MSU announcer Jack Cristil revered by fans as 'the best'
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By Rick Cleveland
Jack Cristil (right) broadcasts pregame coverage of Mississippi State University's recent game against the University of Memphis from the Liberty Bowl press box in Memphis with fellow broadcaster Jim Ellis. The longtime MSU radio announcer is celebrating his 50th year as the Voice of the Bulldogs.
The little boy was 6 years old when his mama and daddy, Russian and Latvian immigrants, bought the family's first radio. Most of his large family listened to music, but the little boy loved the ballgames.
"Here I was in Memphis and I was absolutely enthralled with the idea that a man could be sitting in some stadium in New York or Chicago or Boston, telling me about a game," the little boy says 72 years later. "It was like magic. I was enchanted by it. It captured my imagination to the extent that I knew right then and there that's what I was going to do. I was 6 years old, but I knew what I was going to do for a living, and I never changed my mind."
Jack Cristil, the little boy, has made ballgames on the radio magical for several generations of Mississippians. It might be a Saturday afternoon in October or a Wednesday night in February. You can be driving the back roads between Sumrall and Bassfield or Corinth and Kossuth. You fumble with the radio dial, trying to hear through that interminable static. And then you find it