Countdown to College Football 2015, Day 21: Live on Radio in 1921


The 2015 college football kickoff is only 21 days away, and in 1921, fans heard the first ever live radio broadcast of a college football game.

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Modern day college football fans can quench their thirst for football year-round, 24/7, on any number of electronic broadcasts and devices. You can stream live games, classic games and highlights from your phone, tablet, computer or home television unit.

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But it wasn’t always this easy to see your favorite team. Even 25-30 years ago, the technology wasn’t advanced enough for this type of saturated coverage.

From the early days of the game and on through the first several decades, if you weren’t there live to see the event you had to rely on newspapers or fencepost chat with the neighbor who was lucky enough to procure a ticket.

But in 1921, the general public got their first taste of broadcast college football, and from that day on it’s been a non-stop love affair.

The first live radio broadcast of a college football game occurred on October, 8, 1921, when Harold W. Arlin announced that year’s Backyard Brawl — the rivalry game between West Virginia and Pittsburgh — on KDKA from Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

The historic game did not disappoint, as the hometown Pitt Panthers were able to defeat the rival West Virginia Mountaineers by a score of 21-13, their sixth straight victory in the series.

The voice of Harold Arlin broke new ground and helped pave the path to the crystal clear digitally enhanced voices and images we are graced with today.

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