×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Keith Jackson, Legendary College Football Sportscaster, Dies at 89

Keith Jackson, a longtime voice of college football for ABC, died Friday night, according to numerous media reports. He was 89.

Jackson’s sportscasting career began in Washington in the early ’50s, and covered a variety of sports events, including minor league baseball and hydroplane races. His coverage of NCAA games, however, gained him the most notoriety, particularly for the colloquial phrases he employed, such as referring to linemen as “big uglies.”

He was well-known for his supposedly signature phrase, “Whoa, Nellie!” although Jackson repeatedly denied over the years that the phrase was a catchphrase of his and stated he had learned it from earlier television announcer Dick Lane.

“This ‘Whoa, Nellie!’ thing is overrated,” he said. “There were all kinds of stories going around. People said I had a mule in Georgia named Nellie. Well, we had a mule in Georgia, but her name was Pearl.”

Jackson was also known for epithets like “Hold the phone!” when a penalty was called, or “fum-BLE” if a player dropped the ball.

He attempted to retire at the end of the 1998 season, citing his nearing 70th birthday. He called the first BCS National Championship Game between Tennessee and Florida State as his apparent last game.

The retirement was not to last, however, and Jackson returned to ABC the following season, though with a much more limited range, keeping mostly to the West Coast, near his home in California. He finally retired for good in 2006, calling the 2006 Rose Bowl game with Texas facing Southern California in the BCS National Championship Game.

Jackson received numerous honors throughout his career, including a Gold Medal Award in 1999 from the National Football Foundation, and a 1994 induction into the ASA Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1995, winning its National Sportscaster of the Year award five times in a row.

More Biz

  • https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/kindred_spirits_2019_v7.jpg

    Kindred Spirits Host Fundraiser for Child Refugees

    The Kids Entertainment Professionals for Young Refugees will host its third annual Kindred Spirits fundraising campaign this month on behalf of UNICEF and in coordination with World Refugee Day, which is Thursday. The grassroots, volunteer organization’s online fundraiser will take place from June 14-27, and 100% of every donation made will benefit UNICEF. “We call [...]

  • Vid Angel

    VidAngel Hit with $62.4 Million Judgment for Pirating Movies

    A jury on Monday ordered VidAngel to pay $62.4 million to Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. for streaming hundreds of movies on its service without permission. The verdict is potentially a death blow to the Utah-based company, which sought to allow family audiences to watch Hollywood fare while skipping past violence, sex, and other objectionable [...]

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Apologizes, Explains Opposition to LGBT Club

    Romance writer Nicholas Sparks issued an apology on Monday for remarks he made in 2013 opposing the formation of an LGBT club at his Christian school. In an email published last week by the Daily Beast, Sparks faulted Saul Benjamin, who was then the headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, for pushing an [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

  • welcome home Apple Ad

    Cannes Lions Takes Place in Time of Change for Ad World

    The ad industry gathers June 17-21 for its annual celebration of commercials, marketing and creativity, the Cannes Lions in the French Riviera. It does so against a backdrop of ongoing and profound upheaval within the world of advertising. The share prices of all the major ad groups, such as WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, are down [...]

  • R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With

    R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With Interscope Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records, the company announced exclusively to Variety today. “Ann Marie is the prototype for today’s artist,” says Nicole Wyskoarko, the label’s EVP of urban operations. “She’s developed and cultivated a dedicated fan base using the tools of today [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Branded Content Campaigns Help Ads Cut Through Clutter

    The business of advertising has changed from the days when an expensive 30-second spot was the be-all and end-all of a campaign, leading many commercials production companies and their directors to diversify. In an era of content overload, when it’s easier than ever for consumers to skip an ad or avoid it altogether, many advertisers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content