|Other names||"The Bird"|
|Alma mater||Syracuse University, B.A. 1990 (Journalism)|
Ian Eagle (; born February 9, 1969) is an American sports announcer. He calls NFL and college basketball games on CBS, NBA games on TNT, Brooklyn Nets games on the YES Network and French Open tennis for Tennis Channel. Other announcing experiences include Army-Navy football games, boxing, and NCAA track and field for CBS. He is a graduate of Syracuse University. He is known as "Bird" or the "Birdman".
Eagle was born to entertainers Jack Eagle and Monica Maris. Jack, a former "Catskills comedian" and commercial actor, was best known for portraying "Brother Dominic" and "Mr. Cholesterol" in Xerox and Fleischmann's margarine television commercials respectively in the 1970s. Maris was a singer.
Eagle began his career by announcing football, basketball, and lacrosse for the Syracuse Orangemen on WAER, a student run radio station. While at Syracuse, he was in the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Following his graduation in 1990, Eagle began working for WFAN Radio in New York City as a producer. In 1992, WFAN gave him his own show (Bagels and Baseball). In 1993, Eagle was given pregame and postgame duties for the Jets. 1994 saw Eagle's first year as a Nets play-by-play radio announcer. A year later, he was made a TV announcer for SportsChannel, which later became Fox Sports Net New York (now MSG Plus). In 1997, WFAN made Eagle play-by-play announcer for Jets games.
Eagle joined CBS in 1998 doing announcing work for NFL and NCAA basketball. He continues to serve these roles today. In 2010, he joined Dan Fouts to make up the number three broadcast team for CBS' NFL coverage. The pair was elevated to the number two team behind Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the 2014 season. Other CBS work includes boxing, The Pilot Pen Tennis tournament, the U.S. Open (both the late night show and daytime studio host for 2008 U.S. Open coverage), and the NCAA Track and Field Championships.
Prior to joining the YES Network as Nets announcer in 2002, Ian Eagle served the same role for the Nets on the MSG Network and Fox Sports Net New York. When Marv Albert joined the YES Network prior to the 2005-06 NBA season, the games were split between the two broadcasters, before Eagle again became the primary announcer for the Nets in the 2011-12 NBA season upon Albert's departure.
During the 2010 NBA Playoffs, Eagle called two games on TNT, a likely move to promote him to calling national television broadcasts, similar to what Albert, former Minnesota Timberwolves play-by-play man Kevin Harlan and Knicks play-by-play man Mike Breen experienced. He was again called up by TNT for the 2011 NBA Playoffs, pairing with his YES colleague Mike Fratello. He also does play-by-play for Thursday Night Football on Westwood One. On Sirius, in addition to his daily talk show, Eagle did a weekly talk show, The Phil Jackson Show, with Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson. And Eagle retains his roots to WFAN, occasionally serving as a fill-in talk show host on his old station.
Eagle also serves as the voice-over host of NBA Action and previously, NBA Jam. In 2013, he called the international telecasts of the 2013 NBA Finals alongside Jim Spanarkel, his partner on Nets broadcasts on YES.
Since Eagle pronounces his first name "EYE-un" (instead of the more common "EE-an"), he has often admitted that life was easier prior to the 1986 release of the movie Iron Eagle. In fact, many callers (including prominent sports figures) continue to call him "Iron Eagle"--much to his chagrin.
June 18, 2013 - Eagle was the play-by-play announcer for the international telecasts of the 2013 NBA Finals. In Game 6, Ray Allen hit a 3 pointer to tie the game with 5.2 seconds left in the 4th quarter to keep Miami's championship hopes alive. Eagle's call of the play:
15 seconds to play, Chalmers has made big shots in his career. Chalmers swings it, James a threeeee... no good! Rebound, Bosh has got it, clears. Allen fires! OH HO! Ray Allen! He drills it! We are tied at 95! 5 seconds to go!
May 3, 2016 - Eagle was the play-by-play announcer for TNT's coverage of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup between the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors. Kyle Lowry hit a buzzer beating half court shot to tie the game at the end of regulation.
Monty McCutchen hands to Joseph. They need a 3 to tie. Lowry, half court heave, a prayer at the buzzer! [buzzer sounds] OHHH! KYLE LOWRY! HE HITS! OVERTIME IN TORONTO! Lowry lets it fly! And we've got bonus basketball in Game 1!
April 25, 2018 - Eagle was the play-by-play announcer for TNT's coverage of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James scored 44 in the game, and made a buzzer-beating 3 to put the Cavaliers up 3-2 in the series.
3 seconds left, Cleveland triggers in. James, 2 seconds, 1 second, for the win! [buzzer sounds] OH HO! LEBRON JAMES DELIVERS! THAT'S A WINNER... IN CLEVELAND! 44 for 23. The Cavaliers take a 3-2 lead in the series.
December 9, 2018 - Eagle and Dan Fouts were the NFL on CBS announcers for the Week 14 matchup between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, now known as the Miami Miracle or Miracle in Miami. Eagle's call of the final play:
Seven seconds left. Tannehill will throw it... and this will end it after the shovel. Or will it? Miami running around. Circling. Oh look out! GRONKOWSKI! DIDN'T HAVE THE ANGLE! TOUCHDOWN! OH HO KENYAN DRAKE! A MIRACLE! Miraculous in Miami! Stills... to Parker... to Drake! A lateral... heard around the world!
March 21, 2019 - Eagle and Jim Spanarkel were the CBS announcers for the Seton Hall-Wofford game in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament. During Wofford's 17-2 run that ended the Terriers' 84-68 win, Fletcher Magee, who had set the Division I men's record for career three-pointers earlier in the game, hit a catch-and-shoot turning fadeaway three-pointer from the corner, with Eagle making the following call:
BULLSEYE! FLETCHER MAGEE... IS NOT HUMAN!
Eagle lives in Essex Fells, New Jersey with his wife Alisa and their two children, Noah and Erin. His son Noah is also a Syracuse alum and currently is the radio play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Clippers.