Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Voice of the Razorbacks Dies in Car Accident

Source: Paul Eells, the "voice of the Razorbacks" whose trademark "Touchdown, Arkansas!" call endeared him to generations of sports fans, is dead after a head-on collision on Interstate 40 at Russellville. State police said the accident last night at 8:13 pm also took the life of the other driver, Billy J. Burton of Dover.

The 70-year-old Eells had served as sports director of Little Rock television station KATV for nearly three decades and also delivered play-by-play coverage of Arkansas Razorbacks football and basketball for radio and television.

Scoring plays weren't the only events that drew a characteristic response from Eells.
Viewers or listeners perked up when they heard him utter the mild exclamation "Oh, my!" because they knew something interesting had happened on the field or the court.

A police report said Eells' car, eastbound near the Arkansas 331 exit from I-40, crossed the median and collided in the westbound lanes with a car driven by the 40-year-old Burton.

The report said she and Eells were both pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Eells was returning to his home at Little Rock after participating in a golf tournament for sports figures and the media at Fayetteville. KATV said he had also interviewed Arkansas Football Coach Houston Nutt during the visit to northwest Arkansas.

Eells, a West Branch, Iowa, native, joined KATV in 1978.

He was named Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year eleven times and was also honored several times with an Associated Press award for bestsports play-by-play.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, he began his broadcast career with radio station KOKX in Keokuk, Iowa, as an announcer. He then moved to WMT in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, andfrom there to WSM radio and television in Nashville, Tennessee, where he did play-by-play for Vanderbilt until coming to Arkansas in 1978.

Governor Huckabee is calling for state flags to fly at half staff on the day of Paul Eells' funeral and for prayers for Eells' family. Paul Eells was 70 years old.

A memorial service has been scheduled for Friday at 2:00 p.m. at Robinson Center Auditorium in Little Rock. It is open to the public. Paul Eells' family requests memorials be made to the Paul Eells Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 10689, Conway, AR 72034.


At 1:39 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a Razorback fan, losing Paul is like losing a member of your extended family. Combine that with the fact that he was a class act away from the mic. It says a lot when you hear people say "I never heard anyone say anything bad about him". Talk about the ultimate compliment! As cheesy as it sounds, we should all strive to be more like Paul and the way he treated EVERYONE. He just might have been the nicest man in Arkansas.
Check out this tribute from WSMV Nashville:

At 5:01 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am absolutely stunned to hear this. What a class act. One of the best of the best. I will miss seeing his face on KATV when I come home, and I will miss hearing his voice on the radio each fall. The drive between Little Rock to Fort Smith on I-40 will never be the same to me again.


At 5:03 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul was easily one of the nicest most genuine human beings I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

First class all the way . . . . .

At 6:28 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad for Paul's family and I hope they are comforted in this time of grief.

I'm curious, however: Was there any coverage of the woman who died in the accident after Paul reportedly crossed the median?

At 6:53 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, more than would have been given if it wasn't Paul that was involved.

At 11:04 PM, August 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the job stress killed him and the KATV Brass know that they pushed him too far and he is no spring chicken and he was 70 yrs old and they pushed him too hard.

At 8:45 PM, August 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster above and i like to say it might all be job related and here is a case history, David Bloom of NBC died in the line of duty and another case history that i like to bring up is the CBS News Crew in Iraq that hit a IED and so on and i think that KATV pushed him too hard!

At 1:21 AM, May 18, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its very shocking. Its the most saddest part of our life when our love ones get involved of very serious accident. On handling our legal case Houston personal injury attorney can help for any legal aspects. Be worry free when dealing with your case.


Post a Comment

<< Home