Irv was a pioneer in making cross sports television more inclusive. His work in the groundbreaking “The NFL Today” helped bring many more black faces to the screen.
Cross died at the age of 81 on Sunday. his death Was announced by the eagles, For whom Cross played as a defensive back from 1961–65 and 1969. (He also played for Rama from 666–68.) No cause of death was given.
Cross made history in 1971, exactly one year after retiring from football, when he became the first black fulltime network TV sports analyst to host NFL games and studio shows for CBS. His broadcasting career began several years ago while he was still playing; He did radio and TV sports in Philadelphia.
In 1975, he was cast alongside Greek “Snyder” for the premiere of CBS's live NFL pregame show “The NFL Today” with Felice George, Brent Moosberger and Jimmy. George was the first woman to report full-time on the NFL on television on the network. He died in May 2020.
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Cross worked on “The NFL Today” through 1989 and was with CBS through 1994.
“He was a true gentleman and a trailblazer in the sports television industry and will be remembered for his accomplishments and the paths he leads,” CBS Sports President Sean McManus Said in a prepared statement.
Moussberger called Cross “the go-to mainstay” on “The NFL Today”.
Many of them acknowledged the influence of the cross.
It was my honor to talk to the great Irv Cross last month in June about how he and the equally great Sunny Hill-two Philistine legends broke barriers and became Black TV broadcasters for young children like me. Rest in power, Mr. Cross: https://t.co/OIOvr6KYuw
– David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) March 1, 2021
Rip a legend. As a child, I watched NFL Today every Sunday to dream of football. Little did I know, the Black Announcer was a former pro bowler showing a way that I and many other players would follow the TV booth. pic.twitter.com/AKkCVvEX6r
– Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) March 1, 2021
The Pro Football Hall of Fame honored Cross with the Pete Roselle Radio-Television Award in 2009.