I still remember the sadness that swept over me when Auburn’s legendary announcer Jim Fyffe passed away on May 15, 2003. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. Though I never met the man he was to me and thousands of other Auburn fans, a good friend. Today is the 10th anniversary of his death. He was taken from us way too early.
With no disrespect to Rod Bramlet and other Auburn announcers, there simply will never be another one like Jim Fyffe.
Jim was and still is the most revered radio announcer in the history of Auburn Football. His distinctive voice called the play-by-play for Auburn’s football teams from 1981-2003.
He provided hundreds of memorable calls in his 22 years of calling Auburn Football and Basketball games. But it was more than his voice that endured him to the Auburn Family. Jim had a unique ability to make the listener feel like he was right there beside him, in the booth, jumping up and down as he’s yelling his famous “Touch d o w n … Aub b u r n n n n !”
There was never any doubt in his voice, that Jim was a homer and a man who loved Auburn – both traits that made his voice synonymous with Auburn Football.
He was gifted in such away that made fans lean in toward the radio and feel like they were actually in the stands viewing the game with him. I will never forget where I was on many of his memorable calls.
Like many reading this article, I could recall dozens of great calls made by Jim over the years; the kind that still brings chill bumps and memories of where I was when I heard him make the call.
One of my many favorites happened on November 4th, 1989. There were 26 seconds to go in the game and Auburn trailed Florida 7-3, facing a 4th down and 11 on the 30 yard line. Quarterback Reggie Slack drops back to pass and hits 5′ 7″ Shayne Wasden in the corner of the end zone to defeat Florida 10-7.
Pandemonium broke out as Jim yelled over the airwaves. “Touchdown Auburn! Touchdown Auburn! Touchdown Auburn! Unbelievable! I’ve seen the impossible happen! I have seen a miracle!”
That moment and dozens of others like it, are forever frozen in the corners of my mind. Yet, even though I was at the game I could not hear Jim’s call completely because it was the loudest, most exhilarating ending to any game I have ever witnessed at Jordan-Hare. I thought the end zone was going to collapse under the weight of the fans jumping up and down.
It was only after I listened to the tape later that I heard all of what Jim had said. And to this day, I remember everything about that moment when I hear a replay of his words.
At the game, in the car, or at home, Jim was Auburn football. It just doesn’t seem like 10 years since he left us.
Feel free to share your memory of a great Jim Fyffe moment in the comments.