Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Who Is Your Favorite Narrator?

While I always love to hear Tom Brokaw speak, Bill Kurtis could read me the grocery list and make it sound like the next bestselling trans-media thriller.

Kurtis strings words together like a symphony and grabs you by the seat of your pants. He's mostly known for narrating real-life crime stories, and more recently, you might recall a couple of humorous commercials that play on these types of narrations. I'd turn my television to American Justice, Cold Case Files, and Investigative Reports no matter how many times I saw the featured reruns just to hear that voice. 

There are others whose voices thrill my eardrums.

Who else doesn't feel a tingle up their spine when they hear the timbre of James Earl Jones 

and of Maya Angelou?

But there is one voice that tops them all. I actually had an opportunity to meet this man face to face after hearing him speak at a football banquet. 

I declined.

And yet, if I hadn't been invited to the event, I would have sold my soul to attend.

As I write these words, the thought of meeting him in person still elicits the same emotions. I know I would be a blubbering mess of tears. 

Keith Jackson reminds me of my father. No, not in physical appearance or any other attribute. 

He is a bond that forever links me to my father (who we buried in the early 1990s). It's only fitting that I write about him at this moment, on this day, and maybe even at this hour (the day after the January 1 bowl game sabbatical and 60 minutes before the kick-off to the Sugar Bowl).

My dad and I spent endless hours watching college football together, in person and from a distance -- and a telephone call to discuss certain plays.

Even without the connection to my father, Keith Jackson would still top the list for me. Just look at some of his lines:
  • Notice he came back in the middle where the big people live.
  • They opened the door and he went rolling through.
  • Don't be asking me. I'm just a big ugly.
  • At 18 years old, they can't spell the word "tired."
  • ...left-foots it with authority.
  • They're getting the laundry dirty early.
  • Leon Hall came in and hit him in the big whiskers.
  • Boy, he sneezed the air out of that one, didn't he?
  • Two of the big uglies got tangled up and had a go of it.
But don't just take it from me, just listen and hear for yourself.


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