Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throwing a Salute to the "Ufe"

A special day came and went this year and I was watching for it on the “This Date in UM History” and then I was distracted by work and what-not. Then, it hit me that it passed and I hadn’t done or written anything about him….October 23rd was the day the “Great Bob Ufer” left us.

I don’t know why we remember the death of someone after they’re gone and their birthday when they’re still here. But, it’s always fun when something about Bob Ufer comes out and we get to stroll down memory lane. I sometimes find myself wishing that football wasn’t all about the boob tube today as I find myself planted in front of the contraption from about noon on Saturday till midnight, watching as much as I can. Growing up, that wasn’t the case.   You were lucky if you had a 1:00 game and a late afternoon game.  There was no such thing as "Saturday Night Football."  Imagine....

You could go outside and get some stuff done as long as you had the trusty old AM portable tuned to WJR 760 and cranked to the max. Bob Ufer would be there to let you know how things were going in the Hole that Yost dug, Crysler paid for, Canham Carpeted and Schembechler filled every home football Saturday.

Greg over at MVictors had a great guest post that Dr. Steve Sapardanis put together of Ufer’s Nicknames an Uferisms that I thought I should link to here and also post for your enjoyment. I will admit that a couple were new for me, but I recognized at least 80% of them.


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.

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