the team said Tuesday.