When he announced his decision last summer to retire, Bob Rondeau made it very clear he didn’t want a lot of fuss made about his final season as radio "Voice of the Huskies."
Sorry Bob, you deserve lots of attention, especially calling your final Apple Cup football game.
The University of Washington will make Saturday ‘Bob Rondeau Day’, with the first 10,000 fans at Husky Stadium receiving a talking Rondeau Bobblehead. Just push the little button and hear him exclaim, “Touchdown Washington!”
Rondeau is clearly at peace with his choice to hang up the microphone and headphones after 40 years associated with Washington Husky sports. He started the run in 1978 as color commentator alongside KOMO's Bruce King before taking over the main UW play-by-play job in 1981.
“It is a done deal. It’s time to do one more Apple Cup, one more game at Husky Stadium, which I’m very much looking forward to,” Rondeau told KOMO News.
The Huskies have given Rondeau plenty of incredible moments to describe over the past three months, from Dante Pettis’ record-setting punt returns, to last Saturday night’s dramatic walk-off field goal by Tristan Vizcaino to defeat Utah.
“I have told this team going back to last year I have so greatly admired the professionalism by which they do their work. They get ready to play every game, their effort is really consistent. I just so admire the maturity of the way these guys play football,” said Rondeau.
What about the Dawgs falling short of their own lofty goals of winning back-to-back Pac-12 Championships and returning to the College Football Playoffs?
“There’s still much to be played for, and I think if they can get 10 or 11 wins out of this season, it has to be by any measure considered a great success,” Rondeau answered emphatically.
Last year Rondeau was honored by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame with the 2016 Chris Schenkel Award for his distinguished broadcasting career. Bob is also one of the very few non-athletes or coaches inducted into the University of Washington Husky Hall of Fame.
Having called three-dozen Washington vs Washington State rival football games, Rondeau has one in particular that rises to the top of the memory bank.
“It is that ‘Snow Bowl’ in 1992, which to this day is still the most inclement weather day I have ever seen for a football game. What I will always remember are the Washington State big guys coming out in shirt sleeves. Mind you, it is snowing and blowing like crazy, it’s awful! Acting like kids on a snow day from school they would take about a 30-yard run and dive face first into the snow, like a winter slip and slide.”
That frivolity turned into sour apples for the Huskies, 42-23 upset victims to Drew Bledsoe and the Cougars.
There is no snow in the Seattle weather forecast this weekend for the latest edition of the Apple Cup. There will undoubtedly be more classic play-by-play highlights though from one of the best announcers in the business, Bob Rondeau.