Update: Fans Salute Brandstatter -- 'the Ernie Harwell for Lions Football,' One Says
July 10th, 2018, 6:18 PM
Football fans and fellow broadcasters are among admirers posting salutes to legendary sportscaster Jim Brandstatter, whose three decades as the Detroit Lions' radio voice end abruptly with a termination decision delivered by phone.
After he tweeted news of WJR's sudden dismissal Tuesday morning, the 68-year-old saw how widely respected and even beloved he is.
"Jim, you’re a legend that is loved," tweets Fox 2 newsman Roop Raj. "Your voice is and will always be synonymous with Lions broadcasts."
"Wow. Just wow. I’ve always been one of your biggest fans," comments Roberta Jasina, a reporter and anchor at the region's other main news station, WWJ.
From WXYZ, anchor-reporter Carolyn Clifford posts: "Jim was and is simply one of the best ever in the Lions Broadcast booth. He will be dearly missed!"
This e-hug is from a 23-year veteran of WDIV:
Hats off to @jimbrandstatter -- handling a nasty situation with a lot of class.— Devin Scillian (@DevinScillian) July 10, 2018
Here's another, coming from a Metro Detroit communication firm co-owner whose career started in studios:
.@jimbrandstatter doing Lions games was a role model of work ethic for an aspiring broadcaster. Remember him in '86 doing a Michigan Saturday night game at Hawaii, recording the Michigan Replay TV show there then flying to Pittsburgh in time for 1pm Sunday Lions kickoff.— Matt Friedman (@mattfrieds) July 10, 2018
And these are among hundreds of other tributes
What!?!?!?!? You are the Ernie Harwell for Lions football on the radio. This is terrible. We love you Brandy. What can fans do to reverse this decision.— robert wedge (@wedgeCRNA) July 10, 2018
Going to miss you on the broadcasts, Mr. Brandstatter. One of the best around for sure.— Brian Earl Spliner (@BrianEarlSpline) July 10, 2018
You are a class act and will be missed Jim. I can’t even fathom what it will be like listening to the broadcast without you. God bless you and I can’t wait to hear you call our beloved Wolverines.— John Popovits (@The_Johnny_Pop) July 10, 2018
Original article, Tuesday morning:
Jim Brandstatter, the voice of Detroit Lions radio for 31 years, is fired by WJR-AM. He'll be replaced by former Lions player Lomas Brown, The Detroit News reports.
He got the word by phone Tuesday morning. "You’re expecting a little more than that. I’ve been doing this for 31 years," he tells sportswriter Angelique Chengelis.
His contract runs until 2021, she reports, and the station presumably must pay his salary until then.
Brandstatter broke the news on Twitter, where his post earns more than 2,100 "likes" and over 600 supportive comments.
A quick heads up guys. This morning, WJR let me know they were going a different direction and terminated me from their Lions broadcasts. I had a great run of 31 years. I can’t thank Lion fans enough for spending time with me on all those Sundays. #ILoveDetroit #OnePride— Jim Brandstatter (@jimbrandstatter) July 10, 2018
One fan calls him "the Ernie Harwell of Lions football on radio." (A sampling of other salutes is below.)
Brandstatter, 68, lives in Commerce Township with Robbie Timmons, who retired as a WXYZ anchor in 2010.
He played three varsity seasons as an offensive tackle for the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1972.
The broadcast veteran has done color analysis at UM games since 1979 and hosted "Inside Michigan Football" telecasts since 2008, an online biography says. His two-volume "Tales from Michigan Stadium" was published in 2002 and 2005.
Here are more online salutes:
This is a loss for the Lions and their fans— Larry Lage (@LarryLage) July 10, 2018
This is a sad day. Sorry to hear this news, Jim. I have always enjoyed listening to you. Keep the faith.— Arthur J. Regner (@ArthurJRegner) July 10, 2018
Craziness, it's been great having you as part of our Lions consciousness for, well, most of our lives.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) July 10, 2018
The future is in Podcasts and Periscope anyway. Offer your commentary and game calling from your mancave and stream it on Periscope.— JM (@JonEMay1) July 10, 2018
@wjrradio is making a big mistake. Anyone who lasts 31 years behind the microphone has earned the right to decide when to back away from it.— BC_1957 (@BC_1957) July 10, 2018