Monday, May 15, 2006

Voice of the Wolverines

While we await word on the radio broadcast information (what station and what announcers) at least it has been settled since early this year who will be the "Voice of the Wolverines" in the Big House: Carl Grapentine. Grapentine is only Michigan's third PA announcer since 1957. He follows in the footsteps of Steve Filipiak (1957-1971) and, of course, Howard King (1972-2005). Filipiak is best known for starting the tradition of announcing the Slippery Rock score during Michigan games.

As for Grapentine, he has had plenty of opportunity to get ready to assume the PA announcer's job. He and King worked together for 33 years as Grapentine has been the "Voice of the Michigan Band" since 1970 handling pre, post and halftime PA duties related to the band. Grapentine even got a trial run as the football PA announcer in 2005 when King's ailing health sidelined him for a few games. Grapentine filled in admirably improving with each game. He always had the commanding voice he just had to get used to calling out who made the play without hesitating. With the help of a spotter and rising confidence, Grapentine was pretty proficient by his final stint in the 2005 season. The U-M brass must have thought so as well because they decided to give him the gig full-time now that King has retired. Grapentine has such a terrific voice there is nothing quite like hearing him command, "Band, take the field!" and I look forward to hearing another year of his football announcing as well.

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