Ted Williams, the “golden-voiced” homeless man featured in 2011’s first viral video, has apparently been offered full-time announcing work by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
To take the story back one notch: Williams was panhandling in Columbus, Ohio last month when a Columbus Dispatch reporter took this video:
“When you’re listening to nothing but the best of oldies, you’re listening to Magic 98.9!”
The Dispatch posted the video this Monday, it went global overnight, and by Wednesday Ted Williams was flying to New York to appear on local radio and the Today Show.
Williams is a trained announcer who had worked in radio before falling on hard times. He freely admits to struggles with alcohol and drugs, though he says he’s been two years sober.
As The Dispatch reports, he also has a lengthy rap sheet:
State records show that Williams served three months in prison in 1990 for theft, and nearly two
months in 2004 for theft, forgery and obstructing official business.
He was also cited for a dozen misdemeanors, including drug abuse and criminal trespassing. In
the past six months, he was cited four times for pedestrian solicitation near I-71 and Hudson
Street, the same intersection seen in the video.
The story seems to have moved from “great viral video!” stage to the “hope the sudden fame doesn’t make him crazy or drunk again!” stage. We’ll join that sentiment, with all good wishes.
Doral Chenoweth III, the reporter who took the video, did a live chat yesterday to describe how he got the original video. And The Dispatch now has all the latest updates on the story.