The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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��� athletics Inside Michigan Bob Ufer Remembered 30 Years After His Passing Ufer, who passed away on Oct. 26, 1981, remains a beloved icon to Michigan football fans, many of whom still play recordings of his most famous calls. Photo courtesy the ufer family 12��� the wolverine��� ������ November 2011 O n Oct. 26, 1981, Michigan football lost its most enthusiastic, passionate, fervently fanatical voice of all time. Bob Ufer, U-M���s iconic play-by-play man of 37 years, was gone. In a way, he���s never left Michigan football. Walk through tailgates for acres surrounding Michigan Stadium on a football Saturday, and you���ll hear Ufer extolling his beloved ���Meee-chigan��� through various recordings. He still sounds the Bo ���George Patton��� Schembechler scoring horn, nearly melts down over Wangler to Carter on Homecoming 1979, and tosses out nicknames such as ���Ricky The Peach Leach,��� ���Butch ��� Don���t Call Me Harold ��� Woolfolk,��� ���Dr. StrangeHayes��� and a host of others. Those who grew up hearing him will never forget, and never let go of the memories and enthusiasm he generated. Ufer was an All-American track performer at Michigan before he ever climbed behind the mike, and is shared by all who love the Wolverines. But his son, Tom Ufer, knew him as far more than the man in the broadcast booth. Thirty years after his father���s passing, he reflected on Bob Ufer the man, and the legend. The flamboyant, poem-reciting, colorfully descriptive Ufer (���He went down that mod sod like a penguin with a hot herring in his cummerbund���) really dovetailed with Bo Schembechler���s arrival on the scene. Tom Ufer recalled the relationship between coach and broadcaster was one of mutual respect, and that the former���s success led to the latter���s fun behind the mike. ���You can do all of that kind of stuff ��� the flair, and the real excitement ��� when you���re winning,��� Tom Ufer said. ���You can���t do it if you���re losing. There was energy before, but nowhere near what he brought at the end. You can���t do that when you���re .500. You can do it, but you come off a little goofy.���

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