Today’s post honors the memory of Robert Pormann Ufer who died on this day in 1981. Bob Ufer was an absolutely amazing Maize and Blue Man who added so much to the history of Michigan football. He was simply the most passionate and enthusiastic football announcer ever! When I am feeling down about Michigan football, or when I just want to smile, I put in one of his CDs and things instantly get better!
I grew up hearing Bud Lynch, Ernie Harwell, and Van Patrick, call games for the Red Wings, Tigers and Lions. All of these men were great professionals and very good at what they did. Then there was Bob Ufer. He took sports broadcasting to a completely different level! I did not hear Bob Ufer broadcast a Michigan football game until I lived in Ann Arbor in 1968. Wow, the first time I heard him I thought to myself, “this guy is crazy, but he sure makes Michigan football fun!” Bob Ufer was a story teller who could weave words into unforgettable and memorable combinations. He described Michigan football like no other sports broadcaster I have ever heard!
I think his best broadcast ever was in 1969 − the first battle of the “Ten Year War” between Bo and Woody. This was an amazing game, but Bob Ufer was more amazing. His passion and love for Bo and his Wolverines came through on every play that day. The Wolverines kept taking the best shots that the defending national champions could hit them with. Then, they came back with their own. It was such a great game. Ufer made it sound like the incredible game that it was. I became a lifelong fan of Bob Ufer that day! After that, when I was able to afford a ticket to a Michigan game, I always brought my transistor radio. that way, I could listen to Bob Ufer broadcast the game while we watched it together!
As television became more popular, many Ann Arbor residents would turn the TV volume off and turn up the radio so that Bob Ufer could call the game the “right way.” Yes, he was the biggest “homer” announcer in the history of sports, but that’s another reason we loved him so much. He could make the thrill of victory sound even better while the agony of defeat was pure torture when Ufer described it. He was unique and so very special. His player nicknames were amazing and his “Uferisms” are classic. There will never be another football announcer like him – ever!
There are many great things that are written about Bob Ufer. I have linked some of the best articles about Bob Ufer below. Of course, the best way to remember Bob is to hear him doing his magic. The first two links are for listening and watching. The rest are for reading.
Take a moment to remember Robert P. Ufer today. I know that you will be smiling, just like me. He was the unforgettable voice of “Meeeshigan” football for parts of five decades. Thank you Bob Ufer for making so many “cottin pickin” great memories for Michigan fans over the years. May you always rest in peace, except on game day. Then, of course, you can get as wild and excited as you want to! Go Blue!