Eli Gold to miss start of 2022 Alabama season with health issues, replacement named

The change will hit the Alabama football radio broadcast booth this September.

The school announced Wednesday that team voice Eli Gold will be sidelined to start the season due to health concerns. Chris Stewart, the play-by-play expert on Alabama basketball and other sports, will take his seat in the booth. Stewart has been a secondary reporter in recent years on football broadcasts.

Stewart will also host the Nick Saban radio show on Thursday nights throughout the season.

Gold, 68, signed a new contract with Alabama in 2018 that extended his contract through the 2023 season. At the time of the extension, Gold told AL.com that he planned to work beyond the end of that season.

His streak of consecutive Crimson Tide games ended at 409 after contracting COVID-19 before the 2020 trip to Arkansas. Stewart filled his chair that day before Gold returned the following week for the SEC championship game.

Prior to that, Gold had both shoulders replaced in 2020, the second of which came just a month before he was sidelined by COVID.

The 2014 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame inductee has lived his entire life on broadcast. He joined the NASCAR Motor Racing Network in 1976 and was the voice of the Birmingham Barons baseball team in the early 1980s. He went on to work various other broadcast jobs alongside Crimson Tide duties, including the Birmingham Bulls (hockey) and the Birmingham Squadron of the NBA G-League.

The priority, Gold said upon signing with the Squad, would always be calling the Alabama games in the event of a conflict.

“I’m a professional describer,” Gold told AL.com in 2018. “I haven’t taken snapshots and won a Super Bowl. I have not coached or been a general manager in the National Football League. So, I leaned heavily on my black man over the years. I know some football, but those guys watch the game from high above where I watch it. And I understand my role.”

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the school’s statement that Gold will be out to start the season.

Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or in Facebook.

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