Wayne Walker

Wayne Harrison Walker (September 30, 1936 – May 19, 2017) was an American professional football player and sports broadcaster. He played fifteen seasons with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League, as a linebacker and placekicker. Walker played in 200 regular season games, the second most for a defensive player at the time.[1] He played in three Pro Bowls and was thrice selected as a first-team All-NFL player. After the 1972 season, he retired as a player and was a sports broadcaster for CBS and the sports director for KPIX-TV in San Francisco from 1974 to 1994. Walker was a weekend sportscaster during the off-season during his later years as a Detroit Lion.

Wayne Walker
No. 55
Position:Linebacker, placekicker
Personal information
Born:September 30, 1936
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Died:May 19, 2017 (aged 80)
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Boise (ID)
NFL Draft:1958 / Round: 4 / Pick: 45
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • 3x Pro Bowl selection (1963, 1964, 1965)
  • 3x All-Pro selection (1964, 1965, 1966)
Career NFL statistics
Games played:200
Extra points:172
Points scored:345
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, Walker graduated from Boise High School in 1954.[2] As a teen, he played American Legion baseball against hall of famer Harmon Killebrew of Payette;[3] Walker passed on an offer to play minor league baseball to attend college.[4]

College football

Walker played college football at the University of Idaho in Moscow, then a member of the Pacific Coast Conference, as a center and middle linebacker for the Vandals under head coach Skip Stahley.[5][6] Walker's teammate (and road roommate) at Idaho was Jerry Kramer. Both Walker and Kramer went on to play in the NFL, and both had their numbers retired at Idaho.[6][7]

As a senior in 1957, Walker was a team captain and was selected by the United Press as a second-team center on the All-Pacific Coast team.[8] In the East-West Shrine Game at San Francisco in late December,[9] he played on both sides of the ball and had five tackles, three assists, two interceptions, and blocked a kick; he was voted the outstanding defensive player of the game.[5][10][11] He also played in the College All-Star Game in mid-August 1958, helping the pro rookies defeat the Detroit Lions, his new team, 35–19.[12][13]

Professional football

Walker was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL draft, 45th overall, in December 1957, weeks before Detroit won the NFL title, their third of the decade.[2] He played for the Lions for 15 years from 1958 to 1972.[2] Walker appeared in 200 games for the Lions, a franchise record that was later broken by placekicker Jason Hanson.[14][15] He also scored 345 points, which ranked third in Lions history at the time of his retirement (currently ninth).[16] As a placekicker, Walker converted 53 of 131 field goal attempts for a 40.5% success rate,[2] the lowest field goal percentage in NFL history.[17] On extra points, he converted 172 of 175 attempts for a 98.3% success rate.[2]

Broadcasting career

After his retirement from the NFL, Walker was the sports director for KPIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco for twenty years, from 1974 to 1994, where he succeeded Barry Tompkins. He was also a sports commentator for the San Francisco 49ers' radio broadcasts for over twenty years and a commentator on Oakland Athletics baseball broadcasts[18] from 1976 to 1980 and 1985; he teamed up with fellow southern Idahoan Harmon Killebrew in 1979, but the struggling A's lost 108 games. Walker was also a color commentator on regional NFL games for several years on CBS, working many games with Tom Brookshier, who moved from color commentary to play-by-play beginning in 1981.[19]

Later years

Walker retired from broadcasting in 1999 and he and his wife Sylvia resided in the Boise area since 1994.[20] In 1994, he began hosting Incredible Idaho, a half-hour outdoor show on Boise's NBC affiliate, KTVB-TV.[21]

Diagnosed with throat cancer in June 2007, Walker lost 60 pounds (27 kg) after chemotherapy and radiation treatment. As of 2009 he was healthy again and had regained most of the lost weight.[20] In October 2015, Walker announced that he was suffering from Parkinson's disease, possibly as a result of the many concussions he suffered during his playing days.[22][23] He died on May 19, 2017, from complications from Parkinson's disease.[24][25][26]

In December 1999, Walker was ninth on the Sports Illustrated list of greatest sports figures from Idaho.[27]


  1. ^ "Former Idaho great, Wayne Walker, retires". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. January 19, 1973. p. 21.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Wayne Walker". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  3. ^ Shea, John (May 22, 2011). "Wayne Walker's Idaho link to Harmon Killebrew". SF Gate. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  4. ^ "Walker, Wayne | San Francisco / Northern California". emmysf.tv. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Wayne Walker". University of Idaho Athletics. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Missildine, Harry (January 21, 1988). "Get ready to welcome Wayne Walker". Idahonian. Moscow. p. 8A.
  7. ^ "Wilkins, Morris Idaho players of the year". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. January 23, 1988. p. B1.
  8. ^ "UP All-Pacific Coast". Nevada State Journal. November 26, 1957. p. 16.
  9. ^ "Three Idaho stars on West's club". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. December 1, 1957. p. 3B.
  10. ^ Boni, Bill (December 29, 1957). "West whips East, 27-13". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 1, sports.
  11. ^ "Idaho linemen shine as West topple favored East, 27-13". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. December 29, 1957. p. 8.
  12. ^ Strickler, George (August 16, 1958). "Stars upset Lions, 35-19". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1.
  13. ^ Jack Saylor (December 15, 1972). "Wayne Walker's 15 Years!". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D.
  14. ^ "Detroit Lions Gridiron Heroes: Wayne Walker". Detroit Lions. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  15. ^ "Player Season Finder Query Results". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  16. ^ "Player Season Finder Query Results". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  17. ^ "NFL Career Field Goal % Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  18. ^ "Wayne Walker dies at 80: Boise High and Idaho grad starred in NFL and as broadcaster". idahostatesman. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Longtime KPIX Sports Director Wayne Walker Dies At 80". Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  20. ^ a b SF Gate.com – 'Time goes by fast' in retirement - catching up with Wayne Walker – 2009-06-04
  21. ^ "Walker to host 'Incredible Idaho'". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Idaho-Washington. June 17, 1994. p. 1D.
  22. ^ "Former KPIX 5 sports director Wayne Walker suffering from Parkinson's linked to NFL career". (San Francisco): KPIX-TV. October 29, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  23. ^ Vlae Kershner (October 30, 2015). "Wayne Walker reveals he has Parkinson's disease". San Francisco Chronicle.
  24. ^ Kroner, Steve (May 19, 2017). "Wayne Walker, longtime Bay Area sports broadcaster, dies at 80". San Francisco Chronicle.
  25. ^ Dow, Bill (May 19, 2017). "Former Detroit Lions great LB/K Wayne Walker dies at 80 years old". Detroit Free Press.
  26. ^ "Wayne Walker, Lions LB, longtime 49ers broadcaster, dies at 80". NFL. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  27. ^ "The 50 greatest sports figures from Idaho". Sports Illustrated. December 27, 1999. Retrieved April 16, 2016.

External links

1957 Idaho Vandals football team

The 1957 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1957 NCAA University Division football season. The Vandals were led by fourth-year head coach Skip Stahley and were members of the Pacific Coast Conference. Home games were played on campus at Neale Stadium in Moscow, with one home game in Boise at old Bronco Stadium at Boise Junior College.

Led on the field by quarterbacks Howard Willis and Gary Kenworthy, Idaho compiled a 4–4–1 overall record and were 0–3 in the PCC.

The Vandals suffered a third straight loss in the Battle of the Palouse with neighbor Washington State, falling 21–13 at Rogers Field in Pullman on November 16. The loss prevented the first winning season for Idaho football since 1938. In the rivalry game with Montana, the Vandals ran their winning streak over the Grizzlies to six and retained the Little Brown Stein.

1964 Detroit Lions season

The 1964 Detroit Lions season was the 35th season in franchise history.

1968 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1968 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's first year in professional football.

Paul Brown, who left the Cleveland Browns following the 1962 season with National Football League (NFL) record of 115–49–6, seven conference titles, and three NFL championships, had the urge to get back into football. His son Mike Brown did a study on pro football expansion and recommended Cincinnati as a potential site. In 1965, Brown met with Ohio Governor James Rhodes and the two agreed the state could accommodate a second pro football team.

1966 – Fearful the Cincinnati Reds baseball team would leave town and feeling pressure from local businessmen pushing for a pro football franchise, Cincinnati's city council approved the construction of Riverfront Stadium.

1967 – Brown's group was awarded an American Football League (AFL) expansion franchise. Brown named the team the Bengals, the name of Cincinnati's pro teams in the old AFL of the late 1930s. The Bengals acquired their first player late in the year when they traded two draft picks to Miami for quarterback John Stofa.

1968 – The Bengals were awarded 40 veteran players in the allocation draft. In the college draft, they selected University of Tennessee center Bob Johnson as their first pick. The Bengals lost their first preseason game 38–14 to the Kansas City Chiefs before 21,682 fans at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium. The Bengals upset the Denver Broncos 24–10 and the Buffalo Bills 34–23 in their first two regular-season home games. Halfback Paul Robinson led the AFL in rushing with 1,023 yards and was named Rookie of the Year.

1972 Detroit Lions season

The 1972 Detroit Lions season was their 43rd in the National Football League (NFL). The team improved on their previous season's output of 7–6–1, winning eight games. The team missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Linebacker Wayne Walker established a new team record for games played at 200. It was also the final season for longtime defensive back Dick LeBeau.

1984 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1984 San Francisco 49ers season was their 39th season in the National Football League. The season was highlighted by their second Super Bowl victory. The franchise had their best season ever with a record of 15 wins and only 1 loss. Quarterback Joe Montana would be awarded the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player Award for the second time in his career, joining Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw as the only two time Super Bowl MVP's.

The 1984 49ers became the first team to win fifteen games in the NFL's regular season since the league went to a sixteen-game schedule in 1978. The 49ers, if not for their loss to the Steelers, would’ve become the 2nd team after the 1972 Miami Dolphins to complete a perfect season, and the Niners would’ve been the first to do so since the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule.

The 1985 Chicago Bears, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 2011 Green Bay Packers, and the 2015 Carolina Panthers would later join the 1984 49ers to finish 15–1, although the 2007 New England Patriots would exceed this feat by finishing the regular season at an unbeaten 16–0. In the playoffs, the 49ers would pick up the 1 seed. They defeated the Giants 21-10 in the divisional round, then they shutout the Chicago Bears 23-0 and then defeated the Miami Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX. This 49ers team has gone down as the best in franchise history and many call this season the best in Joe Montana's career.

Albany ward (local government)

Albany ward is an Auckland Council ward which elects two councillors and covers the Hibiscus and Bays and Upper Harbour Local Boards. The two councillors are currently John Watson and Wayne Walker.

Are You Sincere

"Are You Sincere" is a song written by Wayne Walker, originally released in 1957. Andy Williams released the song as a single under the Cadence Records label in 1958, with an orchestra conducted by Archie Bleyer, and it reached #3 on the Billboard chart. Since Williams' success the song has been covered many times in pop and country styles.Elvis Presley recorded it on September 24, 1973 at his home in Palm Springs, California. It first appeared on the 1973 album Raised on Rock / For Ol' Times Sake, and then saw release as a single after his death, reaching #10 on the U.S. country chart. It appeared on Disc 4 of Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Essential '70s Masters.

Kenny Walker (American football)

Kenny Wayne Walker (born April 6, 1967) is a former defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos and the first deaf player to have played in the Canadian Football League and one of only five to have played in the National Football League.

Leavin' on Your Mind

"Leavin' on Your Mind" is a famous Country/Pop song written by Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce was popularized by Joyce Smith in 1962.

Patsy Cline herself puts a wrinkle into this. The story goes that she was in Owen Bradley’s office one day, heard the record Smith made, and immediately wanted the song for herself. According to Smith, “He said, ‘no you can’t have it. I’m going to see what that Canadian gal does with it.’” Cline apparently said pretty please with sugar on top, but Bradley and the label wouldn’t back down. Smith’s single, released in 1962, didn’t crack the top-40, but sold more than 100,000 copies, a major hit for a first record and enough that the Canadian gal recouped the considerable studio expenses and actually made a little money in royalties. Patsy Cline wound up recording the song and releasing it in 1963. It didn’t make the hit parade, either. It was her last single before she died in a plane crash in March of that year. Unlike her earlier hits "Crazy" and "I Fall to Pieces", "Leavin' On Your Mind" was an unfortunate failure on the pop chart, where it stalled at #83. However, the song today remains a classic in Country music. Initially, Cline was going to release the single on her next upcoming, fourth album called Faded Love, along with two other singles that year.

However, the album was never released due to the tragic event that ended her life, which was a plane crash that March. The album was to be released at the end of March. Instead, the album was released on a double compilation album called The Patsy Cline Story. This album featured all of Cline's big hits, starting for her first in 1957 to 1963. The album was a huge hit and is still being sold today.

List of NFC Championship Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television and radio networks and announcers who have broadcast the National Football Conference Championship Game throughout the years. The years listed concentrate on the season instead of the calendar year that the game took place. The forerunner to the NFC Championship Game (prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger) was the NFL Championship Game.

List of NFL on CBS commentator pairings

CBS Sports began televising National Football League games in 1956. The network inherited the rights to games of most of the teams from the defunct DuMont Television Network; back then, each NFL team negotiated its own television deal. From 1956 to 1967, CBS assigned their commentating crews to one team each for the entire season. Beginning in 1968, CBS instituted a semi-merit system for their commentating crews. Following the 1993 season, there was no NFL on CBS after the network lost its half of the Sunday afternoon TV package (the National Football Conference) to the Fox Broadcasting Company. However, CBS gained the American Football Conference package from NBC beginning in 1998. The names of the play-by-play men are listed first while the color commentators are listed second; sideline reporters, when used, are listed last.

List of San Francisco 49ers broadcasters

The 49ers' flagship radio stations are KSAN 107.7 FM ("The Bone"), KNBR 680 AM, and KTCT 1050 AM. KSAN airs all 49ers games on FM. On AM, they are simulcast on KTCT in August, September, and October and on KNBR from October to the end of the season. All three stations are owned by Cumulus Media. Joe Starkey, best known as the voice of the University of California and The Play, was previously the color commentator on the broadcasts next to legendary announcer Lon Simmons in 1987 and 1988 and took over as lead commentator in 1989. Lon Simmons and Gordy Soltau did the broadcasts on KSFO in the 1950s and 1960s. For a brief period in the late 1970s and early 1980s Don Klein, the Voice of Stanford did the 49er games. Starkey first teamed with former Detroit Lions and KPIX Sports Director, Wayne Walker and then former 49ers linebacker Gary Plummer formed the broadcast team from 1998 to 2008, with Starkey retiring after the 2008 season. Ted Robinson replaced Starkey and teamed up with Plummer for the 2009-10 seasons, then with Eric Davis from 2011-13. Since 2014, Robinson has teamed up with Tim Ryan on the broadcasts.

Most preseason games are telecast on KPIX, channel 5, with Robinson and Ryan. Bob Fitzgerald, the TV voice of the Golden State Warriors, does play-by-play and Keena Turner provides color commentary on the radio in the preseason.

Regular season games are mostly broadcast locally on FOX (KTVU), though some games are broadcast on CBS (KPIX) if the 49ers host a team from the AFC. Nationally televised night games on Sunday Night Football (NBC) and Monday Night Football (ESPN), as well as Thursday night special games (NFL Network), are also occasionally played (though the number of these broadcasts is dependent on the 49ers' success from the previous season, however under current television rules the 49ers and/or their crosstown rivals the Oakland Raiders get at least one national TV game each year because of complications relating to the Bay Area television market).

Paper Lion

Paper Lion is a 1966 non-fiction book by American author George Plimpton.

In 1960, Plimpton, not an athlete, arranged to pitch to a lineup of professional baseball players in an All-Star exhibition, presumably to answer the question, "How would the average man off of the street fare in an attempt to compete with the stars of professional sports?" He chronicled this experience in his book, Out of My League.

To write Paper Lion, Plimpton repeated the experiment in the National Football League, joining the training camp of the 1963 Detroit Lions on the premise of trying out to be the team's third-string quarterback. Plimpton, then 36 years old, showed how unlikely it would be for an "average" person to succeed as a professional football player. The book is an expanded version of Plimpton's two-part series which appeared in back-to-back issues of Sports Illustrated in September 1964. The book's epilogue is also an expanded article from Sports Illustrated which appeared one year later.Plimpton had contacted several teams about his idea including his hometown New York Giants and New York Titans (an American Football League team that would change their name to the New York Jets) and Baltimore Colts. The Lions finally agreed to host Plimpton in their training camp. The coaches were aware of the deception but the players were not until it became apparent that Plimpton did not know how to receive the snap from center. Despite his struggles Plimpton convinced head coach George Wilson to let him take the first five snaps of the annual intra-squad scrimmage conducted in Pontiac, Michigan. Plimpton managed to lose yardage on each play.

Feeling confident he could do better, Plimpton hung around training camp one more week as the team prepared for its first pre-season game against the Cleveland Browns, being sure if the Lions had a big enough lead near the end of the game, Wilson would let him play. However, team officials informed Plimpton at halftime that NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle would not allow him to play under any circumstance. The next day Plimpton packed up and ended his experiment. Before he left, however, the Lions awarded him a gold football that was engraved: "To the best rookie football player in Detroit Lions history."The book is memorable as one of the first to showcase the personalities of the players and coaches and what happens off the field. Figuring prominently in the book are linebacker Wayne Walker, quarterback Milt Plum, future Hall of Famers cornerback Dick "Night Train" Lane and middle linebacker Joe Schmidt, and defensive tackle Alex Karras, among others. However, Karras's inclusion is exclusively through the stories about him told by teammates, coaches and other team personnel. Karras missed the 1963 season serving a suspension for gambling on football games.Prior to Paper Lion, Plimpton had pitched to major league baseball players and sparred with boxing great Archie Moore, but the success of this book, which was later adapted into a 1968 film starring Alan Alda as Plimpton, helped launch a kind of second career for Plimpton as an everyman athlete. Plimpton followed Paper Lion with books about golf and ice hockey, as well as two more football books.

In an interview with Tom Bean and Luke Poling, the filmmakers of the documentary, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, Joe Schmidt talked about how the team reacted to Plimpton's presence. "He tried to blend in with the rest of the team, but after a while you could just see that George wasn't much of an athlete. You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to figure that one out. You're in training camp and you're all pretty good football players, and George comes along, and he's sort of emaciated looking, you know he's not too physical of a specimen. And he couldn't throw the ball more than 15 yards."

Playin' Favorites

Playin' Favorites is an album by American singer-songwriter Don McLean, released in 1973. It was re-issued by BGO Records in 1995.

Pride (Janie Fricke song)

"Pride" is a song written by Wayne Walker and Irene Stanton, and recorded by American country music artist Janie Fricke. It was released in February 1981 as the second single from her album I'll Need Someone to Hold Me When I Cry. The song reached #12 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and #1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.


WTOB-FM, also known as "Activa 103.9", is a Regional Mexican radio station located in Greenville, South Carolina.

The station is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the town of Easley and broadcasts on 103.9 FM with an effective radiated power of 6,000 watts.

WTOB-FM is locally programmed with its studio located at UCG University Center in Greenville, SC and the only FM Spanish radio station in Upstate South Carolina besides WCSZ-AM's FM translator W235BM 94.9.

Wayne Walker (politician)

Wayne Walker is a New Zealand politician who is an Auckland councillor.

Wayne Walker (wide receiver)

Ronald Wayne Walker (born December 27, 1966) is a former American professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL), World League of American Football (WLAF), Canadian Football League (CFL) and Arena Football League (AFL). He played for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, the San Antonio Riders of the WLAF, the Ottawa Rough Riders and Shreveport Pirates of the CFL, and the Tampa Bay Storm of the AFL. Walker played collegiately at Texas Tech University.

What Did I Promise Her Last Night

"What Did I Promise Her Last Night" is a song recorded by American country music artist Mel Tillis. It was released in November 1977 as the second and final single from the album Love's Troubled Waters. The song was written by Ronald McCown and Wayne Walker.

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