Pay These Prices and Please Pay No More

12 Apr

Bobby Denton passed away. Most of you have never heard of Bobby Denton, but he is someone I have been listening to since I was six years old. I could not pick him out of a crowd, but I would know his voice anywhere. Bobby Denton was the public address announcer at University of Tennessee football games.Bobby Denton

His voice would boom over the loud speakers as over 100,000 people listened. He let everyone know who made a tackle or scored on a long touchdown play. He let us know if the team had made a first down on a quarterback sneak.

Every university has a public address announcer who does these same things. However, each one of them has their own style and sayings. Bobby Denton was no exception. He had a certain way of saying things that could get the crowd fired up. After a great play, he would let the crowd settle down before saying something like, “That touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Joey Kent covered 85 yards!” The crowd would start yelling again.

People make fun of me because I like to get into the stadium early and watch the team warm up. While other people tailgate, I take in the atmosphere from the seats. Bobby Denton was one of the reasons. You knew that things were cranking up when he took the mic and said, “It’s football time in Tennessee!”

Then, he would go through his pregame ritual of telling everyone about the exits in case of an emergency and where the first aid stands were located. At the end, Bobby Denton said one of his catchphrases, “Concession prices are listed on Page 21 of your program. We urge you to pay these prices and please pay no more!” Half of the people in the stands said it with him.

As a kid, I sat next to my dad and listened to Bobby Denton tell me what was happening on the field. I have grown up listening to Bobby Denton. After his death, coaches and players from the University of Tennessee talked about how great of a man he was. I am just one of thousands of people who listened to him, but I know that football games will not be the same without Bobby Denton saying an opposing player was “tackled by a host of Volunteers!”

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