Mike Keith prepared for what he thought would be a new website feature with NFL analyst Charles Davis, and on Thursday he put the plan into action during a Zoom interview focused on the Titans.
During the middle of the call, however, former Titans running back Eddie George was invited to join in, and what happened next even caught Keith by surprise.
Keith, Vice President of Broadcasting with the Titans, will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame’s 2021 class. Davis and George, Tennessee Sports Hall of Famers themselves, pulled off the delivery of the news to perfection.
“Everybody I’ve heard from after the fact has been more delighted that I was “got” than anything else, because over the years I have sort of gotten a few people myself,” Keith said with a smile. “They got me good.
“It was a tremendous surprise, and to be told by Eddie George was just incredibly special, there’s no other way to put it. This really means a lot.”
Keith, a Franklin native and a graduate of Battle Ground Academy and the University of Tennessee, worked with the Vol Radio Network, WIVK Radio and WBIR-TV in Knoxville, from 1987-1998 before working on the Tennessee Oilers Radio Network in 1997 and 1998 as the Oilers played in Memphis and at Vanderbilt University. In 1999, Keith was named “The Voice of the Titans”.
Over the last 22 seasons, Keith has called over 450 preseason, regular season, and postseason games.
Keith has been named as Tennessee Sportscaster of the Year 11 times, has won over 20 Associated Press state awards, and he’s captured two national honors, including the industry’s most prestigious award: the Edward R. Murrow Award for nationwide excellence in sports reporting.
Keith was named to the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 last year.
“Mike Keith is one of the NFL’s premier radio voices, and his success is due to nothing less than hard work and dedication,” said Brad Willis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. “Every week during the NFL season, Mike uses his voice to paint the picture for Titans fans across the region, and his signature calls have become synonymous with the Titans organization. We are excited to have him join the Class of 2021.”
In January of 2000, Keith called one of the greatest plays in NFL history, “The Music City Miracle,” a last-second touchdown that gave the Titans an improbable playoff win over the Buffalo Bills. ESPN named Keith’s description of the play as one of the 10 best radio calls in American sports history.
Keith also calls Tennessee state championship events as part of the Titans’ relationship with the TSSAA. In addition, he regularly hosts shows on Sirius XM NFL Radio and has done play-by-play for SEC-ESPN Network. Keith has also served as the emcee for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet for over the last 20 years.
“The whole thing about the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is you think about Wilma Rudolph, and you think about Pat Summitt, and General (Robert) Neyland and Jess Neely and Steve Spurrier and Phillip Fulmer and John Majors and Reggie White and Penny Hardaway and on and on and on,” Keith said. “All these people who were just legendary figures in so many different ways, and then to even think that my name is going to be among theirs, that is otherworldly. It really is phenomenally special.
“Obviously, I wasn’t good enough to make it as a player, and I sure couldn’t coach. So, the fact that I am able to talk about sports and be involved in it in this way through the TSSAA and the University of Tennessee and obviously the Tennessee Titans. … It is just really special in a way that is hard to describe.”