Friday, April 28, 2006

Whoa Nelly!

Keith Jackson by ABC SportsSo one of the greatest sportscasters ever is calling it a day. Keith Jackson, he of the "Whoa Nelly" quotation, who used to like Popeye's Fried Chicken and Jack Daniels, who made college football the greatest sport to listen to - particularly games between Michigan State, Ohio State, USC and other football powers - has decided to retire. Keith is one of the greatest.

But he said his job was to amplify, clarify, punctuate, and help people enjoy the games he broadcast. They should write that down and chisel it into some monument somewhere.

It's no secret that Jackson is in the sportscasting Hall of Fame, and his sideman - former Miami Dolphins' quarterback Bob Griese - is quoted as saying that "in the heart of the greatest college football broadcaster of all time lies a life steeped in tradition and affection for the game of football and the amateur athletes who love it so."

Keith - along with UNC Broadcaster Woody Durham - is one of those guys who truly loved college football. You could hear it in his voice. And the Georgia-born broadcaster brought that same kind of enthusiasm to whatever event he covered. He made you want to be where he was.

His voice made watching the Rose Bowl - one of his favorites apparently because he came out of retirement before to broadcast that game on New Year's (or January 4th or whenever)- a thing to look forward. You knew that it was an important game when Keith was on the box.

So thanks, Keith both for entertaining us all these years and for setting the standard so high.

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