Last year, long-time NFL analyst Dan Dierdorf announced that he would retire from the broadcast booth and ride off into the sunset. Dierdorf cited the week-to-week travel to NFL cities and artificial joints that he said made broadcasting games a difficult grind over the past few years.
Dierdorf told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in January:
“I just have to get away from going to an airport every Friday. … I can’t physically do it anymore.”
So when Dierdorf called the Indianapolis-New England playoff game in January on CBS with Greg Gumbel, it appeared that he was done with broadcasting forever. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the retirement home.
On Thursday, the University of Michigan announced that Dierdorf would be joining its football broadcast team in the fall. He is a Michigan alumnus and has said how much he loves the school. In the official Michigan announcement, Dierdorf said: “This is the only broadcasting job that I would have considered after retiring from network television.”
To his credit, Dierdorf has said in the past he would love to broadcast Michigan games and was hoping to work with his friend, Jim Brandstatter who is moving from analysis to play-by-play this fall. Both Dierdorf and Brandstatter played together at Michigan and are best friends.
Again from the official announcement: “I was always jealous of Jim calling games at Michigan and often said that one of my goals was to come back and call a couple of series with him,” added Dierdorf. “To work with one of my best friends, someone that I’ve known my entire adult life, is really special, and I’m looking forward to getting in the booth with Jim this fall.”
And while you may wonder about the stress of traveling to different Big Ten towns every week and accessing broadcast booths that can be up to eight stories high, calling games for your alma mater with your best friend can offset any pain and difficulties, plus the college football season is not as long as an NFL campaign.
Dierdorf will be heard on a regional basis on the Michigan Radio Network and nationally through SiriusXM, but NFL fans will no longer have him to kick around and complain or scratch their heads about his analysis which was deemed to be among the statistically worst last season.
However, Wolverine fans won’t care about that and will most likely welcome a long-time Michigan man back to Ann Arbor this fall.
UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.: Speaking on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation on Thursday, Dierdorf told hosts Chip Brown and Rachael Baribeau that he will drive for most of Michigan’s schedule and only have to fly once.