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“Aloha means aloha!” – Larry Beil returns to SportsCenter

“How many dudes had to call in sick for them to go down to the top-secret cryogenics lab in Bristol and thaw out Larry Beil?”

With that quip from Beil himself, one of SportsCenter’s most popular anchors from the 1990’s was back in the SC chair.

Larry Beil, a mainstay on SportsCenter from 1996-2000, has returned to the program this week as a guest anchor for three nights. Filling in for Stan Verrett, who is attending a conference, Beil is co-hosting the 1 a.m. ET edition of the program from Los Angeles with longtime friend Neil Everett.

Beil, who has been sports director for ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco since leaving ESPN, and Everett have a common background in Hawaii but their simultaneous time at ESPN was only a few months and they had never hosted a show together. They started discussing the possibility of remedying that situation during the NBA Playoffs.

“The Warriors got good, and that was the catalyst for this,” Beil said.

SportsCenter’s coverage of the Golden State Warriors created corporate synergy and sharing of resources between ESPN and KGO. Everett traveled to the Bay Area to do SportsCenter programs, and he and Beil got together over lunch. The idea was spawned for Beil to fill in for Everett’s regular partner Verrett.

Their first show together opened with a montage of clips of Beil’s previous time on SportsCenter, including a “This is SportsCenter” spot with famed boxing announcer Michael Buffer and Beil’s catchphrase “Aloha means goodbye,” which he started using to describe home runs and it became his signature call.

Everett welcomed his friend to the show with his own signature word, which goes back to his days in Hawaii. “Howzit!,” Everett said. “Larry Beil is back on SportsCenter. Kids, I want you to Google him, and aloha means aloha.”

It was about 20 minutes into the show before Beil broke out his catchphrase, using it while calling a highlight of Philadelphia Phillies slugger Cameron Rupp knocking one out against the San Francisco Giants, a team Beil covers daily in his regular job. “Aloha means goodbye” brought a resounding “Yes!” in the background from Everett.

Asked if he ever tires of people asking him about his catchphrase, Beil said definitely not.

“That’s my homage to Hawaii, and so I’m all in on that and more than happy to hear people saying it and repeating it,” he said.

“In fact, Neil and I were talking and we both have Hawaii roots so we’ve got to come up with some Hawaii-oriented catchphrases,” Beil said. “He’s got ‘Howzit,’ and that’s well-established, so we’re going to put our heads together on that.”

“I looked up to Larry when he was a sportscaster in Hawaii,” Everett said. “When I landed at ESPN, I was excited that our paths had crossed again. He left Bristol shortly thereafter, so this pairing has been a long time coming. If we don’t do a very large number in Hawaii I will be shocked.”