Hunker Down One More Time: Another SEC Legend Passes
Legendary Mississippi State announcer Jack Cristil passed away last night at the age of 88. The SEC has had many legendary voices come and go, and with the passing of Jack Cristil, it has made me reflect on the voices that made watching college football so great. Here are a few of my personal favorite announcers in SEC history:
A League of His Own
Obviously the first voice that comes to mind is the great Larry Munson. There has never been, nor ever will be, quite a more polarizing figure for the world of broadcasting in my opinion. I remember my family would turn off listening to Gary and Verne after mispronouncing simple names, and we would sit around the television listening to the scratchy voice of Larry telling the Dawgs to “hunker down one more time”. I remember Hobnail boot, I remember his first game he did not travel to, (Alabama) and the way I imagine he would have called the one and done to Mikey Henderson. Larry is without a doubt the number one person on this list, and he will always be the number one. Georgia football is not the same without you, Larry.
The first time I ever heard Jim Hawthorne’s voice was the recording of the Blue Grass Miracle and how his voice went from a depressing tone to losing to Kentucky, to the pure excitement that the Miracle gave him. Even though I attend Alabama, I have the utmost respect for Hawthorne and his talent for capturing the emotion of the game.
Voice of The Tide
Eli Gold has been the voice of the Crimson Tide for the last 26 years. His voice rings in my ears whenever I think about TJ Yeldon catching the screen pass against LSU and taking it in for the winning score. Whenever Verne and Gary are doing a terrible job, Eli Gold is the way to go. His voice has been a staple of Alabama Football, and he is one of the most recognizable voices in the SEC today.
Jack Cristil was a life long bulldog, who called over 633 games for State. Just like what Larry Munson was for many of us, Jack Cristil was that for Mississippi State fans. He represented a generation of broadcasters that are going away. Yes we will have new voices for our teams, but they will always be at a disadvantage going forward. We will always compare them to the freight train voice of Larry Munson, Jim Hawthorne, and Eli Gold. The SEC lost another great one yesterday, but I am sure his calls will be echoing from Starkville for generations.