MVictors_Banner_Marawatch6 Last week we learned that the new radio broadcast team will be former U-M teammates Jim Brandstatter and Dan Dierdorf.  The big news is that Brandy is shifting over a seat to do the play-by-play, with DD handling the color commentary.  I confirmed with Doug Karsch that he will remain is his previous role handling the on-field duties.  I kinda hope Karsch would get the nod to be in the booth (in one role or another) but it’s hard to argue with the Brandy-DD team.  Heck, I didn’t even know Dierdorf was an option.

You might know that Brandy stepped in to handle the radio play-by-play back in 2003 for the Northwestern game, but that’s not actually the first time he performed those duties during a Michigan football game.  It turns out that was way back in 1980…on TV.  Recently Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis shared with me the details of Brandstatter’s first shot calling the game:

In 1980, Larry Adderley and Jim Brandstatter were all set to call the Michigan-Notre Dame football game from South Bend, Indiana for a local cable TV outlet.  Adderley, who had just finished 5 years as the host of Michigan Replay with coach Bo Schembechler, would unfortunately come down with laryngitis just before kickoff.  He made a valiant effort to do the play-by-play, but his voice just couldn’t hold up (see clip #1 below).

Brandstatter, having been a former UM offensive lineman knew the drill: when one man goes down, the next one has to step up. It has been the creed of Michigan Football since Bo arrived in 1969.  While he was planning on doing the color commentary for the cable telecast, Brandy manned up and took over for Adderley in the 2nd half. He recruited UM Hoopster Steve Grote to do the color commentary (see clip #2).  Obviously Brando got a little excited and you can tell he was “watching” the game in some spots instead of describing the action.  In his defense you have to remember that he was doing this game on TV, not radio.  He recovered nicely, and his call of Craig Dunaway’s last minute TD (see clip #3).

Not bad for his first gig as a play-by-play guy, especially when you consider he was prepping to do the game as the color commentary man.

Not too shabby indeed.  Here are the clips:

I heard back in January through my deep network of #1000SSS spies that Brandstatter was indeed going after the play-by-play gig…and it prompted this tweet exchange:

Brady MVictors tweets

We know now that Jim sought out clips from his first time doing radio play-by-play (2003 Northwestern) to help make his case to IMG and our friends on State Street.   Radio legend Art Vuolo, the man with an ultimate set of U-M audio in his archives, confirmed the story on his site last week:

Perhaps the reason I am personally so excited to see this happen is due, in part, to the fact that it was my pleasure to help out via my extensive archive of U of M games. In 2003, when back surgery prevented Frank Beckmann from making the trip to Evanston, IL for the UM-Northwestern game, Jim was pressed into service calling the game, with Steve Courtney doing the color commentary. Brandy called me and asked if I had that game? I said I have just about all of them.

After checking, that game was still on the original video cassette (a Beta tape none the less!) So, I copied it, with Jim on the audio, onto a DVD and watched it at the same time. I thought “wow he’s damn good at actually calling a game!” When he came over to pick up the disc he was truly amazed at the library of Michigan video I’ve accumulated over the past 35+ years.

A copy of that DVD was given to Michigan Athletic Director, Dave Brandon and the rest…is now history. In an e-mail I received from Jim Brandstatter on Thursday he said, “Thank the Lord you still had a copy of that Northwestern game when my copy didn’t work so well…that was big…I had no idea at the time, but it turned out large.”

My pleasure Brando.

Nice work Art.  Nice work Sap.  Looking forward to hearing the new crew.


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Via my Google keyword spybot sentinels…from the Escanaba Daily News (naturally!), check out this piece on 92 year-old alum August Altese (inset left).  Augie played on the freshman team in 1940 augie and suited up once more for the Victors Classic prior the Spring Game a few weeks ago.  

A few choice cuts from the story:

On taking the field: ‘“I didn’t have my hearing aids in and they just pushed me out there,” Altese said. “I was so pleased to see that everyone was clapping. They assigned me the last five minutes and I just kind of ran this way and that. They didn’t throw anything to me, but when I was warming up they threw me three passes. I missed the first two, caught the third one and fell, and I still feel it.”’

On Billy Taylor: ‘”He was a great runner for Michigan, but he boozed it up and got into drugs after graduation,” Altese said. “Now he’s running an establishment that helps people. He’s a great guy.”’

and check this out, on Tom Harmon’s sponsored-sled(!!):  ‘“As a freshman at Michigan in 1940, Altese didn’t get much playing time, and though he was on the same team as legendary Michigan quarterback Tom Harmon, he said he never met him. [Ed. The author didn’t know or point out that freshman played on a separate team.]   “Tom Harmon drove around in a coupe. He was being paid by Wrigley’s Chewing Gum,” said Altese of Harmon’s celebrity, obviously playing at a time before current NCAA regulations prevented that sort of thing.’

On Yost and his righteous leather chair: ‘“Altese also met Fielding Yost, the legendary Michigan coach who was in his later years at the time was a frequent conversationalist.  “I talked to Fielding Yost several times at Michigan Union. He was in his 70s or 80s and loved to have people come and talk to him. He had those leather chairs and he’d be there.”’

Love it.  Read the entire piece here

And re: Harmon’s nice sled, purchased no doubt with a little assistance from his powerful friends at Wrigley.  At best a gray area in the rules if Wrigley “hired” Harmon to promote their gum, and 98 bought the coupe with the money.  We know that Kipke (who recruited Harmon) was sacked by U-M due to a scandal involving a illegally paying players via fake jobs.  Promoting gum sounds like a bona fide fake job—perhaps the phoniest in the pantheon of fake gigs.  The conference didn’t allow athletic scholarships back then, and it’s clear by Harmon’s actions following Kipke’s dismissal that he needed something else (see $$$) to stay at Michigan.  LIFE magazine discussed Harmon’s off-the-field pursuits to make dough in this 1940 piece, including “distributing gum samples”…

Harmon holds a scholarship, works hard to maintain his good B average. He helps pay his way through college by distributing gum samples, selling shoes and books, running copy for a printer. In his spare time Harmon collects swing records, goes around with pretty Margot Thoms (left). He runs a sports show over a local radio station on Saturday mornings. Although he gets no pay for this show, he hopes to become a sports announcer after he graduates next June.

There were rumors abound that Harmon was nudged from Horace Mann HS (Gary, IN) towards Ann Arbor via influential Chicago alums..certainly none of those fellas in the Windy City club knew anyone downtown at Wrigley. :)   Ahh, something to chew on.


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Rose Bowl Watch

A close-up on the watch Bo is wearing on the Schembechler Statue – hmm, 1981 Rose Bowl!  Note it also reads 1pm – Bo’s favorite time to start a game — (MVictors photo)


Bo’s headset – with the Dymo tape and all– (MVictors photo)

If you missed it, we had some great radio this morning on WTKA 1050AM  as Ira and Sam were joined in studio by MVictors’ own Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis to discuss his recent Bo Brackets series.   The discussion of Bo’s greatest teams wasn’t left to those in studio alone, as Ira took calls from longtime coach Jerry Hanlon and legends Don Dufek, Stan Edwards and Ali Haji-Sheikh.

Check out all of the Bo Brackets posts here:  Background  Results:  Schembechler 16   Elite 8   Final Four   Title Game

Here are three clips from the show with a little on each:

Clip #1:  The Bo Bracket is introduced, Sap explains the origins and the initial seedings.  1980 kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh joins about 10 minutes in, and shares a quote from Bo himself what he considered his best team.

Clip #2: Leading off with a Bob Ufer clip, they get deeper into the Brackets and coach Jerry Hanlon joins in (5 mins in) and then Stan Edwards (10 minutes in). Edwards tells Hanlon, “…you know damn well..” that 1980 team was the best of the Bo era.  Edwards adds that the only team that could have kept pace was Lloyd Carr’s 1997 squad.

Clip #3:  Sam closes the show and Sap points out that Jim Brandstatter’s first true “play by play” radio experience was not 2003 Northwestern, but rather the 1980 Notre Dame game.  (More on that later).



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[Ed. The conclusion of the Bo Brackets – a guest post once again by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis!]

To celebrate the conclusion of the Bo Brackets, it was decided that the Championship Game would be played at the Rose Bowl. 

The 1973 squad was designated as the home team via coin toss and would wear their home blue jerseys.  Conversely, the visiting 1980 M-Men would wear their white, road jerseys for this championship tilt.   While both teams were directed by #1000SSS to wear commemorative patches below sewn on to their respective jerseys for this game…there was one slight problem..

Patches …the 1973 team refused to put anything on their classic uniforms.  U-M Equipment Manager, Jon Falk, balked at the idea of stitching the patch on the 1973 blues and told the media, “We don’t need a patch on that beautiful uniform. We didn’t wear one for our other bowl games in the ‘70s, so we’re not going to start now. No thank you.”

The 1980 team had a different take on the patch.  The same trail-blazing group that convinced Bo to have their names put on the back of their jerseys (see Uniform Timeline – 1979 and 1989 entries) and felt having a patch sewn on was no big deal. 

But General Bo wouldn’t be pushed too far.  “Sure, I gave in and let them have their names on the jerseys, so having a patch sewn on was no big deal. But when they tried to convince me that the team should wear white shoes, that’s where I drew the line.  Absolutely not!” added Bo.

Reserve defensive end Dave Brandon (1973) and back-up defensive back Brad Bates (1980) were selected by their respective teammates to be honorary captains for this game as well as being most-likely-to-become-future-athletic-directors.

After the University of Michigan Alumni Band played the National Anthem and The Victors, both teams were ready for kickoff.  The 1980 team won the coin toss and naturally elected to defer.

When Brandon and the 1973 team decided to receive, Dennis Franklin and his offensive teammates couldn’t wait to get their hands on the ball.  Ali Haji-Shiekh’s opening kickoff sailed through the end zone and the ’73 team started first and ten from their own 20-yard line.  Not surprisingly, the first play of the game was a handoff to fullback Ed Shuttlesworth and he powered up the middle for a gain of 5 yards.  Successive option pitches to Chuck Heater and Gil Chapman put the ball on ’73 UM 38-yard line.   Now that they had lulled the ’80 defense into over-playing the run, TE Paul Seal’s number was called on a play-action pass. Franklin faked beautifully to Heater and hit Seal down the middle of the field for a 35-yard gain. Just like that the ’73 team was on the move against the great 1980 U-M defense.

Next up was a designed quarterback draw that left the middle of the field wide open for Dennis “The Menace” Franklin.  He scampered all the way to the 3-yard line and while the ’73 Wolverines were making it look easy, McCartney’s Monsters were back on their collective heels.   But on the very next play, Franklin fumbled the snap and Mike Trgovac recovered for the ’80 squad at their own 2-yard line.  

As the 1973 defense took the field, Co-Captain Dave Gallagher felt the momentum swing to the white shirts on the other side of the gridiron. He urged his teammates to stand their ground and force a three-and-out.  Don Dufek took his captain’s words to heart as he blitzed from his strong safety position on first down and tackled Butch Woolfolk at the goal line for a two-yard loss. Runs by Stan Edwards and Lawrence Ricks moved the ball out to the 8-yard line, giving the ’80 offense some breathing room to punt.

With freshman punter Don Bracken set to kick from his own end zone, the ’73 Wolverines called for a punt block. Bracken’s quick step and a half delivery beat the charging ’73 defenders as he boomed a high spiral that landed just in front of return man Dave Brown. As he was about to corral the punt, the pigskin bounced over Brown’s head and rolled toward the ’73 end zone. By the time Brown picked up the ball at his own 15-yard line, he was greeted by a sea of white jerseys and was downed on the spot.   Bracken’s 76-yard rifle-shot had flipped the field and the momentum changed once again.

The teams exchanged punts on the next two possessions and as the defenses continued to dominate, the first quarter ended with the score tied, 0-0.

To start the second quarter, Wangler completed consecutive passes to tight ends Norm Betts and Craig Dunaway.  Looking to put the first points of the game on the scoreboard, Wangler threw deep looking for Anthony Carter, but Brown got his fingertips on the pass just enough to deflect it past the spindly-legged receiver.  While Brown let Carter know that he was going to be around all game, AC, still looking for his first reception of the contest, reminded the Brown that #1 was not just a receiver…and the ’73 defensive back would find out the hard way on the very next play.

Realizing the 1980 offense needed a jump start, a flanker reverse was called and finally Carter got his hands on the ball. With nothing but green grass and offensive linemen in front of him, the “Human Torpedo” weaved his way through the 1973 defense for a 54-yard touchdown run.  A miscommunication on the ensuing point after try resulted in the snap hitting holder Rich Hewlett in the facemask. The ball was picked up by Haji-Shiekh but he was swarmed over by the ’73 defense and with just over two minutes to play in the half, the 1980 U-M squad was up, 6-0.

Franklin and the ’73 offense took the ensuing kickoff and methodically moved down the field using their last timeout to give Mike Lantry a shot at a 55-yard field goal.  “Super Toe” hit it high enough and long enough to finally get the ’73 team on the board and the first half ended, 6-3 in favor of the 1980 Wolverines.

HALFTIME SCORE:  1980 Whites 6, 1973 Blues 3

To start the second half, Ed Muransky and Bubba Paris were determined to impose their collective will on the ’73 defense.  The two mammoth tackles wanted to run the ball and that’s just what the ’80 offense did.   Runs by Edwards and Ricks moved them into scoring position but a fumble by Woolfolk ended the drive and once again the momentum swung over to the 1973 side.  Capitalizing on this break, Franklin ran successive option pitches to Heater to set up the one trick play the ’73 squad had been working on all week.

On third down, Franklin ran another option play and pitched the ball to Heater once again. This time, Heater threw to a wide open Seal and he lumbered in for a 25-yard touchdown.  Lantry’s extra point now gave the ’73 team its first lead of the game, 10-6.

Missed field goals by each team kept the score unchanged at the end of three quarters.
With the momentum and lead on their side, the ’73 team’s strategy in the 4th quarter was to use up as much clock as possible and put the game in the hands of their strong defense.  The strategy played out exactly how they wanted as the ’80 offense had the ball on their own 30-yard line with just over a minute to play and one timeout.  Seventy yards separated the two teams from victory or defeat. 

A first down pass to Carter picked up 15 yards.  Wangler then connected with Alan Mitchell for 10 yards before he tip-toed the sideline and stepped out of bounds with 30 seconds to go.  The ’80 squad was now at the ’73 UM 45-yard line and on the move.

A pass intended for Betts was knocked down by Dufek and on second down, Wangler missed an open Carter across the middle.  Facing a 3rd and 10 Bo called his favorite play, 54 Draw, fully expecting the ’73 defense to be keying on Carter. 


Sure enough, when Wangler went back and handed off to Woolfolk, the entire middle of the field was wide open. Butch ran and ran until Dave Brown made a shoe-string tackle that brought Woolfolk down at the ’73 UM 4-yard line with just 4 seconds to play.  Wangler hurriedly called his last timeout as the Bo Brackets Championship Game would come down to one last play.

With the entire ’80 offense focused on every word Bo said, he barked out the details of the final play of the game. Wangler was to roll out and look for Carter on a quick hitch. If he was covered, Edwards would be the safety valve out of the backfield. If he was covered, Wangler would have to run it in.

On the other side of the field, the ’73 defense was thinking one thing and one thing only – BLITZ!  As the teams lined up for the final play, everybody in the Rose Bowl rose to their feet. 

Wangler took the snap, rolled to his right, saw that Carter was covered, looked for Edwards but before he could set his feet, Don Dufek came out of nowhere and drove Wangler’s shoulder into the Pasadena turf, but not before Wangler lofted a desperation pass to his fullback.

Edwards reached back for the pass, and as it caromed off his shoulder pads it looked like Dave Brown would make the interception, but he slipped on the Rose Bowl grass and deflected the ball right into the hands of a diving Craig Dunaway.  

As the tight end came up from the end zone turf with the ball, he victoriously hoisted it over his head. The referee confirmed the score by signaling touchdown!

The 1980 U-M Team had won, 12-10!

They were Bo’s Best and the victory in the Rose Bowl proved it.

EXCLUSIVE:  Photos from the big game compliments of SAP:

The Two Bo Schembechlers During the pre-game warm-ups, Dr. Sap got on the field and snapped this photo of the two coaches.


Bo and Moeller complain 19731973 Bo tries to convince the referee that Franklin’s knee was down before he fumbled in the 1st quarter.


Don Bracken Michigan Punter1980 punter Don Bracken booms his 76-yard momentum-changing kick early in the game.

Anthony Carter - White Jersey - MichiganAnthony Carter eludes a tackler on his way to his 54-yard flanker reverse touchdown run.


Butch WoolfolkButch Woolfolk runs for 41 yards to set up the winning score, atoning for his fumble earlier in the game.


Bo send in the play - Michigan football

Bo sends in the final play of the game.


Johnny F'ing Wangler rolls out

Wangler rolling out on the last play of the game looking for someone open.



Bo celebration in Rose BowlBo and his 1980 Wolverines riding high in the Rose Bowl at the conclusion of the Bo Brackets.


THANK YOU STEVE!  MichiganA salute to Dr. Sap and MVictors from the HIGHLY partisan Michigan crowd


Final Bracket:


10. April 2014 · 4 comments · Categories: 2011

[Ed. 4/10/14 -  On the morning of the first round of The Masters, a report that takes a look back at April 2011--when Michigan senior Lion Kim played at Augusta.   Scorecard via via]


A few shots of Michigan senior Lion Kim from today from Wednesday’s practice round at The Masters.  He joined PGA great KJ Choi and he overheard the occasional shout of “Go Blue!” from the patrons.

001 - Cover
From the par 3 12th on Amen Corner

001 - Kim Green

003 - Lion Kim Ann Arbor

001 - Caddy Bag

001 - Lim Par 3
Lion Kim at Amen Corner – click here for the full resolution shot

001 - Lion Trap

001 KJ Choi  
Getting some advice from KJ Choi


001 Lion and Tiger
This is the closest Lion got to Tiger (Woods left in the gray pull-over – Lion to the right in the white visor)

001 Skip
On the 16th it’s tradition to try to skull/skip a shot across the pond.

002 - Family  There was mucho representation of Michigan around the course.  Here, Lion’s mom and brother watch the action.

* has a dedicated Masters page up – check it out
* What’s In My Maize and Blue Bag—Michigan’s Lion Kim
* Interview with Lion Kim (February)


It’s Spring Break for many here in Michigan and thus WPW takes the foot off the gas this week, featuring just one shot of General George S. Patton Schembechler:

Bo 191123186277

Schembechler Hall was dedicated this past weekend, and of course the centerpiece is the new Bo statue.  Details on the 7 1/2 foot bronze Bo features the mandatory ‘M’ hat, sunglasses, a headset (with “BO” in Dymotape label) in his hand, and a Rose Bowl watch on his wrist.  The above 35MM shot of Coach Bo looks to be in the ballpark of the era of the pose that was used for the statue, and that looks to be a Rose Bowl watch shining on his left wrist as he calls timeout.   You can find that photo on eBay right now.

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[Ed.  Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis returns with the next round of the Bo Brackets.   You can find background including how the teams were selected here, and a breakdown of the Schembechler 16 results here and the Elite 8 here.]


Oosterbaan Region Champion – 1973 vs.
Yost Region Champion – 1976

Everybody expected this game to be a George Patton-like ground assault, but it didn’t start out that way.  On the first play from scrimmage, 1976 sophomore QB Rick Leach called an audible and hit a wide open Curt Stephenson for a 76-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring.   Just as surprising was how the 1973 UM squad responded. Dennis Franklin completed three straight passes to Paul Seal, Gil Chapman and Clint Haslerig to set up All-American Mike Lantry’s 33-yard field goal, and that’s how the first quarter ended, 7-3 in favor of Bo’s 1976 group.

The second quarter featured more of what everyone was expecting to see – three yards and a cloud of dust. When the dust settled, Ed Shuttlesworth and Rob Lytle traded touchdowns in between another Lantry field goal.   As Bo’s two best teams from the ’70s went into the locker room at halftime, the 1976 contingent was clinging to a one point lead, 14-13.

clip_image002In the third quarter, Leach overthrew a wide open Jim Smith and Dave Brown returned it 40 yards to set up Chuck Heater’s 1-yard touchdown plunge and for the first time the 1973 team had the lead, 20-14.  After that errant Leach pass, offensive coordinator Chuck Stobart put the passing playbook away and the ’76 squad went back to what it did best – run the ball.  They responded with an 80-yard drive capped by Russell Davis’s 3-yard touchdown run, and after three quarters, the ’76 team was back on top, 21-20.

Late in the 4th quarter, a combination of Franklin passes and Shuttlesworth runs got the ’73 team down to the 12-yard line of ’76 UM, but the drive stalled when Franklin’s pass for Seal was broken up by Dwight Hicks. With just over five minutes to play in the game, Lantry came in to kick his third field of the game to give Bo’s ’73 team a 23-21 lead.   Recognizing this might be their last possession, the ’76 squad methodically moved down the field milking the clock, not wanting to give their opponent another opportunity to score.  And that’s exactly what they did as they set up Bobby Wood for a 30-yard field goal attempt with two seconds left on the clock.

As the ball was snapped back to Jerry Zuver the capacity Michigan Stadium crowd rose to its feet. Wood’s kick sailed high and end over end. It was headed right down the middle until the swirling wind veered the ball to the left. It struck the left upright, caromed off the crossbar and bounced back onto the playing field…NO GOOD!

The ’73 sideline erupted in euphoric jubilation!

Bo’s only undefeated team remained that way one more time and would carry the honor of Bo’s best team of the 70′s into the championship game.   As they awaited the outcome of the winner of the 80s bracket co-captain Dave Gallagher summed up his teammates’ feeling best, “We don’t care who we play. We’re #1 man! We’ll play whoever, where ever – period!”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

Crisler Region Champion – 1980 vs.
Kipke Region Champion – 1985

If you liked defense, this was the game for you to watch as coordinators Bill McCartney and Gary Moeller went deep into their play books to gameplan against Bo’s top two teams from the 1980s.  Naturally, both teams wanted to establish the run first, but the 1980 offense tried it with a new wrinkle – they came out in the wishbone.  They had a stable of great running backs and figured the best way to get Butch Woolfolk, Lawrence Ricks and Stanley Edwards touches was to play them all at once.

On their first drive QB John Wangler was masterful with his backfield ball-handling. He mixed up his fakes and gives with Woolfolk, Ricks and Edwards so well that the 1985 defense was over-pursuing the ball. The drive ended with Wangler walking into the endzone on a 3-yard QB bootleg that had the entire ’85 defense chasing Woolfolk going the other way.

Down 7-0, the 1985 offense took the field as QB Jim Harbaugh used short passes to TE Eric Kattus and running backs Gerald White and Jamie Morris to matriculate down the field. Facing a 4th and goal at ’80 UM 1-yard line, Harbaugh and company came out in a wishbone formation of their own. Running the option, Harbaugh kept the ball himself and dove into the endzone to score. Mike Gillette’s extra point tied the game at 7-7.

In the second quarter, the defenses took over. Brad Cochran intercepted a Wangler pass to set up a Pat Moons 25-yard field goal. Morris then fumbled when he was hit hard by LB Andy Canavino. Paul Girgash recovered at the ’85 UM 21-yard line and four plays later Ali Haji-Shiekh kicked a 32-yard field goal on the last play of the first half.  The capacity Michigan Stadium crowd roared their approval as the two best Michigan teams of the 1980′s went into the locker room at the half tied, 10-10.

To start the 2nd half, Harbaugh tried to stretch out the defense and open things up a bit. Long passes intended for John Kolesar and Paul Jokisch fell incomplete as Marion Body and Brian Carpenter made consecutive pass break-ups. On 3rd down, White gained absolutely nothing on a draw play as he was introduced to Mel Owens and Mike Trgovac of the ’80 UM defense.

clip_image003When Monte Robbins punted on 4th down, Anthony Carter decided to show the ’85 team what the “special” in Special Teams really meant. He fielded the punt at his own 17-yard line and cut up the right sideline. As the ’85 team tried to angle Carter out of bounds, he cut through the wall of blockers to his left and outran everybody up the middle of the field for an 83-yard touchdown.
Michigan Stadium was rocking and the ’85 team was clearly shocked at what just happened.  While the next two drives for the ’85 squad looked much like a Broadway Chorus-line, (1-2-3-kick, 1-2-3-kick), the ’80 offense faced similar struggles when they had the ball.

Wangler tried to get the ball more to Carter but Cochran and Tony Gant were bracketing AC like he had never been covered before. Not wanting to throw an interception, Wangler went back to the ground game, but the ’85 defense was waiting. They made their halftime adjustments and stayed at home instead of over-pursuing.  When the 3rd quarter ended, Bo’s 1980 team held a slim 17-10 advantage.

Midway through the 4th quarter Morris broke free on a draw play for 52 yards but was caught from behind by Tony Jackson at the 1980 UM 21-yard line. The drive stalled and Moons came in to kick a 33-yard field goal.  Clinging to a slim 17-13 lead with just over six minutes to play, the 1980 Offense needed a few first downs and another score to put this game away. They were able to milk the clock down to just over a minute, but Haji-Shiekh missed a 30-yard field goal and the ’85 team still had a chance.

Four straight pass completions by Harbaugh got the ball to the ’80 UM 37-yard line with four seconds remaining. When the nation’s most efficient passer called his team’s last timeout, every player on the ’85 squad knew that a Hail Mary pass was their only hope.
Kolesar, Jokisch, and Gilvanni Johnson all lined up to the right. Kattus was the tight end and Morris was in the backfield.

As Harbaugh took the snap all the receivers raced to the endzone. Jim threw the ball as far and as high as he could. Johnson got his hands on the pass in the endzone, but Keith Bostic stripped him of the ball as he was coming down with it. The pigskin deflected off several bodies and it looked like Jokisch miraculously came up with ball! An official was right there however and waved off the catch as the ball hit the turf just before Jokisch scooped it up.

The game was over and the 1980 UM squad had eked out a nail-biting 17-13 victory.  They were Bo’s best team of the ’80s and would now square off against the ’73 squad to determine Bo’s Best Team ever.

the Bo Brackets4

Coming up next – the finals!   Who do you give the edge?

Who Do you Like in the Bo Brackets Final?

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Bo Statue

A few quick hitters on the Bo Schembechler statue.  I spoke to the artist, Brett Grill, a few hours before the unveiling tonight – a few nuggets:

  • Grill was identified by a art consultant that the athletic dept hired, and selected after a review of 3-4 other candidates.
  • The only guidelines for the design were that Bo would be wearing an ‘M’ hat and no headset (on his head that is).
  • He created 20-30 models, with different ideas on the pose, etc.  He eventually created a scale model of the design selected.
  • He interviewed family, friends and former players (including Jim Brandstatter & Fritz Seyferth) to understand as much about Bo as he could.
  • His parents are Michigan alums – before the project his knowledge of Bo centered around watching him on TV as a child.  Before the project Bo was more of a caricature (the guy Grill recalled yelling on the sidelines).
  • Statue is 7 1/2 feet tall, made of bronze.
  • He used actual Bo era artifacts for the project – including the headset and the Rose Bowl watch.
  • One challenge was getting the contours of the jacket correct—he actually used a vintage jacket found on eBay to help get it right.
  • Grill is an associate professor at the University of Missouri. 

Dave Brandon’s blog has more here.


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Soccer Dave Brandon (center) and the folks responsible for the match at midfield today

It’s official – Man U and Real Madrid will play August 2, 2014 at 4pm.  Sounds like the delay in getting this announced was dealing with the pitch: how to get natural grass and how to get a field of adequate dimensions for a game.  More details:

  • Beer?  Yes.  Liquor license request is in the State Legislature but you can book it: Guinness will pour at the Big House on August 2.
  • Field?  They will bring in large chunks of natural grass 48 hours before the game and go through a process to weave a pitch.   No platform.
  • Team Benches?  Likely somewhere in the stands (see below).
  • Walls?  Width of the field will bump right up to the perimeter so they’ll be padded.  God forbid Giggsy cracks his melon open on the bricks.
  • Tickets?  For Michigan donors and season ticket holders, Monday April 7.  Price Range: $45 – $189.  Details.
  • Other games?  Unlike the hockey events at the Big House, unfortunately they won’t have any other matches on the pitch before or after the event.
  • How will it look?   Crude mock-up and yes, liberties taken with the field logo:

M Stadium 2

Will you be there?

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