PULLMAN — Even at 84, it isn’t as though Bob Robertson has distanced himself from the sporting scene.
Reached at home the other night, he had just returned from Vancouver, B.C., where he helped broadcast a Spokane Indians Northwest League baseball game.
Then he relayed a score from the Sounders-Portland soccer game he was watching.
Starting with Saturday’s game at Auburn, Robertson will relinquish the Washington State football play-by-play duties he has held for 46 years to Bud Nameck, WSU’s basketball announcer and a part of the football broadcasts.
WSU athletic director Bill Moos called it a mutual decision. Robertson will lead pregame and postgame as well as halftime shows.
Robertson cited a diminished energy level, noting he has always stood during broadcasts, but that a year ago, “I found myself looking for something to sit on maybe late in the first half.
“My attitude is, ‘I’ve been doing this a long time, and if you’re not going to get any better, if you’re not improving, you’re going in the other direction.’
“I’d just as soon people remember me the way I was, the announcer who got elected to the football hall of fame .... I’d rather people remember me that way. You don’t like to get to that point, but I think everybody does. I’m happy when I got to that point, they still wanted me around to be part of the thing.”
In 2004, Robertson won the Chris Schenkel Award, given by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
He has broadcast some 520 WSU football games, 470 consecutively.
Nameck, 56, had been a sideline reporter on WSU games for several years, and last year moved into the booth to help with analysis.
“It’ll be an honor to do the play-by-play, but it’s fantastic that Bob will still be there with us,” Nameck said.
Nameck has done WSU basketball since 1993. He last did regular football play-by-play at Eastern Washington a couple of decades ago.
Joked Nameck, “I might be the oldest rookie in college football play-by-play.”
In a statement released by the school, Moos said in part, “We were in agreement that with the demands placed on a five-hour broadcast, this is the best move going forward. Bob Robertson ... will be a member of our broadcast team for as long as I am athletic director.”