Whoa Nellie! Broadcasting icon Keith Jackson has passed away at 89.
A 40-year veteran broadcaster for ABC Sports, Jackson was the first play-by-play man on Monday Night Football, he called NBA games with Bill Russell and multiple Olympics, most notably Mark Spitz’s seven gold medals in Munich. Despite his many other accomplishments, Jackson will always be remembered for his contributions to college football.
The sound of Jackson’s voice meant it was time to watch the best college football game of the week. It wasn’t New Year’s Day until you heard Jackson open a broadcast with, “The Grandaddy of Them All,” from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It’s only fitting that his final call was Texas’ Rose Bowl National Championship victory over USC in 2006, and the final Rose Bowl the Roopville, Georgia-native got to watch was a captivating come-from-behind victory for the Bulldogs over Oklahoma.
Like many traditional broadcasters, Jackson had a signature line, “Whoa Nellie!” He explained the origin of the phrase to Dan Patrick last year.
Rest in Peace to a Legend. College Football will not be the same without Jackson.
One of the last, truly great announcers, a true legend: Keith Jackson, who gracefully stepped off the scene after calling the greatest championship game in history, passed away at 89–some highlights from the video dedicating the Rose Bowl’s Keith Jackson Broadcast Center: pic.twitter.com/0lF4sUoCEW
– RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) January 13, 2018
Click below for more of Jackson’s best calls.
Kordell Stewart’s Hail Mary
Woody Hayes Punches Clemson Player
“The Strip” on Lamar Thomas
Desmond Howard Strikes a Pose
We are saddened to hear of Keith Jackson’s passing.
An absolute icon, he was the Voice of the Rose Bowl and so many #B1G moments.
His calls, including this one, will live on forever. pic.twitter.com/zbE01ZxSfn
– Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 13, 2018
Ohio State Stuns Miami
RIP to the ðŸ Keith Jackson pic.twitter.com/ebXfy7iAWa
– Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) January 13, 2018