The start of the 2007 Stanford Football season is still more than three weeks away, but already the voices calling the Cardinal are front and center. The airwaves have been filled with news in recent days on the broadcasting team for Stanford Football. For the last 10 years, the tandem of Bob Murphy (color analyst) and Ted Robinson (play-by-play) have called games together, though both of those positions are changing.
Murphy last Friday announced his retirement following the 2007 campaign, and in his swan song season, the longtime voice of the Cardinal will be joined by a new partner. David Flemming, Stanford Class of '98, was announced Wednesday as the new play-by-play man for Stanford Football. Flemming replaces Robinson, who is calling college football television for the VERSUS network (broadcaster of Stanford's Oct. 6 USC and Dec. 1 Cal games) this fall.
"I'm very excited for the chance to broadcast the games," says Flemming. "I feel like I've been a part of the program already: I'm on the Buck/Cardinal Board; I've done broadcasts filling in for Ted the last couple years. Heck, I check The Bootleg about every day for my Stanford fix. But this feels great, and I can't wait to get started."
Flemming is already a fixture for Bay Area sports fans on the radio. He is currently in his fourth season broadcasting for the San Francisco Giants. Just 31 years old, Flemming is the youngest active full-time broadcaster in Major League Baseball. His rapid rise in radio started with four years of Minor League Baseball before hitting the "Big Show" in 2004.
The Giants schedule runs through the end of September, providing a slight overlap with the Stanford Football season. Road trips for the Giants will take Flemming out of the Bay Area for the UCLA (Sept. 1), San Jose State (Sept. 15) and Arizona State (Sept. 29) games, but he will be able to call nine games in his debut season with the Cardinal.
"I think the Stanford games are a perfect complement to my Giants work," Flemming says.
"Dave Flemming is a perfect fit for Stanford Football," praises Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby. "He is a Stanford alumnus with great love for this University and our Athletics Department, and a well-respected young talent that has made a name for himself with his work in the San Francisco Giants' radio booth."
For Flemming, this opportunity allows him to come home. The broadcaster cut his teeth in the business during his undergraduate days on The Farm, calling football, baseball, men's basketball and women's basketball games in the 1990s for the student radio station, KZSU (90.1 FM ).
"I would not be doing this for a living had it not been for my own academic experiences and for my KZSU days while a Stanford student," Flemming offers. "My advisor was John Bunnell, and he sent me down to KZSU for an informational meeting the first week of my freshman year. That's really where my broadcasting career started."
Stanford fans will tune in this 2007 season not only to hear Flemming's debut as the Stanford Football play-by-play broadcast, but also to listen to the unveiling of the Jim Harbaugh Era on The Farm. The first-year Cardinal head coach promises an exciting brand of football on offense and defense, and Flemming says he is excited to come on board at the same time.
"I've met Jim Harbaugh and am impressed," Flemming says. "I like what we're doing and am optimistic the program can take a nice step forward this season."
Flemming this fall starts a new era of broadcasting for Cardinal Football, but he would rather deflect the spotlight to Murphy and his final season on the mic. The Class of '53 graduate, former standout Stanford pitcher and former Sports Information Director has been the "Voice of Stanford" for football and/or men's basketball for 43 years.
"Bob has been a mentor for me since I did men's basketball games for KZSU in 1997," Flemming credits. "For my part, I am going to spend a good bit of time this season recognizing what he's given to Stanford for all these years. It's going to be fun for me to see Murph get the recognition I am sure he will."
"Murph is a very good friend of mine," Flemming adds. "Of course, I'm not that unique in that regard."
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