02. September 2014 · Comments Off on Seeing the Call · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , ,

Michigan video historian Art Vuolo was back at it Saturday.  Check out this clip of the Appalachian State game, featuring the opening remarks from the new crew of Jim Brandstatter and Dan Dierdorf, along with a few calls:

You can buy the full video package from the game and browse Art’s entire collection here.

Speaking of Brandy and Dan D., my scientific poll of of the broadcast…


…yeilded an 83% approval rating.   The Detroit News’s Chris McCosky, who expected this to be a disaster, was impressed as well.  Not too shabby for Volume 1.


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20. April 2014 · Comments Off on Man Down in the Press Box | Brandy Does Play-by-Play (1980) · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , , , , ,


Last week we learned that the new radio broadcast team will be former U-M teammates Jim Brandstatter and Dan Dierdorf.  The big news is that Brandy is shifting over a seat to do the play-by-play, with DD handling the color commentary.  I confirmed with Doug Karsch that he will remain is his previous role handling the on-field duties.  I kinda hope Karsch would get the nod to be in the booth (in one role or another) but it’s hard to argue with the Brandy-DD team.  Heck, I didn’t even know Dierdorf was an option.

You might know that Brandy stepped in to handle the radio play-by-play back in 2003 for the Northwestern game, but that’s not actually the first time he performed those duties during a Michigan football game.  It turns out that was way back in 1980…on TV.  Recently Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis shared with me the details of Brandstatter’s first shot calling the game:

In 1980, Larry Adderley and Jim Brandstatter were all set to call the Michigan-Notre Dame football game from South Bend, Indiana for a local cable TV outlet.  Adderley, who had just finished 5 years as the host of Michigan Replay with coach Bo Schembechler, would unfortunately come down with laryngitis just before kickoff.  He made a valiant effort to do the play-by-play, but his voice just couldn’t hold up (see clip #1 below).

Brandstatter, having been a former UM offensive lineman knew the drill: when one man goes down, the next one has to step up. It has been the creed of Michigan Football since Bo arrived in 1969.  While he was planning on doing the color commentary for the cable telecast, Brandy manned up and took over for Adderley in the 2nd half. He recruited UM Hoopster Steve Grote to do the color commentary (see clip #2).  Obviously Brando got a little excited and you can tell he was “watching” the game in some spots instead of describing the action.  In his defense you have to remember that he was doing this game on TV, not radio.  He recovered nicely, and his call of Craig Dunaway’s last minute TD (see clip #3).

Not bad for his first gig as a play-by-play guy, especially when you consider he was prepping to do the game as the color commentary man.

Not too shabby indeed.  Here are the clips:

I heard back in January through my deep network of #1000SSS spies that Brandstatter was indeed going after the play-by-play gig…and it prompted this tweet exchange:

Brady MVictors tweets

We know now that Jim sought out clips from his first time doing radio play-by-play (2003 Northwestern) to help make his case to IMG and our friends on State Street.   Radio legend Art Vuolo, the man with an ultimate set of U-M audio in his archives, confirmed the story on his site last week:

Perhaps the reason I am personally so excited to see this happen is due, in part, to the fact that it was my pleasure to help out via my extensive archive of U of M games. In 2003, when back surgery prevented Frank Beckmann from making the trip to Evanston, IL for the UM-Northwestern game, Jim was pressed into service calling the game, with Steve Courtney doing the color commentary. Brandy called me and asked if I had that game? I said I have just about all of them.

After checking, that game was still on the original video cassette (a Beta tape none the less!) So, I copied it, with Jim on the audio, onto a DVD and watched it at the same time. I thought “wow he’s damn good at actually calling a game!” When he came over to pick up the disc he was truly amazed at the library of Michigan video I’ve accumulated over the past 35+ years.

A copy of that DVD was given to Michigan Athletic Director, Dave Brandon and the rest…is now history. In an e-mail I received from Jim Brandstatter on Thursday he said, “Thank the Lord you still had a copy of that Northwestern game when my copy didn’t work so well…that was big…I had no idea at the time, but it turned out large.”

My pleasure Brando.

Nice work Art.  Nice work Sap.  Looking forward to hearing the new crew.


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Guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

On a cold, cloudy, 34 degree November Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mike Lantry pulled Michigan from the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy. In the last minute of the tenth game of the 1972 season against the Purdue Boilermakers, “Super Toe,” as Bob Ufer referred to him, kicked a game winning field goal….that no one remembers.

Before getting into the reasons why this moment is lost in U-M lore, here’s how it all went down:

  • Trailing 3-0 at the half against a very determined Purdue defense, Michigan came out and scored a touchdown on their first drive of the second half. Unfortunately, Lantry’s PAT was wide right and the Boilermakers now only trailed, 6-3.
  • After Purdue tied the game at 6 with field goal on the last play of the 3rd quarter, Lantry had a chance to give Michigan the lead early in the 4th quarter. This time his 49-yard field goal attempt came up short.
  • Later in the final quarter, as Purdue drove down the field looking for the win, Randy Logan intercepted a Gary Danielson pass to set up a final shot for Michigan.
  • With the weight of the game (as well as the season) on his shoulders and left toe, Lantry composed himself and calmly booted a 30-yard field goal into a swirling 8 mph wind with one minute and four seconds remaining to give Michigan the 9-6 victory.

Lantry’s fourth field goal of the year kept Michigan undefeated heading into the season-ending tilt with Ohio State the following week.   The next time Michigan Stadium would witness this would be 11 years later when Bob Bergeron kicked the game winner against Iowa in 1983.

So why has this game-winning, last minute field goal not been remembered as such a big deal?   First off the game was not broadcast on TV.  On top of that, there is no known audio clip of Ufer calling this game-winning field goal, not even in the deep archives of the King of Michigan Media Art Vuolo.  And of course an audio clip might have helped immortalize Lantry (alongside the likes of Bergeron, Brabbs, etc.). 

Thankfully the U-M Bentley Historical Library came through with a classic pic of Lantry’s heroics from longtime photographer Bob Kalmbach:

Mike Lantry 1972 Purdue 
Attention(!) If anyone out there has Ufer’s call of this clutch field goal, by all means please pass it along!


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MVictors_Banner_Marawatch2 God bless your cotton pickin’ maize and blue fedora-covered ears, old Ufe returns Saturday.

Continuing an awesome tradition, starting at noon Saturday WTKA 1050AM will air another game from the Bob Ufer radio archives, this time the 1976 battle between the #1 ranked Michigan men and Stanford from Ann Arbor on September 18, 1976.   Here’s the game boxscore from the U-M Bentley Historical Library if you need it:

1976 Stanford

So after weeks of ignoring those important in your life, tune in while you are making good with your spouse, friends, family or putting rake to leaf in the yard.   Go Blue!

More on Bob Ufer here.    Follow MVictors on Twitter there.

12. September 2012 · Comments Off on The Art of Michigan Video · Categories: 2012 · Tags: , , , ,

I’ve known U-M football archivist Art Vuolo for a while because he’s omnipresent.  You can find him rolling tape at anything Michigan related—games, busts, award ceremonies, outings…you name it.

While he doesn’t have a high res shot of me catching Brendan Gibbons’ Sugar Bowl game winner, he’s got just about everything else.  Games videos, compilations and my favorite: complete games dubbed and synchronized with the Michigan radio broadcast instead of the clowns on ESPN/ABC/or NBC fergodsakes.  And he often includes extra features.  One of his finest is the 2011 Notre Dame DVD which includes all of the pre- and post-game ceremonies and celebrations, plus the halftime show.

For the historians he’s got a collection of films with the call of Bob Ufer dubbed over (up until Ufe’ died in 1981).  Yes, I said it:  Ufer over the video.

Everything doesn’t do this for profit.  Like me, he does this for the love of it.

Checkout the U-M Football collection here, and everything Art has to offer here.