Jim Brandstatter Almost Unlistenable

Submitted by The Barwis Effect on November 6th, 2018 at 1:32 AM

I listened to the Penn State game on the radio this past weekend.  I really hate to dog him out because he is such a great representative of the University, but man, Jim Brandstatter is almost unlistenable as a play-by-play announcer. 

Forget that he doesn’t have the classic voice or the proper intonation of a PBP announcer. The sheer number mistakes he makes when comes identifying players is astonishing. Constantly mixing up McSorely and Stevens is one thing. Not being able to tell the difference between Higdon and Evans or Long and Hill is inexcusable.

The University has really done a disservice to Brandstatter—a lifelong Michigan Man—in installing him in a role he is so ill-equipped to handle. After serving the University so well for so long, he deserves better.  It’s time they made things right by hiring a true PBP man so Brandstatter can move back where he belongs as the color commentator.  Keep Dan Dierdorf around and have a three man booth for all I care.  Just please, for the love of god, take the PBP duties away from Brandstatter. It’s so, so, so bad!  Sorry Jim!


M Go Dead

November 6th, 2018 at 2:17 AM ^

90% of announcers are bad. I watch games on mute and listen music or podcasts and unmute the broadcast when they are reporting on injuries or close calls. 

Much more enjoyable.

Gucci Mane

November 6th, 2018 at 2:47 AM ^

it’s whatever. I rarely enjoy announcers. Ever listen to MSU football ? I was listening to the psu game this year while driving to Ann Arbor And was mind blown how awful they were. This guy blaha is just awful. He does pistons as well I believe and is just as bad there. 


November 6th, 2018 at 7:53 AM ^

I rarely go a game without fulminating against the announcers, almost whoever they are. And my fourteen-year-old daughter, if she joins me, quickly starts mocking them herself. . . which tends to confirm my sense that they are annoying. 

Sin one: talking way too much. If you have a great spectacle before you you do not need to gild the freaking lily. 

Sin two: Ridiculous hype--shouting, roaring, etc--when someone scores or performs some feat. WE JUST SAW IT. It's the hidden intricacies that you can help us out with. 

Sin three: obviously prepared quips, bad cliches, endlessly repeated memes.

With my daughter I watch a lot of FSU women's soccer (we live in Tallahassee and are ardent followers of the program). We watched FSU win the ACC tournament championship on Sunday at Applebee's because our cable was down in complete silence, and enjoyed the heck out of the game.

Taste in announcers is to some degree personal, of course. But through the years there are only two guys I have consistently thought had the modesty and intelligence--and pleasant voices--to make me want to listen to their games: Clark Kellogg and Keith Jackson.

Even Gus Johnson, who seems like a good guy, starts to grate on me after a while. In time I'm hoping he mellows into a more quietly confident version of himself. 



November 6th, 2018 at 3:06 AM ^

I was visiting a friend in the hospital out of town so listened to much of the game on the drive home. I enjoyed the broadcast and especially liked the insight Brandstatter and Dierdorf provided.

Of course not being able to see the game while listening, I had no way of knowing if players were misidentified.


November 6th, 2018 at 5:22 AM ^

I actually agree with this.  He sucked hard for a season or two but I think he has gotten a lot better.  I have to listen to a lot of portions of games on the radio because I’m grilling and chasing the kids around and I think they are turning into a decent team.  Brandstatter is never going to be a naturally “talented” PBP guy, but he is developing his own sort of “style” as he goes.  IMO, there is very little that is notably “bad” about his call anymore.

yossarians tree

November 6th, 2018 at 4:02 PM ^

That's the one that just grates on me. It almost ruins the fact that we got a sack!

Brandy is a great Wolverine but he's bad at this job. This is a classic case of the Peter Principle. Slide over and put a real professional at PBP. Beckmann was fine. Go back and listen to Ufer. Sure, he was the ultimate homer, but he painted a perfect picture of what was happening on the field. It is not nearly as easy as it looks. 


November 6th, 2018 at 10:43 AM ^

The days of the great radio play by play guy are over.  Brandstatter and Dierdorf are passionate about Michigan football.  That is good enough for me at this point.

And I actually think he has cleaned up a lot of the stuff you are talking about.


November 6th, 2018 at 9:33 PM ^

The Brandstatter PSU call I enjoyed the most was the “....pick six by the defense!!”  No shit, the defense?   Thanks Dave!!   The ID of  Watson didn’t occur until well afterward.   His play calling is atrociously bad, not only the IDing, it’s everything.  He just comes across with a lack of confidence uncomfortable and nervous.   Kind of sad actually.


November 6th, 2018 at 3:09 AM ^

Brandstatter actually seems to be getting worse over time. He comes across as a country bumpkin (possibly the result of being born and raised in East Lansing?) Unfortunately, I don't see fellow former player, Warde Manuel, getting rid of him, barring Jim committing some unforgivable gaffe on air. I wonder if the AD ever even listens to the UM radio broadcast.


November 6th, 2018 at 7:34 AM ^

During the call for the DPJ touchdown against MSU he didn't even say who caught the ball until about 12 seconds after the touchdown.

A play-by-play guy needs to identify the players who are making the play. This is word for word how he called that play. "... gets the football, back to throw. Looks, throws, throwing deep to the right sideline... and it's caught. Over the fifty, down to the thirty, it's all the way. Touchdown........Mmmmichigan. (Jon Jansen makes a comment) The wolverines get the big big homerun ball......Patterson to Donovan Peoples Jones".

From the start of the play,25 seconds elapse before there is any mention of the guy who made the play.

Television play-by-play from Gus Johnson: "...Patterson...winding up, he's got a receiver, Peoples-Jones, down the sideline, Peoples-Jones ... touchdown wolverines, 79 yards."  Elapsed time, 14 seconds.

Other Andrew

November 6th, 2018 at 3:32 AM ^

Yes, I agree. I was listening to the Northwestern game via the radio and it was not helpful in understanding what was happening on the field, which is kind of the point of a radio play-by-play. (I grew up on Wayne Larrivee doing Bears games in Chicago, and even as a kid I knew he was fantastic at his job. He painted the picture before every play, and kept pace with the action.)

[The only thing that I grew to like was Jon Jansen repeatedly saying "It's so FRUSTRating!" every time Michigan got a penalty or other similar mistake. At first, I was greatly put off by this kind of comment. He's supposed to provide insight, not his feelings, But then it quickly became endearing in a comical way.]


November 6th, 2018 at 3:34 AM ^

I listened to the game on the radio too during the first and part of the second quarter. You almost don't know what's happening in the game. It sucks, because I like the guy but you could pick people at a college who do it for practice that are better. 


November 6th, 2018 at 3:43 AM ^

I like Brandy...you're really gonna knock him for not remembering the penn state qb name?  As far as I'm concerned he can call them victim A, victim B, etc

The Barwis Effect

November 6th, 2018 at 7:16 AM ^

If you actually read my post, you’d see that I basically said I’m willing to forgive him for screwing up the PSU QBs multiple times throughout the game.  Not being able to differentiate between Higdon and Evans on the other hand—two players that play or look nothing alike—is a major problem. By the way, I like Brandy too—as a a Michigan Man and a color commentator.  Just not as a PBP man. He’s terrible and it’s a shame Michigan has put him a position to be terrible.  Go out and hire a real PBP man.  This fan base deserves one.  


November 6th, 2018 at 8:41 AM ^

I didn't hear the call, but yeah, I'll knock him for messing up the PSU QB names.  He had a week to prepare, and McSorely has been one of the most talked about QB's in the nation for 3 years.  His backup (Stevens) spelled him last week because he got injured.  The question all week was how injured was he?  Brandy has spotters to tell him when important things happen on the field - things like when the QB is being replaced.

He has no excuse for messing up the QB's name.  We can talk about missing a couple of plays where the corner opposite Omaruwariye (?) plays.  But there's no discussion when the QB is involved.

Matte Kudasai

November 6th, 2018 at 4:07 AM ^

Almost unlistenable?

It's easily the worst broadcast I've ever heard.

Brandstatter is in way over his head.  Someone needs to put him out to pasture.

And the fact that they let him get away with it is embarrassing.

Dierdorf is awful too.

Give the gig to Matt Shepard.

And Gucci Mane...Blaha is 10x better than this train wreck.