After someone suggested naming the Press Box after Mr. Ufer, I have taken the time to find his audio clips on YouTube. Being only in my mid-30s, I hadn't heard or appreciated what he did, or what he meant. I've spent a good part of my day with goosebumps as I've educated myself. What a jewel in the crown of Meechigan Football! Why wouldn't we name the Press Box after him?
Bob Ufer on YouTube
think it should be the Ufer Memorial Press Box.
OP must be from out of state. I'm the same age and was raised on Ufer.
Sadly, I didn't listen to AM radio as a child... Poor parental guidance I suppose...
If you didn't have the LPs I'm surprised no one called child protective services.
I'm sure I wasn't the first to have the idea, but I was the one who initially suggested the idea here on MGoBlog. Others pointed out that there is a long list of naming rights opportunities that might interfere with or supersede the possibility of naming the press box after Ufer. I haven't given it any subsequent thought, but I still think that it is the right thing to do.
* I just visited the naming opportunities page, and the entry titled "Home Radio" is listed as "Reserved"; the cost is $100K. I don't know if this means that somebody has already donated the hundred grand for the naming rights, or if the athletic dept. is keeping it open for the right name, which obviously would be Robert P. Ufer. One can hope...
There was never a bigger Wolverine fan than Ufer. I unfortunately never got to listen to him live. I was only a year old when he died. But I never get tired of listening to any of his old broadcasts.
He had so many great quotes. One of my personal favorites was his description of the fans at Ohio Stadium; 20,000 students and 70,000 truck drivers.
and even though we had season tickets, I sometimes preferred the away games so that I could sit at home and listen to Ufer. We'd always watch the games with the sound turned down so that we listened to him.
I remember the first game at Michigan Stadium after he died and they had a moment of silence for him, it was the quietest I've ever heard that stadium, with the possible exception of the first game after 9/11. At the very end, someone in the crowd (or maybe in the press box) blew a Ufer like horn three times. It almost felt like he was there with us.
Remember that Ufer was a three-time indoor Big Ten champion in the 440, and actually set the world indoor record in that event in 1942. So, not only was he beloved in the booth, but he delivered the goods in a maize and blue uniform. Maybe David Brandon can get the ball rolling on this. After all, he has to be more than familiar with Ufer's contributions to the University.
Would an mgoemail campaign be appropriate here?
Bob's kids have all done very well, and are tremendous boosters of the Athletic Department. Anybody who has been to a Bob Ufer Quarterback Club Outing will know. It would not surprise me if the Ufer family has made a donation in that regard. It would just be another instance of the old trackman repaying the University a hundred thousand times over for what he got out of it.
Ufer's big statewide prominence and popularity came late in his life and career. For most of his career, he was an obscure local radio guy on one low-powered Ann Arbor AM station. (WAAM, I think.) An insurance man all week, he did the games on Saturdays kind of for the personal fun of it. Few people knew about him or heard him. I don't think that his voice got as far as Detroit.
Only later on, when Bo was befriended by J.P. McCarthy of WJR, did McCarthy, a conoisseur of radio, get wind of what Ufer was doing locally, and then somebody at WJR made him the voice of the flagship station for the Michigan radio network. But by then, Ufer had been doing games, in near-oscurity, for ten or fifteen years. (What an era; when the Detroit media actually treated a Michigan coach like royalty instead of like a felon.)
As much as I adore the one-and-only Ufer, there was another Michigan radio voice that, with all due respect, was the very best. The voice was that of Tom Hemingway, who did the games for the Michigan Radio (public) stations; WUOM Ann Arbor, WVGR Grand Rapids, and WFUM Flint. Hemingway did the games with Tom Slade, Bo's gritty QB from the early 1970's. There has never been a better, smarter observer of Michigan football than Slade, and never a more capable play by play man than Tom Hemingway. (Public radio of course had/has no commercials; only short station breaks. It was the greatest radio broadcast most MoGoBloggers never heard.)
We're really lucky; we've had some great radio voices. Ufer, Hemingway and Slade, Beckmann and Brandstatter. They are all special.
Here's a picture of the original press box at Michigan Stadium. (Technically, I think this is the second press box. The first, temprary structure was a ramshackle thing that looked like a cross between a phone booth and a deer blind.) Note the architectural cues that repeated in other buildings (Yost, IM building, etc.) and that are now repeated, magnificently, in the new stadium flanking structures.
This picture obviously predates the first expansion, before the Stadium went from 80k to 101k.
I love this picture, in comparison with what is there now. Old Man Yost would be so pleased and proud.
Wow, I've never seen that before. Thanks for posting this!
When the games were played away I always brought my portable radio with me when I was out hunting in the fall. Did not want to miss his broadcast of the games. Always seemed to give me a lift.
I personally have all these CDs and listen to them all the time on my way to games. They are absolutely awesome and they go to a good cause. Post-game shows with Bo and Woody, bowl coverage, game coverage, best calls.
Proceeds go to the Ufer Scholarship foundation