Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Thursday, November 9, 1989
shine in Replay
Illinois quarterback Jeff George eludes the Northwestern rush for a touchdown.
QB George finds a home with Fightin' Illini
by Adam Benson
Daily Football Writer
Many college students look to
spend a term abroad at some exotic
place, but Jeff George never really
wanted that. He just wanted to play
He is now playing at the Univer-
sity of Illinois, which is no Monte
Carlo, but he still shows some ele-
gant taste by choosing to play in a
city called Champaign.
In 1986, coming from Indianapo-
lis' Warren Central High School,
America's top rated high school
quarterback avoided the palm tress
and chose Purdue as the place to
spend his next four years.
He lasted there about nine
months before realizing he had to
"I was in a situation where I
pretty much had to leave," George
said. "Nothing against Purdue, but it
just wasn't the right place for me."
George then experimented. He
tried to catch some sun on the
beaches of Miami, following Jim
Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Tes-
taverde and Steve Walsh, hoping to
be the Hurricanes' next great quarter-
back. Yet George could barely get a
tan before he was off again.
"At the time, I guess it was right
for toe, and I did announce that I was
going to go to Miami," George
said. "But as time went on, I realized
Miami wasn't where I wanted to be.
I wanted to be close to home. I had a
lot of backing and a lot of family
that wanted to see me play. They
wouldn't have been able to see me
Michigan v. Illinois
Saturday, November 11
Kickoff 3:30 on ABC-TV
play if I was in Miami."
So it was off to Urbana-Cham-
paign, where an excited George an-
ticipated a grooming from Illini
coach, and offensive master mind,
Until White was fired. White's
dismissal left George looking for
another home, but White's replace-
ment would finally solve this curi-
ous George, and help him settle
down at Illinois.
"He has matured a lot," Illini
wide receiver Mike Bellamy said.
"He was a great quarterback coming
out of high school. Now that he's
been with coach Mackovic for two
years, he feels he has more confi-
dence in himself and his abilities."
George adds: "I came here because
of (Mike White), but also because of
the University. I was in a tough sit-
uation where I thought to myself
'Another coaching change, what
more could happen to me?' Then in
came coach Mackovic from Kansas
City and his philosophy on football.
I knew I was in good hands."
Maybe the only school that Ge-
orge didn't sample was the one that
recruited him the hardest.
"It's kind of funny that Michigan
was the school that recruited me the
most. I've got a lot of respect for
George -put the Illini on top of
the Wolverines in his heart. This
weekend, he can move Illinois ahead
in the Big Ten standings as well.
His teammates will count on him to
"He's a great leader," Bellamy
said. "We know that he will get the
job done. We have confidence in
him. We have a great receiving core
in Steven Williams and myself so he
puts the ball up and you can catch it
and it makes the job pretty easy."
No Michigan player will let Ge-
orge move the Illini through the
Wolverine defense, but he will not
be easy to stop.
"He's a lot different from what
we've seen so far," said defensive
tackle Chris Hutchinson. "He sits in
the pocket and he's real hard to get
to, he releases the ball real quick.
He's got a real good feel for where
the rush is coming, and when he
feels it, he'll dump the ball off real
Hutchinson and teammates hope
to find a way to catch George, or the
quarterback can add a new stop on
his ever-changing itinerary:
by Adam Benson
Daily Football Writer
(Second of two-parts)
Bo Schembechler does not wear make-up when he
films Michigan Replay. Nor does he rehearse his lines,
use a teleprompter or re-shoot if a mistake is made.
"I'm not a TV personality," Schembechler said. "I
describe the plays in conversation, as if I was talking
with Jim (Brandstatter, the show's co-host), but I don't
think I play up for audience."
Schembechler and Brandstatter have little or no idea
of what the other is going to say. The live format
makes the show much more exciting, especially for the
"It puts an edge on the program," said Jeff Forester,
Director of broadcast operations at Channel 2.
"Whenever you have a coach, they are used to
performing under pressure and they always do better
under pressure. It's something that they thrive on."
And as Brandstatter found out one
show, sometimes he is better off
"It was late one season, I can't
remember what year, but Michigan
and Ohio State were competing for
the Big Ten title," Brandstatter
recalled. "During a commercial
break, Bo told me that he thought
the conference championship would
come down to Michigan and Ohio.
"When we returned from the
break, I said to Bo 'Do you think
that the race will come down to the
Michigan-Ohio State game?' He
looked at me and said 'Jim, you
should know that you can never take
any Big Ten team too lightly.' He Jim Brandstatter
takes pride in making me miss." as a Michigan W
The Schembechler-Brandstatter friendship allows that
kind of trickery. Brandstatter played offensive tackle for
Schembechler his first season as Michigan coach in
1969. Even though Brandstatter quit football a while
ago, this twosome remains like it was when they first
"There is a lot of respect between the two of them,"
said Bob Lipson the show's director/producer. "I think
Bo takes great pride in seeing one of his players turn
around and make a career for himself."
Schembechler calls Brandstatter "one of my kids.
Jim, when he was playing, would get on the phone on
the plane coming back and he'd imitate a different
personality and the players would die laughing. He was
the chief entertainer when he was on the team."
Brandstatter left football and began working in
television around the state. He started with weekend
duty in Saginaw, went to Jackson, and eventually earned
a spot at Detroit's Channel 4. After he left Channel 4,
Brandstatter turned to freelance work, primarily
Michigan Replay. Since joining Replay in 1980, he
has become one of Detroit's most respected sports
"It is important that Jimmy is not a jock
broadcaster," Lipson said. "He works very hard at his
craft and does it very well. If he were just a jock
broadcaster, I would not have him for this show."
While agreeing that he has developed as a
broadcaster, Brandstatter attributes some of his success
to his Wolverine background.
"The fact that I had played at Michigan had a factor
whether I got a job or not," Brandstatter said. "Maybe
when I started in the business, I was a jock turned
broadcaster. Now, I like to consider myself a broadcaster
who played football. This is not a hobby, it's what I do
for a living."
As well as being a TV personality, Brandstatter has
another distinction. Besides the coach himself,
Brandstatter may be the leading expert on Schembechler.
"He and I are friends," Brandstatter said. "I admire
him tremendously. When you are a kid, you don't
understand some of the things he does. I think he
pushes you and forces you through his way to be your
best. At times, you'd like to strangle him because he
can be tough to get along with. But
when you graduate, you realize he
was doing something for a reason."
That strong relationship shows
during the show's production.
"The coach and Jim have a
rapport that's really important,"
Forester said. "It's a good marriage -
as far as being on camera is
Certain fine points outside of the
participants' rapport that Lipson has
implemented to insure the show's
difference from other coaches' shows
are noticeable. He avoids the use of
'The Victors' as the background
music, titled the show Michigan
Replay instead of the standard Bo
vhen he played Schembechler Show, and interviews
verine in 1969. players in the lockerroom setting.
"(Bob) understands Michigan and he understands the
big picture," Forester said. "When you do a show like
this every week, you have a number of masters. He is
very good at juggling those masters, like the alumni,
the coaching staff, the students, the faculty and the
"There is a lot of pressure on him to make sure that
their product on television is just as good as the product
on the field. He handles the pressure well."
Yet for all of Lipson's handywork, and Brandstatter's
skill, the star remains Schembechler. As a performer,
Schembechler has changed since he first began
"He was a very curt individual," Lipson said. "He'
didn't trust the media. He wasn't used to how big
Michigan football was in 1969. He had been around a
small college. I really don't think he had a sense for ,-
what was involved.
"He was not a real good television performer in
those days. He had a tendency to give coaching BS.' 'I
When we first started, I didn't think his real personality
ever came out.
"As years have gone on, he has become a wonderful
media individual. He's funny, and the show is now
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