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Eli Gold in October 2006
Eli Gold (born December 15, 1953) is an American sportscaster. Gold is best known as the radio voice for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, along with Tom Roberts, as part of the Crimson Tide Sports Network since 1988. He was the host of NASCAR Live on the Motor Racing Network from 1982 to 2016. He formerly called play-by-play for Arena Football League's coverage on TNN and NBC and currently calls college football and NFL games for Sports USA Radio Network.
He called New York home until he was twenty-three years old. He lost his father when he was very young and he says, "Regretfully, I didn't know him that well". Gold says that growing up in New York impacted his broadcasting career because there were over two hundred radio stations in the area. He worked at WOR and WNEW, where he learned the business. His high school was not the usual high school that the normal kids go to, instead he went from 7 am until 10:41 AM then he would go to work. In the eighth grade he knew he wanted to be a sportscaster. He began his career in 1972 working as a weekend sports reporter with the Mutual Broadcasting System.
His first specialty was announcing ice hockey for the Eastern, North American, Southern, American, Central, and the National Hockey Leagues. In the NHL, Gold announced games for the 1979-80 St. Louis Blues over KDNL-TV and was the radio play-by-play announcer for Nashville Predators during the 2006-07 NHL season. Gold made a return to pro hockey during the 2017-18 season, broadcasting games for the expansion Birmingham Bulls in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
In 1976, Gold became a member of the NASCAR's Motor Racing network, which gives over 600 stations the broadcast of the NASCAR races. Eli had many different jobs in the station, including co-anchor, turn announcer and pit reporter. His first job with MRN was working turns 1 & 2 for the 1976 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in what he described as "basically an on the air audition." After the race, he asked Barney Hall if he thought "they are going to bring me back." His reply was that he thought "so[.] [Y]ou did OK and I'm sure you'll be back again." While he no longer works the booth or turns, he returned to working each MRN Sprint Cup Series broadcast in the 2015 season hosting the pre-race show and post-race show.
Since 1984, Gold has been host of "NASCAR Live," a weekly show that is heard all over the United States on terrestrial radio, MRN.com and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
From 1996 to 2000, Gold was the lead announcer for TNN's coverage of the Winston Cup Series, sharing the booth with analysts such as Buddy Baker, Dick Berggren, Chad Little and Phil Parsons. He also worked with ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC Sports and SETN in all of their coverage of NASCAR racing.
According to NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace who also broadcasts NASCAR themed shows on Speed Channel and St. Louis radio station KMOX-AM, Gold "is one of the most recognizable voices in NASCAR and in all of sports broadcasting."
In 2016, Gold resigned from MRN and all NASCAR duties. Published reports cited an incident in April of that year that was not disclosed.
Beginning at the 1988 football season, Gold became the radio broadcaster for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football and also basketball teams. He led the shows that are called "The Tide" and "Hey Coach" which had the coaches from both the basketball and football coaches called in and talked to Gold. Eli Gold is known as the voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide and that is how many people recognize his accomplishments.
Along with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Gold was called by the CBS Sports to broadcast the play by play-on college basketball regional show, which included the Universities of Georgia and South Carolina.
Eli was the first play-by-play announcer for the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Blazers basketball team and he was there for six years. Eli also spent four years as the broadcaster for the Birmingham Barons baseball team. While he was working with the baseball team he was named the Southern League's Broadcaster of the Year in 1983. He was also voted "Alabama Sportscaster of the Year" four times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriter Association.
Gold moved to Birmingham, Alabama to broadcast the Birmingham Bulls hockey team of the World Hockey Association. He created Birmingham's first local sports call-in show, Calling All Sports on WERC which became a staple of Birmingham sports radio for 20 years. He eventually rose to the position of Sports Director for what was then that market's ABC affiliate, WBRC where he anchored evening news sports segments and hosted "Sports Talk with Eli", a weekly call-in show. From 2002 to 2004 he hosted a daily sports talk show also called Calling All Sports on WJOX-AM in Birmingham.
Gold has also performed announcing duties for the Birmingham Barons AA baseball team and the UAB Blazers men's basketball team. He has been voted "Alabama Sportscaster of the Year" four times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He has also won the same honor from the Associated Press and United Press International.
At the beginning of the 2000 season, Gold became TNN's "voice" of the Arena Football league by being the voice of the play by play for the AFL. He did the play-by-play announcing for the 3 years that the AFL was on the TNN network. When AFL moved to NBC Sports in 2003, Gold was hired to become the play-by-play announcer for the AFL. Gold also did AFL announcing for FOX Sports Net and Comcast Sports.
Beginning in the Fall of 2003, Gold became a member of the SportsUSA Radio's Network coverage of the NFL. Gold handles the play by play of one NFL game a week. He also broadcasts the all-star games and post-season college football bowl games for SportsUSA Radio.
Gold currently resides in Birmingham, as well as Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina with his wife Claudette and daughter Elise. Gold is also a part owner of Nino's Italian Restaurant, which is located in Pelham, Alabama. He also has a wing sauce named after him at Baumhowers Wings restaurant, which is owned by former Alabama Defensive Lineman, Bob Baumhower. Gold is Jewish; he once told an interviewer that he was thrilled that a "Jewish kid from Brooklyn with zero athletic talent would make it into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame."
Gold has won the Alabama Sportscaster of the Year 4 times. He won these titles by being voted by the National Sportscaster and Sportswriter Association. He has also been named the Alabama Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press twice and also was voted the Alabama Sportscaster of the Year by the United Press International.
Gold was named the Chris Schenkel Award winner by the National Football Foundation for 2019. The award recognizes broadcasters with long careers on the air with direct ties to a specific school. Gold is entering his 31st season calling Alabama Crimson Tide football games on its radio network.
Gold's second book was released in August 2007 and is called Bear's Boys. The book focuses on thirty-six of coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's Alabama football players and explores where they are today and how Coach Bryant's lessons impacted them in their post-University Of Alabama days.
Gold's third book, "From Peanuts To The Press Box" tells his life's story. The story of the boy from Brooklyn, New York who went from selling peanuts at Madison Square Garden and now works in the press boxes and radio booths of America.