After spending decades as the voice of Michigan Wolverines football, broadcaster Jim Brandstatter decided to call it a career after the conclusion of this most recent season that saw Michigan capture the Big Ten Championship for the first time since 2004.
While speaking recently with Andrew Hammond of The Detroit Free Press, Brandstatter detailed what it was like knowing that it would be his final year in the broadcast booth.
“In January-February of ’21, Dan and I knew this was going to be our last year. At that point, both of us — we’ve been in the media, and we knew we didn’t want to make this about us. The only people that knew were my wife and Dan’s wife.”
“About a week before the game against Western (Michigan), we called (U-M athletic director) Warde (Manuel) and our bosses at Learfield. We wanted to be professional about it and wanted to give them a full season and give them a chance to make plans on what they want to do going forward. So Warde and the Learfield people knew, but we swore them to secrecy — swore them to secrecy.”
“And with about five minutes before kickoff, we announced that we’d be leaving. The reason we did that is, we didn’t want to become the story, we wanted the team to be the story. We’re a sidebar for three days, then the football team can take over. And thank God for the football team that came out of the box and played so well — then they became the story. This season has turned out perfectly for our last year, because all we care about is doing the games, watching football, and hoping Michigan would be resurgent and in a Big Ten championship — and that’s exactly what happened. And we’ve basically been along for the ride, Dan and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
However, Brandstatter issued a warning to college football fans for what he feels is a beginning of a “dark” period for the sport.
“I’m happy to say that I broadcasted games in the “golden era” and I’m leaving just as — what I think is the beginning of a dark period for the sport.
“Will there be a Big Ten conference? I mean, we’ve seen the SEC raid the Big 12 for two traditional powers in Texas and Oklahoma, what’s to say that there’s a super conference that tries to get Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin? ‘You’re the four guys we want to join this conference.’
“But we know there’s a changing face of the sport happening — it may be 10 years down the road, but we can see that things are being put into place and it’s not good for the sport.”
– – Quotes via The Detroit Free Press Link – –