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For Rod Bramblett, Calling the Epic Is Routine

Jan 15, 2014


Play-by-play men will wait an entire career to make an epic call. Most never get the chance. This past college football season, Rod Bramblett was fortunate to make two calls for the ages...within weeks.
 
Nailing them both is one of the reasons Bramblett, voice of the Auburn Tigers on the IMG Audio Network, joins a truly distinguished group of elite announcers in being named Alabama’s “Broadcaster of the Year” by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Hall of Fame.
 
Through social media and countless sports highlight show replays, tens of millions have heard Bramblett’s euphoric description of Chris Davis’ nearly unimaginable, final-second, 109-yard run back of a missed Alabama field goal attempt to propel Auburn to an incredible, riotous Iron Bowl victory and a shot at the national title.  (Rod’s call:  http://ow.ly/rkgiu)    

Two weeks earlier on the 70-plus station Auburn IMG Sports Network, Bramblett had warmed up with the “Miracle at Jordan-Hare” – a stunning 73-yard “Hail Mary” game-winner over Georgia. (The call: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQQmU6D2GfQ)
 
The 1988 Auburn graduate got his big break calling Tigers basketball in 1993. He began hosting the “Tiger Talk” radio call-in show in 1998, and succeeded legendary Auburn football play-by-play man Jim Fyffe in the football booth in 2003, following his sudden death. Bramblett makes it a point to remember Fyffe by using his signature “Touchdown Auburn” call at least once during the course of a broadcast.
 
In addition to calling three Tigers sports, he’s Director of Broadcast Services for the Auburn IMG Sports Network, overseeing affiliate relations and the network’s state-of-the-art production studio. Rod also appears as a regular “Insider” on Campus Insiders, the new online digital network for college sports (www.campusinsiders.com).
 
“In this job, you’re asked to paint a picture on the radio,” he says. “Every once in a while in sports, unforgettable plays happen, and in those moments, the play-by-play voice is sharing the emotion versus mechanically describing the action. That’s how those two games were – getting sucked into the emotion of the moment. Most great calls in broadcast history are like that. I’ve experienced what any broadcaster dreams about. You have zero control; you just hope it happens.”
 
Bramblett is especially grateful to share the experience with “a great broadcast crew who all care deeply about what they do. I appreciate the amazing response from fans and the media, and that reaction is really for our entire team.”

Even though Auburn fell short in the national championship game, it's safe to say the Tiger's dramatic late-season wins, and Rod Bramblett's calls, will be remembered for many, many years.