Legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson, best known for his folksy manner and unique sayings on college football during his 40 years with ABC Sports, passed away Friday evening at the age of 89.
Jackson worked a wide variety of events for ABC’s Wide World of Sports as well as Major League Baseball, NBA and 10 Olympic Games, but the oft-honored – and imitated – Jackson came to be synonymous with college football. His down-home, baritone delivery was punctuated by such memorable phrases as “big uglies” (large linemen), “fum-blllllllllllllllle!” and his best known exclamation, “Whoa, Nelly!” He is credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl as “The Granddaddy of them All” and Michigan Stadium as “The Big House.” He retired after the 2006 Rose Bowl.
“For generations of fans, Keith Jackson was college football,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “When you heard his voice, you knew it was a big game. Keith was a true gentleman and a memorable presence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Turi Ann, and his family.”
Jackson, a longtime resident of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Pender Harbor, British Columbia, Canada, is survived by Turi Ann, his wife of 63 years.
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