Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Blaha, George

Sports commentator George Blaha has been the familiar voice calling Detroit Pistons games for over 40 years on radio and television.  

Born in Detroit on March 26, 1945, Blaha spent his boyhood years in Iowa, before returning to Michigan in his teens. Throughout those years, he listened to sports games on the radio, and had dreams of being the voice calling the game. Admiring the craft of other announcers, he developed his style, one that some would say is uniquely animated. Calling players by their first names, or nicknames is an endearing trait of his, along with catchphrases like “Count that baby and a foul!” 

He graduated from Notre Dame in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in economics before attending the University of Michigan to obtain an MBA, but his dreams of calling play-by-play remained. He began announcing high school football games for free, which eventually led to a position calling Michigan State University football games, a role he continues to perform. Blaha began calling Pistons games in 1976 for WJR, when the team played in Cobo Arena.  

Blaha has called 47 seasons of Pistons basketball as of 2023. This includes every Pistons NBA championship win in 1989, 1990, and 2004. He’s called games with numerous partners at the mic, including several ex-Pistons like Dave Bing, Bill Laimbeer, and Rick Mahorn. Blaha has also appeared in many commercials, and is an active philanthropist.