In today's world of college football being constantly on television, it is hard to for younger people to know just how much a radio broadcaster meant to those of us who grew up as college football fans in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Back then, colleges were limited to three games on television every two years in the regular season. If you could not make it to the stadium, the radio broadcast was your connection to the teams you followed.
In this area, we had giants in the radio broadcasting field. The late Jim Phillips called the games for Clemson. Larry Munson called them for Georgia, and Bob Fulton called them for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Each had their own style. Fulton had the knack of knowing the biography of every player that was noted in the broadcast.
People have their favorite memories of Fulton broadcasts. Three favorites come to mind for me. The first is when I was still a kid, and I and my dad listened to Fulton call the game as the USC Gamecocks whipped the USC Trojans, 38-14 in 1983. We were actually Clemson fans pulling for the Gamecocks that evening. My next favorite Fulton broadcast came after I became a Gamecock. Watching the Carquest Bowl on January 2nd, 1995 on television, with the sound turned down and the radio turned up as Fulton called his last football game for Carolina, which turned about to be Carolina's first bowl win was a real treat.
But, perhaps it was in retirement that Gamecock fans and all football fans got an idea of the class of Bob Fulton. When Clemson broadcasting legend Jim Phillips suddenly passed away during the 2003 football season, Fulton came out of retirement to call a Clemson series for the broadcast of the Clemson-Middle Tennessee State game that immediately followed Phillips's death. Such was the mutual respect of the old great broadcasters. Further, just a over a year ago, there was a story in the media about how Fulton would give play by play calls for games for those who could no longer see in the assisted living center Fulton lived in.
But, for me, the passing of Bob Fulton is a loss of another of those pieces of childhood. Great broadcasters like Fulton could paint the game right before you. Those broadcasters like Fulton had the talent of great writers on the fly. They could make you feel that you were right there at the game. So many people have so many memories that revolve around those broadcasts.
So, Rest in Peace, Bob Fulton, and thank you, sir, for the memories. The friends and family of Bob Fulton have our prayers and sympathy.