“Voice of the Saints” Jim Henderson talks about how his high school basketball team bested a Super Bowl champion coach’s, what’s kept him in the business for so long and why the Saints are 6-8.
What kind of athlete were you growing up?
I would modestly describe myself as a very good high school athlete. I started for three years and was captain of the basketball team that lost to Tom Coughlin for the Section Five championship in New York.
What is your fitness regimen today?
I work out three or four times weekly and play tennis once or twice a week. I like to walk. My knees won’t let me run more.
For years, WWL has urged fans to “Turn down the sound, turn up the volume.” Do you think that still happens?
Yes. Judging by how many complaints I get out in public about fans’ inability to synch up the radio play-by-play with the TV broadcasts there must be quite a few.
Do you live and die with the Saints as much as the fans?
In no way do I live and die with the Saints on a weekly basis. If so, I would be long-since dead.
You have a very understated style. Is that something that comes naturally to you or did you have to work on it?
I try to be accurate and fair. I don’t think “screamers” have much longevity as play-by-play men unless you’re calling soccer.
Do you miss doing nightly sportscasts?
Not one bit. I’ve worked nights for 40 straight years. It’s nice to have some of the pressure off during football seson and the holidays when the job always had to come first, often at the expense of far more important family time.
Who was your favorite athlete when you were growing up?
Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock.
Who is your favorite athlete today?
I can’t say I have one.
Is there anything remaining on your sportscasting bucket list?
Continuing to do what I love in the business until I kick the bucket.
In a nutshell, why are the Saints 6-8?
Unprecedented distractions that have existed since last spring and show no sign of abating.