Everyone Murders

April 17th, 2014 at 1:08 PM ^

Great move for Michigan, getting an experienced homer - who knows the program and its history as well as anyone - for the job.

Great move for Dierdorf, who - after a brief retirement - has taken on a much less-demanding role than his MNF and related gigs.


April 17th, 2014 at 1:13 PM ^

Perfect hire, didn't think he wanted to get back to something full time.  Great news

"I'm so excited to be able to come back to my alma mater and contribute in this manner," said Dierdorf. "This is the only broadcasting job that I would have considered after retiring from network television. It's a chance to return to the city where Bump (Elliott) gave me an opportunity to play for the greatest program in the world and Bo (Schembechler) made me a man.

"I was always jealous of Jim calling games at Michigan and often said that one of my goals was to come back and call a couple of series with him," added Dierdorf. "To work with one of my best friends, someone that I've known my entire adult life, is really special, and I'm looking forward to getting in the booth with Jim this fall."


April 17th, 2014 at 1:30 PM ^

Not exactly full-time. The time and travel commitments are much lower than they are for the NFL. Travel is a lot less, and he needs to spend less time per game. I believe he lives in St. Louis, so trips to Ann Arbor and throughout Big Ten country are not a burden. There won't be the same requirements for production meetings and prep. 

I would guess that he would be obligated to put in, at most, half the time that he put in for his CBS job.


April 17th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

The NFL is 17 weeks and the announcers don't get a bye (and they might have to call the preseason games too).  College is 12 games.  In the NFL you have to be familiar with all the teams you're calling so I'd guess there's a decent amount of film the announcers need to watch each week.  In DD's new role one team will be the same every week. 


April 17th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

To me Dierdorf is not the big news.  It's Brandy moving to PXP.  Now I love Brandy, but that sounds like it's going to be a bad move.  I have never heard him to play by play, but my observation is that good play-by-play takes a lot of talent in things that you are basically born with -- a scratchy or a booming voice and the ability to smoothly string together lots of sentences.  It just seems to be an innate talent.  The color guy has a few seconds to think about what he says.  The PXP guy doesn't.  The play-by-play has got to fill the air.  This is why so many of ESPN's desk and sideline reporters suck so bad at PXP (e.g. Steve Levy, Pam Ward), and this is why the best PXP guys on national TV almost always started off calling a local team first, they started pretty young, and if you ever heard them, they were good pretty much immediately.  Former Red Wings PXP guy Dave Strader is a perfect example of this.


April 17th, 2014 at 1:55 PM ^

to my knowledge Brandy has never done play by play.  It is two entirely diffierent jobs.  Like "we will just move this doctor over here to to lawyer because he clearly is smart so that should be all good."  I don't know.  That was not the way I expected that to go and I add it to my list of things that make me go Hmmmm regarding Michigan football in the last two years.


April 17th, 2014 at 1:16 PM ^

This is not a long-term thing... Brandstatter is 63 and Dierdorf is 64.

I'm not saying that Karsch should automatically be the guy, but before long UM is going to need some fresh blood up in the booth.

We're certain to get a re-hash of every Bo story we've ever heard.


April 17th, 2014 at 1:16 PM ^

Hooray! Hooray? I really don't know anything about his commentating abilities. Did see him talk at Bo's impromptu memorial the night before Football Armageddon though. I will use that data point and extrapolate that he will be good.


April 17th, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

Was Dierdorf starting to get made fun nationally for rampant errors (the type that come for all announcers at an advanced age) at CBS? I have a vague recollection of hearing that but I'm honestly not sure. 

Shakey Jake

April 17th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

But if that was the case, he'll start getting made fun of locally.

On one level, I like this but then again I thought they'd bring in some young blood for him to make a name for himself. How long will these two guys be able to announce before they get tired and want to retire?


April 17th, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^


Should be taken with a grain of salt, but some blogger considered him the worst last year. He made 61 "mistakes" in 2 games.

"Mistakes" include: cliches, factual errors, nonsense, self-references, taking plays off, and being off topic.

Dierdorf was really high on the cliches and nonsense.  I don't really mind because I'm a fan on nonsense.


Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf: 70 Infractions This is largely Dierdorf's fault. Gumbel is actually quite respectable, with a mere nine infractions over two games. Dierdorf, however, has a whopping 61 infractions, giving him the honor of the statistically worst commentator in the NFL. Some Dierdorf lowlights: He really enjoys using the phrase "at first blush" -- which is a phrase I've heard only Dan Dierdorf use -- incorrectly. The dictionary definition is "as a first impression," yet Dierdorf often uses it to mean "after I have seen five slow-motion replays." "BenJarvus Green-Ellis is just a solid, good running back," as a graphic flashes showing he's averaging 2.7 yards per carry this season. "I think that's a catch that, more often than not, he almost always makes." After watching Tommy Kelly on the ground, holding his knee for several seconds, "it's some type of leg injury." "We've got to do whatever we've got to do to get Chris Johnson the football." "Any drive that ends in a kick is a pretty good drive." "Possession is nine-tenths of all that's good about recovering a fumble."


April 17th, 2014 at 1:19 PM ^

The title should probably be editted to reflect that Brandstatter is PBP and Dierdorf is color. Just a suggestion.

I like, but don't love, this move. I have quite a bit more attachment to Dierdorf than average sports fans, partly because he's a thorough Michigan partisan, and partly because I think he is actually fun to listen to. Granted, he has lost some of his sharpness, but this seems like a good step down for him--a couple of years covering a team he loves, much lower work and travel requirements, a fanbase that loves to have him.

I like Brandstatter quite a bit, too. I'm glad he continues to be a major media voice for Michigan. I am not sold on him as a PBP guy--he has always been color on the radio and been a host on tv, without doing anything even as intense as narrating highlights.

I hope he works out. It could be that he has always had the ability to do it and we've just never seen it. It's also possible that he just won't quite have the knack for it.

That would be no knock on him--there are lots of media guys whom I like, who are smart, who are good on television and/or radio, who aren't good PBP guys. PBP requires a special combination of observation, voice, meter, and timing. 

But it's worth a try. None of the other guys connectd to the opening--Karsch, Shepard, etc--are surefire hits either. Shep is who he is, and it seems that he's hit a ceiling. Karsch is a great Michigan guy but in his few PBP opportunities he hasn't been impressive. Might as well give it a shot with Brandstatter. Who knows? It could be great. I occasionally listen to Twins radio up here, and I was struck that one of their guys was just a fantastic baseball announcer. Loved his voice, loved his stories, loved the presence he had calling the game. I figured he was a long-time radio man, one of the classic decade-long anchors on a Baseball broadcast, a lifelong radio professional.

So I looked him up. It was Dan Gladden. Turns out he's a great PBP guy. So maybe Brandstatter can be, too.


April 17th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Very interesting - I liked Brandstatter as color and Dierdorf was cut from a similar cloth.  As others have said PBP is a whole different animal so we'll see how he does in that role.  If he can get it down it should make for broadcasts without a single millisecond of open air lol.



April 17th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Assuming someone has a smooth delivery and a pleasing (not grating voice), then there are only a few keys.  Having done play-by-play and color on radio in my younger days, I learned quickly what the main keys are.

1. THIS IS ESSENTIAL:  Remember you are the EYES of your audience, PAINT A PICTURE with words. 

2. Know your sport.

3.  Don't talk TOO much, but describe what you see, clearly.

4.  Let the Color guy explain WHY something worked or didn't.  P-B-P tells what happens and the color tells why.

Brandy will be fine and Dierdorf knows the game and can explain it well.  I think the choice is great.  Two Michigan pals that know each other and love the Uof M.  I'm looking forward to listening again.  Now if they could just fix the delay issue when I'm on my couch. 


April 17th, 2014 at 1:32 PM ^

Yes. A lot of detail in a small amount of time, without getting garbled or rushed.

There is a plus in radio, though--you can lag the action a bit if you need to. Beckman used to do that, and Baseball guys do it all the time, and it works fine. Without the picture on the television it blends without issue.

814 East U

April 17th, 2014 at 1:50 PM ^

I completely disagree. I think Miller and Brandy do a great job of describing all of the action that's happening during a football play. Sometimes it feels forced but when the Lions score late or take a 4th quarter lead it seems genuine and I get so pumped listening. I think Red Wings radio is solid. Tigers is just meh but that may be most baseball radio.


April 17th, 2014 at 2:01 PM ^

We're probably just going to disagree on this in general as I feel Miller has terrible high and low moments, and the ", "Touchdown Detroit Lions" is completely forced and frankly annoying. Part of me may be jaded because I hated when they got rid of Mark Champion who wasn't afraid to call the game like he saw it. Brandy on the other hand is very insightful but he still likes to shout mid call from Miller about a holding call or something of that sort and his constant heavy breathing in the post game interviews is a bit hard on the ears.

The Red Wings have a great duo that know when to overlap one another and when to back off, this is probably the best team in town. As for the Tigers, Dickerson is great and a perfect replacement for Harwell as he combines Saber terms with the old broadcasting style of not saying too much between plays. Jim Price is the exact opposite and really stinks, constantly making saliva type noises into the mic, and mistaking players on the field.