He was 89 years old.
I asked Jackson what he would do after the announcing gig was up.
Jackson was considered the voice of college football for nearly 50 years getting his first start in broadcasting in 1952 calling games for Washington State on the radio.
The only thing that would have made it more ideal was a blitzing Michael Stonebreaker.
What's my favorite call?
The best quarterbacks throw an occasional interception, the best running backs sometimes fumble. Got a man going down the middle of the field, he's caught it - it's touchdown for the Pitt Panthers!
Jackson knew Ufer, and respected Ufer.
Jackson also doubts he used it a couple of times or twice in a broadcast, but it was made more famous by those impersonating him.
If you were reading it instead of hearing it out of Keith Jackson's mouth, you were missing out on all the fun.
He will remembered for that and so much more.
Jackson was of another era, when every game seemed special, because we had so few of them to choose from, and his voice immediately signaled that it was time to pay attention.
It was the first appearance behind the Iron Curtain for a US sports team since the end of World War II.
His intros to big games should be required viewing at all TV broadcasting schools. He was the standard.
The 2006 Rose Bowl, which featured Vince Young and Texas' victory over USC, was the final college game Jackson called before retiring.
From that point forward, the quintessence of college football in my mind was Keith Jackson saying the name Michael Stonebreaker as a drumline pounds out a beat between plays. He was always on the call. You have to think only of Desmond Howard's magical punt return in the 1991 Michigan-Ohio State game and Jackson's minimalist caption: "Goodbye ... hello, Heisman!". When speed skater Eric Heiden made winter Olympics history by winning five gold medals at Lake Placid, in 1980, Jackson was there.
Broyles said a change in ABC ownership resulted in a decision to replace him as color commentator before the 1986 season.
Jackson retired in 2006. A 20th century coaching icon was facing an abrupt and ignominious conclusion to his career, and Jackson carried on as it it had never happened. "And that was one of the things that I most admired about him". The tradition, passion and inflections with each stake made you want to be there, no matter what the temperature was outside.
Not to brag or anything, but I was a great college football player. National League batting champion Charlie Blackmon and the Rockies avoided salary arbitration, but agreed to only a one-year, $14 million deal. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit nailed that, of course. But he called games everywhere. Jackson's voice proved the ideal balance for all of that emotion for so many years. He was withering in his analysis of college football's endless money suck - at his alma mater, too - and warned of "all kinds of cracks and crevices" threatening to swallow up the sport. "For decades, his unmistakable style defined college football for millions of fans".
But Jackson was something different even compared to his contemporaries. We're just lucky to have all those memories to take with us.
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