Bob Sherrill: The Voice of South Pittsburg
Football is everything in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. For some it's the spirit of competition, others it's the sights and sounds of the game. For Bob Sherrill, it's without a doubt, dedication.
"I'm the public address announcer for the Pirates and this is my 61st year. They give me the best seat in the house Free of charge. I never get rained on. It's got heat and A/C, why not?"
Sherrill never played football, in fact, he was a cheerleader. His friends would call him "Big Edd." it wasn't until his years in the army when Big Edd picked up a microphone.
"So, I was told by some of my peers southerners do not articulate. So, I picked up on that and I started to try and articulate," Sherrill said.
His 61-year run in the press box, which now bears his name, can also be attributed to the only thing more successful than his PA career. His 62 year marriage to his wife Patsy.
"Well he doesn't always do what I tell him."
But when Mrs. Patsy Sherrill told Bob he can't give up his Friday night gig, he listened.
"He's always saying, I need to give this up, I said no, Bobby. Not until you can't do it yourself. Everybody says don't let him give it up because we love his voice," Patsy Sherrill said.
It's a voice you don't often hear in this day and age. The tone, the style, is truly one of a kind. Most importantly, it's the context.
"I tell people, I'm not a playmaker, I'm a noisemaker, but the noise I make is a reflection of what goes on, on the field, as best as I can tell through my spotter," Sherrill said.
His spotter, by the way, is his grandson. His family was in attendance 10 years ago when the best seat in the house was officially named the Robert E. Sherrill Press Box. And a man, who asks for no recognition, got what he deserved.
"I feel like the night they presented him with the press box, I felt like my heart was going to burst with pride. His children were so proud of him," Patsy said.
A town that revolves around Pirates football and what's Pirates football without Bob Sherrill? He's not naïve when thinking about his run coming to an end. It has to happen sooner or later. And when it does, he'll just have to move to the second best seat in the house.
"I hope when I reach the point where I'm not doing it adequately, that they will politely tell me, it's time to go, you know that drill. I'll be ready to take a seat out front with my wife,” Sherrill said.