Brandy Improving on PBP

Submitted by ijohnb on September 10th, 2017 at 4:49 PM
Just thought it was worth a note to people who have stopped listening to Michigan games on the radio the last couple of years because of the severe ear pain that has resulted, I do have to say that Brandstatter is improving on play-by-play. There are some things he will never have, a voice suited for play-by-play being the first one, but he at least is beginning to settle into the role and kind of even developing a style unique to him. He integrates quite a bit more X and Os into his calls than a standard issue "talking head" play by play like Blaha and/or Dan Miller. I am forced to listen quite a bit when my day structure is not suited to four hours on the couch in the middle of the day, so this is a welcome development. It is still not ideal, and he is miles away from Beckman in his "prime," but credit where it is due. He is coming along, I believe. Any other listeners out there? Would you agree with this assessment?



September 10th, 2017 at 5:00 PM ^

...but still has significant room for improvement. He still does too much analysis and not enough meat & potatoes down, distance, table setting, etc.

Dierdorf's best days have passed.

It's a shame we haven't had a top notch radio team in quite some time now (Beckman stayed on way too long).


September 10th, 2017 at 5:11 PM ^

I want to agree with you ... but I can't.

I listen to all the football games.  I don't have TV here in West Virginia, but I do have Sirius radio.  I listened to all games last year, and the first two this year.

First, a positive -- I really like Dan Dierdorf doing color. He's very good.

My chief complaint with Brandstatter is he takes way too long to announce the results of a play. For example, if it's 3rd and 6 and Ty Isaac runs for what is clearly a first down, Brandstatter may take 5 or 10 seconds (or more) to get to that key fact**.  The really smooth play-by-play guys will get the key result announced in the first few seconds ... exact details to follow. Brandstatter tends to elaborate on tangential things for a bit before getting around to down and distance.

I just wish he'd practice a bit on being timely and concise on the net/net of the play results before providing more description.

** I have literally screamed at my radio out of frustration at this.  The cows in the pasture look at me like I'm crazy.


September 10th, 2017 at 7:02 PM ^

Handoff to Isaac, he runs left.... and.... and.... he... and.... they get him down. Ty Isaac with a great run. Ya know Dan, these wolverines just look a whole lot better, the intensity that Harbaugh brings to the table is really starting to show through them. So that was a handoff to Isaac, who ran for 20 yards, it's now 1st and 10.

Robbie Moore

September 10th, 2017 at 6:18 PM ^

...he is one of the very best analysts I have ever heard, college or pro. He can clearly articulate details of a play in 10 seconds. Never understood why he didn't get a national gig. As a play by play guy...well...not very good. The thing that irritates me the most is you often do not know when the players are set and the ball is snapped. Amazing how those details help convey the rhythm of a game. 

Contrast: "Speight under center, Crawford in motion left to right, the ball is snapped, give to Isaac. Running left, up over the 40 to the 42"

With: "Isaac running left and he's brought down at the 42"


September 10th, 2017 at 7:24 PM ^

They do graze cattle near Tucson, but I'll be darned how they survive. They limit the cows per land area, and it's something like one cow per square mile, or something like that.

I spend summers and falls in West Virginia helping take care of my wife's inherited farm here. I'm cheap labor. Boondocks ... no cell coverage, satellite internet, and no TV because I'm too cheap.


September 10th, 2017 at 5:07 PM ^

When he took over PBP, he was so used to being the "color" guy for years that he talked incessantly between plays. This year, it seems he's more willing to let Dierdorf perform his role as analyst. Brandy still drives me crazy in that it always seems to take him two-three guesses as to where the ball will finally be spotted. On almost every play, it seems. He also gets pretty excited on run plays, and loudly calls out the first yard marker crossed—many a time it's only the line of scrimmage. But, he is making incremental improvement. There is hope for him.

Blue boy johnson

September 10th, 2017 at 5:20 PM ^

Brandy sucks as play by play announcer.
I listened to a little of MSU yesterday with Blaha on the call. Nice listening to a pro. Michigan fans deserve better than what Brandy offers.


September 10th, 2017 at 11:25 PM ^

Are you KIDDING me???

I came in here specifically to mention how AWFUL Blaha is!

The color guy is constantly biting his tongue on every play waiting for Blaha to finish his BS spiel and just say WTF is going on!

I don't give a flying turd which direction "the Spartans are moving across my radio dial".

"Six and twenty seven to play in the third" is a stupid way to say there's 6:27 left on the clock.

"TOUCHdawwwn Eeem Eeeeesss Yuhhh!" Is the most annoying f-ing sound in the world.

Just and old fart with an annoying Midwest accent recycling 30 year old catch phrases.


September 11th, 2017 at 12:01 AM ^

The direction "across the radio dial" is hardly unique to Blaha and helps people with preconceived mental concepts of the field relative to the camera fixtures (or other landmarks if they've been in the stadium) visualize where the action is. A lot of us paint mental pictures of the game.

The rest of the stuff ("two and thirty four") is Blaha schtick, but he has done things that way consistently for decades without pretending to be something he's not. He's not my favorite announcer but neither is he my least favorite and he does a fine job at it. 

The main issue with Blaha, as far as I've detected in recent listens, is that he's losing his fastball. 

SD Larry

September 10th, 2017 at 5:29 PM ^

be excellent, knowledgeable,  and easy to listen to.  When I synch up the tv/dvr to the radio broadcast, I don't mind Brandy's play calling. Brandy is getting better as PBP person.   I enjoy Dierdorf's takes so much while watching games on TV in synch, that I don't some of the vague PBP, though I probably would if only listening to the radio.   Just happen to think Dierdorf is a treasure as a color commentator in the both for Michigan football.  Hope he stays on a long time.  


September 10th, 2017 at 5:33 PM ^

Let me start by saying I have never met Brandy and am forced into listening to games on the radio only rarely.  For that I am forever grateful.  He might just be the worst play by play announcer I have ever heard for any sport in my not so insignificant time on this earth.

Christ, he makes Harry Carey sound like Vin Scully.  Not really but we all knew that with Harry you were getting nothing more that a fully drunk Cub fan with a mic in his hand.  Brandy, on more than one occasion, has made me feel like the guy who was liquored up because he just made a call on a play and I had little fucking idea what just happened.

I will never question his love of Michigan nor his football IQ.  I have no doubt he is a great guy doinig the very best he can.  This is simply not his thing.  To be honest, I feel bad for him.  He has to listen to some of his calls.  Many are disorienting and cringe-worthy.  He is a solid color guy.  UM can and should do WAY better in hiring a play by play announcer and moving Brandy back overy to color where he is both knowledgable and insightful.

Neg away, but he is just not good, especially given who his predecessors are.  Massive shoes to fill.  Brandy has small play by play feet.




September 10th, 2017 at 5:39 PM ^

I was just saying something similar to a friend yesterday while I was at the game. I had to leave shortly after and listen to the end in my car. Painful.

"Isaac has a hole. he's at the 50.....(crazy long pause)....and he is put of bounds at the 10." Way too much hesitation.


September 10th, 2017 at 7:52 PM ^

Your opinion is the opinion of most others. Dan backed up HOF playing career with an HOF career as an analyst and Jim has always been a market level talent. With an average play by play guy we could have a great booth but Jim has to try to a role he isn't qualified for while too often trying to wear Dan's headset to show how smart he is. Wish the meritocracy extended to the booth.


September 10th, 2017 at 5:36 PM ^


Listened for about twenty minutes on Saturday.  Brandy is taken with watching the game.  Like listening to superfan podcast of "Jim and Dan Watch The Big Game At The Big House". Hanging on for agonizing seconds complete!

Listened for about twenty minutes to the Lions game this afternoon.  Brandy is totally comfortable, informative, -- and, well, colorful -- while doing the commentary.

Love the guy.  Ill suited for play by play.


September 10th, 2017 at 5:43 PM ^

JB doesn't do pbp well. I listened to a few games last year when I was traveling. I would yell about not knowing how far a run went. When Colorado was carving us up at the beginning it was very frustrating. He'd say someone found a running lane and then tackled for.....3 yards. He forgets we aren't watching the game along with him and don't know whether a running lane is 3 yards or 12 yards.

Compared to OSU's pbp, we are sorely lacking. We need a pro.


September 10th, 2017 at 10:58 PM ^

"Suited for play by play."

Can't re-emphasize this point enough. Some people have the gifts to do PbP well. Some don't. It requires a certain voice, a certain cadence of speech, a certain skill in processing and relaying what is seen. Some people have it or develop it well; some people just never will, no matter how talented in other areas (even speaking areas!) or how hard they work. It's no shame on them.

I speak for a living and I'm probably ill-suited for pbp. Brian would probably be bad at it. Many would be. But there's no more shame in saying that than in saying that Ace would be poorly suited to play center for the Pistons. It's just how people are built.

Brandstatter is built to be a host and an analyst. He's not a PbP guy.


September 10th, 2017 at 11:01 PM ^

Dickerson is fantastic.

But Tigers play-by-play is a full time job, whereas college football is just a side gig that makes some extra cash. There's a reason Frank Beckmann took the Tigers job back in the day--it was a major career step up.

I don't see any way Dickerson moves over to the Michigan booth.

Unfiltered Manball

September 10th, 2017 at 6:02 PM ^

with a professional, made-for-radio voice with play-by-play.  It would need to be someone who could thrive doing ONLY play-by-play, since Jim and Dan tend to ramble on.

We have been pretty spoiled in this state- Harwell, Ufer, Bruce Martyn, Ken Kal, Blaha (Pistons), and Beckman.

I just looked it up, and Ken Kal did UM hockey games in past.  Did not know that!


September 10th, 2017 at 6:15 PM ^

... not having a voice for play-by-play is a little like not having a body for modeling or the athletic talent to play a sport. It's pretty essential to the task.

JB is bad, and he's not getting nor going to get better.


September 10th, 2017 at 6:23 PM ^

I was at a car show Labor Day weekend, so listened to JB and DD call the game. It was like a breath of fresh air (on a 98 degree day) compared to, for example, Brock Huard and whoever else did the TV broadcast yesterday. If I could find a reliable, easy way to sync the web stream of JB and DD with the TV video feed I'd do it every game.

The WSU/Boise State team was worse. The color guy made my ears bleed. So many games on TV now that they dipped way, way down into the pool of on air talent and what they've dredged up is not my favorite at all.

That said, I grew up on the likes of Ufer, Harwell, Carey, Kaline, etc. so the bar was set high.