Bob Robertson, voice of WSU Cougar football dating to 1964, will not call play-by-play this season.
The announcement came last week and saddened legions of Cougar faithful who have known no other sportscaster.
Yet unknown to some, Robertson (holding the football, above) was the voice of WSU’s fiercest rival during a particularly dynamic era: From 1969 through 1971 – coinciding with quarterback Sonny Sixkiller’s first years at the University of Washington – Robertson called Husky football.
The longtime Tacoma resident first landed the WSU play-by-play job in 1964, but in 1969 his radio station – Seattle’s KVI – landed the rights to UW football for three years.
Considering the fervor of the cross-state rivalry today, it’s odd that I associate Robertson with UW’s 1970-71 football resurgence and his exciting calls of Sixkiller’s long bombs to Jim Krieg, Tommy Scott, and Ace Bulger, and Bo Cornell’s blasts up the middle.
I’ve always loved Robertson’s corny sign-off: “Always be a good sport, be a good sport all ways.”
In 1972, Robertson returned to WSU football as others took over the Husky microphone, including Wayne Cody, Bruce King, and finally Bob Rondeau in 1980 (except for an unfortunate late-1980s interlude with Barry Tompkins).
Read about Robertson’s new color-analysis role this season, and revisit this wonderful 2009 Seattle Times feature about him.