Friday, July 17, 2009

Cawood Ledford Tribute

Cawood Ledford
"The Greatest College Basketball Announcer Of All-Time"
"Voice of the Wildacts"
from 1953-1992
The Legendary "Voice of the Wildcats" was none other than Cawood Ledford. For 39 years, Cawood called Football and Basketball. His voice alone symbolized UK Athletics. Cawood called his last Football game vs. Tennessee on Nov. 23, 1991, and retired from the microphone following the 1991-92 Basketball season. Both games were UK loses.
  • Football: UK 7 Tennessee 16 Nov, 23, 1991
  • Basketball: UK 103 Duke 104 OT March 28, 1992
Cawood Ledford Articles:
Cawood Tidbit
Gannet News Services (USA Today's parent organization) voted Cawood Ledford "The Greatest College Basketball Announcer Of All-Time" after he retired.

Quote on Cawood
"Somewhere over the Rockies, I dial Teamline from an Airfone at my Planeseat and listen to Kentucky to take an eight point halftime lead over Iowa State. You haven't lived, friends, until you've heard the heavenly voice of Wildcat radio announcer Cawood Ledford at 39,000 feet."-Alexander Wolff, SI Writter

Cawood Quote:
"They're coming to the wire, and its all Kentucky! I can almost smell the roses at Churchill Downs!"- Cawood Ledford - as UK defeats Alabama in the '92 SEC tourney

Cawood's Greatest Hits

"Hello everybody! This is Cawood Ledford from Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington..."
The game was on the air

"Write it down"
A shot was made. As in, "Farmer for three."

"Got it!"
As in, "Hord from 15 feet...Got it!"

"Three if it goes"
A three-pointer was in in the air.

"It took a trip, but it stayed."
When a shot danced around the rim before falling.

"He went to war"
Described a particularly impressive "effort play" by a (unually Kentucky) player. As in, Winston really went to war on the boards that time, Ralph."

"He hasn't got it tonight."
When a player had a tough night. As in, "John Pelphrey is a fine basketball player but he just hasn't got it tonight."

"Jiminy Christmas!"
If he stays 10 years, he'll never get a
better shot than that!"
When a Kentucky player missed a gimme.

"They've got to get him out of there."
When a player's repeated mistakes started to hurt Kentucky. As in, "Dale just doesn't have it. They've got to get him out of there"

"He missed that one"
Directed at officials. As in, "Don Rutledge is a fine official, but he sure missed that one."

"He had a notion"
When a player appeared to think about shooting but didn't."

"The Cats are running"
Cawood's signature call in the Rupp era.

Cawood, watches as they raise & retire a banner with his name into the rafters of Rupp Arena..

Cawood in his early years.

Cawood Ledford Bobblehead

Cawood on WSGS Radio in Easten Kentucky

Cawood doing a post game interview with Rick Pitino at Rupp Arena.

I knew him from childhood by the light of the moon
As the voice of the Wildcats invaded my room.
The magic he'd bring to a boy dressed in blue
Was a dream in his heart that he could play too.

When I was away on some distant shore
In a far off country, during the Vietnam War.
I would listen to Cawood from a tape sent from home
And for a sweet moment, I was not alone.

And I'll never forget the last game he called
Was a heartbreaking moment, our progress had stalled.
A blanket of sadness crept over this fan
As I'd listen no more to this wonderful man.

The visions he conjured, are still in my mind
And I miss him today, as I write this line.
I remember his opener- word for word
Hello Everybody, This Is Cawood Ledford.

-Author Unknown

"From Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, this is Cawood Ledford saying thanks to each of you from the bottom of my heart for letting me share these great 39 years. Till we meet again, good bye."

No comments: