Legendary sports broadcaster Keith Jackson dead at 89

Keith Jackson arrives at 66th Annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles

He was 89-years-old. He practiced broadcasting as a youngster growing up on a farm there - "My grandma once told my mama, 'The kid's walking insane around the cornfield, talking to himself.' I was calling ballgames." - but it wasn't until he was in college at Washington State that he saw it as a possible career.

"Keith has become the voice of college football and has brought so much credibility and acceptance to college football at a time when we were really in a competitive race for viewers with pro football and other sports", Broyles said.

It was just another instance of Keith Jackson being the voice every college football fan had in his ear.

No wonder Jackson's first decision after his widely publicized 1998 retirement was to scuttle the retirement. Today's announce booths always feel as though the announce team is pulling for a narrative like an upset or a big name quarterback while Jackson just loved the game itself.

Three years later, it was another MI game that served as a legendary moment for Jackson.

He did play-by-play for National Basketball Association games with Bill Russell. In 1972 Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in swimming, and in 1980 Eric Heiden won five individual gold medals in speedskating.

Jackson was also the first play-by-play announcer on ABC's "Monday Night Football" telecasts before being replaced in the program's second season by Frank Gifford.

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CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli writes that Jackson's broadcast career began at Washington State in 1952 when he called a game between Washington State and Stanford.

The production truck informed Jackson, but he chose not to mention the ruckus to the national audience that had witnessed it. "Whoa, Nellie" and Jackson were synonymous, but Jackson was never sure why.

Hey, nobody's flawless. Achieving perfection at something in this insane world indicates a life well-lived.

Jackson's insistence that a broadcaster should be subservient to the action on the field was underscored throughout his career. There are. Gus Johnson could make laying brick sound exciting.

Jackson was born October 18, 1928, in Carrollton, Ga., a small town near the Georgia-Alabama border.

Jackson enjoyed what he referred to as "the purity of college football". He was withering in his analysis of college football's endless money suck - at his alma mater, too - and warned of "all kinds of cracks and crevices" threatening to swallow up the sport. Jackson traveled to 31 different countries during his time with the award-winning anthology show, covering popular and obscure sports.

"The new management told me that was a conflict of interest for me to be an athletic director and doing the games", Broyles said. "Zin and shorts have replaced the chardonnay and crinoline, but it is still as close to the flawless place to watch a college football game as anyplace I know".

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