Get Out the Salami and Cheese, Chuck Swirsky Leaves Toronto

raptorsI didn't see this one coming. Chuck Swirsky is leaving his role as play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Raptors for a similar role with the Chicago Bulls. For ten years he was the voice of Raptors basketball but he's leaving us for "family reasons".

Love him or hate him, you noticed him. Swirsky was full of enthusiasm, cut from that Dick Vitale mold with the catch phrases and signature calls. He showed up in 1999, but I can't really remember who called the games before he arrived. Was it Rod Black? Was it Paul Romanuk?

I don't know who will call television games for the Raps next season, but they'll likely give Paul Jones a long look. Personally, I don't think Jones is ready for prime time. I say give the gig to Bob Cole.

Here's a little salami and cheese, Swirsky style.

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Comments (12 - click here to join in!)

Toronto Mike

To answer my own question, John Saunders called the games before Chuck Swirsky.

Let's bring Saunders back. He was pretty damn good.

May 6, 2008 @ 7:22 PM

Jim Johnson

Marv Albert!

May 6, 2008 @ 8:25 PM


I was floored to hear the news of Chuck's departure! Especially after he went through the trouble of becoming a Canadian Citizen. I loved Chuck's call, I didn't care much for his show on the fan but I'll miss that call. IMHO we've lost the second best play-by-play man in Toronto after Joe Bowen.

May 7, 2008 @ 9:07 AM


Tom Cheek beats them both.

May 7, 2008 @ 1:38 PM

Toronto Mike

Without a doubt, Tom Cheek is the best play-by-play guy I've ever heard in this city.

May 7, 2008 @ 1:40 PM

Toronto Mike

Oh, in case people haven't translated "family reasons" yet, it typically means "Mrs. Swirsky wants to live in Chicago".

May 7, 2008 @ 1:45 PM


I meant current play-by-play guys. Obviously Tom was great.

May 7, 2008 @ 4:26 PM

Toronto Mike

Yeah, there's a lack of greatness with our current play-by-play guys.

I still like a HNIC Leafs game with Bob Cole and Harry Neale. Bowen is fine, too, and Swirsky was great with the Raps. The Jays have been hurting on the TV side since the great Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez days.

May 7, 2008 @ 4:32 PM

random reader

I heard a dirty rumor that Swirsky will keep his afternoon show on the Fan somehow. PLEASE tell me this is not true. I stopped listening to the Fan because of Chuck. I'd like to turn on my radio in the afternoon without hearing him talk about Chicago or insult the people he once blindly praised.

May 7, 2008 @ 5:17 PM

Toronto Mike

I suspect he'll keep the job through the summer but will give it up when he moves to Chicago.

I think Chuck is good at calling basketball, but not very good at hosting a radio show. I can't listen to his afternoon show on the Fan 590.

May 7, 2008 @ 5:20 PM


chuck is the only person to sell the NBA(and with great success) in this city. Pretty tough job to do in this crazed blinfolded leaf nation. Before he came, the raptors and the NBA was relegated to a side show. He put a well-deserved spotlight on the raptor franchise which the MLSE and the whole of canada needs to be thankful of.

May 8, 2008 @ 10:17 AM


I was really surprised when I heard this one.

Chuck has been instrumental, I think, in making Raptor basketball games popular in Canada. No matter how they performed, he always had a Chuckism that made you want to watch JUST so you could hear it.

I don't know who they'll replace him with, but I can tell you this: He won't be as colourful and he won't be as animated.

I just can't believe we're about to put the Salami and Cheese away for good ....

Chuck was awesome.

May 8, 2008 @ 5:45 PM

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