Chuck Swirsky

Chuck Swirsky (born January 30, 1954) is an American-Canadian radio sports announcer. He is the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Swirsky's association with Chicago sports started in 1979 with his WCFL AM 1000 talk show which debuted on August 27 of that year. Outside Chicago, Swirsky called play-by-play for both University of Michigan basketball and football and was formerly the play-by-play voice of the Toronto Raptors.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Swirsky grew up in Bellevue, Washington and is a graduate of Interlake High School.

Chuck Swirsky
Swirsky calling a Chicago Bulls game at the United Center in 2009.

Broadcasting and career

Starting in 1979, Swirsky hosted a nightly sports radio show on WCFL (AM 1000) where he talked Chicago sports with callers. Swirsky then moved to WLUP (The Loop) where he provided afternoon sports updates and hosted a Sunday night sports radio show from 9-11 PM thru 1981. During this time, Swirsky was named the Chicago Bulls public address announcer from 1980 to 1983. Swirsky next joined WGN radio in 1981 and remained through the mid-1990s. Swirsky hosted various sports talk shows and provided sports updates. While he was with WGN, he also did play-by-play for DePaul games alongside former coach Ray Meyer and also did Chicago Bears pre-game and post-game coverage. He also made frequent appearances on the Bob Collins radio show discussing Chicago sports, with Collins dubbing him "The Swirsk" as a nickname. During his time at WGN, a man dressed as Max Headroom hijacked a broadcast of Doctor Who and made a mocking reference to Swirsky, calling him "a frickin' liberal". Bruce Wolf frequently parodied Swirsky with a fictional character, "Chet Chitchat", which is a blended caricature of Chicago sportscasters Chet Coppock and Swirsky. During his time at WGN Radio, Swirsky filled in as a sports anchor on an occasional basis at WGN-TV.

Swirsky left WGN for Detroit where he did play-by-play for University of Michigan basketball in the mid-1990s. He was also sports director for WJR radio. Rob Pelinka was among his Michigan color commentators.[1]

Swirsky next moved to Toronto to become the play-by-play voice of the Toronto Raptors during the 1998–99 NBA season, first on the radio then for television beginning in 2001. On March 23, 2007, Swirsky was honored by the Raptors when they gave out 18,000 bobbleheads with his likeness.[2] He was known for his famous "Salami & Cheese" phrase, which was used to advertise Raptors game packs during the 2007–08 season.[3][4] Another catch phrase was "Onions, Baby, Onions." This was said when a player makes a three-point shot, and was used to advertise Raptors NBA TV HD.[5] He became a Canadian citizen on January 14, 2008.[6]

During the middle of his tenure in Toronto, Swirsky also hosted a sports radio show on CJCL (The Fan 590) called The Chuck Swirsky Show. Swirsky took listeners' calls and provided sports news with the show ending on July 31, 2008. On May 6, 2008, Swirsky left the organization for personal reasons related to his family.[7] His vacated position was filled by Matt Devlin.

He has since returned to Chicago to carry out the radio play-by-play for the Chicago Bulls[8] on its flagship station WMVP, which is the same station as Swirsky's first employer, WCFL. He has also called Chicago White Sox games in 2015 on a fill-in basis as substitution for the current play by play broadcaster, Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson.[9]

On September 7, 2016, Swirsky was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. In May 2018, Swirsky was inducted in to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the WGN Radio Walk of Fame.

Chuck Swirsky is married to Judy Swirsky.


  1. ^ O'Donnell, Jim (1995-02-19). "Lake Talk". Chicago Tribune. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  2. ^ "2006-07 Game Night Giveaways". Archived from the original on 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  3. ^ "Chuck's Salami and Cheese Pack". Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  4. ^ Chuck Swirsky Commercial: "Salami and Cheese" on YouTube
  5. ^ Chuck Swirsky Commercial: "Onions, Baby, Onions" on YouTube
  6. ^ "Going Canadian..." 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  7. ^ Smith, Doug (2008-05-06). "Raptors announcer Swirsky leaving for Bulls". Toronto: Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  8. ^ Smith, Doug (2008-05-07). "Now that's onions, baby! Swirsky done with Raps". Toronto: Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  9. ^ Mitchell, Fred (2015-05-24). "Ken Harrelson to miss White Sox road trip; Chuck Swirsky to sub". Chicago: Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-08-21.

External links

Bill Swerski's Superfans

"Bill Swerski's Superfans" was a recurring sketch about Chicago sports fans on the American sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live. It was a prominent feature from 1991 to 1992, and its characters have made various other appearances since its inception. The sketch is notable as a media portrayal of the Inland North dialect of American English that predominates in Chicago, most famously through the distinctive pronunciation of the phrase "Da Bears" (IPA: ˈd̪aː beɻs).


CJCL (590 AM, Sportsnet 590 The Fan) is a Canadian sports radio station in Toronto, Ontario. Owned and operated by Rogers Media since 2002, CJCL's studios are located at the Rogers Building at Bloor and Jarvis in downtown Toronto, while its transmitters are located near Grimsby atop the Niagara Escarpment. Programming on the station includes local sports talk radio shows during the day; CBS Sports Radio overnight; and live broadcasts of Toronto Blue Jays baseball, Toronto Raptors basketball, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, Toronto Marlies hockey, Toronto FC soccer, Buffalo Bisons baseball and Buffalo Bills football.

Due to its location near the bottom of the AM dial, as well as its transmitter power and height, CJCL covers most of southern Ontario during the day. The station's signal is directional from north to south to protect various lower-powered radio stations east and west of the station; the station, despite not having clear-channel status, can be heard through a stretch of eastern Appalachia at night under ideal conditions.

Chicago White Sox Radio Network

The Chicago White Sox Radio Network is an American radio network airing baseball games from the Chicago White Sox. The English-language flagship is WGN (720 AM) Chicago, with Spanish language coverage airing on WRTO (1200). The English language network consists of 19 stations The play-by-play announcers are Ed Farmer and Jason Benetti (who joins the broadcast team for national broadcasts and for White Sox's games where Ken Harrelson and Chuck Swirsky fills-in for him); the color commentator is Darrin Jackson.WSCR's contract with the White Sox expired after the 2015 season. As first reported by Robert Feder of, WLS (AM) 890, was to be the new White Sox flagship station from the 2016 through the 2021 seasons. However, WLS owner Cumulus Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2017 and entered into a restructuring agreement with certain of its lenders to reduce more than $1 billion in debt. The Bankruptcy Court allowed Cumulus and WLS to end its contract with the White Sox. WGN became the new flagship station of the Chicago White Sox on February 14, 2018.

Chris Bosh

Christopher Wesson Bosh (born March 24, 1984) is an American former professional basketball player. A high school "Mr. Basketball" in Texas, Bosh left Georgia Tech after one season to enter the 2003 NBA draft. He was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors in a draft class that included multiple future NBA superstars such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony.

While at Toronto, Bosh became a five-time NBA All-Star, was named to the All-NBA Second Team once, played for the U.S. national team (with whom he won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics), and supplanted former fan favorite Vince Carter as the face and leader of the Raptors franchise. In the 2006–07 season, Bosh led the Raptors to their first playoff appearance in five years and their first-ever division title. Bosh was nicknamed "CB4" by then-Toronto Raptors play-by-play commentator Chuck Swirsky, a combination of Bosh's initials and then jersey number. He left Toronto in 2010 as the franchise's all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks, and minutes played.

In 2010, after seven years with the Raptors, Bosh entered into a sign-and-trade deal in which he was traded to the Miami Heat. In Miami, Bosh joined fellow stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James; the trio became known as the Big Three. Bosh spent the second half of his career with Miami, appearing in the NBA Finals each year from 2011 to 2014 and winning NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. Bosh made the NBA All-Star team every year during his time in Miami. His career was cut short by a blood clotting condition that the NBA ruled to be a career-ending illness. Bosh played his final NBA game on February 9, 2016. Notwithstanding the NBA's ruling, Bosh fought to resume his playing career for three years before announcing in February 2019 that he intended to retire. On March 26, the Heat retired his no. 1 jersey in a ceremony before a regular season game with the visiting Orlando Magic.Seeking to promote sports and education amongst youths in Dallas and Toronto, Bosh set up the Chris Bosh Foundation and regularly speaks to youths about the benefits of reading.

Interlake High School

Interlake High School (IHS) is a public secondary school in Bellevue, Washington, one of the four traditional high schools in the Bellevue School District. Its mascot is a Saint Bernard named Bernie, and the school's sports teams are known as the "Saints."

Jack Armstrong (basketball)

John Joseph "Jack" Armstrong (born January 3, 1963) is a sportscaster, working primarily for the Toronto Raptors on TSN and NBA TV Canada. Armstrong is also the college basketball analyst for TSN.

John Saunders (journalist)

John Peterson Saunders (February 2, 1955 – August 10, 2016) was a Canadian-American sports journalist. He worked for ESPN and ABC from 1986 until his death in 2016.

List of Canadian radio programs

This is an incomplete list that is biased toward current and popular programming.

List of Chicago Bulls broadcasters

Broadcasters for the Chicago Bulls National Basketball Association team.

List of The Sports Network personalities

Past and present television personalities on The Sports Network.

List of current National Basketball Association broadcasters

The following is a list of current National Basketball Association broadcasters for each individual team entering the 2018–19 NBA season.

Matt Devlin (sportscaster)

Matt Devlin (born April 2, 1969 in Syracuse, New York), also known as Matty D, is a play-by-play TV announcer currently employed mainly by the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, having replaced Chuck Swirsky in 2008. His current on-air color commentator partners are Leo Rautins and Jack Armstrong.

Devlin spent three years (2001-2004) as the lead play-by-play voice of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, and three years for the Charlotte Bobcats. He has also done play-by-play for the NBA on TNT, MLB on TBS, NFL on Fox, Major League Baseball on Fox, and football and men's college basketball for Big Ten Network. For many years, he has provided commentary during the NBA Playoffs in the early rounds of the Western Conference. He has also hosted pre-game and post-game shows for the New York Yankee games on the MSG Network in the late 1990s during their World Series championship years.

Devlin served as the play-by-play man for NBC Sports' coverage of Wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics.Although technically employed by the Raptors organization, during the offseason he has occasionally served as a fill-in play-by-play announcer for both of the Raptors' broadcast partners, TSN and Sportsnet. This has included play-by-play for the CFL on TSN and for Sportsnet's coverage of the Rogers Cup (both in 2012), and for Sportsnet's Toronto Blue Jays coverage in 2013, 2016 and 2017. In addition, in the fall of 2011, during the NBA lockout, Devlin hosted the pre-game and post-game shows for Toronto Maple Leafs games on Leafs TV. (The Raptors and the Leafs are both owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which in turn is primarily owned by the parent companies of TSN and Sportsnet.)

Max Headroom (character)

Max Headroom is a fictional artificial intelligence (AI) character, known for his wit and stuttering, distorted, electronically sampled voice. He was introduced in early 1984. The character was created by George Stone, Annabel Jankel, and Rocky Morton. Max was portrayed by Matt Frewer as "The World's first computer-generated TV host", although the computer-generated appearance was achieved with prosthetic make-up and hand-drawn backgrounds. Preparing the look for filming involved a four-and-a-half-hour session in make-up, which Frewer described as "gruelling" and "not fun", likening it to "being on the inside of a giant tennis ball."

Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion

The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion was a television signal hijacking occurring in Chicago, Illinois, United States, on the evening of November 22, 1987, involving at least two unknown individuals. It is an example of what is known in the television business as broadcast signal intrusion. Two Chicago television stations had their broadcast signals hijacked by an unknown person wearing a Max Headroom mask and sunglasses. A homemade Max Headroom background rocked back and forth in the background.

The intruder was successful in interrupting two broadcast television stations within the course of three hours. The first incident took place for 25 seconds during the sportscast on the 9:00 PM news on WGN-TV Channel 9, and the second, two hours later, after 11:00 PM on PBS affiliate WTTW Channel 11 for about 90 seconds during a broadcast of an episode of the Doctor Who serial Horror of Fang Rock.

The second pirate broadcast, which lasted 90 seconds and was pre-recorded on videotape, featured the individual parodying WGN and television in general. The hacker rambled on making reference to Headroom's endorsement of Coke, the series Clutch Cargo, and WGN anchor Chuck Swirsky, then pretended to defecate as a "masterpiece for all the greatest world newspaper nerds", a reference to WGN's call letters ("World's Greatest Newspaper"). The video ended with the hacker’s exposed buttocks being spanked with a flyswatter by an accomplice before normal programming resumed.

The incident made national headlines and the people responsible have never been identified.

NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago is an American regional sports network. The channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports teams in the Chicago metropolitan area, as well as college sports events and original sports-related news, discussion and entertainment programming.

NBC Sports Chicago is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal (which owns 20%, and is itself owned by Comcast, the primary cable provider in the Chicago market), the family of Chicago Cubs owner J. Joseph Ricketts (who own 20%), Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf (who owns a 40% majority interest), and Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz (who owns 20%).

The channel is available on cable and fiber optic television providers in most of Illinois, and throughout northern Indiana, Iowa, Kenosha County, Wisconsin and southwest Michigan and nationwide on satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network. The network maintains main studios and offices located at 350 North Orleans Street, inside the River North Point Center in the Near North Side area.


Swirsky is a Belarusian surname, named for the former city of Swir, in what is now Belarus. It may refer to:

Chuck Swirsky (born 1954), sports commentator

Dale Swirsky, candidate for Winnipeg South Centre in the 2006 Canadian federal election

David Swirsky, vocalist for the Moshav Band

Rachel Swirsky (born 1982), science fiction & fantasy author

Robert Swirsky (born 1962), computer scientist, author, pianist

Seth Swirsky (born 1960), songwriter, recording artist, author


WCKL-FM (97.9 FM, "K-Love") is a non-commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Chicago, Illinois. The station is owned & operated by Educational Media Foundation and carries network programming from K-LOVE, EMF's main contemporary Christian music network. The station's broadcast tower is located atop the John Hancock Center.

Retired numbers
Key personnel
Division championships (21)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (9)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (100)

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