[Ed. There’s been a lot of talk the past couple weeks about Jimmy Harbaugh’s $8 Wal-Mart fat pants...

Jim Harbaugh's $8 Walmart pants ...but no one is talking about Harbaugh’s balls.  Thankfully Dr. Sap is back and offers up some Bo-era flavor that comes from the treasure trove that is the Sap archives. –G]

Guest Post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

When Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh scored on a quarterback draw against Notre Dame in 1985, little did he know that a photo of the classic TD would spark an interesting discussion in the national media.   As Harbaugh crossed the goal line that afternoon, Ara Parseghian exclaimed on the CBS broadcast, “A quarterback draw – great call!”

The next week, Sports Illustrated captured Harbaugh’s scoring play under the title, “A Cure For Bo’s Blues”:

A Cure for Bo's Blues - HarbaughA couple of SI readers took notice of the NFL football Harbaugh was cradling in the photo.  They were inspired to write the editor and ask why a collegiate athlete was using a professional pigskin:SI Letter - Jim Harbaugh's NFL Wilson footballAs noted by SI’s ED/Sir, this question was addressed by the NCAA and the next year they decided to modify their college footballs that were used by Division I schools. So when Michigan played at Notre Dame in 1986 Harbaugh was throwing around the new AFCRT Wilson 1001:

Jim Harbaugh - Notre Dame 1986It was the same model, size and shape as the NFL Wilson – it now just had a different, less professional-looking, stamp on it.  Of course everyone then was asking, “What the heck does AFCRT mean?”  It stands for the American Football Coaches Retirement Trust and is essentially a retirement plan setup for qualified college football coaches.

The ball stayed in circulation for a few years. In fact, when Demetrius Brown outdueled Rodney Peete in the 1989 Rose Bowl, this was the ball that was used in that glorious victory over the Trojans:

AFCRT pigskin Michigan


Thanks Sap!  If you want to see the best looking ball from a Notre Dame game, that’s easy.  My pal and artist Jil Gordon does the handiwork on many of the game balls awarded to players and coaches.  Here’s what she did for UTL 1.0 – just amazing:

ND ball

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eBay provides a seemingly never-ending flow of classic photos featuring historic Michigan figures or scenes.   Today here are a few favorites after scanning the auction site:

380822550459 Cake of Victory

The Cake of Victory – Bo’s men famously cut down Ohio 24-12 in 1969 and soon after, apparently the Ann Arbor Quarterbacks Club had Schembechler slice up this victory cake.   

370991589372 Ferry Field Clubhouse 

Ferry Facility – A very cool shot of the athletics “Club House” facility outside Ferry Field.  Via the U-M Bentley Historical Library:    

A “club house,” or locker room, located at the east end of Ferry Field, was completed in time for the 1912 football season. Previously the Michigan and visiting teams used the locker rooms in Waterman Gym on the north edge of campus, making the almost one mile trek along State Street before and after games. The building, designed in the style of an old English club house by the Detroit architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, provided separate locker room facilities for home and visiting teams as well as offices and lecture rooms for the Michigan coaches, as well as a lounge area. Total cost of the club house and equipment was $37,000. Now known as the Marie Hartwig Building, the former club house currently houses the Ticket Office, Sports Information Office, Development Office and other Athletic Department administrative offices.


191033106949 All Whites 

All Whites Omelets  – From the ‘76 Orange Bowl.  Those stripes!  All that white!  Would you like to see the all-whites return? 


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On this day in 1923 give a hearty cheers to the unofficial birth of the Michigan ice hockey program.   As beautifully chronicled in John U. Bacon’s Blue Ice, the long road for fans of the sport on campus culminated on this day 91 years ago as Michigan took on Wisconsin at The Coliseum.   U-M’s Eddie Kahn netted the first goal in team history, and it was Robert Anderson who tallied the game winner in overtime for the 2-1 victory.

Sharing a few quotes from Blue Ice that Bacs pulled from the Michigan Daily:

“Hockey is a game that nine-tenths of the students have never seen, and could not be persuaded to attend,” one student wrote, in a piece that is almost as accurate today as it was when the anonymous student wrote it eight decades ago.  “There are many others, however, who will turn out for the first game.  This last class will be the one that will furnish the hockey following, for few people who have ever seen a game have failed to become confirmed enthusiasts.  It is a sport that combines the science of football, the combination demands of basketball and the individual skill of baseball, with a speed that belongs to hockey alone.”

“Above all other attributes of the game itself, the greatest reason why the Coliseum should be packed to the doors tomorrow night and Saturday night is Michigan spirit, the quality for which the Maize and Blue is known throughout the country.”

“It is up to you.  The players cannot do it alone.”

“Be there.”

For more grab Blue Ice, you won’t be disappointed…whether or not you give a crap about hockey.


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09. January 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: 2013

[Ed. Per unnamed source, they called him “Nussie” at Lakeridge High.  The rest of the story via U-M Media Relations..]

Hoke Names Doug Nussmeier as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke announced today (Thursday, Jan. 9) the hiring of Doug Nussmeier as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Wolverines. Nussmeier comes to Ann Arbor after spending the past two seasons in the same capacity at the University of Alabama.

“Doug is a highly respected offensive coordinator and has earned a reputation as being a great mentor to quarterbacks, specifically, where he’s coached Pro Bowlers, top NFL draft choices and Heisman trophy finalists,” said Hoke. “Doug has been successful at every coaching stop with his balanced and explosive offenses, and he brings national championship experience. He is an excellent addition to our coaching staff and football program, and we are excited to have Doug, Christi and their children join the Michigan family.”

“I am extremely excited to join the University of Michigan and work with Brady Hoke, the staff and players,” said Nussmeier. “I’m proud of what we accomplished in two seasons at Alabama, and I owe a great deal to Coach Saban for that opportunity. Michigan is a program I’ve always had deep respect for, and I’m looking forward to getting started in Ann Arbor and being a part of the great tradition there.”

Nussmeier has been instrumental in the development of quarterbacks during his coaching career, mentoring Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Washington’s Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans) and Keith Price, Michigan State’s Drew Stanton and Jeff Smoker and the St. Louis Rams’ Marc Bulger.

Nussmeier spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons coordinating the offense and tutoring the quarterbacks in Tuscaloosa. During those two seasons, the Crimson Tide offense was one of the most balanced units in the country and set school records in most offensive categories.

Alabama set records for rushing and passing touchdowns, total points scored and total offense during the 2012 national championship season. In addition, the Crimson Tide led the nation in pass efficiency. The 2012 campaign marked the first time in school history that Alabama rushed and passed for 3,000 yards each in a single season.

The Crimson Tide continued their offensive efficiency in 2013. Alabama was seventh nationally in pass efficiency and 17th in both scoring offense and third down percentage. The Tide averaged over 200 yards on the ground and through the air. McCarron was eighth in pass efficiency after leading the nation the previous year.

“Doug did an outstanding job for us during his time at the University of Alabama and I’m sure he will do a great job at the University of Michigan,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. “He is a bright coach who works hard and brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to work each and every day. Our production and balance the last two years has been very good and he also brought a lot to the table in terms of coaching the quarterbacks. AJ had one of the best seasons and careers of any quarterback here, and that says a lot when you look at the history and tradition of that position at Alabama. We wish Doug and his family the best and appreciate all they did to help us be successful with the program at Alabama.”

The Washington Huskies offensive unit improved statistically in each of Nussmeier’s three seasons. The offense doubled its scoring output during his first season (2009), led by the passing of Locker and running of Chris Polk. The production was better in 2010, with a balanced attack that gained 2,238 rushing yards and 2,475 passing yards. Polk gained 1,415 rushing yards, the second-best total in school history, and Locker completed his career ranked first or second in every major passing category. Locker was the eighth overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

In his final season at Washington, the offense scored 57 touchdowns and 434 points to finish with the second highest totals in school history; behind only the 1991 national championship team. Nussmeier coached first-year starter Price, who set school records for passing TDs, completion percentage and pass efficiency. Price was seventh nationally in pass efficiency and Polk ranked 16th nationally in rushing.

Nussmeier was the offensive coordinator at Fresno State during the 2008 season. Prior to joining the Bulldogs staff, Nussmeier was the quarterbacks coach for the St. Louis Rams. He mentored Bulger, who led the Rams to the league’s fourth-rated passing offense in both 2006 and 2007. Bulger was named to the Pro Bowl in 2006, finishing the year with 4,301 passing yards, 24 TDs and only eight interceptions.

Before his coaching stint with the Rams, Nussmeier was the quarterbacks coach at Michigan State for three seasons (2003-05). Stanton threw for a then school record 3,415 yards in 2005, breaking the record of Smoker, who threw for 3,395 yards in 2003. Both signal callers were tutored by Nussmeier.

He began his coaching career in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Nussmeier was the quarterbacks coach for the British Columbia Lions in 2001 and was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Ottawa Renegades in 2002.

Nussmeier was drafted in the fourth round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He played four seasons with the Saints (1994-97) and one with the Indianapolis Colts (1998). Nussmeier helped the British Columbia Lions win the Grey Cup Championship in 2000 before retiring to join the coaching ranks.

As a collegiate player at the University of Idaho, Nussmeier passed for 10,824 yards and averaged 309.1 yards of total offense per contest. He is one of only four quarterbacks in NCAA history to pass for 10,000 yards and rush for 1,000 during his career. Nussmeier won the Walter Payton Award in 1993, the Division I-AA’s version of the Heisman Trophy, and he was named the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year in 1992. Nussmeier was inducted into the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.

An Oswego, Ore., native, Nussmeier attended Lakeridge High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Idaho in 1994.

Nussmeier and his wife, Christi, have two sons, Garrett and Colton, and a daughter Ashlynn.

Did You Know?

  • Nussmeier was a finalist for the University of Washington head coaching position this year.
  • He is one of only four players in NCAA history to pass for 10,000 yards and rush for 1,000 during his career (Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper and Colin Kaepernick are the others).
  • In two seasons under Nussmeier, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 5,996 yards, 58 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, while completing over 67 percent of his passes.
  • In the past six seasons as an offensive coordinator, Nussmeier’s offenses have produced six 1,000-yard running backs.

As you know, the legendary Bob Ufer radio voice passed the broadcast torch to “Frankie” Beckmann back in 1981.    Beckmann won’t have that opportunity next season as IMG will select a new man to handle this role, a role that is and will be an integral part of the history of this place. One of the major off-the-field questions will concern who will fill the role.  The potential candidates:

    • Doug Karsch – The longtime radio sideline guy and local radio host on WXYT also does work for #1000SSS.  FWIW he has an endorsement from Frank himself:

Michigan has not revealed Beckmann’s successor. IMG Sports will make the hire, but Beckmann has a favorite — if he had a say. “I hope they give it to (Doug) Karsch,” Beckmann said of the local radio personality who is sideline reporter for the Michigan radio broadcasts. “He knows the game inside and out. He’s passionate about it. He knows Michigan so well. “I have no say in it. Nobody’s asked me, and that’s how it should be.”

  • Matt Shepard – Shep has done a good job on the hoops radio play-by-play, pumps iron and hosts morning Detroit radio on WDFN.  I’m guessing is the odds-on favorite for the gig assuming he wants it and I assume Shep wants it.  Not helping his cause is that fact that his WDFN show was dubbed, at one time, “Shep, Shave and Shower”.
  • Dan Dickerson – I posted this question out on Twitter and the name of Tigers radio voice Dickerson came up a few times.  Dickerson is pretty much money on the baseball calls and even subbed for U-M radio play-by-play in the 1990s.   Assuming he wants it and they’d have him, if the pay was decent you know he’d trade the baseball schedule for college football.
  • Mark Champion – The Pistons radio voice was the cat’s meow as Lion’s radio voice.  Again, got a lot of love for Champion in Twitterverse straw poll and I back it.
  • Others?  Sure, Mike Tirico would be money but I don’t see IMG having…a truck full of money.

Your call:

Your choice for U-M radio voice?

View Results

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31. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: 2013 · Tags: ,

A final edition of Sap’s decals for this brutal season, once again I supplied the editor’s pick and the fan award.   I’ll do a final tally of the decals later this week.  


JEREMY GALLON – Nine catches for 89 yards and a nifty two-point conversion pass – all in a night’s work for the school’s #1 receiver. Other than a win, it was a nice way to go out for #10, I mean, #21.




MATT WILE – While I wanted to see two touchdowns instead of two field goals in the first half, it was nice to see there was no drop-off in the kicking department without Gibby being there. Looks like Wile can more than handle the job next year.


TAYLOR LEWAN – Offensive lineman typically don’t flash their 40 times, but I gotta tell ya, it was impressive to see how fast(?) Lewan tracked down the K-State defender on UM’s only interception of the game. His (5.3??) speed may have been fueled by anger, but nonetheless, #77 never gave up on the play or this team.


SHANE MORRIS – If you offered me that performance before the game, I’d take it in a second.  I wasn’t sure about this cat heading into the season let alone this game, but he proved me wrong.  The new #7 lefty has a bright future in Ann Arbor – look forward to seeing what he can do.


B1G, adidas, UM Legends, BWWB Patch 

gallon timeline 

I get it, but the jerseys are starting to creep ever so closely to looking like a NASCAR Monte Carlo. I got nothing against NASCAR or the Monte, but can we stop with all the “stuff” on the jerseys??


WINGED SKULL MAN – That’s commitment, people:


A big thanks to Sap – the “dekes” as we call it – is one of my favorite features.


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30. December 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: 2013

At least there was this >Photo Dec 28, 7 38 16 PM

A few final thoughts coming out of Tempe:

  • Morris >  Heading into the game I expected KSU to win, but mainly because I figured Morris would struggle and Wile would send a couple kicks into some kid’s ear well outside the posts.  I was pretty damn impressed with #7, especially in the first half when the game mattered and of course Wile went 2-2.   Morris showed poise, seemed prepared, showed some athleticism and smarts with the pigskins, and wasn’t the reason Michigan lost the game.  And that makes this loss harder to take/understand.   After seemingly pulling things together for the Buckeye game we reverted to a mess. 
  • Leadership?   >  The team just seemed splintered (guess so, see mgoblog) and sadly in the second half they were disinterested on the sidelines.  The Michigan bench went church mouse.   So this year is done and we’re onto the next.  Look man–Jake Ryan will be a senior and presumably the leader of this team.  He needs to start with seniors, set the story straight with the incoming freshman and get the rest of the team on board and help the coaches build a true cohesive squad. 
  • Coaches > Of course a big part of creating that cohesive unit is on the coaches, and this season was of course a massive failure.  Hoke promised to create a foundation of toughness and…welp..

hayes After the final whistle I heard one of the (of seemingly 100s) of maize-and-blue support staffers tell another, “Something’s got to change.”   Yup.

The Misc….

Timeline > Team ended the year once again donning the LHS sticker, and as expected they wore the bowl sponsor patch.   Uniform Timeline is updated:

tim Maize shoes > Also of note you could see Shane Morris’s maize shoes from space.

History Notes >

* You probably heard but here’s another kick in the giblets for you:

Notre Dame is now 874-305-42 all-time. That equates to a winning percentage of .7330057. Michigan drops to 910-321-36 for a winning percentage of .7324388. For those keeping score at home, or most notably in South Bend or Ann Arbor, that is a slight .0005669 in favor of the Irish.

Via mgoblue:

  • Shane Morris became the third true freshmen quarterback to start a bowl game for the Wolverines. He joins fellow lefty Rick Leach (1976 Orange Bowl) and Chad Henne (2005 Rose Bowl) as the only rookie signal-callers to lead the Wolverines in a bowl game.  [Ed. coincidentally each wore #7].
  • Senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon set the Michigan single-season record for receiving yards with an 89-yard output against Kansas State. He finished the season with a school-record 1,373 receiving yards, surpassing Braylon Edwards’ previous program record (1,330 yards, 2004).

Mood >  Bah. 

twit mood

Thanks >  A special thanks to MaraWatch for helping me look good in 2013 despite the results.  A salute from outside the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale:

Photo Dec 28, 4 22 36 PM Follow MVictors on Twitter 

P.S.  As best as we could do, check out Game Photos here.

I’m working on a couple hours sleep after the game and hopping the first flight out of dodge, but here are a few shots from that brutal game.   A huge thanks once again to MVictors photog Kelley Kuehne for getting it done on Saturday night.

As usual I encourage reuse and republication, I just ask you give credit and a link.  If you are looking for a higher resolution copy (Mrs. Lewan), send me an email.

Shane Morris warmup

Michigan cheerleader backflip

IMG_6430 - running out helmet

Greg Mattison

IMG_6494 Seniors

IMG_6593 77 warms up



IMG_6707 g with b dubb

IMG_6796 paratrooper

IMG_6861 gallon unitimeline

Jeremy Gallon

Jon Falk final game

IMG_7049 early 7

Shane Morris snap

IMG_7270 butt upfield

Devin Gardner 98

IMG_7601 coaches

 IMG_7638 cloaking devicewhen KSU stole our cloaking device :(

Michigan defensive signs ?I have no idea

IMG_8395 shane stiff

 Shane Morris in huddle

 IMG_8466 Hayes 2 pt

 Devin Funchess

 Shane Morris and Devin Gardner

 Lewan with his Moms

Lewan and his moms after the game, grabbing her baby boy above, Lewan giving her his helmet below.  Here’s a montage.


 IMG_8596 gallon postgame

 Brady Hoke press conference


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