Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Tale of Two Broadcasts

In a series categorized by dramatic and hearbreaking finishes, Harry Oliver's heroics in the 1980 Notre Dame - Michigan tilt holds its own special place in Irish lore. Into the teeth of a fierce wind, the freshman from Cincinnati, Ohio was charged with the suicidally impossible task of booting a 51 yard field goal with no time left for the win. The snap, the spot, the wobbly boot, and history is made.

Thanks to YouTube, we have access to both home teams' broadcast of the game, and the contrast is hilarious. One one end, you have fresh-faced newcomer Tony Roberts, whose long and legendary career was just beginning (if I remember his interview with Mike Frank correctly, this was the first Notre Dame game he ever broadcasted). In the other booth, another legend in grizzled veteran Bob Ufer, who was entering the twilight of his career that spanned nearly four decades. While Roberts sounds like he's going to blow all the capillaries in his brain, Ufer sounds like an old man that has just been scissorkicked in the groin, as he audibly deflates, forgets where he is, and loses all will to live right on the broadcast.

Tony Roberts

Bob Ufer

And Notre Dame wins 30 to 29. And Notre Dame wins 30 to 27. And Notre Dame wins 29 to 27. Christ, I can't find it. To hell with it!.

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