Crimson Tide football play-by-play announcer Eli Gold is now cancer-free and expected to be back in the booth calling Alabama football games this fall despite missing last season due to his battle with cancer.

Alabama fans, as well as head coach Nick Saban, are excited for Gold to be back in the booth. Wednesday during his press conference, Saban voiced what Gold means to him and the Alabama football program.

“I love Eli,” Saban said. “He’s been with us for a long time, he’s kind of part of the tradition around here in terms of the expectation of being the voice of the Crimson Tide Network in a lot of ways, whether it’s the radio show or whatever it is. I’m just happy for him and his family that he’s getting healthier.”

Last year, Chris Stewart filled in during Eli Gold’s absence from the booth. Now that Gold is cancer-free, he mentioned back in July that he was planning on getting in some practice calls during a few Crimson Tide scrimmages to knock the rust off. Gold may have to ease himself back into the swing of things, but either way, Saban and the Crimson Tide are excited for him to be back and fully supportive of the recovery process.

“He’s able to get around and he’s going to be able to get back and do what he loves doing,” Saban said. “We’re going to do everything that we can to support him, even though it might not be 100% full throttle, we’re sort of working him back into it, but I’m excited to have him back because I love working with him.”

Saturday during Alabama’s first scrimmage of the fall, Gold is expected to get a chance to knock off some rust during a closed broadcast, but he will also be “breaking in” a new color analyst. Gold shared the news of his new partner in the booth and gave a few hints on who it could be on his weekly appearance on “The Opening Kickoff”.

“It’s a former quarterback,” Gold said of the new color analyst. “I don’t want to take my boss’ thunder away because he needs to make the announcement.”

There has not been an official announcement yet, but it is speculated that the "former quarterback" to take on the color analyst duties will be Tyler Watts.

“I don’t believe it’s been announced yet because John Parker Wilson has taken a weekend game day job on behalf of Coach Saban," Gold explained.

John Parker Wilson, former Alabama quarterback and color analyst, is expected to take on a role with Alabama’s official NIL entity, Yea Alabama, in the fall, making it impossible for him to do both jobs. Wilson has worked alongside Gold as the Crimson Tide’s color announcer since 2018.

“John Parker Wilson wanted to stay with us on the broadcast,” Gold said. “It just wasn’t going to work out. He said, ‘How the heck do I tell Coach Saban no?’

“I said, ‘You really don’t tell coach Saban no,'" he added.

Saturday will be the first of two scrimmages that Gold will use as practice before the Crimson Tide’s opening game on September 2 against Middle Tennessee State. 

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