Former college football broadcasting icon Keith Jackson passes away at 89

Former college football broadcasting icon Keith Jackson passes away at 89

Jackson is survived by his wife of 63 years, Turi Ann.

He joined ABC's college football announcing team in 1966, but also called National Basketball Association games, auto racing and was a staple on ABC's "Wide World of Sports". At his peak, he was associated with the sport nearly as strongly as any player or coach.

Jackson's resume is a laundry list of iconic games throughout college football history.

"Big uglies", for offensive linemen. In addition, Jackson is credited with giving Michigan Stadium the nickname "The Big House" and for calling the Rose Bowl the "The Granddaddy of Them All". Just name a classic game and it seemed like Keith Jackson was calling that game.

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"So, I never used football jargon to describe what was going on". "The media likes to hang things on you and that was my bad luck, I guess".

In that job, young Jackson saw an opportunity with a major story that helped turn him into a national broadcasting legend.

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"You've about lost me, partner", Griese said before collapsing into the arms of his wife.

Jackson grew up near Carrollton, Georgia, picking cotton and plowing his poor family's farm.

Roone Arledge, then-president of ABC Sports, made Jackson the play-by-play announcer for the first season of ABC's "Monday Night Football", in 1970, in the broadcast booth with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. Jackson joined ABC Radio West in 1964 and ABC Sports in 1966. Jackson covered college football for the entirety of his career, and his "Woah, Nellie" and "Hold the phone!" catchphrases are well known, as is his pacing and storytelling style. He was the first play-by-play announcer for ABC's Monday Night Football, and he appeared on Wide World of Sports. Blackmon, who is 31, hit 37 homers with 104 RBI past year and can become a free agent after this season. Jackson did the first live radio broadcast back to the USA, where the audience listened with glee as the all-collegiate Huskies beat the bigger, older Russians by about two boat lengths on the 2,000-meter Khimkinskoe Reservoir course. "But I really don't know, and if I did, I'd tell you".

His trademark "Whoa, Nellie!" when someone made a big play delighted generations of college football fans. "It's a rallying point for the university, the community and the families".

Jackson was too careful, and spare, and expert, with his deep and rich vocabulary for us to remember him as anything other than a master wordsmith.

I saw him in the Coliseum and at the Rose Bowl. He was a longtime resident of Sherman Oaks, California, and died near his home there. After 30 years of doing network games for ABC, Jackson was finally back on campus for the season opener against UCLA - the game that jump-started the Cougars' march to their first Rose Bowl in 67 years.

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