What is True Maroon?

2011-2012 “Wrap it in Maroon and White” is True Maroon

Wrap it in Maroon and White

For 58 years, Bulldog victories have been defined by ONE voice, ONE legend, and ONE closing line – ‘Wrap it in Maroon and White!’

A history of Jack Cristil and “Wrap it in maroon and white!”

Jack Cristil

For 58 years Jack Cristil has been the "voice of Mississippi State football." For 54 years he has been the "voice of Mississippi State basketball." He has been behind the microphone, describing the action for 636 football games and over 1500 basketball games – roughly 60% of all football and 55% of all basketball games played by the Bulldogs! Cristil has "wrapped this one in maroon and white" during many memorable victories that have shaped the history of MSU athletics since 1953.

In August of 1953, Jack sent some disc recordings to Mississippi State when he heard that the Bulldogs had an opening for a play-by-play announcer. He was called to Starkville for an interview with then athletic director C.R. "Dudy" Noble. After a short discussion, he was told that MSU was going to give him a shot at it. His first game as the Bulldogs' announcer was against Memphis State (now University of Memphis) in Memphis the next month, which MSU won 34-6. A few years later, during the 1957-57 season Jack Cristil began announcing basketball games for State, as well.

Jack Cristil

One of the many highlights of Jack Cristil's career was his famous victory line, "Wrap it in maroon and white!" When asked about when he began using the phrase, Cristil said, "I don't know when I started using that…I probably used it in 1986 when we played Tennessee in Knoxville because everything in Knoxville is 'Big Orange.' That's all you hear, that's all you see, that's all that is talked about is 'Big Orange' this and 'Big Orange' that. I guess when Don Smith made that run and MSU won 27-23, it was just the fact that, 'Big Orange' was second that day. You can wrap this one up in maroon and white! There's something in this world besides 'Big Orange!' And on that particular day it was 'Maroon and White!'"

Throughout his tenure at Mississippi State Jack Cristil has received numerous awards for his work behind the microphone. Such awards are: SEC Broadcaster of the Year – 1988, 1991 inductee into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement Award, 1997 Chris Schenkel Award, and 21 times named Mississippi Broadcaster of the Year. Also, shortly after his retirement, state legislature passed a law making March 16 the official "Jack Cristil Day."

Jack Cristil

On February 23, 2011, Jack Cristil announced he would be stepping down from his role as the “voice of the Bulldogs.” “All good things, as they say in the trade, must come to an end sooner or later,” Cristil said.  “Please accept my genuine, my honest and heartfelt thank you for the kindness that you have displayed to me during my 58 years. It has been one genuine pleasure to be associated with such a magnificent university.” On February 26, 2011, Jack Cristil called his last Mississippi State basketball game at Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. and he was able to finish his career just like he began it, with a Bulldog win. 58 years and over 2100 football and basketball games later, Cristil concluded his final Bulldog victory with his iconic creed, “Wrap it in Maroon and White!”

History courtesy of Jim Ellis and University Archives.