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The Passing of a College Football Icon

By on January 16th, 2018 in Memories, News 5 Comments »


College football’s most iconic voice was silenced over the weekend as the legendary Keith Jackson passed away at 89. He set the standard by which succeeding sportscasters are measured.

He called major league baseball, NBA basketball, PGA Tour golf, the Olympic Games and much more, but it’s college football where he made his mark.

When great moments in the sport are remembered, Keith Jackson’s voice is remembered more than any other. From the Iron Bowl to the Rose Bowl, he called them all, including Bear Bryant’s last Iron Bowl game in 1982.

Auburn University released the following statement along with a video of the “Bo over the top” play in that ’82 Iron Bowl.

“We’re saddened by the passing of iconic college football voice, Keith Jackson.

Listen to his call of “Bo Over the Top” in 1982.”

“First things first. Fourth-and-goal and a half a yard.”

Jackson was a southern boy from Georgia who always wove folksy phrases in his descriptions, the most famous of which may have been “Whoa Nellie.” After a stint in the Marines he enrolled in the journalism school at Washington State; which produced the famed Edward R. Murrow. That school has released a video tribute to Jackson’s life and career. It’s a must see story for all sports fans. We include it here for our readers. 

RIP Keith!


  1. WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

    He had a way of keeping you in the game no matter whether the moment was big or small. RIP Mr Jackson.

  2. audude audude says:

    Before the 4 letter sports network came about, he was The voice of college football. It was a sad day when he retired and I feel for his family’s loss. What a well deserved eulogy.

    Question: Who is there now to carry the flame?

  3. BirminghamEagle says:

    Thanks for the video ATM. He was the best!

  4. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Remember Keith Jackson from so many games of my youth. He was always entertaining and professional. Enjoyed the video ary on him.

  5. Older Whiskey says:

    Ditto the above. My favorite game by Keith, the ’83 Iron Bowl, with “In Your Face!” and the repartee with Frank Broyles about the weather.