#15 Michigan Marching Band and Stadium Announcer Carl Grapentine
"Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the Michigan Marching Band. Baaaaaand, take the field!"
You just got chills, didn't you? Yeah, me, too.
When you hear Carl Grapentine, the Michigan Marching Band and Big House announcer, utter those words over the stadium PA system on Saturday, all will be good in the world. The game will be mere moments away. And Grapentine's soothing baritone will have just set the stage. Like your mom saying grace before Thanksgiving dinner. You wouldn't even think of touching the turkey until mom had her say.
Same with Carl in The Big House.
For me, the game doesn't start when the Wolverines run out of the tunnel. Or when they race under the "M Go Blue" banner. Or even at kick-off. Nope. I'm in full game-mode as soon as I hear Grapentine.
According to the Michigan Marching Band website, "Grapentine has been 'The Voice of the Michigan Band' since 1970 when he was appointed to the post by Dr. William D. Revelli. An alumnus of the University of Michigan School of Music, he played oboe in the Symphony Band and Symphony Orchestra, and was baritone soloist with the Men's Glee Club during his student years." Having outlasted Bo, Mo, Carr and Rich Rod, Grapentine is as much a part of the band and the gameday experience as anybody down on the field forming the giant block "M".
In 2006, Grapentine added to his duties when he became the stadium PA announcer, as well. He took over for Howard King, who was The Big House public address announcer for 33 years, from 1972 until his retirement at the end of the 2005 season.
In this capacity, Grapentine is responsible for this other chill-inducing announcement...
"Good afternoon. And welcome. To the University of Michigan football stadium. And this, the 57th meeting between Michigan and Purdue. Now for the starting lineups..."
Then, after the teams are introduced on Saturday...
"...And in his first season as head coach...Brady Hoke!"
Here come the chills again.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting #15 on our list of the 25 Things We Love about Michigan Football Saturdays...Carl Grapentine.
ED. NOTE: Notice how he no longer says, to my knowledge, the exact number of members in the MMB as he does in the above older recording. Anybody know when that stopped and why? Or am I just not paying attention like I should these days?