Happy Birthday Bo and apparently Bob Ufer

Submitted by Quail2theVict0r on April 1st, 2010 at 10:49 AM

It's important for us to remember the great Bo Schembechler on his B-day who apparently also shares it with Michigan's greatest announcer Bob Ufer.

Glenn Edward "Bo" Schembechler Jr. (April 1, 1929 – November 17, 2006) was an American college football coach best known as the head coach at the University of Michigan, where he coached the Wolverines from 1969 through the 1989 season. Schembechler won a total of 234 games; only Joe Paterno and Tom Osborne have recorded 200 victories in fewer games.

Bob Ufer (April 1, 1920 – October 26, 1981) was the lead broadcaster for the Michigan Wolverines football team for 37 years, starting in 1944. He has been inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor.He is remembered for his exuberant, partisan broadcasting style, openly rooting for Michigan, but always in such a gracious way that even opposition fans would smile. He had many familiar so-called 'Uferisms,' such as referring to Michigan as "Meeechigan" (a reference to how legendary Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost used to pronounce the name), and honking loudly on the 'George Patton Schembechler horn' -- the actual horn from General Patton's Jeep, Ufer explained on air many times (honked three times for a touchdown, two times for a field goal or safety, and once for an extra point). He even recited his own poetry about the game. Bo Schembechler shared a birthday with Bob, but Bob was 9 years older.



April 1st, 2010 at 11:23 AM ^

The likes of which we may never see again.

Ufer (on Bo) - "General Bo's gonna stay on the ground now. There's no Luftwaffe; he's got the tanks in."

Bo (on Ufer) - "As I stand here, I just know that Bob Ufer is looking down at me from up there in football's valhalla and he's saying to me... "Bo, you can do it. MEE_CHIGAN can do it. MEE_CHIGAN can do anything.""

They will only rest in total peace when we again vanquish those "truck drivers" from the South.

They are both missed and forever remembered.

Go Blue!

el segundo

April 1st, 2010 at 12:29 PM ^

I was a grad student at Michigan in 1987 when I had a very surprising and revealing encounter with Bo -- and Jamie Morris.

In the spring of that year, I went to see Jim Abbott pitch at Ray Fisher Stadium. A few minutes after I found a seat behind home plate, Jamie Morris came in and sat down right in front of, along with some football teammates (I recognized them at the time; I've forgotten their names by now). A few minutes after that, Bo arrived and sat next to Morris and the other players. I had the chance to watch how Bo interacted with his players and with numerous fans over the next two hours.

Having come to Michigan from a college where football was an afterthought, I was generally suspicious of "big-time" football, and, given his public persona, I expected Bo to be kind of gruff and impatient and humorless with everyone. In fact, he was quite the opposite. I was enormously impressed with how gracious Bo was to everyone, and, especially, with how much he seemed to enjoy being with his players. He laughed and joked with Morris and the others throughout the game, and it was clear that he genuinely liked them as people. In addition, he was unfailingly patient with the fans who came up to him from time to time to request autographs. There was one guy who left the stadium when he saw Bo arrive and then returned about half an hour later, with an armfull of old football game programs that he asked Bo to sign. Bo cheerfully signed each one.

I walked away from that game with a completely different idea of who Bo was, what he stood for, and what Michigan football was like.

Happy Birthday, Coach.

Zone Left

April 1st, 2010 at 1:17 PM ^

Ufer was also a great athlete in his own right, setting the world record in the 440 yard dash in 1942.

Ufer is, for my money, the best announcer ever in sports. He was intelligent, well-spoken, blatantly partisan, funny, and interesting. His style was so different from the brash, highly opinionated announcers on most local radio today.

I think it would be great to have those local announcers do the TV games at their team's fields. I hate OSU too, but it's more fun to listen to people with an interest in the game and more than a passing (no pun intended) knowledge of the teams playing. My least favorite guys are the Musberger types, who focus on the biggest star and about two or three other non-stories for three-four hours.