November 26, 2012 all-day
Yearly, forever
Chicago Coliseum

Going Indoors | Chicago 7, U-M 6 (11/26/1896)

Just letting the awesome research of the 1896 Michigan Football Wikipedia article do the work for us:

The final game of the season, to decide the Western Conference championship, matched Michigan against Amos Alonzo Stagg’s Chicago Maroons on Thanksgiving Day. Michigan lost the game, which was described as “one of the most desperately contested games ever played in Chicago,” by a score of 7–6. The game featured “few trick plays,” as both teams relied on “straight, hard football.” Hazen Pingree, Jr. (whose father, Hazen S. Pingree, had been elected Governor of Michigan three weeks earlier) was the star of the game for Michigan, as one newspaper reported that Pingree’s effort “in the first half was the ‘whole thing,’ the plucky little fellow seldom failing to make the required distance.”Pingree was unable to play in the second half, and Gustave Ferbert, who later became a millionaire in the Klondike Gold Rush, took over in the second half and “was equally effective.”

The most unusual feature of the Michigan-Chicago game on Thanksgiving Day was that it was played indoors at the Chicago Coliseum and was “the first collegiate game of football played under a roof.” Adding to the novelty, as daylight turned to darkness, the field inside the Coliseum was lit with electric lighting. According to a newspaper account, the field grew dark in the second half, and play was halted for ten minutes to discuss whether play should continue. Play was resumed, and the lights were finally turned on after Michigan scored a touchdown.

The crowd was stated in varying press accounts to be either 15,000, or 20,000. Noting that the game was played in the same building “in which five months ago W. J. Bryan was nominated for the presidency,” the press proclaimed the experiment in indoor football to be a success.

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