His audience was all ears — ears of corn, that is — when he first started honing his broadcasting craft.

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Whoa, Granny!

Turns out that Keith Jackson, the college-football icon who died at 89 on Jan. 12, cut his broadcasting teeth as a farm kid in western Georgia. As Jackson once recalled: “My grandmother said to my mother, ‘You’d better go out there and talk to your kid. I think he’s crazy ’cause he’s running around in the cornfield, talking to himself.’

“And, I was not talking to myself — I was sending Walter Mitty over the goal line at the Rose Bowl.”


• At TheOnion.com: “Bannon forced to cancel ‘Muscle & Fitness’ cover shoot to testify before grand jury.”

• At SportsPickle.com: “Steelers vow to bounce back strong at Pro Bowl.”

Uncircle the date

Jan. 15 — the third Monday of January — was Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year.

“You sure it wasn’t the day before?” asked a New Orleans Saints fan.

Plenty of bite

Two golfers got quite a surprise when they approached the 10th hole at Fiddler’s Creek in Naples, Fla. — a fight to the death between an alligator and Burmese python.

Not to give the ending away or anything, but alert course marshals awarded the gator a 1-up win in match play.

Tweet of the Week

From the Chicago Tribune, deftly avoiding any mention of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: “Racing driver and Bears fan Danica Patrick confirms she’s dating Bachelorette winner’s brother.”

Bad call

No truth to the rumor that the Hawaiian civil defense employee who sent out the false missile attack alert was a former NFL replacement official.

Not so fast there

Police in Sunrise, Fla., nabbed Jets receiver Robby Anderson going 105 mph in a 45 zone.

Well, that’s one way of getting good separation.

Envelope, please

Amazon just pared its list of prospective cities for its new headquarters from 238 down to 20.

So what do they think this is — the business equivalent of the Butkus Award watch list?

Divot alert

PGA Tour players in Honolulu for the Sony Open got quite a jolt Jan. 13 when that erroneous incoming ballistic-missile missive was sent out.

Witnesses say they’d never seen a golfer wish he’d wind up in a bunker before.

Talking the talk

• Former college roommate Travis Krol, to the Detroit Free Press, on why Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia sports a beard: “He’ll probably kill me, but he’s got dimples. You can’t be a coach of men with dimples.”

• Vin Scully, to the L.A. Times, recalling the time he played golf with fellow broadcasting icon Keith Jackson: “He was not only a great player, but he kindly spent a lot of time helping me look for my ball.”

Robbin’ Hood

Jazz guard Rodney Hood slapped a cellphone out of a fan’s hand on the way to the locker room after he was ejected from a game, so the NBA fined him $35,000.

And you thought your teenager’s last Verizon bill was expensive?

More headlines

• At TheKicker.com: “Eagles to spend entire week practicing defense against last-second miracle plays.”

• At TheKicker.com: “Bengals fans so happy about Steelers loss they give Andy Dalton to charity.”

Quote marks

• Dieter Kurtenbach of the San Jose Mercury News, on the Raiders kowtowing to the league by voluntarily playing a home game in London three years running: “If the NFL says the Raiders need to host a home game in Siberia, Mark Davis might mutter something bad under his breath, but then he’s going to buy a parka.”

• Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on the Browns’ just-completed 0-16 season: “Cleveland fans rock. Often in the fetal position every Sunday in football season.”

• Bob Molinaro, in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on Serena Williams winning the Australian Open a year ago while eight weeks pregnant: “I think we’ve finally found something not even Roger Federer can do on a tennis court.”

• Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, after a collision left Rangers left winger Jimmy Vesey playing most of a game with two teeth embedded in his lower lip: “It’s not as gross as it sounds — he’s pretty sure one of the teeth is his.”

• Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., on the 76ers’ J.J. Redick saying he’s not sure that dinosaurs existed: “Which could change the next time he plays against the San Antonio Spurs.”

• Jeff Gordon of STLtoday.com, on ex-Rams QB castoffs Nick Foles (Eagles) and Case Keenum (Vikings) meeting in the NFC Championship: “Will the league fly Jeff Fisher to Philadelphia for the ceremonial coin toss?”

• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on the Vikings’ roller coaster 29-24 playoff win: “ ‘The best of times, the worst of times.’ Was Dickens a Saints fan?”

• Tom Cuddy of Boston’s WBZ Radio, on the Patriots’ 35-14 playoff romp past Tennessee: “Dismember the Titans.”

• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on a study claiming many past Winter Olympic sites locations will soon be too warm to host the Games again. “The first indicator? Life guards and flotation devices around the skating venues.”

• Unnamed MLB scout, to the Toronto Sun, with the lowdown on new Blue Jay Yangervis Solarte: “He can play multiple positions, but is below average at all of them.”

• Comedy writer Tim Hunter, on Dennis Rodman’s DUI arrest: “I’m just going to assume that he was on his way to North Korea.”

• Blogger TC Chong, on why it’d be a good idea for the Koreas to send a united squad to the 2020 Summer Olympics, too: “North Korea’s pole-vaulting team is already in South Korea.”

• Comedian Argus Hamilton, on the NFC Championship Game: “In between games, Philadelphia fans like to go the airport to boo the safe landings.”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their baby girl Chicago West: “To which Chicago said, ‘Haven’t we suffered enough with the Bears?’ ”