Verne Lundquist Says Goodbye To CBS College Football
After 17 years in the booth, Verne Lundquist announced he will step down as the play-by-play man for CBS College Football.
There’s no question, Lundquist is a legend in the broadcasting business. Verne received a Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement award this year, so there are going to be some huge shoes, or in broadcasting terms a huge headset, to fill for CBS. Brad Nessler will take over the duties starting with the 2017 season, and he will try to replace one of the softest touches in the industry behind the mic.
Nessler, formerly with ESPN for more than two decades, joins CBS’s football team acknowledging the man that came before him.
“Verne has been a friend for over 30 years and someone I've always looked up to in this business,” Nessler said. “I'm not replacing him as it would be impossible to replace Verne. I am truly honored to carry on where he leaves off and work to maintain the standard of excellence he has set calling the SEC ON CBS. I am excited to rejoin the CBS Sports team this season and look forward to working alongside Gary again in 2017.”
There will be one more season for Uncle Verne, college football fans. Soak in every “Oh My!” and eloquently placed vocabulary word, before his chuckles leave the college football world.
Lundquist said goodbye in classic Verne fashion, with grace.
"Being a part of the SEC ON CBS since 2000 has been the most significant assignment I’ve been given in my more than five decades in this business. Now, it’s time to step back and take in the aroma of those tulips, those roses, and those daffodils that friends have been telling me about for years. In 2017, I’ll happily step aside from college football and welcome Brad to the booth. I’ve known Brad for more than 30 years and have always admired his work ethic and his on-air presence. He shares the same passion for college football that I do. The SEC ON CBS is in great hands. Brad and Gary will form a great partnership in the years ahead.”
We should have expected nothing less from Verne. His goodbye was poetic (“it’s time to step back and take in the aroma of those tulips, those roses, and those daffodils that friends have been telling me about for years…”), humble and heartfelt.
Even if you don’t like the way Verne called games for your favorite team, you have to respect his professionalism.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said Lundquist “set the standard for college football broadcasting” at CBS, and SEC fans listened to his voice call their game of the week, alongside Gary Danielson (who will stay on the broadcast with Nessler), for years. The sound of the games will change on CBS, but the impact he had on the game and the way it’s called will linger in the booth.
If you have the time, watch the full video of his Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement ceremony. Uncle Verne even tears up during the tribute, which you know is enough temptation to press play.