Bob Ufer and the Michigan Spirit..

Submitted by Eric on August 31st, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I have posted this prior to the season opener every year since 2008.  So here it is again for your reading pleasure! Go Blue!

"There run em' through the core of all Michigan activities both on and off this campus, a certain intangible thing. We call it "The Michigan Spirit". Maybe you can relate to it. It's the atmosphere that permeates that stadium every Saturday afternoon in the fall where over a hundred thousand fans patiently wait to see whether Bo Schembechler is going to continue his winning ways. You know what I mean! You can feel the tension, the excitement, the charisma that surrounds that stadium every Saturday afternoon. Especially ten to fourteen minutes before kickoff. When a hush settles over that stadium and we all anxiously wait for that simple 4 word command to eminate out of the P.A. system. I can hear it now! "Band take the field!" and out of that eastern tunnel pour 215 well drilled, well disciplined Michigan bandsmen. They pour over the Eastern sideline and they form the big block M and they play the greatest college fight song ever written! The Michigan Victors!! That's when the chills go up and down your spine! You get goose pimples all over, your blood turns maize and blue and everyone out there becomes part of the winningest tradition in the history of Big Ten football as well as the winningest tradition in the history of Big Ten athletics. Folks lets join in and sing the song that the late and great John Phillip Sousa claimed was the greatest college fight song ever written. The Michigan Victors!!!"

Comments

True Blue Grit

August 31st, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

One of my greatest memories as a Michigan fan was being at a pep rally in the late 70's at the Mud Bowl location (Washtenaw and S. Univ) the night before the Michigan-Ohio game.  Bob Ufer gave an absolutely incredible and impassioned speech that got the crowd stoked.   No notes or written speech of any kind.  He just spoke from his heart and years of Michigan passion.  RIP Bob! 

Thanks for posting this. Go Blue!!

rob f

August 31st, 2012 at 10:54 PM ^

and it's one of my favorite all-time Michigan memories.  Ol' Bob Ufer was one of the most inspirational speakers I've ever heard, whether in the radio booth or out and about wherever Michigan fans gathered, formally or informally.   I remember that whole intersection  and surrounding lots being wall-to-wall M fans and students.  A friend of mine from K-Zoo convinced us to drive over to Ann Arbor  the afternoon before The Game because he had heard from friends, of Ufer speaking at that mud bowl/pep rally.  By the time it started we were all pretty well lit up from partying for hours.  As Ufer finished speaking, my buddy Rick started chanting 'U-FER, U-FER, U-FER!!!" and got the entire crowd going.  Fun times!

Quick Bob Ufer story:  I grew up in the Grand Rapids area, product of a ND-loving Catholic family.  As such, I always hated MSU myself, as ND vs. MSU each fall was THE biggest game of the season.  But those Michigan winged helmets had already caught my eye as of the '65 Rose Bowl, which I watched with my ND-loving grandparents on their color TV---they couldn't believe I'd be such a 'heathen' as to root for U of M (they were apple farmers, and besides loving ND, they also favored State over U of M due to their farm roots) in that game.

Fast forward a handful of years, to when I was old enough to climb a ladder and pick apples on Grandpa's farm to make spending money, I always made sure to bring along a transistor radio so I could listen to ND football as I worked.  I soon found myself more-and-more listening to MEEEECHIGAN Football instead of ND Football because of this absolutely crazy play-by-play-guy that just virtually brought the game with him across the airwaves.  Turns out that one of the local GR radio stations had started broadcasting the Ufer feed---I was hooked on U of M Football from that point forward!!!

 

True Blue Grit

August 31st, 2012 at 1:46 PM ^

One of my greatest memories as a Michigan fan was being at a pep rally in the late 70's at the Mud Bowl location (Washtenaw and S. Univ) the night before the Michigan-Ohio game.  Bob Ufer gave an absolutely incredible and impassioned speech that got the crowd stoked.   No notes or written speech of any kind.  He just spoke from his heart and years of Michigan passion.  RIP Bob! 

Thanks for posting this. Go Blue!!

EDIT:  Sorry for the double post.  My first.

DonAZ

August 31st, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

Just reading that post I can "hear" the voice of Ufer in my head ... I can "hear" the voice inflections he'd use at different spots throughout that given speech. 

My interest in Michigan football came to life in 1973.  Back then very few games were on TV.  There was no cable.  But there was WPAG in Ann Arbor.  I'd tune my AM radio and listen to Ufer.  I'd jump up and down, scream and holler, wail and weep over every play described by Ufer. 

MGoSoftball

August 31st, 2012 at 11:17 PM ^

do a great job but Bob brought it all to life.  You could not have the radio on in the background whilst you raked leaves.  You would always stop and get closer to the radio.  His voice and style was awesome.

I remember having a transistor radio and I toggled between CKLW 800AM and WJR.  I had one of them new-fangled hand-held "tube-less" radios.  Yes folks, a tube-less radio.  Bob was always with me and the rest of the neighborhood kids.  We used to run the plays after Bob announced them.  This brings back so many memories.

Thanks Bob for being a huge part of my life.