Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto

Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto

Bernard Saverio Diliberto, a.k.a. "Buddy" and/or "Buddy D" (August 18, 1931 – January 7, 2005) was a sports commentator in New Orleans for over 50 years. Buddy earned a Purple Heart for sustaining shrapnel wounds in the Korean War, during which he was a correspondent for Stars and Stripes. He got his start as a sportswriter at The Times-Picayune while attending Loyola University in 1950, eventually becoming the newspaper's daily sports columnist in his last two years of his stint there. His sportscasting career began at WVUE-TV in 1966, where he remained as its sports director/anchor until he switched to WDSU-TV in March 1981, becoming sports director/anchor at that station for 9 years. WDSU-TV had previously been dominated by sportscaster Wayne Mack in this television market.

Buddy D was either loved or hated. For the New Orleans Saints fans, Buddy was a caricature of all their hopes and the team's inadequacies. He hosted a daily sports talk show on WWL radio in New Orleans after years as the sports anchors on two different local news shows. If he thought the comments were ridiculous, he was apt to refer to the caller as a "squirrel." He succeeded noted sportscaster Hap Glaudi as host of this WWL (AM) radio show.

His ardent fans, such as "Abdul D. Tentmakur" and "Dr. Kevorkian" were as colorful as the host. In later years he would also read a halftime editorial during each Saints game. He campaigned for Mike Ditka to get the head coaching job after Jim Mora left. Buddy was the originator of the "Aints" in 1980 (and the paper bag over the head) as the team went 1-15 and also memorably characterized the despair of the typical Saints fan with the quip "When you go to Heaven after you die, tell St. Peter you're a Saints fan. He'll say, 'C'mon in, I don't care what else you done, you suffered enough.'"

During the week of Super Bowl XX, which was held in New Orleans, Diliberto reported that Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon had referred to the women of the city as "sluts" and the men as "idiots", which sparked controversy in New Orleans. McMahon later denied the statement by saying that he was a late sleeper and wouldn't have been up early enough on the day in question to make the comment. Diliberto apologized and was temporarily suspended from WDSU as a result.

Buddy D vowed after years of frustration to wear a dress and walk down the middle of Bourbon Street if the New Orleans Saints ever made it to the Super Bowl.

Buddy D suffered a massive heart attack and died on January 7, 2005. He is remembered by "Abdul D. Tentmakur" in numerous Mardi Gras parades with a memoriam on the front of the float carrying his band. Few sportscasters have ever had such an impact or such a following in such a relatively small local market. In the wake of the Saint's recent success, he has often been referred to by many as the patron Saint of New Orleans and the New Orleans Saints.

Read more about Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto:  Tributes To Buddy Diliberto

Famous quotes containing the words bernard and/or buddy:

    In literature the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language: the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it.
    —George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    So, my sweetheart back home writes to me and wants to know what this gal in Bombay’s got that she hasn’t got. So I just write back to her and says, “Nothin’, honey. Only she’s got it here.”
    Alvah Bessie, Ranald MacDougall, and Lester Cole. Raoul Walsh. Sergeant Tracey, Objective Burma, to a buddy (1945)