“Broomball Bob,” a sailor turned sports announcer from Waterville, Maine, never misses broomball,
thanks to Michigan Tech webcams.
Eighty-year-old Robert (Bob) Woodbury from Winslow, Maine, is an unabashed, die-hard broomball
fan; in fact, he wants broomballers to know that he appreciates their athleticism—something
he can comment on with expertise, given his tenure in sports broadcasting. Bob says
he watches almost daily. “It’s unusual when I’m not. I’ll sit here (in front of the
computer) for as much as an hour or more.” While broomball isn’t the only Michigan Tech sport Woodbury follows (he thinks we
have a “fine hockey team this year”), it is the only sport he watches by webcam.
After announcing some 6,000 games in 50 years of sports broadcasting—mostly basketball
and football—the retired Maine Basketball Hall of Famer enjoys watching broomball
to see “kids out there having fun.” Though he can’t remember when he started watching,
he conservatively estimates it was “as soon as [the webcams] were put up,” and he
hasn’t missed a game since.
Woodbury says he stumbled upon Michigan Tech’s webcams while scouting for virtual views of Lake Superior and locations in and enroute to
Duluth, Minnesota, where he and his wife Marion have traveled to from Maine more than 55 times in their 57-year marriage. Tech’s webcams afford him a brief escape
to the Copper Country, 1,200 miles away.
Broomball Bob Woodbury
Woodbury fell in love with the UP after completing his first trip around Lake Superior
by ship in 1959 as part of the Navy’s Operation Inland Seas. At just 21 years old,
four years into a six-year enlistment, Woodbury was a sailor on “one of 28 warships
that went into the St. Laurence and the Great Lakes for the first time since the war
of 1812 in celebration of the opening of the seaway—one of four ships to sail all five Great Lakes and …