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‘Sports Machine’ George Michael Dead at 70

Sunday-night institution had been battling cancer for years.

Legendary sports broadcaster George Michael is dead.

According to a report out of Washington, Michael had been battling cancer for nearly two years. He was 70.

For 27 years, he was the anchor of the sports desk at D.C.’s Channel 4/WRC, but he was known to most as the host of "George Michael’s Sports Machine" — a nationally-syndicated sports highlights show that aired on NBC for more than 20 years, beginning in 1984.

It was a Sunday night institution for many sports fans, including me. (For those of a certain age, if you were a kid lucky enough to have a TV in your bedroom in the 80s — but unlucky enough not to have basic cable or ESPN — the "Sports Machine" was the show for catching up on the weekend in sports.)

Here’s the statement from NBC’s affiliate in D.C.: “George Michael was our friend and colleague for more than 25 years. He was a dynamic force around our newsroom and in the entire Washington area. George was a pioneer in sports broadcasting. He was a gifted interviewer, a master storyteller and one of the hardest working journalists out there. Our hearts go out to his wife, Pat, and his daughter, Michelle, both of whom also worked with us for many years, as well as the rest of his family.”

He will be missed.