Thursday's Docket: The Voice Retires, Fluff For All
Keith Jackson Announces His Retirement
According to the New York Times, Keith Jackson, the voice of college football, has permanently retired from play-by-play broadcasting. The Times reports Jackson, who is 77, decided he couldn't deal with the stress and the travel anymore and decided to hand 'em up. Jackson also stated this will be IT. No come backs. No West Coast schedule. Last time Keith retired, he retired to do PAC-10 games. However he made clear that this time he's going to sit in the rocking chair and find himself the biggest, duckiest pond you ever saw.
Jackson's retirement, if final, marks the end of an era for College football broadcasting. If you haven't gotten chills when he utters the words "Whoa Nelly!" then you have no pulse. Jackson has called more Michigan games than I can remember and has consistently been the best play-by-play announcer on the air. His deep voice, complete with a tinge of southern drawl, has announced national champions, covered the NFL, and trilled football fans since the 1960's. His emphasis was always on the right syllable. His timing was nearly always perfect. His sense of humor always came through.
Whether it was in the Rose Bowl or against Ohio State, Jackson always made watching the game that much better. In some way he became almost as important as the game, and for that reason will always be linked as a part of it. Jackson's voice singaled the beginning of Fall and the importance of a game. I'm still hoping he loosens up the vocal cords for one last Michigan/Ohio State showdown. But if he doesn't I've got a trunk full of Keith Jackson memories to keep me smiling.
When the season kicks off I'll still be excited. But when the big game is on, and Jackson's not calling it, it will seem like something's missing.
Marshmallow Fluff All Around
The Detroit Free Press is predicting Gabe Watson will be drafted somewhere in the Second Round of this weekend's NFL draft. Warning: Drew Rosenhaus is mentioned a lot. Go Blue Wolverine also has a piece on Watson's Pro Day/Draft Profile. Excellent read.
Rivals named Michigan Offensive Tackle University, based on the Maize and Blue's propensity to turn out dominating Tackles. Like I mentioned, when you turn out guys like Backus, Jansen, Runyan, and Maurice Williams all of whom are considered at the top of the heap you get your props.
M Zone puts together its All-UM team. Take a guess who's the quarterback? (Hint: Drew Henson isn't mentioned).
The Mayor Revamps College Football: Kyle's still got a bit of a Gym Dawgs hangover from the Lady Dawg's recent national gymnastics championship. Still, he's found time to completely redesign the college football landscape. In his latest installment Kyle tears up the Big 11 Ten, drops Northwestern and Indiana, strips us of Penn State, adds Notre Dame(!), Missouri(?), Iowa State(??), and Miami of Ohio(WTF???), and finally splits the new "Midwestern Conference" (come on Kyle, you've gotta have a better name than that, I propose the Bratwurst Conference) into Northern and Southern Divisions. Interesting proposal. Not one I can agree with. But intereting. It does free us to play Georgia though. In addition, the conference championship would be played at soldier field. I may be able to get behind this after all.
My favorite part: the beautiful, gratuitous photo of Angie Harmon (sigh...) and resurrection of the Southwest Athletic Conference. The SWC is back baby. Now the broad based, full fledged, SMU cheating can return to its glory days.
(Oh, and next time you're near the beautiful SMU campus, stop off as get a burger at Balls Hamburgers, their mini-burgers are amazing. Strangely enough, I spent my high school years in Dallas and those tasty burgers were the only thing that kept me sane. Kyle's post helped drudge up some fun memories.)