Health Difficulties Could Keep Eli Gold Out of the 2022 Alabama Season

New voices will be in the Alabama football radio booth this coming September.

The school stated on Wednesday that Eli Gold, the team’s veteran announcer, will miss the beginning of the season due to health reasons. Chris Stewart, the play-by-play guy, will call Alabama basketball and other sports. Stewart has spent several seasons working as a sideline reporter for NFL telecasts.

During the season, Stewart will also serve as the presenter of the Nick Saban Radio Show on Thursday evenings.

Gold, 68, renewed his contract with Alabama in 2018 until the 2023 season. Gold told AL.com at the time of the extension that he intended to continue working after it expired.

After contracting COVID-19 in advance of the 2020 Crimson Tide’s trip to Arkansas, he was unable to continue his run of calling 409 straight games. Stewart was there to take Gold’s place, and Gold returned the following week for the SEC title game.

Eli Gold

Before being incapacitated by COVID, Gold had both shoulders replaced in 2020. The second surgery occurred a month before Gold was first diagnosed with the disease.

The 2014 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame inductee has spent their whole career in the media. In 1976, he started working for the NASCAR Motor Racing Network, and in the early 1980s, he was the radio voice of the Birmingham Barons baseball club. The Crimson Tide wasn’t the only broadcasting gig he had going, though; he also did play-by-play for the Birmingham Bulls (hockey) and the Birmingham Squadron of the NBA G-League.

In his contract with the Squadron, Gold promised that, should a dispute arise, he would always put Alabama games first.

Gold said to AL.com in 2018 that “I’m a professional describer.” My resume doesn’t include playing time or a Super Bowl victory. Neither have I served as a head coach or general manager in the NFL. Consequently, I relied on my color guy increasingly as time went on. Even if I am familiar with football, I must admit that those men have a far more comprehensive understanding of the game than I do. And I know what my part is.

The school’s announcement that Gold won’t be available to start the season has been reflected in this revised version of the story.

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