Won DGA lifetime award in 2006

TV sports director Joseph R. Aceti has died. He was 76.

Aceti worked for all four major broadcast networks on every type of major sporting event including the Olympic Games in 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1992; the World Series in 1990, 1991 and 1992 as well as numerous Playoff Series; the World Figure Skating Championship from 1983-90; the U.S Open Tennis Tournament from 1984-87; NBA and NCAA basketball; NFL and collegiate football; Major League and college baseball; and ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” with some 300 shows as the coordinating director.

Aceti was also a premier director of boxing, helming some 80 major matches, including broadcasts of some of the greatest bouts, including Ali vs. Frazier (aka “the Thrilla in Manila”), Ali vs. Spinks II, Cooney vs. Holmes and Hearns vs. Duran.

“A lot of producers and directors try to make reality. This is a problem,” Aceti told told UNLV professor Lawrence J. Mullen in 1999. “They want to imprint themselves on it. To me what’s reality is what comes out of a game, and I don’t know what it will be before the game. That’s why it’s bad to clutter your brain with all the little articles and, as the producers like to say, lock it up. You don’t want to lock it up before the game.”

Raised in Highland Falls, N.Y., Aceti bcame an All-American baseball player and earned his B.A. at Colgate U. in fine arts, studying painting and sculpture.

He started his television career at ABC in 1964 and retired in 2001.

DGA president Taylor Hackford said, “Joe received the (DGA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, capping a career that by all measures placed him in the pantheon of sports direction.”

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