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Dallas sportscasting legend Dale Hansen retires from Channel 8 after 38 years

Dallas sportscasting legend Dale Hansen retires from Channel 8

Dale Hansen
Dale Hansen is pulling the plug from TV. WFAA/Facebook

One of the most famous faces in Dallas sportscasting is retiring from the TV game: Dale Hansen, a sports anchor and reporter on WFAA-Channel 8 for more than 38 years, will sign off on September 2, the station announced May 18.

“There's an old proverb that says all good things must come to an end, and it's true, all good things do,” Hansen, 72, said in a story posted on the WFAA website. “I've been waiting 25 years for the Cowboys to win another Super Bowl and I can't wait anymore.” 

Hansen started at WFAA in 1983, and his “Dale Hansen’s Sports Special” has been a fixture of WFAA’s Sunday night lineup since that year, the station notes.

Besides covering Dallas-Fort Worth teams in three Super Bowls, three Stanley Cup Finals, two World Series, and two NBA Finals, Hansen famously uncovered a pay-to-play scheme within the SMU football program in the '80s. His investigation subsequently led to the team's year-long "death penalty" in 1987.

In recent years, the always-outspoken broadcaster has sounded off on topics both sports-related and non-sports-related — from gun violence to taking a knee for the National Anthem — in his "Unplugged" segments. After they began going viral, the Washington Post wrote a 2018 story headlined, "Sports broadcaster Dale Hansen, ‘a fat, white guy in a deep red state,’ is an unlikely liberal hero."

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Hansen broadcasted his nightly sports reports from the back porch of his Waxahachie home, never missing an opportunity for banter with sparring partner (and buddy) Pete Delkus, WFAA's chief meteorologist.

Born in Logan, Iowa, Hansen began his career as a radio disc jockey in his home state. His first job in Dallas was with KDFW-Channel 4, before moving to Channel 8 in 1983.

In a statement online, WFAA President and General Manager Brad Ramsey says, “For more than 38 years Dale Hansen has informed and entertained our audience like no other, and we are forever grateful for his dedication to our team and to the North Texas community.

"From major breaking sports news, to powerful investigations, to standing up for human rights, Dale forged an unprecedented path and became so much more than a sports anchor. There will simply never be another Dale Hansen.”