12. May 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: 2011

Last month during the band-is-not-going-to-Dallas crisis, I mentioned that there was a precedent (1910, for example) for Michigan fans passing the hat to help send the marching band on road trips.  

I knew that wasn’t the only case, and once again a great item has appeared on eBay illustrate that piece of history.   Here’s a small card that someone saved in scrapbook, a memento from an effort to help get the MMB to the critical game against Cornell in 1911:

sendtheband

The effort was led by the students, spurred on by the Daily, and was successful in raising the funds for the band trip.  I wrote about the 1911 season in last year’s edition of Brian Cook’s Hail to the Victors and mentioned that apparently everyone wasn’t pleased with the repeated “begging” to help the band, and one Daily reader suggested a fee-based approach:

· It was typical in those days to pass the hat amongst the student body and alums to gather up money to send the band to a long road trip. A letter from “One-Opposed-to –Begging” offered a different tact: simply charge a dime admission to the Friday pep rally which would cover the expenses for the trip to Cornell.

The band traveled but didn’t help spur on Michigan’s offense.  Here’s the complete rundown of Cornell week from 1911 via HTTV 2011:

Week 6: vs. Cornell, at Ithaca, November 11, 1911

The Syracuse stung but Michigan had to turn its attention to first major roadtrip of the year – a visit to Ithaca to face “the red and white” of Cornell.

On Yost’s Mind: He completely shut down practice and rumors of line-up changes persisted through the week. While information was limited, word got out that the team focused on fundamentals: blocking and tackling drills. (It’s unknown whether they worked on the overhand forward pass).

The Night Editor wrote a piece called “All Out.” No, it wasn’t direct contradiction to Rich Rod’s famous command, but rather, it was a plea for students to give the team an organized send-off before the train ride to Ithaca. They did–hundreds of students came out in the rain before the train departed.

The Saturday edition noted “Betting odds 10 to 6 favor Varsity today” in the first game between Michigan and Cornell since 1894. (Michigan won 12-4 at the Detroit Athletic Club field). Apparently not much money was changing hands because “Cornell supporters demand big odds.”

The Game: Michigan’s offensive struggles continued and the injury problems hampered the squad. Cornell upset Yost and crew 6-0. The lone score came when they blocked a third quarter punt by Bottles and fell on the ball behind the U-M “chalk line”. The game was marred by penalties and fumbles.

The ever faithful Daily praised the effort of the “crippled” Wolverines. “We want to win games just as much as anything else but in our opinion the way the men played…far outreaches the fact that Cornell scored and we did not.” In 2011 this would have read: The Day the Offense Died.   Commence full on PANIC!

Off the field:

· Debate raged over the place of women at football games, in particular their role in cheering. Those days female students were relegated to a section in the south endzone of Ferry Field. Put bluntly by one writer, “the girls are ruining our cheering”. Later in the fall a letter signed “Mere Man” asked, “What’s the use of having 900 coeds if we have to sew on our own buttons?”

· It was typical in those days to pass the hat amongst the student body and alums to gather up money to send the band to a long road trip. A letter from “One-Opposed-to –Begging” offered a different tact: simply charge a dime admission to the Friday pep rally which would cover the expenses for the trip to Cornell.

· If you got in line to purchase advance tickets for the 1911 Penn Game you had better of set the alarm. According to one fan who “arose a trifle early” (at 4:30am) he was around 50th in line for tickets that went on sale at 8am.

Related:
* I’m excited that I’ll be back in HTTV for a fifth straight year, this time I’m writing about Harry Newman and the perfect season of 1932.   I think you’ll enjoy it and as always, HTTV is a must have

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2 Comments

  1. hi Greg….i stumbled onto your site researching some early michigan football items i have and found my ebay listing on your site….”send the band to help the team”….what a small and wonderful world in which we live…at auction we bought an archival collection of early UofM ephemera….i have been listing some of the items on ebay…like the early football tickets and pins, et al…..this little card, SEND THE BAND TO HELP THE TEAM, a fund raising rally memento, was just one of hundreds of early pictures, team photos, “RUSH THE POLE”, “PUSH THE BALL” real photos the owner saved….many of the ebay items sold have found their way into fine homes and museum collections….as a UofM grad myself, the archive is extraordinary…keep up the great work, greg…go blue…zelda