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Ex-Bears announcer McConnell passes away

Former Bears radio play-by-play announcer Joe McConnell passed away Sunday following an extended illness. He was 79.

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Joe McConnell spent eight seasons as the radio voice of the Bears. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University.)

McConnell spent eight seasons as the "voice of the Bears" from 1977-84. During that time he got the opportunity to chronicle Bears playoff teams in 1977 and 1979 and Walter Payton breaking the NFL's all-time rushing record.

McConnell was best known as the radio voice for Purdue football, serving in that capacity from 1994 through 2009. Last November he was elected to the Indiana Broadcasters Pioneers Hall of Fame and the visiting team's radio booth at Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium is named after him.

Throughout his long and distinguished career, McConnell also did play-by-play for the NFL's Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Oilers, the NBA's Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers, and Major League Baseball's Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins.

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