The college football world reacts to Keith Jackson’s passing

The voice of college football passed away at the age of 89.

Keith Jackson, the college football legend and a titan of broadcast television, has died at the age of 89, per his family.

Jackson’s career spanned decades for ABC in which he called nearly every sport you can think of. But at his best and most poignant, Jackson was the voice of Saturday afternoon college football during the season and the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day (which he nicknamed “The Granddaddy Of Them All.”) His final telecast was the 2006 Rose Bowl, regarded by many as the best game of all time. Those who worked with him spoke to SB Nation about that night earlier this season.

“That was the tough part about the assignment, because here is the greatest college football — the voice of college football,” Fouts said. “This was gonna be his last game. The thing about it was, it may have been his best game ever, too. He was all over it. He was perfect that night.”

Jackson was notable for calls like his famous “fumble,” with drawn out excitement, and his “woah, nellie” will live in the hearts and ears of so many. The Roopville, Georgia native explained where that came from.

Jackson’s last televised appearance came on New Year’s Day 2017 at the Rose Bowl. As fitting a setting as any.

People loved his endless wit and wisdom …

… and beloved catch phrases …

… and the fact that his presence alone signified a big game.

Many are sharing memories of specific moments.

He’ll be remembered as one of our greatest broadcasters, period …

… but will last forever as the all-but-official voice of a single sport.

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