Carl Nathe, the public address announcer for the University of Kentucky’s home football games since 1997 and a member of the school’s marketing staff, did the P.A. work for this weekend’s Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl championship games at Kroger Field.
The KHSAA gauged Nathe’s interest in being involved but he didn’t know for sure that he’d be working all six games until earlier this week. He was impressed with how the event turned out and said he’d welcome the opportunity to do it again.
“I think UK did a great job of hosting it,” Nathe said. “Fans that I’ve talked to seem to be pleased with it. ... It seems to be a big success.”
A record crowd of 52,796 watched the finals this weekend in Lexington. It was the city’s first time hosting the state football championships since 1976.
Nathe, probably best known for his booming deliveries of “First Down, Kentucky!” and “Touchdown, Kentucky!” when the Wildcats’ offense is on the field, played it straight during the games this weekend.
“You’re kind of being objective for both teams and you want to be respectable to kids and the players,” Nathe said. “I have a little bit more time to put in for just one game when it’s Kentucky.”
He added with a laugh:
“Probably a little bit more easier on the voice cause I was a little more even-tempered I guess.”