It wasn’t just his voice that captured the ears and hearts of American sports fans but the unforgettable things he said and the unique ways he used to get them across to us. Sadly, that voice in longtime ABC Sports announcer, Keith Jackson went silent forever early Saturday.
We will never hear phrases like, “Whoa Nellie!” or “Hold the phone” without thinking about some of the greatest sports moments in our lifetime as Jackson called them so eloquently.
Jackson, who was reported to have passed on Saturday morning at the age of 89, started working as a college football announcer in the early 1950s, and worked for ABC for 40 years from 1966 – 2006. His resume includes stints in almost every major sport and the Olympics but he will be remembered mostly for the time he spent announcing college football games and specifically, 15 Rose Bowls and 16 Sugar Bowls.
Jackson explained that a lot of his catch phrases were picked up on the farm while he was spending time with his grandparents as a child. His grandfather was known to exclaim “Whoa Nelly! at times when he dropped something.
Keith Jackson’s legend as one of the greats voices in sports has continued since his retirement and will only get stronger now as time goes on!