Friday, September 14, 2012

Jim Lampley calling Division 3 football on ABC in 1977

Here is an ABC regional college football telecast from 11/12/1977 between Division 3 rivals Wabash and DePauw with a young Jim Lampley calling the action. Lampley started with ABC in 1974 as a sideline reporter. By 1977, he had moved into a regional play-by-play role. The analyst was former Detroit Lions coach Rick Forzano.

At the time, the ABC TV contract with the NCAA required the network to televise a few Division 2 and Division 3 games each year, so this telecast helped ABC satisfy the terms of that deal. These D2/D3 games typically went to very small regional audiences. When this game ended, viewers joined in progress the primary ABC telecast between Colorado and Oklahoma which was called by Keith Jackson and Ara Parseghian.

Here is a brief video with some background on this telecast. ABC decided to televise it only 3 days in advance. This clip also includes a great tidbit about Billy Joel performing a concert on the DePauw campus the night before this game (which was 6 weeks after his breakout album "The Stranger" was released).

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