His name was Carl Stephens. I knew him as Jordan-Hare. He died Wednesday in Montgomery. He was 77.
Stephens was Auburn football’s public address announcer for 27 years. You never saw him. You heard him. Up until 2006, the stadium spoke. It spoke deep. It spoke with authority. What it said went. It might have looked like Stacy Danley got five yards, but if the stadium said it was second and six, Stacy Danley got four yards. Auburn won the 1989 Iron Bowl because Carl Stephens said we won it.
This is what he sounded like in 2005 at his last season opener:
Here’s what he sounded and looked like on the Auburn Football Review, which he hosted from 1963 to 1975, and on which he was always, always right. He’d point something out about the game and that’s what Shug would say to him: “You’re so right, Carl.” Same as the bumper stickers said. Same as your parents said: “Mom, are we having hotdogs tonight?”
“You’re so right, Carl.”
From the Nov. 3, 1973 (Florida game) issue of Auburn Football Illustrated:
“The Auburn Family has lost a true gentleman and one of the university’s greatest ambassadors in the death of Carl Stephens,” Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said in a press release released late Wednesday night. “As a player at Auburn, hearing Carl’s voice always made you feel at home.”
Top photo by Larry Parker. Audio from Kenny Smith’s 2005 interview with Stephens. There’s more: Stephens on how his career with Auburn began, Stephens on how the Auburn Football Review was produced, Stephens on the experience (“It’s intense concentration for three hours”) of calling an Auburn football game as a public address announcer, Stephens on his most exciting moments as the voice of Jordan-Hare, Stephens on the 1996 LSU game, Stephens on the 1983 Iron Bowl, Stephens on his favorite part about gameday.
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