There are many subtexts in all my little Roo writings. One of those subtexts is a desire to add much deserved weight and heft to Austin College’s past and its historical place within the state of Texas & the nation. As Ron Burgundy would say, we’re kind of a big deal.
Ok, maybe that’s a bit much. If Texas history were a history of cinema, there might not be an Austin College movie. But AC would be at least an extra in every single film, and maybe even a supporting actor in a few. The Roos have many stories to tell, which is actually not that common for small colleges west of the Mississippi.
So the writing has been both a privilege and an opportunity. And boy do I like it when folks see an opportunity and take the bull by the horns.
AC Legend Willie Jacobs passed away in 2018; he is being honored by the Phi Sigs this weekend during Homecoming festivities in Sherman. Jacobs was an incredible friend to AC athletics. In addition to authoring “100 Years, 100 Yards: The story of Austin College Football,” Jacobs was always present as the Public Address (P.A.) announcer in the press box at Calder Stadium. There, he acquired the well-deserved nickname of “Voice of the Roos.”
For years, AC football games have been broadcast on the web via college tv ticket. We’ve all been sporadically watching the games…………in silence. I found that a bit annoying, as a good play-by-play and color team can add weight and heft to any broadcast. But I didn’t really do anything about it.
When Kirk’s son mentioned his disappointment in 2017 that the AC games had no broadcasters, Kirk decided to fix that problem. He’d just call the games himself. Kirk contacted David Norman and AC staff to get sign off on the idea, and then figured out how to pull it off technically with the valuable assistance of SID Jeff Kelly. Then, this latter day Roo Frank Gifford went looking for 5 Don Merediths to help out with the color commentary for the 5 home games. I was pumped to be one of them, and joined Kirk in the booth for AC’s win over Hendrix on Mel Tjeerdsma day.
I could have picked any color commentator as an example, but Meredith is the guy. He is, after all, a friend of the Roos. Meredith played with Gene Babb and the Cowboys in the 1960s, became a fan of Coach Kramer’s program in the 1970s, and was sitting in the stands at Calder Stadium when the Roos won their national championship in December 1981.
A big tip of the hat to Blake Hyde, Barrett Jenkins, Travis Stein, and John Womack, 4 Roos who joined Kirk in the booth this season for the other home games. Calling a game can be a bit stressful, and I’m thrilled we all helped out with Kirk’s idea. John is joining Kirk in the booth for the Homecoming game this afternoon. I’ll be listening.
Claude Webb Jr. recently referred to Kirk online as the “Voice of the Roos.” Absolutely. I second that.
Kirk, thanks for taking the initiative on this project, which has been a whopping success. I’m already looking forward to 2019; you can count on me for another game. Go AC, beat Rhodes. And Kirk and John? When the game is over and you head to the Homecoming event, don’t forget to turn out the liiiightsssss………the party’s over……….they say all………….good things must end……………..