Iconic Washington State Cougars broadcaster Bob Robertson died on Sunday at age 91, and in the 24 hours since the news broke of his passing, others have eulogized him far better than I ever could.
By the time I became a Coug in 1995, Robertson already had been in the booth in Pullman for 31 years. Growing up on the west side, I really had very little idea who he was.
In fact, I wasn’t even a Coug yet when I met Robertson for the first time.
In the fall of 1994, my journalism adviser, Vince DeMiero, took me to campus on what amounted a recruiting trip for WSU. Vince had been a producer on the football broadcasts for years, so part of that trip included a visit to the broadcast booth — and an introduction to the legendary Robertson.
The interaction was brief, Robertson was cordial (naturally), and the most noteworthy thing my 17-year-old self took away from it was that I thought his abacus was neat.
Boy was I dumb.
It took me only a short time to understand why Robertson was so beloved by everyone. Not only was he a pro’s pro as a broadcaster — his other accomplishments are numerous, and you can find them elsewhere — but his affinity for WSU was clear.
Those things were so important in the days when only a handful of games made it onto TV; we relied on Robertson to paint the picture for us as we followed along, and he did it as well as anyone I’ve ever heard. I’m reminded particularly of the journey to the Rose Bowl in 1997, where I sometimes was writing stories for the Daily Evergreen based off nothing more than Robertson’s descriptions, his postgame interviews, and box scores.
For that reason — across 52 years and a mind-blowing 589 games, including an even-more-mind-blowing 568 consecutive — Robertson became synonymous with WSU football. And I think it’s so cool that virtually every living Coug thinks of Robertson when they think of WSU football broadcasts. That’s just one of the many shared experiences that make us Cougs just a little bit different than our west side counterparts.
So ... how about you? What are your favorite memories of BobRob? Let’s celebrate the life of a wonderful Coug together.
Always be a good sport, be a good sport all ways.
Sound⬆️for some of our favorite calls from the legendary Bob Robertson!— Washington State Athletics (@WSUCougars) September 7, 2020
“Always Be A Good Sport, Be A Good Sport All Ways.”https://t.co/ef3XeNVcRf#RIPBobRob pic.twitter.com/54RKXkQHGk