“Wrap this one up in maroon and white”

After 58 years as Mississippi State's voice, legendary broadcaster Jack Cristil, 85, is calling it quits. Cristil's tenure is expected to end with the Bulldogs' Saturday game at Tennessee.Ah, those words were always the sweetest to the Bulldawg nation, of which I am an adopted daughter, a captive princess.

We didn’t get to hear them nearly enough, but when Jack Cristil uttered them, you knew he had a smile on his face.

I can’t remember a time  when Jack Cristil WASN”T the voice of Mississippi State University  sports.

No wonder, he’s been at it for 58 years.

Cristil announced yesterday that at age 85, he’s decided to hang it up after this Saturday’s game with Tennessee. Shut Up ESPN. I’ll be glued to the radio just to hear him one last time.

But what a run he’s had.  He was the unflappable professional to the end.  He was well known for his non-nonsense “call em like you see ‘em” broadcast style.

Our only consolation is that we have West Point’s own We’re the Class of 65, We’re The Greatest Class Alive and My boyfriend in First Grade, Jim Ellis ready to take the lead role.  Aha.  At last, I’m tight with a celebrity.  I’m hoping he might ask me to play the part of his sidekick on air.

Nah. Jimmy knows I don’t know the difference between a punt and a field goal.  And anyway, why CAN”T a punt turn into a field goal if it crosses over the goal posts?  See, football makes no sense.  But Jimmy, if you ever need me I’m available.

I knew Jimmy Ellis was destined for  greatness when, on the first day of school in 1953, Mrs. McFadden asked if anyone in the class could come forward and draw an “8” on the blackboard.  An eight?  What the heck was that?  Jimmy marched right up front and drew two big goose eggs, one of top of the other, right on the blackboard while the rest of us sat in awe.  I remember it as if it were yesterday.

We’re in good hands, but Jack, honey, you will never be replaced, at least, in my bulldawg heart.

2 thoughts on ““Wrap this one up in maroon and white”

  1. If you listened to the Bulldogs on the radio, you could almost see the game, listening to Jack, he was so good.

  2. I should really have been working this afternoon, but time passes when you find something good to read.

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