DISREGUARDIAN: Ron Burgundy, San Diego Icon, Dies at 23

Editor’s Note: The following is a satirical article for The DisreGuardian, a series of articles published annually for The Guardian’s April Fool’s issue. Sports will resume publishing normal content next week.

Broadcaster Ron Burgundy died Thursday, April 1, 2021 of natural causes, though his estate disputed this claim, instead saying that he died of “acute classiness.” Mr. Burgundy was a mainstay on the San Diego news station Channel Four, making many classic statements filling San Diegans everywhere with joy and appreciation. This tragic loss can only be remedied by the one thing Ron would want us to do — celebrate his life and accomplishments.

Burgundy was more than just “Stay Classy, San Diego.” His one-liners and professional coverage of the daily news will always be remembered by his loyal fanbase. From all of us who loyally watch Channel Four news each day for the simple pleasure of hearing the news, Burgundy will not be replaceable.

In the last known recording of Burgundy, he was on the Dan Patrick Show imitating some of the most famous sports calls ever. While it was shameful that Patrick’s writers did not include any of Burgundy’s great classic calls, his performance was still impeccable. Recapping “Duke” Davis’ call of Doug Flutie’s famous 1984 Hail Mary, Burgundy correctly prognosticated Flutie’s lack of professional success after throwing such a lucky pass, compared to what would have been a juggernaut career for Boston College receiver Gerard Phelan.

Burgundy was known for many things, but he might have no greater legacy than his championing of women’s rights. Burgundy is quoted as saying, “I’m gonna punch you in the ovary, that’s what I’m gonna do. A straight shot. Right to the baby maker.” His fight for equality truly knew no bounds, always looking for ways to bring women into the fold. The only tiny exception is when it comes to his profession, but I’m sure we could all relate to the sentiment he gives in, “It is anchorman, not anchorlady. And that is a scientific fact.” Biology has always been the best way of supporting chauvinism, and there really is no doubt that the anchorman has certain physical attributes which an anchorlady simply could not replicate, hence Burgundy’s insightful commentary.

Another inspirational Burgundy attribute was his humility. Nobody could be humble like Ron. Off the air, legend had it that he remarked, “Mmm. I look good. I mean, really good. Hey, everyone! Come and see how good I look.” Only calling people’s attention to his looks by describing them as good, rather than extraordinary and unfathomable, is masterful. 

Similarly, he described his great opulence in, “I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” Allowing others to experience just a piece of his exquisite life through his own account is charity enough, but combined with the understatement of his own importance and riches really just takes the cake. It is almost as if he did not recognize his own legend. Or perhaps he was aware, but knew that unleashing his full glory unto the world would be too much for the public to handle, so he selflessly shielded the world. 

Attempting to analyze the mind of Burgundy is a fool’s errand, but many will try after running through the play-by-play of all of his newscasts throughout his time at Channel Four news. Unfortunately though, in spite of the humble Burgundy indicating differently, all will fail to decipher his true meaning and priorities as he simply operates on a higher plane. 

While Burgundy’s life met a premature end, his impact will certainly be felt for generations to come. For all of us in the business of journalism, his complete dedication to professionalism and workplace etiquette will be an everlasting goal. For all of us in the San Diego community, his warm, knowing daily newscast will be sorely missed. Hopefully, we can all reflect on the great moments that have been reviewed, and the so many more which could never all be covered, to appropriately honor such a great man.

Stay classy, San Diego. 

Photo courtesy of Gareth Milner

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