Blind Football Announcer Calls It Like He Hears It

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David Holton is a 49-year-old resident of Louisville, Kentucky. A judge by day, he is also the varsity football announcer for the DuPont Manual High School Rams.

His son, Brooks Holton, is a senior defensive lineman for DuPont Manual. David has had the opportunity to take part in his son's games.

But David lacks an advantage that many PA announcers take for granted: his sight. Anne Marshall reports for Only a Game from Kentucky.

Having lost his sight at age 10, David can now only see lights like those on a football field. He says he hasn't let it stop him from reaching his goals, but there is one thing, in particular, he missed out on.

"I've been able to do most of the things I wanted to do in my life. I went to college, I went to law school, I practiced law, now I'm a judge. So I've had a good, full life. But it has been one of the disappointments in my life that I haven't been able to coach my kids on the field."

Announcing his son's football games has helped Holton to fill that void. He stepped into the role three years ago when a fellow parent called him in a panic.

"It was about three hours before the game started," David explains. "He said, 'We don't have an announcer!' I said, 'Well, I'll be glad to do it, but, you know, I can't see. I can talk but I can't see.'"

Holton is accompanied in the small press box on game nights by Buddy, his 11-year-old black lab seeing eye dog, and by Thomas Pattison, his loyal spotter and friend. During each down of the game David patiently waits for Pattison to tell him what's going on.

"It's my job to tell him what's going on so that he can tell the people downstairs," says Pattison. "And he does a great job. I don't think anybody down there [who] doesn't know David would know that there's a blind guy up here."

This segment aired on October 22, 2011.


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