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Keith Jackson, The Voice of College Football, Passes Away

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.

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

Ohio State Stuns Miami


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

4 Comments for Keith Jackson, The Voice of College Football, Passes Away

  1. katmandue2you
    12:12 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    In this day of multi-media saturation and gluttony of sport on endless networks, I’m not sure if millennials or even GenXers can appreciate the iconic nature of these figures like Keith Jackson that was so ingrained into the fabric of our society. It may seem like ancient history to some but to those of us that grew up in the sixties and seventies it seems such a short time ago that Keith Jackson dominated Saturday football telecasts. I would say the defining essence of Keith Jackson was how eloquently he executed his craft with his trademark southern dialect. Bama and Georgia in the national championship with Keith Jackson in his prime making the call would have been a complete jewel. Whoa Nellie!

    • UK Big Board Update
      1:57 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

      Speak for yourself.


      A GenXer

  2. katmandue2you
    3:31 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    That’s exactly what I was doing…speaking for myself. Right or wrong. Had i known your skin was so thin I would’ve taken more care.

  3. notFromhere
    5:17 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    Katmandue, 100% agree and thought about that during the playoff. Ignore the thin-skinned. It never gets any thicker