“You always know it’s a big game when Keith’s there.”

I suspect the passing of Keith Jackson is such a generational thing.  That probably saddens me as much as anything does about his death.

For example, this seems almost quaint:

Even after decades in the job, Mr. Jackson retained an old-fashioned, wide-eyed love for the college game.

“The N.C.A.A. can make anybody cynical,” Mr. Jackson once told Sports Illustrated. “But I’m not. It’s still fun to see new generations enjoy the game peaceably. I get there an hour and a half before the game and watch the bands rehearse, the people carry on. You let it seep into you.”

I said “almost”, because damned if I don’t feel the exact same way every time I step inside a college football stadium.  (Although I have to admit it gets harder to capture that feeling with every passing year of greed.)

If that sentiment seems a touch out of place, this part is downright alien to today’s broadcasting standards.

He prided himself on being concise and loath to steal the spotlight from the players.

“This is not my stage,” he said. “The stage belongs to the athletes and coaches who play the game. People don’t throw down 1,000 bucks for a TV to hear me talk.”

That’s the real generational thing that’s dying off — hell, dead already.  He’s the anti-Jesse Palmer.  I miss that approach more than anything these days.  If that solidifies my being an old fart, I’ll wear that badge with pride in this case.

Make sure you read this remembrance, too.  The man was college football.


Filed under College Football

15 responses to ““You always know it’s a big game when Keith’s there.”

  1. Bright Idea

    Keith had one huge advantage. He never had to spend half a broadcast talking up who belonged and who didn’t in the CFP at the expense of calling the game at hand.


  2. TnDawg

    an old fart #2


  3. ASEF

    He was so great because he recognized when to let the moment be The Moment. Today’s announcers want to be The Moment and step all over it.

    “Whoa Nelly” was his signature, but “Oh my,” followed by silence, was his staple.



  4. 81Dog

    There’s a possum huntin’ moon over heaven, tonight…..


  5. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    $1000.00 for a TV? That is generational: I can get a 65″ 4K flat screen smart TV at Walmart for less than $700. 😉


  6. Bulldawg Bill

    So you’re an Alter Kacker! What’s so gerfelach?!?


  7. “Oooooooh my!” I swear to God, I thought Keith Jackson died about a year ago. Loved listening to him. The world has changed.


  8. Agree, Jackson, let the players be the stars and not himself. Plus he did not have to schill(sp) for the network.


  9. I read somewhere how when he left Georgia, he never planned to return (wish I could find the article). Just my opinion, but I don’t think he cared for us too much. I know damn well he loved him some Michigan though. Good grief.


    • Bulldog Joe

      After spending a sunny week in California for the Rose Bowl, then dealing with the cold rain and the incompetence of the MBS staff and MARTA, I could see his point.

      As long as he could afford it, that is.


  10. AusDawg85

    FUMMMMBULLLL! Forever classic


  11. Ralphes

    The only announcer I liked better was Munson.


  12. Godspeed, old boy. Jackson is one of the early and indelible icons that have branded college pigskin on my soul.