1979 Michigan State

God bless your cotton pickin’ maize and blue fedora-covered ears, old Ufe returns Saturday!

Continuing an awesome tradition, starting at 9am Saturday WTKA 1050AM will air another game from the Bob Ufer radio archives, this time the battle between the #11 ranked Michigan men and #16-ranked Michigan State at Spartan Stadium played on October 6, 1979.

A huge thanks to the great Dr. Sap, a few clips from the game for you:

So after weeks of ignoring those important in your life, tune in while you are making good with your spouse, friends, family or putting rake to leaf in the yard.   Go Blue!

Stats, as you can see Braylon’s old man carried the load.  [more stats here]

stats

More on Bob Ufer here.    Follow MVictors on Twitter there.

maratop[4]

 

It was an odd vibe before the game.  While the atmosphere was a little more exciting than usual, probably due to the timing and the collective BAC, I asked few folks how they felt things would go in the game. 

Devin mgoblue Usually folks narrow in on a player or two or say something like ‘if we can just run the ball..’ or ‘if we don’t turn the ball over..or whatever.  Yesterday I got looks of confusion, bewilderment and/or just disinterest. 

The problem is fans don’t know up from down right now—the compass is broken, man.  It’s a bad place to be.  Last night’s win didn’t fix that but damn, it was nice to walk out of there with a win.

Speaking of up from down, these things happened:
* Players wearing blue pants
* Punt returners doing choreographed pre-punt dance routines with personally selected music blasting over the PA
* MMB doing light shows

If you told me 10 years ago that these things would eventually happen in the Big House I would have hurled.  Somehow last night each of those things worked for me (seriously).  More below.

To the game: Quick props out there to CAPTAIN Jake Ryan for getting better each week and leading the defense in putting up an inspiring performance.  And to Matt Wile for drilling those crucial field goals that proved to be the difference out there.  And finally to Devin Gardner…thank 98 if you see him about town.  He was clearly hurt but sacked up and made it back out to finish the game and make the next two weeks tolerable.

Arena
* No boycott – While there was talk of a pregame boycott there clearly was no boycott.  John (Captain Torso) Navarre went on WTKA pregame & urged students to not do it.  In fact the student section was a filled up early as it’s been all season.  I’m glad the students showed en masse.
* Section 23 Bo – This is great.  The usher all the way atop section 23 (50 yard line on the west side) affixed a Bo-bblehead doll to the wall outside the Regent’s box.  I love it:

Bo Usher

I know some of you want to stick something else outside the Regent’s box but please…maintain your dignity.

After the jump – Pomp, Uniforms, Tunnels of Love, MMB Killing it, Norfleet, MORFleet, More, more..

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Michigan Purdue

For tomorrow’s evening affair, a trip back to 1930, a season that started with a double-header(!) in front of only 13,000 fans but was notable nonetheless.  In that year coach Harry Kipke got things working and started a string of 4 consecutive conference crowns.   October 11, 1930 was week 3 when his Wolverines faced defending league champ Purdue.  This game also marked the debut start of would-be superstar quarterback Harry Newman.  Check it out:

You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here…And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM or inside the Bud Light Victors Lounge starting at 3pm.

 

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[Ed. With the talk of boycotting Saturday's game (or at least the kickoff), a repost.  It's not the first time there was talk on campus of boycotting a home game, although the circumstances in 1931 were quite different. Originally published in July 2011.]

1931

I rarely feature ticket stubs on eBay Watch but this one is pretty unique.  In 1931 the Western Conference agreed to schedule a full slate of games to benefit a fund for the many Depression-era unemployed worker at the end of the season.   The league also agreed the games would count in the tight conference standings.

A full unused ticket to the game between the Wolverines and Wisconsin on November 28, 1931 went up on on eBay:

Wisconsin Ticket Stub
Check out the backdrop of the stub with the football player tossing a bag of loot (“A Forward Pass”) to the mass of needy onlookers with arms outstretched.

It’s actually not a shock that this ticket appears to be unused given the story of this one.  Charity be damned, barely 9,000 fans (some reports say only 7,000) bothered to show up for the game.  This ticket sold for $1, others went for $2.  Regular season ducats went for between $2-$3 that season.

Why the poor turnout?

Well, it seems that early in the process of determining the match-ups for the charity games, it was decided that Michigan would square off in the Big House against Northwestern.  The teams had shared the conference crown in 1930 and were near the top of the standings again.  Thinking they could raise more money by putting Northwestern in Chicago’s Solider Field, a couple weeks before the date they changed course and pitted the Wildcats against Purdue. Michigan was left with Wisconsin.

unemployment

Everyone in Ann Arbor – from Fielding Yost to the editors of the Michigan Daily — went berserk.   After the Badgers were assigned, director Yost told reporters, “This whole thing has been such mess that I won’t even venture a conservative guess on how many will turn out.  It won’t be many.”

The Daily suggested a boycott.  Students were quoted saying they “wouldn’t give a nickel” or even “cross the street” to see a weak Wisconsin squad.

Ironically the biggest benefactor of the whole event, which raised $154,000, might have been Michigan.  Northwestern ended up losing to Purdue 7-0, so those who watched Michigan defeat Wisconsin 16-0 actually saw them earn a share of the league title.

The Wisconsin win propelled Michigan into the next two championship seasons when Kipke and crew won back-to-back national titles in 1932 and 1933.

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Bless you blogs.  During bona fide crisis such as this we need thee. 

Read this #1: Craig at The Hoover Street Rag explores why we are cursed.  (Because we are certainly cursed).   A list of the possible curses:

1. President Ford
2. Little Brother
3. Herbie
4. Tim Tebow
5. The Yost Bleachers
6. Clowney
7. The Kraft Noodle
8. Old 98 + 9. Chicken Dance + 10. Skywriters

Example:

HSR

Read this #2: Picking up on my 2011 post, Mgo-reader saveferris checks in with ‘The Clans’ and does an excellent job rolling through the state of mind of the clans, given the ugly state of affairs.  Well done sf.  Example:

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Do something worthwhile on a weekend this fall:

image

The Ann Arbor Chili Chowdown (A2C2), hosted by Ron’s Roadside BBQ, is scheduled for Sunday, Oct 12th from 12-3.   Currently there are 20 confirmed restaurants including Grizzly Peak, Blue Tractor, Zingerman’s, Wolverine Brewing Co, and Black Pearl.   The Ann Arbor community is invited to come out and cast their vote for Ann Arbor’s chili king.   Former Michigan running back and NFL record holder Jamie Morris is going to emcee the event and live entertainment booked for the afternoon as well.

Safehouse Center of Ann Arbor is the beneficiary of this first annual A2C2. If you’re not familiar with their work, they provide support for women and children impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault in Washtenaw County, including counseling, legal advocacy, and most importantly shelter.  This event is particularly fitting in light of the recent Ray Rice NFL scandal and considering October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

Tickets are available for $20 presale or $25 at the door, and 100% of the proceeds go to the SafeHouse Center. Children 5 and under are free, and ages 6-12 are $7.

For any more information, everyone can check out our Facebook event page at  https://www.facebook.com/events/791739284211770/

They can also email annarborchilichowdown@gmail.com or call (217) 621-7040.

Dr. Sap's Decals Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis once again provides his game decals in this, ahem, challenging(?) season.

Until the day comes that Michigan gets its collective act together and assigns helmet decals again, Sap will bring you his game Champions who will be decorated, albeit virtually, with his helmet stickers.  

I’ll typically toss in the Fan Award and the Editor’s Choice:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION

DEVIN GARDNER – I thought New 98 did his best to win this game for his team. He is a leader because he has been through the most of anybody on this team. How many coaches/coordinators has he been through? To be sat down for the conference opener last week in this his 5th year had to have been a tremendous disappointment.

But true to his character, he let that slide right off his back and focused on the game at hand.  DG made some sweet throws (Butt’s grab in the first half comes to mind) and his 4th quarter TD run set Michigan up for the game winning field goal. Too bad it was blocked. Wonder if New 98 can kick like Old 98?? 

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION JOE BOLDEN – For the second straight week, Bolden was the best player on defense. Playing what looked like every play in a track meet-like game against a RichRod derivative spread offense is a tall order for anyone and I didn’t see him tire or fatigue one bit.

I feel for defenses that play against these spread offenses. These schemes can make a no one like Rutgers QB Gary Nova look like the second coming of Timmy Chang while making the defensive players look silly. Bolden didn’t look silly out there.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION DENNIS NORFLEET – I can honestly say I’ve never seen someone play both sides of the Special Teams as good as Norfleet.   Sure, his speed has something to do with that, but he continues to bring the energy on both the Kick Team and the Return Team. Just waiting for the game where he finally takes it to the house!
UNIFORM CHAMPION TEAM 135 Sleeve – Maybe it was me, and maybe it was the cold weather, but it seemed like everyone was wearing the TEAM 135 sleeve against Rutgers.

Maybe it was the week that Michigan just went through, but to me, the sleeve seemed to be a show of team unity and solidarity. Hope so – looks like it might be a long year…

 

* sorry

 

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Koppitz-Melchers Brewery For Saturday’s edition of This Week in Michigan Football History, we head back 112 years to arguably the greatest calendar year in Michigan football history.  That’s right I said it.

While that’s up for discussion, there’s little doubt 1902 was one of the finest for Michigan athlete Neil Snow. 

On January 1, 1902, Snow tallied 5 touchdowns in the inaugural Rose Bowl.

Back in Ann Arbor my man Snow the undisputed was big man on campus #BMOC, and the folks at the Koppitz-Melchers Brewery of Detroit put an ad in the Cornell-Michigan baseball program telling everyone how much Snow loved their beer.  Of course he didn’t consent to the ad.

Here’s how that all played out, as well as the game played on October 4, 1902:

The full story of the 1902 beergate tale here.  You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here.

And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM starting tomorrow at 3pm EDT (4 hours prior to Rutgers getting their butts kicked).

 

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Shane Morris A mildly concussed Shane Morris, after his final snap (and handoff)

Brandon’s statement this morning basically hits all of the points I outlined here in my unpaid intern Crisis Management 101 lesson.  It assesses what happened, admits faults, discusses plans to fix the problems and so on.

But—why was Hoke hung out to dry and not told this was all happening?  This isn’t just a “medical report”.  If Hoke was told this was all happening, at the Monday presser could have talked about his responsibility and perspective on Saturday, but then he could have added, ‘..but we’re reviewing everything that happened to understand what mistakes (if any) were made’ and that the ‘details will be coming soon’, etc. etc.

It looks like they didn’t tell him?  What?  From the statement:

As of Sunday, Shane was diagnosed with a probable, mild concussion, and a high ankle sprain. That probable concussion diagnosis was not at all clear on the field on Saturday or in the examination that was conducted post-game. Unfortunately, there was inadequate communication between our physicians and medical staff and Coach Hoke was not provided the updated diagnosis before making a public statement on Monday.

How is that possible?   Again, I don’t think Hoke is lying. 

I’m not suggesting Hoke is absolved of any ownership here – far from it.  While he shouldn’t be responsible for medical diagnoses, he is responsible for how the whole operation fits together on how the sideline communicates with each other, and in particular, to he and his staff.

His responsibility to Morris and the rest of the players as the leader of the football team is to demand that all these questions be asked about what happened on Saturday so it can’t happen again.  And after seeing the film he should have absolutely demanded that Morris be evaluated or certainly, if he assumed his medical staff was taking care of that, to know the results

He obviously didn’t do that, or he would have known that Morris was indeed diagnosed with the concussion on Sunday instead of telling reporters otherwise on Monday and making U-M and the football program look even more unprofessional and disorganized, and in this case, dangerous.

As Brandon’s statement points out this is more of a communication issue.  As of Monday it doesn’t look like Hoke took those steps to find out what happened, but bizarrely on top of that, but he didn’t even know that resources in the department were engaged investigating the breakdown on Saturday.  On tippy top of that, more importantly on a personal level, he didn’t know that his boss was apparently heavily involved!?  “I [Brandon] have had numerous meetings since Sunday morning to thoroughly review the situation that occurred at Saturday’s football game.”  

sideline hysteria Sideline as Gardner heads out after losing his helmet

And no one involved in these reviews told Brady that Brandon was talking to them and reviewing everything that happened Saturday?  And Brady didn’t contact his boss about the situation that was making headlines literally everywhere?  

Brandon’s not absolved either.  Hardly.  He knows damn well how to handle a crisis like this, or at least has the people around him to do it.  By not informing Brady of what was happening he allowed Hoke to embarrass himself, to potentially put Morris at more risk during practice, and more importantly, to make a mockery of this university on Sunday (with that ridiculous statement) and Monday at the press conference.

And Brandon didn’t tell Brady he was conducting all these reviews?   And Brandon didn’t include Brady in any of the reviews (isn’t the head coach part of the communication loop)?

Only reasonable conclusion – the boss is excluding Hoke because he’s lining him up to be fired for this.  Maybe not now or this week, but you don’t have an epic freeze out like this in the athletic department between the athletic director, the staff and the coach unless something is up.

I’m so pissed.

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