[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.
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