I may be a Ole Miss football fan but I’m also a fan of college football as whole. The passing of a college football broadcast legend is something which touches us greatly.
The college football world said goodbye to a broadcast legend Keith Jackson this past weekend. As an older Ole Miss football fan and a fan of college football it struck me to the core. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I can remember watching ABC on Saturday afternoons. This is when we only had three channels and ABC carried college football. If the Rebels were on the road then my butt was parked in front of the television.
Of course, Keith Jackson was one of the ABC college football broadcasters which covered the biggest game of the weekend. It would be a game like Michigan and Notre Dame or USC and UCLA. If Keith Jackson was making the call you could guarantee it would be a doozy. He was a great color man and he had that ever so recognizable voice. I always loved hearing him use his catch phrase of “whoa Nelly” after a big play.
RIP Keith Jackson
Ole Miss Rebels Football
Keith Jackson was born October 18, 1928 in Roopville, Georgia. After serving in the US Marine Corps Jackson studied speech communications at Washington State University where he graduated in 1954.
Of course, Jackson began his career in broadcasting while he was still attending Washington State. His first gig was calling a Stanford and Washington State game in 1952. It launched one of the most prolific careers in sports broadcasting.
Jackson joined ABC as a radio broadcaster and sports director in 1964. In 1966 he began his outstanding career with ABC Sports. While many remember his work as a college football color commentator, Keith Jackson called for a variety of different professional sports.
Jackson also did color work for ten different winter and summer Olympics. He was also a regular analyst for the ABC Wide World of Sports which covered a variety of amateur and professional athletic events.
Never Say Goodbye
Of course, he was great at what he did and how he did it for so long and so admirably is amazing. Sports broadcasting lost a legend this past Friday. Today there are few broadcasters who could hold a candle to Keith Jackson. Most are so bias they are unbearable to listen to. Keith Jackson was never that way and always called the game fairly.
It’s never easy losing a legend and especially worse when it is a man of character like Keith Jackson. Thankfully there are still the memories which carry us back to a great game we saw when we were younger. And of course, there is a legendary voice in the back of our minds calling the game. Rest in Peace Mr. Keith Jackson.