Tommy Palmer, the host of the Georgia High School Scoreboard Radio Show and a long-time color commentator for GPB TV’s coverage of the state football finals, posted a blog Monday revealing that he’s been given less than a 1% chance of surviving lung cancer and is entering hospice care.
“I have no idea how much time I have left here on earth, but, I have run the race …kept the faith and will continue to do so until God calls me home,” Palmer wrote in a candid and poignant blog posted on the Georgia High School Association’s web site.
Palmer was diagnosed with cancer in his right lung in August 2017. Palmer promised Monday to keep readers and fans abreast of his condition through blogs or social media. He said he had spent the past 15 days recuperating from his third surgery to treat the cancer at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Savannah.
Palmer, who grew up in Claxton, has worked in radio for 60 years, starting at age 16. He began work in TV in 1981.
Palmer’s voice is one of the more recognizable ones in Georgia high school football. He began producing and hosting the Scoreboard Show, which airs on football Friday nights, in 2005. The show airs on more than 50 radio stations. Team correspondents call in to update scores and provide details of their games.
Palmer has broadcast more than 900 sporting events in his career. He’s best known on TV as a commentator on GPB’s broadcasts of the football finals. (Hear his work from the Class A public-school final in 2019.)
Palmer also has been been an GPB sports blogger for the past six years and a regular on GPB’s “Football Fridays in Georgia” podcast.
In a 2018 interview with Georgia High School Football Daily, Palmer expressed his love of his school football.
“I like it because I still think it’s the greatest game out there,” Palmer said. “I sometimes say that high school football is the introduction education to adult life. I've discovered that life is the game of football without the helmet and shoulder pads. You get knocked down a lot, but you always get up and keep trying.”
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