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by Mike Fisher    Sun, Jan 8, 2006, 09:53 PM

     It's now official: The most notable performer from last week's Rose Bowl, Texas QB Vince Young, is leaving the college football scene.

    Still no word yet on the second most notable performer from last week's Rose Bowl, venerable ABC voice Keith Jackson, who might want to consider leaving the college football scene.

      Now, I'm not much for casting my vote for the life-altering decisions of others; I was amused by the Dallas Morning News columnists who are lining up single-file to take their turns urging the NFL-bound Longhorm to do what THEY would do. (Believe me, nobody should care what Rick Gosselin says he'd do if he was an NFL prospect. I've seen him try to throw a football, and I'm not sure Rick even knows which hand to throw with.)

      But I might have to make an exception for the long-exceptional Mr. Jackson, who is suddenly Whoo-oooooooooooooooooold, Nellie.

      Mr. Jackson should've been in his element at UT's spectacular National Championship win over USC. Instead, he seemed -- dare I say it -- unprepared. Maybe befuddled. And yes, a victim of TheGameHasPassedHimBy-ism.

       I thought there was simply a generation gap (OK, two-generations gap) when Mr. Jackson mispronounced the name of ABC sitcom actor John Stamos. I thought it was sort of funny when he was required to read a promo for ABC sitcom "Emily’s Reasons Why Not.'' "Don’t miss the season premiere of ‘Emily’s Reasons Why Not.’ … Emily’s reasons … I don’t know," Mr. Jackson muttered.

      But I got worried when he made the call on a UT placekick: "That’s wide … Inside … Sailed down the middle … It’s good!" -- which followed an earlier description of a UT extra-point miss that went, "The kick is good.''

       And I got downright incensed when Texas scored its game-winning TD with 19 seconds left and then scored the two-point conversion, and Mr. Jackson intoned forcefully, "What’s that (scoreboard) say? 19 seconds left! Hey, the clock didn’t even move there."
     Mr. Jackson referred to "time outs'' as "times out,'' suggested that the game was once tied at 24-23, applauded his cameraman for getting a shot of Matt Leinhart's dad doing nothing, tried too hard with the good-ol'-boy hooey by saying, when Reggie Bush's mom was shown, "Mamma gonna fly right outta here!'' and then recalled a one-on-one visit he had with the supposed deity Bush:
      Said the yarn-weaving Mr. Jackson: "I saw him in the hall the other day and looked at him and said, ‘Wow.’ Ha-ha."
      The only part of Mr. Jackson's performance that I bought: Late in the dramatic game, Mr. Jackson feigned over-excitement and exclaimed, "I'm gettin' too old for this.''
       Um, no comment, sir.
      Oh, and one more thing: Not a "Whoa, Nellie!'' to be heard. I mean, geez, Mr. Jackson, it's your catchphrase!
       Unless you're going with a new catchphrase. Like, ‘Whoa, Emily’s Reasons Why Not.’ … Emily’s reasons … I don’t know."

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