People: Ike Griffin
A MEGAVOICE FOR SPARTANS
Spartans in Southeastern Michigan have long suffered a perceived pro- Wolverine slant in their local media. But now, faster than a sound wave, able to leap across Ann Arbor in a single radio boom, comes a Spartan voice thundering down the airwaves . . . It's the Megaman, Babeeeee!
Ah yes, Ike Griffin, '82, has created quite a stir as sportstalk host six evenings a week on WDFN (AM 1130), the Detroit anchor station of MSU football's radio network. 'It's a beacon out there,' explains Griffin, former All-Big Ten defensive end. 'It's like you're lost and suddenly, you say, 'Hey, this is the way home.' This is the way to find your Green and White roots, baby!'
Boasting a theatrical but genuine schtick, Ike appeals to all fans because of his enthusiasm and ability to entertain. 'At the (MSU vs. U-M) game in Ann Arbor a lot of Michigan fans came up to me,' he says. 'They said, 'Hey, we love your show, but we wish you were one of ours.' Michigan hasn't had a passionate voice since Bob Ufer, and that's what I provide. You've got to bring emotion and passion, because, you see, you're really in the entertainment business.'
Ike was a four-sport star in Chicago and chose MSU over Southern Cal because 'when I stepped on campus, everyone, students, faculty, coaches, warmed up to me.'
After graduation he played with the San Francisco 49ers, then played the USFL's Jacksonville Bulls and the CFL's Montreal Allouettes. In 1987, he returned to Michigan and began working at Detroit's WJZZ as sports director and host of the 'Sports Zone' show. Off the air, Ike was an account executive. He has now branched into television, working with Don Shane of WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) on Fridays and co-hosting a talk show on PASS Monday evenings. 'I try to touch people's lives,' says Ike, whose rising influence is living up to his nickname.