Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jackson was born in Roopville, Georgia. He still has a distinct Southern accent. He attended Washington State University, where his career as a broadcaster began. In 1967 he became part of the ABC television network's broadcast of NCAA college football and soon began to broadcast other sporting events as well, including the Olympics. In 1970 he was chosen to be the first play-by-play announcer of Monday Night Football, performing this role during the first season. In 1971 he was supplanted in that role by Frank Gifford, who had been hired away from rival CBS; afterwards, his association with football was entirely with the collegiate game, although he announced other sports at ABC as well, notably baseball.
Jackson was involved in the ABC coverage of the 1972 Summer Olympics and continued to contribute even when an attack by Palestinian terrorists turned the coverage away from being primarily sports coverage to that of a news event. Over the years, he has been paired with a wide variety of commentators, including perhaps most notably University of Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles, a former football coach, and pro football legend Bob Griese. For many years, he was assigned by ABC to the primary national game of the week. He is generally considered by many college football fans to be the "voice of college football"; his expressions such as "Whoa, Nellie!" and "FumBLE!" are often the subject of attempts at comedic imitation.
Jackson announced his retirement from college football announcing at the end of the 1998 season and his intention to live full-time at his home in British Columbia, with his last broadcast to have been the 1999 Fiesta Bowl for the "National Championship" between Tennessee and Florida State. He rescinded this decision the following fall, but now does a more limited schedule of games which are almost solely on the West Coast.
Jackson has had a minor career as an actor, either playing himself (as on a famous episode of Coach) or a sportscaster like himself, as in The Fortune Cookie (1966). He has also appeared in and/or narrated several sports documentaries. His play-by-play of the 1977 World Series is used in the background of the Spike Lee film, Summer of Sam (1999).
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details