doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Whatever happened to …

… Keith Jackson?

This one is just for me. And, maybe for you or for a broadcaster of your favourite genre.

New Year’s Day is special around here. At 11:00, everything stops and we watch the Rose Bowl parade. Pro tip – watch it on KTLA since there are no commercials.

The design of the floats and the implementation with all the natural content is simply amazing. I’ve also joked that the Simon Norton museum has to be the best example of product placement ever. As the floats turn onto Colorado Boulevard, every camera shot has the museum in the background. A fun activity is to head to Google Maps and so a Streetview of the actual parade route. On January 1, it was marked nicely.

Later in the afternoon, there is of course, the Rose Bowl football game. The size and layout of the stadium never fails to impress. For years, the announcer of the game was Keith Jackson. With the Rose Bowl and all of the other college games he called, there was always something special. Jackson had a certain presence on the show and you knew that it was a special game when he got the assignment.

He could turn the most boring of plays and of games into exciting ones just by his voice. And, as much as I enjoy watching football, I will admit that it can drag by at times.

If you ever heard “Whoa Nellie”, you can never unhear it.

These days, I’d be hard pressed to give the name of an announcer that is associated with US College football. There doesn’t appear to be anyone who has the uniqueness and mannerisms of Keith Jackson. You probably can’t blame the current group of announcers; it may well be a tactical decision by the networks to have a cookie-cutter type of approach. It seems that anyone who wants to exude personality and move to the cutting edge is on the pre-game show. Maybe that way it can be recorded rather than taking chance on something coming out live?

Thankfully, we have YouTube to make sure that we never forget that wonderful call. Sadly, Keith Jackson is no longer with us.

For a Sunday, how about some thoughts about Jackson and/or the Rose Bowl?

  • can you name an announcer or show host that is synonymous with its content?
  • like any good announcer, Keith Jackson broadcast other sports. Can you name some of?
  • are you a fan of the Rose Bowl parade?
  • in what city can you find the Rose Bowl?
  • other than the Big 10 / PAC 12 matchup, what else is the Rose Bowl known for/as?
  • what’s the nickname for the Rose Bowl game? If you’ve ever watched the game, you’ve heard it many times

I know this topic may be a little niche for some but if you’ve got a thought or two, please share in the comments.

“Whatever happened to …” is a regular Sunday post around here. You can check all the previous posts here. I’m always open to ideas for a future post. Just let me know.

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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.


3 responses to “Whatever happened to …”

  1. The Rose Bowl Parade was always a big deal at our house on New Year’s Day when I was growing up and I still try to watch it each year. In the late 1950s my dad and some of his buddies went on a road trip down Route 66 and made it to Pasadena for the parade.


  2. […] Sunday –  Whatever happened to … Keith Jackson? […]


  3. […] Whatever happened to … – doug — off the record […]


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