In 1924 WWJ’s Ty Tyson and Doc Holland called the Michigan-Wisconsin game at Ferry Field and delivered what is believed to be the first live radio broadcast from a football stadium. Since that day nine decades ago, for many of y9u radio remains the preferred method to consume Michigan football each Saturday – especially for road games :)

You probably know that this season longtime U-M color analyst Jim Brandstatter shifts over one chair, replacing Frank Beckmann as the play-by-play man.  Next to him will be Brandy’s former teammate and pal, longtime NFL broadcaster & Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf.

Before the season I got to chat with these guys for a piece for the game program–so look for that each Saturday.  

For you – here’s the entire transcript of my chat with Dan Dierdorf.  [P.S. Between us girls Dan D. doesn’t know me from Adam yet was off-the-charts kind and accommodating.  File under FWIW.]

—————————————————————————————-

MVictors: The great Bob Ufer was unabashedly biased when he called Michigan games, and you certainly knew who Brandstatter and Beckmann were rooting for. Will it be a tough transition knowing you’ll clearly have a rooting interest with Michigan?

Dan Dierdorf: It’s going to be tough because for 30 years I’ve only ever done it one way, and that’s completely unbiased and neutral. You have to completely straddle that line. You have one foot in one team’s camp, one foot in the other team’s camp and you’ve got to really be neutral. I mean that is one of the things that not only is expected of you, it’s demanded of you as a network analyst. If the audience thinks you have a bias, which of course the two whole markets think you do.

The reality is you just can’t. I never cared about anything when I was doing network television other than hoping that the game was tied 28-28 at the start of the fourth quarter. You just wanted a good game. It’s going to take me awhile to show that I’m leaning towards the maize & blue, which of course I will be. That’s going to be a luxury, I think I’m going to enjoy it.

MVictors: So that’s one challenge. Does doing radio in particular, bring any unique challenges to what you were used to over the last several years doing TV?

Dan Dierdorf: Well I’ve done radio games before. When I first broke into the business, I started doing radio. I did the University of Missouri for an entire season back in 1984. I did about 10 or so games with the CBS Radio Network, working with guys like Lindsey Nelson and Ray Scott and Dick Stockton and people like that. I cut my teeth on radio.

There is a freedom in doing radio that doesn’t exist in television. When you do a game on television, you are a slave to the picture. You’ve got to service the viewer at home by referencing what he can see on his television screen.

To do anything outside of that, you’re really doing a disservice to the viewer, because you’re talking about something they can’t see. Everything you do in television, it orbits around the picture that’s on the screen.

When you’re doing radio, you can be more conversational. You can take longer to tell a story. You can paint the picture yourself. There’s a freedom in doing radio that doesn’t exist in doing television, and I’m looking forward to that. That will be fun.

MVictors: You’ve been so busy since leaving Michigan and you’ve had such a decorated career. Had you ever, maybe early in your career, considered coming back to Michigan in one capacity or another?

Dan Dierdorf: I’ve always lamented the fact that I haven’t gotten to spend much time in Ann Arbor on a football weekend. Because I was either playing in the NFL, or I was working in the NFL. The NFL season started before college football, and didn’t end until after college football. I just rarely ever got to a game in Ann Arbor, because I was working. I was always in Boston or New York or Miami or Oakland or Denver. It was just the nature of my life.

I always dreamed about when I retired, going back and just tailgating with my teammates and hanging out. Actually going to a game and sitting in the stands. Or sitting upstairs in the press box and whatever. That’s the way I saw it. I never saw myself coming back to Ann Arbor as a part of the radio team. I never imagined that.

MVictors: At what point after that did you see this job really as something you’d consider? Did it come down to knowing that you might be sitting next to Jim Brandstatter?

Dan Dierdorf: Well, yeah. How could my comfort level be any higher? Dave Brandon and I were teammates. Jim Brandstatter and I were teammates.  I mean if I’m not comfortable around those two guys…! [laughs] Jim Brandstatter and I played the same position. I have known Jim Brandstatter my entire adult life. We stay in contact, we’re friends. I’ve been friends with Jim Brandstatter since I met him in 1968. That was a long time ago.

How many people get an opportunity to do what I’m getting to do? I retired from network television. I thought I had completely retired. I had no intention of going back to work. Quite frankly, I don’t really view this as work.  They are going to pay me but what a scam. I probably would have done it for nothing.

MVictors: Is there anything about Jim Brandstatter that maybe fans wouldn’t know about him, but maybe should?

Dan Dierdorf: That’s a great question. I think they sense this, but I can offer confirmation that Jim is absolutely one of the most decent, honest human beings I’ve ever known in my entire life. They don’t need me to tell them that he is Michigan through-and-through—and what a luxury it is to have a guy like that associated with the program.

He is a walking library of the University of Michigan. Not just its football program, but its athletic programs across the board. Every university should have someone who has been there, done that, seen everything, and experienced it the way Jim Brandstatter has.

A lot of people are really successful in this business, but Jim Brandstatter is an even better person than he is a broadcaster. He’s also really funny. He also makes me feel good about myself, because he weighs more than I do. I actually get to play the thin man when we’re together. [laughs]

The only thing I need to do before the season starts—and I’ll pay for this myself. I’m going to have a structural engineer take a look at the broadcast booth. I just want to make sure there are enough steel beams underneath that thing when we both get in there together [laughs]

I don’t expect the university to pay for that; I’m willing to do it myself. I would like some confirmation that there’s a big enough I-beam underneath that booth that’s going to hold both of us in there. [laughs]

MVictors: Have you got to know Jon Jansen and Doug Karsch [the new Tailgate Show crew] at all?

Dan Dierdorf: I don’t know Doug.  My house [in Petoskey, MI] is about a mile and a quarter from Jon Jansen’s house. Seriously, Jon and I live maybe live a mile and a quarter apart all summer long in Northern Michigan. That’s his year-round residence up there. I’m just there from May to October. Yeah, I see Jon with some regularity.

MVictors: It sounds like you’re going to try to get a chance to hang out with some of your old buddies and tailgate when the opportunity permits?

Dan Dierdorf: Oh yeah. You know I see them during the course of the year, at different things. Yes, oh absolutely. I just have to be up in the booth about an hour, hour-and-a-half before the game. Before that, you’ll find me over on the parking lot by Crisler, where Dick Caldarazzo his tailgate. I’ve got the promise of a golf cart so I can go over there and tailgate for a while before I have to go to work.

MVictors: Are there any game day traditions or rituals that you hold to each week? Anything that you do as part of habit, before you broadcast?

Dan Dierdorf: Not really. I always get up early the day of a game and just prepare. I’m reading every newspaper article I can read. I just like to feel that I’m really prepared when the game starts.

I’m not one of those guys that refers to a lot of notes during the game. I figure if I don’t know it, it can’t be all that important. For me, I’m going to have to … I love the game. I love the traditions of the game. Whether that’s being at Pittsburgh when three minutes before kick-off they’re waving the terrible towels. Or it’s in Baltimore, where they play the theme from Gladiator and the stadium goes nuts.

That period of time that probably starts about 10 minutes before kick-off, right up to kick-off, I’ve never not savored every moment of that when I’m at a football game. My problem is going to be at least for the first couple of games, not getting totally swept away by the emotion that’s going to be coursing through my veins at Michigan Stadium.

I’m going to have to fasten the seatbelt and try to weather that storm, because it’s going to be very emotional for me. It’s going to be tough, because I’m going to realize how much I’ve missed this and how lucky I am to get a chance to go home again.

MVictors: I believe on CBS you wore a couple of Hall of Fame rings during your broadcast commonly, is that right?

Dan Dierdorf: I wear my college football Hall of Fame ring, and I wear my pro football Hall of Fame ring.Dan Dierdorf ring

MVictors:  Are you going to slap on a Michigan ring during your broadcast?  Or is that to be determined?

Dan Dierdorf:  Well my college football Hall of Fame ring says Michigan on it. It’s got my school on the college football Hall of Fame ring. Will I wear my M ring? Probably not. But that’s the nice thing about it, I always had to wear a coat and tie. I always had to wear a coat and tie, and I always had to wear a CBS blazer. Now I get to just wear Michigan stuff, and I don’t have to wear a tie. What a wonderful thing.

I can view the game in a Michigan sweatshirt and a Michigan baseball hat. I’ll channel my inner Bo Schembechler.

I’m telling you. I’m like a trained monkey; I won’t know how to talk without wearing a tie. That might be a struggle for me. I always wonder, “Why am I the only guy? Why am I the only guy wearing a coat and tie? Because it’s me and the guy next to me, my play-by-play guy. We’re the only two people in the entire stadium wearing coats and ties.”

MVictors: In the industry you have a lot of friends at Michigan. You both do. Might we expect a few visitors up in the radio booth during the year?

Dan Dierdorf: I would hope so. Yeah. Who knows who might stop by. I know I’ve extended an invite or two to some of the guys. Bob Seger has a home up by me in Northern Michigan. I know I have reached out to Bob, said “Hey, anytime you want to come to a game, feel free to stop by.” We’ll put him on the air for a while. He’s got a little bit of a following in Michigan.

MVictors: How’s Bob as a person?

Dan Dierdorf: What a great guy. Just a wonderful guy. I’m not going to lie, I’m semi-starstruck around him. I’ve just been a fan of his for so long. He’s the most down to earth guy. If you didn’t know what Bob Seger looked like, you wouldn’t realize you’re in the presence of such a star by the way he acts. You’d think this is a guy that just drove up in a truck and wanted to hang out and talk for a while. Great guy.

MVictors: So if he were here, what would Bo tell you and Brandstatter if he saw you walking up to the booth to call your first game?

Dan Dierdorf: The first thing he would do would be to tell us both that we were both that we were overweight and out of shape and report to him after the game to run some laps.
Jim and I would both know how immensely proud he would be of the two of us for doing that. As silly as this sounds, one of the reason I’m doing this is I know he would be happy. I know he would be thrilled at this. He would be over the moon and that brings a smile to my face.

MVictors: Anything you’re trying to get through to them through this broadcast this year? It has been a challenging stretch for fans and I know folks are really excited to have you here.

Dan Dierdorf:  Let me tell you something. One of the things the fans are going to figure out really quickly is I bleed Michigan football and I always have. When things aren’t going well, I have a hard time containing it. My crews at ABC and CBS over the years have had to suffer with me on Saturday afternoons when things didn’t go well. Everybody knew how much it mattered to me so they would get after me, whether it was find me an Appalachian State T-shirt. Of all times, we lost of Minnesota one time when we’re doing an Indianapolis Colts game. Honest to God within 20 minutes of the game being over, into our meeting room walked Tony Dungy, the coach of the Colts who of course is a Minnesota grad. I have to get down on one knee and kiss his ring.

Fans are going to figure out that it really means a lot to me. What I want, what I hope happens is that I get to watch Michigan football turn the corner and head back up to where it needs to be. That’s important to me and I plan on being there to watch it happen.

MVictors: Outstanding. Thank you so much for the time.

Dan Dierdorf: You’re welcome. Anytime, thanks.

——————————————————————————

I’ll post the full interview with Jim Brandstatter in the coming days..

Follow MVictors on Twitter

This season longtime local sports radio voice, M sideline reporter, & mgo-misc. host Doug Karsch will co-anchor the Michigan radio network Tailgate Show with former U-M All-American Jon Jansen.  Karsch will also continue his sideline reporting duties as part of the play-by-play broadcast.  I’m pulling together a piece on the new show and recently chatted with Karsch. 

Listeners of the radio broadcast know that Beckmann & Brandy referred to Karsch as “Krash”.   I never knew why, admittedly never asked, but either way, I never really cared for it.  I’m not sure why – I figured it obviously had something to do with Doug’s last name and I guess I assumed Frank or Brandy just thought it was funny to call him Krash.  Meh.

Anyway, when I chatted with Doug recently I asked him about the nickname and if ‘Krash’ was going to endure in Frank’s absence.  Here’s what Doug told me:

“I’ll tell you how it started and what’s funny is that I’ve been broadcasting since 1993 and I get asked more about that than anything else.  It was my first year doing sideline, it was 2006 and Michigan had a game at Minnesota.  The whole team arrives [at the hotel] and I was the last to check in. I was a rookie and I’m just waiting.  The team checked in, all the support people checked in and finally I go to check in but they don’t have a room under my name.   Now I’ve seen every misspelling of my name you can imagine. They kept looking through and found nothing. I said, ‘Try spelling it this way, try spelling it that way…”

“Eventually the manager reviewed the team list and said, ‘Is your first name Doug?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘We have it under Doug Krash.’  So at the Minnesota game at the team hotel I’m under Krash.   Frank hears all this and says, ‘Well that’s going to stick.’”

I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll go with it, whatever [laughs]..they can call me whatever they want..’  I was just happy to have the job!  And of course it stuck.

So I’m going to guess that Brandstatter will continue using it. And I don’t mind at all. [laughs] To this day more people ask me about that than anything else.”

————————

So there you go — and after hearing the real story I’ve instantly warmed up to the ‘Krash’ nickname – Go Blue!

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter

Photo Aug 02, 4 49 46 PM

Rooney turns on one in the first half (MVictors photo – that’s me)

I joined Ira and Sam this morning on WTKA to breakdown a few observations from Saturday’s match up at the Big House, if you missed it:

Quick hitters:

  • Awesome event.  For all the beatings #1000SSS has taken lately, hats off to Hunter Lochmann and Dave Brandon for putting this together.
  • Strongly feel we need to keep using this facility for events like this.  As I told Ira and Sam, Fielding Yost would have loved this.
  • I was naive to think there’d be a big overlap between Michigan football fans and this event.  Wrong, this was a completely different crowd and demographic.  Evidence:
    • The traffic mess..but not because NB Ann Arbor-Saline was closed.  It was because of the noobs.  From the east folks figured the best way to get to the stadium was down M-14 to downtown.  From the south, the masses went to the Washtenaw exit off of 23 – which IIRC is where the signs tell you to go.  Yikes.  Backups started 3-4 hours before the game.
    • The Wave..your old lame friend The Wave was spun up in the first half but..it was actually kind of cool.  No, not because the wave is cool, but because unofficially 99.4% of the crowd participated and screamed like girls.  It felt like 1989.
    • Languages..circling the field I think I heard 7-8 different languages.
  • Newsflash: Ronaldo is indeed one handsome cat.  And it was pretty cool when he stepped down on the field to warm-up – place went nuts.
  • I assume purists were worried if these players would go hard, given this was an exhibition.  I thought the players played really hard – Rooney was barking at the refs and his teammates the entire time he was in.  There were a couple dangerous 50/50 balls that guys sold out on.
  • Chatting with someone from the athletic department, the biggest logistical challenge on the day was the halftime show.  Looks like they pulled it off.  I was in the tunnel when they dragged that stage off the field – there were about 4 feet on either end of the stage as it creeped up the tunnel.

Photos from Friday’s practice here

Follow MVictors on Twitter

JDRF

[Update 8/1– (over) GOOOOOOALLLLLL!   102% of goal, over $1500 raised so far – thank you! thank you!]

Once a year I ask readers directly for support – and year after year you’ve responded.  Together we’ve raised over $10,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JRDF).   On Saturday August 2 I’ll be back in East Lansing to go face-to-face with Coach Dantonio to take part in the Walk for a Cure.   This year those who donate (something/anything) will take their place in Michigan lore and receive a virtual helmet sticker that will adorn the sidebar on this site until after the walk:

BLANK HELMET STICKER 

In 2011 those who chipped in got their name on the righteous JDRF Jug, in 2012 on the coveted JDRF banner, last year they righted a horrible wrong.  So this year the coveted JDRF helmet decals.

Here’s how to get in the action:

FAQ:

  • Why East Lansing?   A: My family is heavily involved in the EL Walk, what’s a brother to do?
  • Does Dantonio really show up?  A: Every year  – he and the MSU football team support this walk like you wouldn’t believe.
  • Why are you involved in T1D?    A:  Found out about the disease when my nephew Jack was diagnosed when he was 4 and I’m trying to do my part to solve this.
  • Whoa dude – August 2, what about the Man U/Real Madrid game at the Big House?  The walk starts at 9:30am and I’ll be back in A2 with bells on in plenty of time.
  • Isn’t “curing” T1D just about diet and exercise?  A:  No! I wish.  Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and-at present-nothing you can do to get rid of it.  There is no cure!  (The differences between T1D and adult-onset diabetes here.)

 

THANK YOU!

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter 

Everitt

WPW returns – with a candid shot of General Bo in the bowels of the snakepit peeling off his wildly long coaching socks following the 14-3 victory over the Buckeyes on November 25, 1978.  This was the final battle with Woody in the Ten Year War and gave Schembechler the 5-4-1 edge in the series.  To celebrate Bo flashed his feet and treated the media to the gun show: Bo Socks - 251551586995

Next up, continuing with the candid shots of Bo, here he’s planting one on Miss Texas Luann Caughey as the team arrived for the 1981 Bluebonnet Bowl.

Bo Kiss It almost looks like Bo went straight for the lips…but Luann evaded him with a quick lateral move?   Thankfully Bo didn’t enjoy Texas too much.

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter

ferbertheadlineBillings (Montana) Daily Gazette, November 7, 1909

[Ed. In honor of Dutch Ferbert's birthday on July 22 (1873), a repost.  Originally posted  Jan 28, 2012]

Today obviously the head coach of Michigan football team doesn’t have to look beyond campus to hit it big.    This hasn’t always the case of course, especially in the early days of the program.   While Fielding Yost’s contracts compensated him very competitively for the day, it definitely didn’t make him a wealthy man.  Yost spent a good part of the year pursuing his private business interests out of town.

Ferbert1898Do you know the story of Gustave “Dutch” Ferbert?  He suited up for the Wolverines in the mid-1890s but most notably he was head coach of the famous 1898 squad that delivered Michigan its first conference title.  The championship-sealing victory over Chicago that year inspired Louis Elbel to compose ‘The Victors’.

Ferbert coached one more season but then packed his bags and headed north, hoping to strike it rich in the Klondike.   In 1900 he traveled up to Nome and allegedly told folks he would “return rich or not all all.”

Well, there was some question whether he would make it, especially early on.  Thanks to Brian at the Bentley for forwarding this over, apparently from 1902:

WhereIsDutchFerbert

Here’s the opening paragraph:

The many friends of “Dutch”” Ferbert, Michigan’s football coach in 1898, and one of the greatest halfbacks who ever carried the ball, have been fearful for some time that something has happened to him, but because it is “Dutch” Ferbert they remember his sturdy characteristics and are hoping that word will be received from him that he is safe

Well, he eventually resurfaced and yes, he kept his promise—he returned a rich man.

Thanks to the folks at the Billings Gazette for tracking down this November 7, 1909 story titled, “His Touchdown in the Arctic”.   The article describes how he made “a $1,000,000 touchdown”..and briefly recapped his quest:

The former gridiron star first located at Nome, and there the real battle to keep the gold-panning gusbest from the door began.  He tried prospecting in several districts, but with slim success.  He found work part of the time in restaurants, stores and other places.  This lasted for several years, but never a thought did he have of going back.  He started out to cross the goal line and a kick or two in the jugular from an adverse fate he considered part of the game.

Then came the strike at Deering City, and Ferbert was one of the first to hit the trail with a pack.  At the start it proved a “Roaring Camp” all right, but luck was a little shy, and then came the turn and riches in abundance.  He located some of the best claims in the region, panned out more gold than he had ever dreamed and became a bonanza king overnight.

While I’m not sure Dutch held onto his dough through the years, it’s still a great piece of U-M coaching lore.

Follow MVictors on Twitter  or find MVictors on Facebook

I wore these little beauties this weekend:

My Adidas

A few folks asked what the story is on these – it’s just pretty cool service available from adidas.  Basically you can take many of the shoes/cleats/whatever from their catalog and trick them out your cotton-pickin’ maize and blue hearts content. 

Go to adidas.com and click on customize.   Once you pick a style (menu of styles on the left toolbar) you want to start with you’ll be sent into a widget where you trick out the shoes – piece by piece, element by element, soles to lace eyelets .  Here’s a screen shot of the widget doing its thing:

Tricked Out 

Tips and FYIs:

  • If you want the older school maize, go with the ‘gold’ color if it is available on your shoe.  The yellow is more like the high maize you see on the unis today.
  • The uniform blue is a richer (more navy-like) blue, the bluebird blue is UCLA-ish.
  • The shoes are suitable quality (I’ve worn mine around for a few days) but don’t expect to get quality on par with a shoe you can buy off the shelf.
  • The lettering (at least on my shoes MVICTORS) was embroidered which was a nice touch.
  • They said it would take 4-5 weeks for delivery but I got mine in about 10 days.
  • Most of the styles are $85 (up to $100), and shipping is around $15. 
  • Pro Tip: When you slap on your custom kicks be sure to carry a cane or an umbrella to help fend off the ladies.

If you order some M-themed tricked out adidas send them my way; I would love to see them.  You will find mine trotting around M Stadium this season.

Build yours here.

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter

Yesterday’s press release announcing the home and home Oklahoma in 2025 and 2026 discussed the last meeting between the two teams in the 1976 Orange Bowl, but it failed to note the two most important details of that New Year’s Day battle.

1. First, the presence of the epic All-Whites.  Thanks to the Uniform Timeline we know the whites were used on the road in the 1974 and 1975 seasons, ending with the Orange Bowl against the Sooners:

Michigan All WhitesThe beauty of those outfits is that they possess many of the most loved and/or despised aspects of the uniforms that we just don’t see anymore, but are still discussed (granted, primarily on these pages).  On them you have:

  • The thicker, more sinister looking helmet “wings” on the front of the helmet
  • The stripes converging up on the back of the helmet
  • Helmet decals (snarling wolverine)
  • Of course the white pants with white jerseys
  • The stripes on the sleeves and pants
  • And for posterity, just months later for the 1976 season, Nike shoes were introduced.   See the Uniform Timeline for more.

Bring up the “wrong” opinion on any one of those elements to a uniform snob and you’ll see real, or  at least virtual, shots fired:twitter react 2. Second, the press release didn’t mention the EPIC Michigan Marching Band and their Jaws set.  Holy moly it is a classic (click for the YouTube – 2 parts):

JAWS

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter 

Full press release here:

Michigan and Oklahoma to Play Football Series in 2025 and 2026

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Two of college football’s most storied programs will meet for the first time in regular season history when the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma play a home-and-home series during the 2025 and 2026 seasons, announced jointly by the two institutions today (July 14). 

More »