If you love a particular college athletics program, you likely have a deep connection with a radio play-by-play broadcaster.
That certainly goes for pro teams as well, of course, but there’s arguably something unique about the connection that can be developed between listeners and a college voice, especially when it comes to something like SEC football.
There’s fertile ground there for a documentary, and upcoming SEC Storied More Than A Voice will attempt to explore that territory. The SEC Network film is a ninety-minute look at various SEC radio voices, with Kenny Chesney producing.
ESPN announced the details today:
In the SEC’s original rise to becoming a cultural institution in the South, listening to the football teams’ play-by-play announcers on the radio was, for millions of fans, the only way to follow most games. In the early, still developing days of television, the announcers’ calls of the games became synonymous with the teams themselves, and those announcers, their own local legends, became part of the fabric of the conference. There’s John Ward at Tennessee, Larry Munson at Georgia, John Forney and Eli Gold at Alabama, Mick Hubert at Florida, Jim Fyffe and Rod Bramblett at Auburn and many more – with all of their calls defining in-game moments that will never be forgotten.
“More Than a Voice” is executive produced by singer/songwriter Kenny Chesney, produced by Don Lepore and directed by Shaun Silva.
“It was important for me to be a part of this film, because John Ward was such a big part of my life growing up and loving sports in east Tennessee,” said Chesney. “With his voice and his words, he painted a picture of Tennessee football that captured my imagination and the imaginations of so many. Meeting him was one of the highlights of my life – and I’m thrilled to be a small part of this film that sheds light on his genius and so many of the other voices who have made the Southeastern Conference really special.”
I don’t have a personal connection to SEC football, but as a kid who grew up listening to Don Fischer call Indiana basketball and football games, I can certainly understand the sort of connection that fans feel with a team broadcaster, especially when they’re very good at their job (which Fischer was and still is.)
More Than A Voice will air at 7 PM Eastern on September 26th.