The mid-century modern record player was pressed behind the couch , the TV muted, the voice of Bob Robertson booming through the basement.
Dad just put in surround-sound speakers, but you’re out of your mind if some network hack was going to call the game for us.
Admittedly, part of the reason was the old-school rear-projection TV – dated somewhere between the fishbowl screen and plasma – still donning an outdated bulb. Every 30 minutes or so the TV would shut off by itself to “cool down,” and for those three blackout minutes we needed to know what was happening.
Reliable Bob had us covered. He always did.
I first heard that voice live in the backseat of an early 2000’s GMC Sierra. I heard it live for the last time in the cab of a 1980 F-150 in the parking lot of a high school dance.
“Can we go in now?!” she begged.
“Depends if we can we stop Royce Freeman this series,” I said without hesitation.
We were beating Oregon on the road – a young Luke Falk unconsciously throwing for over 500 yards and five scores. I wouldn’t miss that for the world.
And sure, by those days Matt Chazanow was on the call – and without Bud Nameck I felt a hole in the broadcast somewhere – but Bob on the analyst mic was enough to make me smile.
His voice narrated some on my most beloved childhood memories. It also narrated some tragedies, Cougar football seems to do that to us. But all while I never knew the man, it sure felt like I did.
“Always be a good sport, be a good sport always”– Bob Robertson
Since his retirement in 2018, I couldn’t have the heroin of his broadcast. I had to settle with the methadone of his memory.
The news of Bob Rob’s passing this weekend took a while to digest. Hearing the words from my dad – the one who introduced me to that golden voice in the first place – is one of those weird things in life that just seem to make sense.
He was more than a radio talent. He was more than Cougar Football Saturday lore.
He was a Coug, a damn good one. Perhaps the best Coug there ever was…
And boy, I would’ve listened to more games had I known how much I’d miss it. Five decades of greatness still wasn’t enough to get our fix.
Thank you, Bob – for everything.
(Top Photo: Jack Ellis – Cougar Sports Network)