Today’s post honors the memory of the legendary Robert P. Ufer who went to rest in peace on this day in 1981. Robert Pormann “Bob” Ufer was an absolutely amazing Maize and Blue Man who ate, slept, lived, and breathed all things Michigan, but especially football.
I’ll admit it − I am an absolute fanatical fan of Robert P. Ufer. He is the most passionate and enthusiastic football announcer ever! When I am feeling down about Michigan football like this week, I play one of his CDs and things instantly get better!
I grew up hearing Bud Lynch, Ernie Harwell, and Van Patrick, broadcast the Red Wings, Tigers and Lions over the radio. 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 while attending Eastern Michigan University in 1968. Wow, the first time I heard him I thought to myself, “this guy is crazy, but he sure makes Michigan Football fun!” Yes, Bob Ufer was a story teller who could weave words into memorable combinations like no other sports broadcaster I have ever heard!
Personally, 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 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 “Game of the Century” which it was! I became a lifelong fan of Robert P. Ufer that day! When I was able to afford a ticket to a Michigan game after that, I always brought my transistor radio so that I could listen to Bob Ufer broadcast the game while we watched it together!
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 really 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!
The only “first” that links Robert P. Ufer to Michigan Football is this; he is the first, and only, radio broadcaster to call Wolverine Football games in parts of five decades – 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Check out this You Tube Video tribute to Bob Ufer by Arthur R. Vuolo. It’s really good!
Please take a moment to remember the unforgettable Robert P. Ufer today. I know that you will be smiling, just like me. He was the unforgettable voice of “Meeeshegan” football for over forty years. 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!
There are many great things that are written about Bob Ufer. I have some of the best ones linked below. Of course, the best way to remember Robert Poorman Ufer is to listen to him doing his “verbal magic.” The first two links are for listening and watching. The rest are for reading.