When John Ward stepped down as Voice of the Vols

#26

OneManGang

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#26
On the "Give Him Six" video put out by the Vol Network they asked Ward about his future he said, "I'll know when it's time and I'll just walk away." He and Bill (or A.W. as the case might be) would review each broadcast on Monday and talk about things they could do better.

There's a reason they were unmatched.

I recall a pro golfer who hit a tremendous shot to win a tourney. An interviewer said something to the effect that it was a really lucky shot. The golfer eyed him and replied. "I worked hard for a lot of years to get that lucky."

At the press conference where he announced the 1998-99 seasons (football and basketball) would be his last he stepped up to the mike and said simply, "Its time."

Class all the way.
 
#28

onevol74

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#28
Very few football fans outside of Tennessee know who John Ward is, or certainly Bob Kesling. I think Mike Keith has surpassed Ward in modern notoriety, everyone in sports has heard his music city miracle call. Ward has been off the radio for over 20 years. But the fact is radio personalities are going by the wayside. For most coming in the future, it will be a stepping stone to television or other media.
John Ward was twice as popular on the radio in his day than Mike Keith is in his day and it is not even close. And that includes fans outside of Tennessee. People in other southern states were familiar with John Ward at Tennessee, Kawood Ledford at UK, and Munson at UGA. You ask fans in other states who Mike Keith is and they would scratch their heads. How many songs have been written about Mike Keith?
 
#29

N.ohio vol

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#29
Ive sent that video to probably about 10 people up here. I listen to it every so often. My dad a die hard Notre Dame fan says "man that's a good song lol." My mom who roots for Tennessee for me goes that song almost made me cry. I guess John Ward has a way with alot of people.
 
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#30

kyvol98

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#30
In Kentucky, Cawood Ledford is their version of Legendary John Ward.
Sat with John during a luncheon and after finding out I lived in KY, told a nice story about Cawood and referred to him as a very dear friend.
 
#35

djohnnyg

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#35
John Ward had the reach of being on 1510 WLAC in Nashville I believe...which is 50k am radio station. It used to be a station on the Vol network. I moved 500 miles away from Tennessee....not by choice...and could hear evening Vol games where I'm at. You can literally pick up WLAC across most of the country at night. I used to listen to Vol calls. Recently though....they changed to being a Vandy station....which makes sense cuz it's the hometown team...but it shows how UT used to own the state of Tennessee.... for a long time. There's no 50 k stations in Knoxville...so losing WLAC is a bit of a blow to the fan base outside of Knoxville. I would bet there's still waaaay more Vol fans across Tennessee than Vandy fans and WLAC ratings have suffered since switching to being a Vandy station.
 
#36

JohnWardForever

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#36
John Ward had the reach of being on 1510 WLAC in Nashville I believe...which is 50k am radio station. It used to be a station on the Vol network. I moved 500 miles away from Tennessee....not by choice...and could hear evening Vol games where I'm at. You can literally pick up WLAC across most of the country at night. I used to listen to Vol calls. Recently though....they changed to being a Vandy station....which makes sense cuz it's the hometown team...but it shows how UT used to own the state of Tennessee.... for a long time. There's no 50 k stations in Knoxville...so losing WLAC is a bit of a blow to the fan base outside of Knoxville. I would bet there's still waaaay more Vol fans across Tennessee than Vandy fans and WLAC ratings have suffered since switching to being a Vandy station.
When 1510 switched to Vandy, they also dropped the "Sports Scene" with Bob Bell and Bill King. That was the top rated Radio show in the SE. I called wlac and told them how stupid they were; they said that some wacky talk show had bid higher for the time. Yeah well, we see how that went. Wlac is now totally irrelevant . Ah well, Time changes everything good.
 
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#37

Backwards K

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#37
Very few football fans outside of Tennessee know who John Ward is, or certainly Bob Kesling. I think Mike Keith has surpassed Ward in modern notoriety, everyone in sports has heard his music city miracle call. Ward has been off the radio for over 20 years. But the fact is radio personalities are going by the wayside. For most coming in the future, it will be a stepping stone to television or other media.
I'm gonna assume you are too young to have listened to John Ward do football and basketball on the Vol Network. Because, no sane, logical sports fan would make such a ridiculous statement.
 
#39

Carl Pickens

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#39
Got down to Tennessee for my first game in 2010. Was blown away by the traditions. Got back home here in ohio had to learn more about Tennessee football. Took only a few weeks to pick that name up through videos and things. Didn't get to hear him live but as a person who only knew the basics of Tennessee traditions. I found out real quick thats a real big name when it comes to Tennessee football. Go Vols!
Before ESPN and every other station started showing college football TN was only on tv once or twice a year..... WARD was TN football
 
#41

VOLINVONORE

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#41
I agree, but wish all of you younger ones could have heard George Mooney who preceded Ward...He, too, was outstanding and stepped down because of his business empire...Otherwise, he would have been a legend also...
I heard old George before John, do not think he was as good as John. George had a problem in not being accurate on the yard lineage after plays. My father used to draw a Dyergram every game that he did not attend and often the ball was 2-3 yards off when the next play was announced.
 
#42

BowlBrother85

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#42
Bill Anderson was a great color man too. I liked him a lot also
Bill Anderson was good because he knew how to complement John Ward. He followed the Ed McMahon philosophy on being a good sidekick. Basically, just keep your mouth shut and let John be the star. Bill would chime in only when some additional emphasis was needed. He probably spoke less than any color commentator ever.

Also, Bill was a great story teller in pre-game. I loved his story about how Doug Atkins tried to help him make an NFL roster by pretending to be blown off the line of scrimmage by him during a pre-season NFL exhibition game. Coaches, not aware of their friendship, were like "Who is this guy whipping Atkins butt?!?!?". LOL.
 
#44

Orange defense

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#44
John Ward was amazing ----Even the Pregame was spellbinding. God Bless John Ward.
Yea, he would give you chills right before kickoff. Because of static while traveling, I’d pull off into a parking lot just to listen to the game, and to keep that radio station from going in and out. That was the good old days. I couldn’t even miss a play.😂😂
 
#45

TNnative

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#45
Mike Keith is going to be 54 this year. I think that TN would go with a younger voice. BTW, Kesling is class of 1977 so he is about 66 now. A change is probably not too many years away.
I have never listened to an entire Kesling broadcast. I have sat through one once while traveling, but had to wake up and ask the driver how it turned out. Hope you are correct, and the next guy up at the very least does not bore me beyond belief.
 
#46

Backwards K

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#46
In Kentucky, Cawood Ledford is their version of Legendary John Ward.
Sat with John during a luncheon and after finding out I lived in KY, told a nice story about Cawood and referred to him as a very dear friend.
I don't care what they did in Kentucky and can't figure out why you felt the need to mention his name in this thread about the great John Ward
 
#48

VOLINVONORE

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#48
I don't care what they did in Kentucky and can't figure out why you felt the need to mention his name in this thread about the great John Ward
When I was a kid, way back in the early- late -1940s, WNOX was the only boy radio station who broadcast the Tennessee games in East Tennessee. The 50,000 watt radio station in Kentucky was the only station which we could receive the game Neil WRGS came on the air around 1950 and they carried the Tennessee games. Therefore, I heard a lot of Kentucky football and basketball games with Kaywood calling the games.

I also would listen the the Cleveland Indians play on the radio and pulled for them, mainly because I could hear them every night and the were the only team who could beat the Yankees a few times. Back in the “Old” days, it was sometimes difficult to hear any games on the radio and almost impossible to see sports on the - station broadcasting in AST Tennessee. You listens to whichever game you could find.
 
#49
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#49
I am sure that I've posted this before, but when Bob Kesling was announced as the new Voice of the Vols after John Ward's retirement, I simply thought this was the Vol Network throwing a bone to a longtime, loyal employee, who would then step aside after 3 or 4 years and let someone with some real talent take over. Instead, I'm stuck still listening to this erroneous and stammering buffoon 20+ years later.

And as for Mike Keith, he's as bad as any of the other over excitable, play by play lunatics that cover their NFL teams (specifically, Indianapolis, Kansas City, San Francisco, and Carolina come to mind). There are literally 2 play by play guys in the NFL that I like: Brad Sham of the Dallas Cowboys, and Wes Durham of the Atlanta Falcons.

Where Kesling just makes me laugh at his total ineptitude, Keith makes me want to physically rip the radio out out of the dashboard and throw it onto the highway, then stop the car, back up, and run over the radio again.
 

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