'He never let me down': 49ers broadcaster Greg Papa proud to be Gary's younger brother

In the San Francisco Bay Area, his voice is legendary, but here in Philadelphia, so is his last name.

Greg Papa is the voice of the San Francisco 49ers. It's his fifth pro team in the city.

"I did the A's games for 14 years, Giants, Warriors, obviously the Raiders games, but going to the 49ers, I'm the first to do all five," he says.

But what he's most proud of is being Gary's little brother.

"I often said I had an audience of one that I wanted to impress and it would be my older brother who was the reason I went into this," Greg tells Action News. "There's no doubt, he was the biggest influence in my life, in my career. I think about him often even though he's been gone for over 10 years. Wish he would hear me do this."

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It's uncanny the similarities between the two. Greg makes his calls in the booth with the passion of a hometown fan, just the way Gary would deliver the sports each night here at Action News.

"You want to say he brought his star with him to Philadelphia, that wasn't true, he became a star in Philadelphia," recalls Greg. "He had a certain posture in the studio, and presence, he just had the ultimate presence and confidence and passion. When he looked into that camera and talked to you, it was like you were in a bar together having a beer and he was just talking to you. He just had a warmth about him."

The relationship Gary shared with Philadelphia fans, was a special one because he never hid the fact that he was one himself.

Greg says the mutual respect left a huge impact on both of them.

"When Gary was really sick and the fans were embracing him and the fans were chanting his name, they knew what he was up against. He played that for me so many times, he was so proud of that bond," said Greg.

And Greg Papa, will always be proud of the giant legacy his big brother left behind.

"He had an influence on me in what I do, but more importantly, he had an influence on who I am, and I hope he's proud of me in all regards because he never let me down! He could fly off the handle and be crazy but he was always genuine and he just was Gary," said Greg.
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