Nick Saban Addresses Health of Alabama Football Legend

Getty BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches a play against the Louisiana State University Tigers on November 11, 2008 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Eli Gold, relayed a saddening message to the Alabama faithful on Wednesday, August 3. 

According to Crimson Tide Sports Marketing GM Jim Carabin, Gold will be sidelined for the start of the 2022 season due to health concerns, although specifics were not announced. It is unclear whether Gold, 68, will return later in the season, but in the meantime, Chris Stewart will take his place. 

Stewart, who currently calls play-by-play for Alabama basketball including several other sports, is prepared to step up to the challenge. This will not be the first time Stewart will be involved with the football team as he was a sideline reporter during football games for several years.

Stewart will also host the Nick Saban Radio Show each Thursday night during the regular season. 

Saban Speaks On Greatness of Gold & His Legacy

During a Nick’s Kids Foundation event at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Saban gave a statement about Gold and his unfortunate health issues

“Eli has done a fantastic job of being the voice of our iconic brand at the University of Alabama for a long, long time,” Saban said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. We certainly hope that he has a speedy recovery.” 

Gold has shown no signs of slowing down though. Serving as the radio voice for the Crimson Tide since 1988, he’s had several moments where health became an issue including in 2020.

Gold is not just famous for working with the Tide as he has spent time with several teams and organizations including NASCAR, the Birmingham Barons, Birmingham Squadron, Birmingham Bulls and several other athletics programs at the University of Alabama. All of these achievements eventually earned him an induction to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

“He’s a good friend. He’s been a great ambassador for the University of Alabama,” Saban stated. “We appreciate all he’s done, more than you know.”

Gold and Saban have shared some of the fondest memories during the dynasty that started with the arrival of Saban from the Miami Dolphins in January of 2007. It is no surprise that Saban feels that Gold is a personal friend of his and that they have a respectful relationship off the field.

Gold Has a History of Making Strong Comebacks

The year the pandemic started was a rollercoaster for Gold as he initially had both shoulders replaced, and then in the next month contracted Covid-19 during the Arkansas road trip. Although this short absence would cost him his game-calling streak to end at 409 consecutive games, Gold remained positive and returned for the SEC Championship the following week. 

 Gold is currently on a deal through the 2023 season that was signed back in 2018, which he expressed to that he would be interested in working past. As history repeats itself this is just a minor setback for Gold, and he will triumph.