Jock Sutherland back with more from UofL broadcast days

Jock Sutherland

Catching up with Jock Sutherland, now in his 91st year. Still as funny as he ever was, recently recalling his days as a color commentator for University of Louisville basketball.

Jock never pretended to be a broadcaster, and today admits he would never have made it as a play-by-play man.

Jock and Van Vance were in Knoxville for the Dream Game in 1983 as the broadcast team for WHAS radio. There was static on the air and Vance ducked down under the table to work on the equipment, telling Jock to take it. “I told him I was not a play-by-play guy, but there was no other option,” said Jock. “I was awful. He told me I would never have to do that again.” 

Never a dull moment for Sutherland, the long-since retired sidekick of Vance on WHAS radio.  Together they were an unforgettable broadcast team for UofL basketball for more than 20 years.

Jock has had a busy year, getting with Van for their annual get-together and adding an electric chairlift so he can navigate the steps at his two-story house in Nicholasville.

Unfortunately his driving days are over, as a result of another motorist slamming into the side of his Chevy S-10 pickup truck. Fortunately Jock was not hurt but the pickup was beyond repair. Through with driving, he now relies on his wife Phyllis for transportation.

Phyllis is still working part-time four hours a day for the local board of education, reducing her hours so she can spend more time with Jock. “We’re there for each other,” she says. “He’s still a lot of fun to be with.”

Jock was recently interviewed again by film producers Renee Collins and Warren Cobb for Room 17 Productions about his experiences with Vance for the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History:

Jock Sutherland: The WHAS Broadcasting Years from Renee Collins on Vimeo.

Network Keeps Louisville Fans Connected

Crystal clear reception all the way home, every minute of Wednesday’s Louisville vs. Louisiana Lafayette basketball game.

While making the four-hour Christmas drive from Western Kentucky, the observer had reason to thank Clear Channel Communications for the deal that set up a statewide radio network for University of Louisville athletics.

Until a couple of years ago, the only option was WHAS radio, and one usually wound up listening to Cuban music or soccer, with the signal only available for a few seconds now and then for U of L games.

Different this time around. After not locating the game on satellite radio, try WHAS, getting a muddled signal and some grandpa talking UK football and the Country & Western Bowl. A quick cell phone call to junior provides the listings from state network lineup posted by Card Game.

Start listening to the game on WQXQ-FM (101.9) out of Owensboro. When that signal fades, switch to WLVK-FM (105.5) in Elizabethtown. Thirty miles from Louisville, it’s over to WKRD 790 for the conclusion and the post-game interviews.

Such luck would never have been possible before the University of Kentucky forked over one million dollars for priority coverage on WHAS. Rather than lose the U of L audience, Clear Channel proceeded to set up a statewide network for Louisville games.

Quite a deal, UK. Any other bright ideas?