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