Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis bids adieu to a painful 2014 with a final offering of decals to a handful of seniors.  

But before that, did you catch ESPN’s GameDay on Saturday?  It included a nice piece on the rivalry and the Michigan banner, including a short clip of the Buckeyes tearing down the coveted slice of canvas in ‘73 synchronized with Bob Ufer’s epic audio description of that dastardly deed.   Guess who put that together and shipped it off to ESPN?  That’s right..Dr. Sap himself!   Here’s a low res version of the full clip Sap provided to our friends in Bristol:

Those painful dekes:


DEVIN GARDNER? – We watched a gutty and gutting end to New 98’s career on Saturday. In between the first pass/interception of the game and the fumble that gave OSU the clinching score, Gardner played his heart out and did all he could to help UM win. Problem is, he also helped OSU win. Take away those free 14 points and we have an even ballgame.

I don’t want to remember Gardner for his interception and fumble. I want to remember him for his courage for keeping UM in the game. I want to remember him for his compassion when he went over and consoled J.T. Barrett when he broke his ankle. Instead, I am reminded of a Demetrius Brown-like talent that was so good he made you cheer, and at other times he was so confounding he made you sneer. So…Devin Gardner?


JAKE RYAN? – Much like Gardner, I want to remember Ryan for leaving it all on the field Saturday. The image of him flying around, throwing his body all over the place to make the tackle was offset by two other images: whiffing on Barrett as Ryan’s surgically repaired knee couldn’t make that extra move to tackle the OSU QB as he ran for a first half score, and failing to wrap up Ezekiel Elliott on the clinching 4th and 1 touchdown late in the game. So…Jake Ryan?


WILL HAGERUP? – I don’t know. Dude was suspended three times and came back for this?   He put one inside the 20-yard line and averaged over 40 yards on 4 punts. I can’t really give it to Norfleet for starting the game off like he did, so…Will Hagerup?


HELMET COLOR – After dealing with all the crap this season, I finally had enough of seeing the wrong shade of yellow on the M helmets!  It was painfully obvious to me that it was not right the correct color and it’s time we got it right! 

Maybe it was the culmination of everything that we had to deal with this year, including the all blue unis, but for some reason the color of the yellow on the Michigan helmets was painfully out of synch with the rest of the uniform.   The shade of yellow/maize didn’t match the pants. It didn’t match the yellow trim on the jersey.  Heck, it didn’t even match the yellow shoes worn by some of the Wolverines. Time for Riddell to get it right! If they can’t get it right, then they need someone to help get it right. Consider myself volunteered!


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On this day in 1979…still gives me the chills.  Via the great WolverineHistorian:

While it was somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy I suppose, I love that in all the madness Ufer recognized that play in the context of Michigan football history when he offers that it will be remembered for another 100 years (’79 of course was the 100th anniversary of the program). We can safely say that’s true of course, looking back 35 years later and it’s probably more to do with Ufer’s call than the play itself.

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More on Bob Ufer

1979 Michigan State

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

Continuing an awesome tradition, starting at 9am Saturday WTKA 1050AM will air another game from the Bob Ufer radio archives, this time the battle between the #11 ranked Michigan men and #16-ranked Michigan State at Spartan Stadium played on October 6, 1979.

A huge thanks to the great Dr. Sap, a few clips from the game for you:

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!

Stats, as you can see Braylon’s old man carried the load.  [more stats here]


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

[Ed. Via the extensive archives possessed by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis, a timely piece as we begin the 2014 World Cup..proving once again that you can tie Michigan football history back to anything.]

Guest post by Steve Sapardanis

In 1978, Bob Ufer had some hilarious stories along with a few “friends” he would often refer to during his radio broadcasts to further emphasize how great Michigan was doing and how the stars were aligning to match U-M’s football hopes and dreams that season.

When Michigan travelled to South Bend to face Note Dame for the first time in 35 years, Ufer was ready.  He had talked about this game for years and couldn’t wait for kickoff.   Irish fans, still feeling the highs of their 1977 national championship, claimed that “God made the Irish #1.”   Ufe had other ideas.

As the seconds winded down in U-M’s epic 28-14 victory in South Bend, Ufer went on about how actor George Burns, who portrayed The Almighty in the movie, “Oh, God!” was seen leaving the ND sideline to walk over to shake Bo’s hand.   Burns really wasn’t there of course, but the metaphor had already been cast – everybody loves a winner, even the gentleman upstairs!

Then there was this.  After the game Ufer proved that Michigan fandom extended all the way to South America by treating listeners to a “call” from his “friend” in Brazil to help celebrate the victory.  Check it out:

I believe Ufer used a recording of legendary sportscaster Angel Fernandez, one of the best-known voices in the history of Mexican radio and television.   Fernandez called baseball games and boxing matches but was best known for his work in soccer, where he began broadcasts with his famous phrase: “For all those who love and cherish soccer…”   The tradition of yelling “GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!” was not only copied by a generation of Mexican broadcasters but was well-known throughout the soccer world and even became a phenomenon in the United States when it hosted the World Cup back in 1994.

* * *


* Get Bob Ufer CDs, merch and much more from
* The Cavender Stomp (1978)


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Rose Bowl Watch

A close-up on the watch Bo is wearing on the Schembechler Statue – hmm, 1981 Rose Bowl!  Note it also reads 1pm – Bo’s favorite time to start a game — (MVictors photo)


Bo’s headset – with the Dymo tape and all– (MVictors photo)

If you missed it, we had some great radio this morning on WTKA 1050AM  as Ira and Sam were joined in studio by MVictors’ own Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis to discuss his recent Bo Brackets series.   The discussion of Bo’s greatest teams wasn’t left to those in studio alone, as Ira took calls from longtime coach Jerry Hanlon and legends Don Dufek, Stan Edwards and Ali Haji-Sheikh.

Check out all of the Bo Brackets posts here:  Background  Results:  Schembechler 16   Elite 8   Final Four   Title Game

Here are three clips from the show with a little on each:

Clip #1:  The Bo Bracket is introduced, Sap explains the origins and the initial seedings.  1980 kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh joins about 10 minutes in, and shares a quote from Bo himself what he considered his best team.

Clip #2: Leading off with a Bob Ufer clip, they get deeper into the Brackets and coach Jerry Hanlon joins in (5 mins in) and then Stan Edwards (10 minutes in). Edwards tells Hanlon, “…you know damn well..” that 1980 team was the best of the Bo era.  Edwards adds that the only team that could have kept pace was Lloyd Carr’s 1997 squad.

Clip #3:  Sam closes the show and Sap points out that Jim Brandstatter’s first true “play by play” radio experience was not 2003 Northwestern, but rather the 1980 Notre Dame game.  (More on that later).



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[Ed.  Did you know the great Bob Ufer called the occasional hoops game?  Believe it.  Here’s Sap breaking down a recording from the 1965 IU game with Ufe on the mic.  P.S. If Ufe were alive today I bet he’d have a few choice words for Crean! #DONG]

A guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

With Michigan winning their first outright B1G Basketball Championship in 28 years, I thought it would be appropriate to look back on the 1965 Michigan – Indiana Basketball game.
Not because UM will be playing IU this weekend, but because Bob Ufer was doing the play-by-play radio on WPAG (the predecessor to your beloved WTKA 1050AM).

Back in 1965 Michigan, led by the great Cazzie Russell, also won the B1G title and was ranked #2 in the country behind some school out west (UCLA).  But the real story here is Ufer.

A few years ago, came out with a CD that had the first half of the UM-IU Hoops game and it is priceless.  To hear Ufer call a basketball game in much the same fashion that he called a football game is pure joy.  Here’s a breakdown of a few selected tracks:

Track #1:  Here you’ve got Ufe calling the opening tip of the game.

Track #2: If you listen closely you can pick up Ufer calling the game in the vernacular of the day.   Catch phrases, or Ufer-isms, like “Bloody-Nose-Lane” or “Net City” in 1965 would be replaced with “In the Paint” and “Nothing but Net” some 20 or 30 years later.

Track #3: My favorite might be the “right-handed push shot” that was used back in the day.

Track #4: You also gotta like how Cazzie always seemed to be the guy to “pull Michigan up by its boot-straps” when they needed a bucket!

So Ufer once again set the bar in UM radio broadcasting by calling both basketball AND football games.

And as the search for Frank Beckmann’s replacement continues, I wonder if Matt Shepard is reading…

Related:   Ufer merch?  T-Shirts, CDs and more.  Believe it.

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beckmann with leach Ricky and Franky

Saturday will be the home finale for many folks involved with Michigan football: the departing seniors of course, legendary equipment manager Jon Falk and longtime broadcaster Frank Beckmann (and yes, many longtime fans based on the recent tweets).

Much has been said about about Falk but notsomuch about Frank.  I think he’s done a great job broadcasting and he’s had some legendary calls.  Following Bob Ufer behind the mic is beyond impossible and I tip my maize and blue fedora to Beckmann.

So check this out.  Thanks to the Art Vuolo and Dr. Sap archives here are a few clips from the radio broadcast of the 1981 Notre Dame game in Ann Arbor, Beckmann’s first season calling games.  Ufer was ailing in ‘81 and Beckmann stepped in to call the opener against Wisconsin, a stunner where Bo’s #1-ranked crew fell to the Badgers.  The Irish took over the top-ranking the following week and came to Ann Arbor to face the wounded blue.  

A few months back Sap told me that this game contained moments of Frank and Ufe on air together and I thought it’d be cool to share a few heading into the finale.

Running down the clips:

Clip #1. The transition from pregame to kickoff, as Ufer hands the broadcast over to “Frankie” Beckmann, but not before Ufe busts his chops about his prediction in the Tommy Hearns-Sugar Ray Leonard fight, coerces a favorable game prediction out of him for the ND game, & confirms that Beckmann is decked out in maize and blue.

Clip #2. Beckmann calling the first score of the game, a 71-yard bomb from Steve Smith to Anthony Carter.   Frank not quite there with the “big play” call yet, but he definitely got it down later on.

Clip #3. Closing out the game, the crowd knows what’s going on with Ufer’s health and chant his name, “UFER!  UFER! UFER!”.  After Ufe acknowledges the crowd (presumably through a window in the press box) Beckmann gets on the air, “You are amazing Mr. Ufer, you are amazing.  Goosebumps.  I got goosebumps.”  

Clip #4.  This is a couple minutes later (after #3) as the game is closing out.  Listen closely at around 27 seconds– there’s a moment Millie Schembechler enters the broadcast booth to see Ufer, presumably to send some love his way knowing his condition.  You can hear Ufe quietly say “Oh Millie, oh..”…perhaps after a hug or when he firsts sees her.    She’s on air briefly before the game wraps up with what is an emotional listen for me as Beckmann starts to count off the final seconds but Ufer takes over and takes it home.   And in Ufe fashion, he delivers his Robert Frost Ufer poem summarizing the historic victory over the Irish.


I’ve told a few folks it was a little emotional for me as I was slicing up those clips.   Ufer was honored a few weeks later at the Iowa game, and died shortly after that.  Beckmann dutifully continued for the next 32 seasons and will give his final home call Saturday.

Go Blue!


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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.

[Ed. On Saturday we honored the three greatest brothers in college football history, the amazing Wisterts.   You also probably know that Albert (“The Ox”), Francis (“Whitey”) and Alvin (“Moose”) had Hall of Fame nicknames.  Sap sent this over recently and I thought it was a) money, and b) timely.]

Guest post by Dr. Steve Sapardanis

As we approach Denard “Shoelace” Robinson’s last game at Michigan stadium, I started to think about all the nicknames over the years that have been given to U-M players, past and present.    Typically they are abbreviated last names: Huckleby becomes HUCK.  Wangler becomes WANGS.  Harbaugh becomes HARBS, and so on.    Denard’s nickname is a testament to his unique shoe-fastening method – or lack of it. 

This year’s team has few that I know of:

* Roy Roundtree – Treezy
* Brendan Gibbons – Lefty, Gibby, Money

It seemed like legendary Michigan broadcaster Bob Ufer had a nickname for every player, besides the fact that he liked to call John “Johnny,” Jim “Jimmy,” and Rob “Robbie.”
Some of the nicknames Ufer used on the radio were given to players by their teammates, while others were bestowed upon them by Robert Frost Ufer himself. 

Below are a few of the more famous ones from Bob “THE UFE” Ufer:

* Don Lund (Ufer’s color commentary man) – Lundo
* Jack Lane (Ufer’s stats man) – The Human Computer
* Tom Ufer – Old #3 son
* Bo Schembechler – Bo “George Patton” Schembechler, The General
* Woody Hayes – Dr. Strange Hayes
* Woody Hayes’s Buckeyes – Test Tubes
* Earle Bruce – “Darth Vader” Bruce
* Earle Bruce’s Buckeyes – Scarlet and Gray Stormtroopers
* Dan Devine – Dreary Old Dan Devine
* Michigan State – Jolly Green Giants
* Dennis Franklin – Dennis “The Menace” Franklin
* Ed Shuttlesworth – “Easy” Ed Shuttlesworth
* Mike Lantry – Super Toe
* Gil Chapman – The Jersey Jet
* Gordon Bell – The Whirling Dervish
* Rob Lytle – The Blonde Bullet, The Fremont Flash
* Rick Leach – Ricky “The Peach” Leach, The Flint Phenom, The Guts and Glue of the Maize and Blue
* Russell Davis – Russell “Hustle” Davis
* Harlan Huckleby – Harlan “Huckleberry Finn” Huckleby
* U-M’s 1978 Backfield – Huckleberry Finn deep and Tom Sawyer close
* Thomas Seabron – Old Sea Dog
* Mike Jolly – Butterknife, Bones
* Chris Godfrey – “Manster”  (half Man, half Monster)
* Ron Simpkins – Boo Bear
* Curtis Greer – Curtis “Harvey Martin” Greer
* Roosevelt Smith – Roosevelt “Rosey” Smith
* Bryan Virgil – Bryan “Ozzie” Virgil
* Lawrence Reid – Lawrence “LP” Reid
* John Wangler – Johnny “Winging” Wangler
* Mel Owens – The Hulk
* Mike Trgovac – Tiger Vac
* Anthony Carter – Spider, Darter, Sparkplug, the Human Torpedo and of course just, “AC.”
* Robert Thompson – Robert “Bubba Baker” Thompson
* Butch Woolfolk – “My name is Butch, don’t call me Harold, Woolfolk!”
* Steve Smith – Smitty

And because you can’t have one without the other, here are a few common but classic phrases frequently uttered by ol’ Ufe:

* Referees – $100 an hour men
* Michigan Stadium – The Hole that Yost dug, Crisler paid for and Canham carpeted
* Michigan’s Tartan Turf – Canham’s Carpet
* Ohio Stadium – The Snakepit
* Ohio Stadium Crowd – 10,000 Michigan fans and 75,000 Truck Drivers
* The Little Brown Jug – The Finest Piece of Football Crockery in America
* Offensive Co-Ordinator Chuck Stobart’s Offense – Stobart’s Stallions
* Jerry Hanlon’s O-Line – Hanlon’s Hustlers
* Gary Moeller’s Offense – Moeller’s Marauders
* Bill McCartney’s Defense – McCartney’s Monsters
* Michigan Football – “Football is a religion and Saturday is the Holy Day of Obligation”
* The CBs of Michigan Football – “Crisler, Benny, Bump and Bo”
* Ali Haji-Shiekh – "the only Iranian I know who wears cowboy boots"
* Out of the endzone kickoffs – “Aluminum Beer Cans – Non-Returnable”
* “Closer than fuzz on a gnat’s eye “
* “Like a bat out of … you know where bats come from”
* “Pickin’ ‘em up and layin’ ‘em down”
* Two things you can always count on Ufer saying: football is a game of emotions, and games are always won or lost up front in the trenches.