Why do so many fans attend this the Bust each year?  I chatted with a few folks while the players were still signing autographs for fans, well before the event officially started and asked that question.  It’s not cheap (small glass of beer is $5, rail cocktail $7), and there are other opportunities during the year to see the players.   While U-M fans are charitable, it’s got nothing to do with supporting the U-M Club of Detroit.

When the seniors got up to speak I was reminded why, to me, the Bust is such a special event.  It’s really a unique chance to see these young guys in this moment when they say what really want they want to say—relatively unfiltered.  I remember Angelique asking Kovacs to reflect on this career moments after the Ohio State game.  Understandably he wouldn’t (probably couldn’t) do it.  It’s so rare to get Roy Roundtree Bustthese guys to open up about anything beyond what happened on the field.

While all the seniors, especially Kovacs, Denard, Will Campbell (hilarious), Pat Omameh and Jack Kennedy did a real nice job, it was Roy Roundtree who delivered the moment of the night.

He started out in a joking mood talking about his recruitment, basically saying despite his commitment to Purdue, once offered by Michigan he was on his way to Ann Arbor to wear the winged helmet.   The tone changed pretty quickly and Treezy got choked up and then teared up while thanking Greg Harden, director of athletic counseling, for his mentorship.   Mark Snyder captured a few details:

But they made this night about their lives, not their careers. Senior receiver Roy Roundtree thanked Hoke for teaching him the Michigan tradition, then touched the room when he reached beyond the field.

Discussing associate athletic director Greg Harden, who has mentored so many U-M athletes over the past few decades, he became the only Wolverine to break down.

“You pushed me. I came here as a freshman acting up, I didn’t really tell my parents what was going on, and you always had a positive influence in my life,” Roundtree said between tears. “I want to say thank you. Because without you, I don’t know if I would still be at Michigan. You really pushed me to the limit. You made me see the light to get to where I’m at now. You made me face the toughest battles that I’ve overcame. With that said, I graduated and I’m in grad school.”

He closed by telling the guys returning to team 134 that’d he’d be watching on Saturdays next year donning his M gear and rings.  He urged them to work on and off the field.  And in case anyone forgot, he reminded everyone he’s from Ohio.  Well done Treezy.

More stuff:

* Getting there early.  While hearing the seniors is the highlight, there’s no question many folks are there to get their stuff signed and meet the players.  According to the U-M Club of Detroit, the first posted start time is 5:30 for cocktails, but it’s an unwritten rule that the autograph line starts much earlier.  I understand fans got there as early as 2pm to queue up.  (And no, you couldn’t just cut right to Denard but nice try–everyone).

Denard Robinson signs helmet - 2012 Michigan Football Bust

* I heart my GF.  One nitpick on the speeches–there were way too many seniors thanking their girlfriends up there.  Oy.  I love the ladies as much as the next guy, but come on.  Where’s the toughness, fellas?  Coaching point for Hoke and crew in 2013 IMO.

* 1972, 1973, 1974 Teams.  There was a nice tribute, including video, of these teams and several of the players were recognized at the banquet.  When MC Dave Brandon introduced them he pointed out that despite the wild success of these teams, they only played to a sell-out crowd at home on a handful of occasions.   The video package was pretty limited but featured the coveted All-White uniforms.   Also of note, Brandon reminded attendees of the horrific ‘73 athletic director vote that sent the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl, he got a nice vintage Wolverine ‘booo!’ from the crowd including yours truly.   We remember.

1974-Rose-Bowl-Michigan_thumb[1]

* Carr, Wellman.  Most of the guys thanked Rich Rodriguez and a couple guys (Demens and Floyd?) thanked Lloyd Carr for recruiting them.  Just about everyone thanked strength man Aaron Wellman, who doesn’t get/seek the pub like Barwis but it seems he’s built a strong relationship with these guys.   Two guys mentioned the coveted Twin City socks of Three and Out fame.

* Moeller.  I don’t believe Carr attended the event, but Coach Mo was there and a new scholarship was unveiled that will bear the name of Moeller and his wife.

* Night.  It’s no secret that we’ll have more games with night kickoffs at the Big House, but FWIW Brandon specifically noted he looked forward to seeing fans at the stadium, including in the evening.

* 500.  Bob MacLean, the man who’s attended 500 consecutive games was honored.  Considering that the folks who attending the Bust are the diehards of the diehards, many with several streaks of the own no doubt, MacLean is the king.

* 900.  The pigskin from the Michigan State game started with an opening bid of $900 and ended up fetching at least $1600.

900th Win Football - Michigan

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[Ed. This was originally posted November 3, 2010, but had to deliver this Update]

Update October 7, 2011:  Thanks to the generosity of fellow collector Ken Magee [of Ann Arbor Sports Memorabilia], there is no longer a hole in Jack Briegel’s home ticket collection.   Apparently Magee decided he want Briegel to have it and left the elusive 1943 ‘Michigan State’ ticket stub on his porch last Friday.  What a kind gesture.  I’ll surely do a follow-up on Magee and his collection sometime soon. Here’s the original story for context:

Original Post:
I obviously check out eBay somewhat frequently for the purposes of writing this series but this time I thought I’d introduce you to someone who’s a pro in the memorabilia game.

This month for GoBlueWolverine Mag I submitted a piece on Ann Arbor resident Jack Briegel and his extraordinary collection.   His focus is on ticket stubs and get this, of the 517 games played at Michigan Stadium to date, Briegel has a full ticket or stub from all of them but one.  That’s right – he’s missing 1!

That elusive piece of the puzzle?  A stub to the 1943 game against Western Michigan.  Briegel has a slot waiting for it:

1943 gap

The ticket to that September 25 game actually lists Michigan State as the opponent.   But the Spartans did not field a team that season as it was common for teams to shut down their football squads that year due to obligations to the war effort.  Folks seemed to have better things to do that fall day as just over 14,000 bothered to show up, and apparently it wasn’t memorable enough for many fans to bother to hang onto their stubs.

Certainly a few tickets to that game exist.  According to the records at ticketmuseum.com, a gent named Ken Magee owns that rare ticket and here’s a look:

1943-Michigan State

Briegel’s not the only one taking on this quest.  Collector Dennis Dail of Bloomington, IL is also going for the ticket gusto, missing a mere 8 of the 517 home games:

1945 – Great Lakes
1944 – Indiana, Iowa Pre-Flight
1943 – Mich St., Indiana, Wisconsin
1928 – Ohio Wesleyan
1927 – Ohio Wesleyan

That ’27 Wesleyan game is of course the first ticket to the Big House and very tough to find, in fact, it’s probably Briegel’s favorite of all the stubs adorning his walls.

Of course if you have that elusive ’43 MSU ticket or anyone from Dail’s missing set sitting around let me know.

Coincidentally there’s quite a few rare tickets up on eBay, you can check out those auctions here:

1942 Michigan at Notre Dame

[Ed. This ran in GoBlueWolverine Mag a couple months back.  I thought I’d republish it here given that the American Pickers are coming to town.]

display_cases

There are a few places in Ann Arbor where you can view some of the finest Michigan football memorabilia in the land. If you can get inside, the museum at Schembechler Hall features helmets, jerseys and other relics from the early days of the program. Up on North Campus the wonderful archives at the U-M Bentley Historical Library contain an extensive array of documents, photos and news clippings covering the history of Michigan athletics.

Neither collection is quite like what lifelong Ann Arbor resident Jack Briegel has at his home. While most Michigan fans have some sort of shrine of collectibles dedicated to their beloved football program, it’s doubtful anyone has approached this level. In fact when a university-sponsored contest was held years back to find the ‘Ultimate Wolverine Den’, they probably had an easy time naming Briegel the winner.

jack_briegel

I visited Briegel at his home this fall to get a tour and chat with him about his hobby. He took me straight downstairs and into a corridor flanked with framed photos signed by players and coaches—primarily but not limited to Wolverines. In a section dedicated to the winningest coaches of all time, Briegel even includes autographed shots of <gulp> rival coaches Lou Holtz and Woody Hayes. “Only Lou would sign over his nose,” Briegel joked, referring to the curious placement of Holtz’s signature on his photo.

Once you make it through the hall of photos you enter a room containing the cornerstone of Briegel’s collection—the ticket stubs. He’s gathered hundreds of the ducats from 1896 to the present day and he has them neatly assigned inside sixteen beautifully prepared glass cases aligned in chronological order. It’s a museum-quality arrangement and for fans of the history of this program, it’s breathtaking.

The ticket collection is extensive but not quite complete, at least to someone as passionate about his hobby as Briegel. While it’d be impossible to find every ticket in Michigan football history (certainly many from the 1800s and early 1900s don’t even exist), he is close to gathering up every stub, home or away since Michigan Stadium was opened in 1927. All told he’s missing just a handful stubs from this span believe it or not, just one from the hundreds of home games that have been played at the Big House.

1943gap_thumb

That elusive piece to the Michigan Stadium puzzle? The ducat to the 1943 Western Michigan contest. The tickets for that September 25, 1943 game actually list Michigan State as the opponent. But the Spartans did not field a team that season as it was common for teams to shut down their football squads that year due to obligations to the war effort.

1943MichiganState_thumb 

Folks seemed to have better things to do that fall day as just over 14,000 bothered to show up, and apparently it wasn’t memorable enough for many fans to bother to hang onto their stubs.

Briegel, now 75, has lived in Ann Arbor his entire life and began collecting memorabilia at a young age. He grew up near the stadium and that’s really when he started gathering Wolverine relics.  Ironically, Briegel used to enter games as a youngster without a ticket!

“We used to sneak in. A lot of times ticket takers would just wave us in,” he recalled with a smile. Back in those days the Big House was frequently a mostly empty house.

I asked if he had a favorite amongst the hundreds displayed on his walls. “This is real hen’s tooth,” he told me, motioning to the difficult-to-find 1927 Ohio Wesleyan ticket, the first game played at Michigan Stadium. He’s also fond of the tickets to the doubleheader games played during the Great Depression. Believe it or not, from 1929-1931 the athletic department actually scheduled the Wolverines to play a pair of games on the day of the season opener.

Representatives of the current athletic department are aware of his collection, especially those at the great U-M Bentley Library. This summer the library contacted Briegel for permission to feature a few of his items in the program for the stadium rededication game against Connecticut. “I was truly honored,” Briegel told me of the request, as he was thrilled for the opportunity to reciprocate some of the help that he’s received from folks like Bentley curators Greg Kinney and Brian Williams.

The Bentley helped Briegel was after he came into possession of probably the most unique and valuable piece in his collection. On display inside a glass coffee table is a menu from a special send-off dinner for Fielding Yost’s remarkable 1901 team, as they were about to depart for the first Rose Bowl. The menu was signed by everyone at the party including Point-A-Minute legends Willie Heston, Neil Snow, “Boss” Weeks along with Yost, the coaching staff and members of the athletic department. It’s remarkable.

jack2

To identify the authors of the signatures, Brieg el sought the help of Kinney along with fellow collector Dennis Dail. Eventually they nailed all but one of the autographs. Speaking of that menu, Yost’s men were treated like royalty that night. They dined on several courses in a feast that included little neck clams, oyster patties, filet of beer, roast turkey, sweet potatoes, fresh peas, strawberry ice cream and “assorted cake”. With full bellies, Yost, Heston and crew headed off to Pasadena where they crushed Stanford 49-0, rounding out a truly perfect season where they outscored opponents 550-0.

Briegel is retired these days, having worked 23 years for book manufacturer Braun-Bromfield before co–founding Saline-based printing company McNaughton and Gunn. Since he’s around the house a bit more these days, naturally I asked Briegel how his wife Jeannette feels about the collection. “She tolerates it,” he told me with a laugh. But he added that there’s a strict rule in place–the memorabilia doesn’t make it past the basement door to the main level. When the couple added onto their house in the 1990s they also built out the basement, allowing Briegel more room to house his award-winning shrine. It should be noted that one wall downstairs is reserved for “memorabilia” of his grandchildren and family, including several medals earned by his granddaughter, a well-decorated gymnast.

For the past several years he’s used his own season tickets to extend his collection and he prefers to have the full ticket intact for his display. Before the dawn of barcode scanners at Michigan Stadium (a couple years ago) Briegel used to negotiate with attendants to allow his tickets pass through the gates in one piece. If he got resistance from the ticket taker, he’d summon a manager and explain how serious he was about this hobby. “I was always able to talk my way in,” Briegel told me. While he doesn’t have this issue at the Big House anymore, he still occasionally has to do the dance when passing through the gates for away games.

As far as plan for collections down the road, Briegel is unsure. Neither his son Jeffrey nor daughter Judy has expressed a deep desire to continue the collection. “I wouldn’t mind a lot of it going to Bentley Library,” he told me. He’s taken steps to ensure that wherever the items end up, they’ll all be in good shape. Beyond protecting each item in glass or a frame, he’s installed special lighting along with smoke and motion detectors to monitor his precious den.

In the meantime, Briegel got work to do to fill those few empty slots in his display cases and he says regularly monitors the latest eBay auctions. I’m guessing it won’t be long until he finds that elusive 1943 ticket and I’d love to be there when he slides it into that empty slot on his wall.

Do you know these guys?

image That’s Mike Wolfe and his partner Frank Fritz, stars of History Channel’s American Pickers.   According to AnnArbor.com, the treasure hunting pair is coming to town looking for a good pick:

Show producer Jeff Eggleston confirmed on Tuesday that the show will be coming to Michigan, but said the itinerary is not set. The show plans to shoot in the area sometime between April 12 and April 24, he said.

So why do I care?  I love the show but more importantly, check out what’s on Eggleston’s list of items they are looking for on their visit:

  • Michigan sports memorabilia: Unique pieces related to any of Michigan’s college or professional sports teams.

I try to catch the holy trinity of memorabilia shows on Monday: Antiques Roadshow, Pawn Stars and American Pickers hoping that one day they’ll stumble upon an item related Michigan football and dial up yours truly to provide some expert input.   (I even stretched this wish to Detroit’s Hardcore Pawn as I told Hondo Carpenter the other day.) 

I reached out to the show’s research department to let them know I’m available if they find anything, and I suggested a couple places/people to talk to about their collections.  If you know of an awesome collection they should check out, email americanpickers [at] cineflix.com.

lockers

A must have for any man cave, Michigan shrine, office, garage and/or living room (if you aren’t married).  Details:

Full size locker, with combination.  We have proof of authenticity, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the ultimate Michigan Football memorabilia collector. It could be a very long time before they change lockers again.  Locker numbers still on them.

Dimensions:  36? wide x 24? deep x 74-3/4? tall
Weight: About 200 lbs – free pick-up in Detroit

It seems a local demolition company cleaned out the locker room and was granted rights to take away the lockers.  Get this—they actually crushed one of them before someone came to their senses.  The company is based in Detroit and they’ve still got some to sell.

Interested to buying one of these to round out your shrine or for a gift?  The seller was asking $800 earlier this year but shoot me an email, he might do better:

One recent buyer sent over this pic.  He got the #7 locker and went with the Drew Henson theme.  Looks great, although I think a few Ricky Leach and Chad Henne fans are scratching their heads:

henson_locker

06. July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Archive 2009 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

A painful edition of eBay Watch.   Ugh.  The seller claims the band belonged to a “well known player” and is asking $5,999.99:

1997_michigan_ring

It’s certainly not the first Michigan football ring to be offered up on eBay and heck, it’s not even the first time someone’s sold a ‘97 championship ring.  Maybe this is the same one just placed back on the block.

Other rings that have been up on eBay over the past couple years:

I think the seller is reaching on the $6K figure.  I’m guessing this would be closer to $2K-$3K item but you never know if a big shot will swoop in to grab it.

** Follow MVictors on Twitter! and be the first to know.

I’ve run the eBay Watch series for a couple years and occasionally I uncover some unsettling personal details related the memorabilia involved.  In June 2008, the auction of an 1986-87 championship ring resulted in a saga ending with a former teammate contacting the player who sold the ring to make sure everything was cool.

In January of ‘08, I featured the auction of a U-M football ring that was alleged to be a salesman’s sample with the name “McCartney” adorning the side of the band.  After posting a photo I was contacted by the wife of former coach Bill McCartney who claimed that ring was no sample: it belonged to her husband and yes, he wanted it back.

Recently a seller posted a bunch of photos from the turn of the last century including one featuring an old favorite of mine, hero and captain of Fielding Yost’s wonderful 1909 Wolverine team, Dave “Pig” Allerdice sitting criss-cross applesauce:

dave_allerdice_1907

I wrote extensively on the 1909 season in Brian Cook’s epic Hail to the Victors 2009 & I hope you had a chance to read it.  Allerdice’s 1909 crew suffered an early setback to Notre Dame but recovered, smoking fools for the rest of the season including powerful Minnesota (and for the first time, U-M walked off with a prestigious piece of pottery) along with a win over Eastern powerhouse Pennsylvania.  From HTTV ‘09, a little on the Penn game:

Clearly inspired by the raucous Navy men, Michigan jumped on the Quakers when the battle started just past two o’clock.  Michigan struck first, set-up by a fake field goal by Allerdice who feigned a kick but instead fired the ball to tackle Stanfield Wells who took it down to the Penn three.  Two plays later the Wolverines pounded across the line for the first score (of any kind) against the Quakers.  Michigan added another touchdown a few minutes later and after a mere eight minutes of play, Michigan led 12-0.   Per the Daily, “so stunned the Quakers that they gathered in the middle of the field and decided that something unusual was happening.”   Yep, they were getting there hinds kicked by a bunch of hayseeds from the West.

In writing the piece on that 1909 team I happened to get in touch with a couple of Allerdice’s relatives including his granddaughter Annie Allerdice.  So, when I saw the auction of the photo of her gramps on eBay a couple weeks back I shot her a note thinking she’d be tickled and giddy.  (“I’m a kind and thoughtful person…” thought me.)

Notsomuch.

Upon seeing the photo, Allerdice quickly shot back via email:

Do we know who is selling this?  I have the original in my collection of family photos.  My experience with the Collectors Group is they will lie, cheat and steal for a buck.

Yikes.   And sadly this isn’t the only issue Allerdice has had related to her family’s memorabilia.  Her father (and Pig’s son) David, Jr. strapped it on for the Princeton Tigers from 1938-1940 and had a fine career.   Years ago when a group from Princeton came calling for pigskin artifacts for a museum, Allerdice’s family obliged.  It did not end up well and Annie explained:

In 1968 we were contacted about a future Sports Museum at Princeton.  In 1970 they asked to borrow, his jersey, his letterman blanket, and a football, ( I still have one).   We gave them those items, a helmet, his chaps, a jersey, a blanket and other mementos, they promised to give them back after a few years on display.

When the museum at Princeton was not built, we asked for the items back.   It took 4  letters to the Dean and President of the University before I found out the items had been stolen.

Did they bother to apologize or help us recoup the items?  Nope.  Nor did they pay for them.  So, I have little or not respect for anyone making money off my Father’s or Grandfather’s work.

Sorry, but, I really have an issue with these people,  I reported it to EBAY.

She of course gave me clearance to share this sad tale.  Obviously if anyone knows the whereabouts of these Allerdice family items please let me know.  I contacted Princeton media relations for comment (and I realize this happened many years ago).

Related:
Joy Miller & The Disgrace of 1909

Fielding Yost dedicated the good years of his life to University of Michigan athletics but his influence and business interests stretched beyond Ann Arbor.  He wrote books, appeared in movies, spoke all over the country and even added his name to certain products. 

This edition of eBay Watch starts with the auction of a vintage 1920s-ish leather helmet, the design approved by the Grand Old Man:

yost_signature_helment_aj_reach

The back of the helmet, produced by A.J. Reach of Philadelphia, even bears Yost’s signature with his popular nickname “Hurry Up”:

hurry_up_yost_autograph hurry_up_yost_autograph_comparison
The signature on the back of the helmet.  Top right, a Yost autograph from the 1940s

The helmet appears to be a part of a whole line of football equipment produced by Reach using the brand name of Yost and another big name coach at the time, “Tad” Jones of Yale:

ad 

Since you know I’d love to see one of these helmets in action, I couldn’t resist:

denard_robinson_old_school_yost_helmet3

The auction for the helmet ends April 29 and has already fetched several bids putting it over $150.  I’m guessing it’ll fetch close to $500.

Other Yost Stuff
A couple of very cool postcards from Yost’s early years on campus:

1905 Vintage Yost postcard, auction bidding currently up to $24.95:

yost_post_card1

A.C. Dietsche 1907 Fielding Yost postcard, seller asking a whopping $300:

image

 

Related:
Fielding Yost Through the Years 1901-1940 (YouTube video)
Michigan’s Grand Old Man Laid to Rest
Norm Daniels’ 1931 Michigan Jersey
Suit Up like One of Yost’s men

Reaching way back on this instance of eBay Watch, we start with a remarkable wire photo printed in 1929 of a scene from the 1895 Michigan-Chicago game, held in the Windy City on Thanksgiving Day:

1895 Chicago Michigan football

It appears as though someone did a 1929 version of a photocopy, actually taking a photo of a photo to produce a copy.  I cropped the shot above but in the full version you can see a finger holding down a corner of the old pic alongside a caption:

thumb

Why didn’t they just use the original photo for this piece?  No idea.  Perhaps the papers required the images be in a certain size, format and/or medium.

While the back of the photo says it was reproduced in 1929, it appears as though it ran (perhaps reran) in a 1931 piece in the Chicago Tribune which reproduced the old photo for an article on the life of legendary Chicago coach Amos Alonzo Stagg.  Here’s how it looked in the paper:

1931 Chicago Tribune

The caption reads:

This is a view of the Chicago-Michigan game, Thanksgiving day 1895.  You will note that the fans came in tallyhos, buggies and sleighs.  It was played at Staff field, then called Marshall Field, after the donor of the ground.  Michigan won the game 12 to 0.

The Game
Digging deeper, I recovered a recap of the 1895 Michigan victory from the Trib including some beautiful old school, cigar-chomping sportswriting.  According to ‘The Story of The Game’, the first score happened like this:

The Capt. Henninger gritted his teeth, tucked the leather spheroid under his arm, and sailed in to show them how the game was played against Harvard.  He found his opening and went through it, but after he crossed the goal line and was tackled the ball broke away and went rolling off into the snow.   But Richards was on hand.  Quick as a flash he threw himself on the ball, holding it so firmly that the crowd of men falling on him could not dislodge it, and the first touchdown was made.  Score- Michigan 4, Chicago 0.

Later, under the subtitle “Prettiest Play of the Game,” the Trib described this superhuman tackle by a Wolverine:

The ball was given to [Chicago’s half back] Gale, who found an opening large enough to drive a tally-ho coach through.  In a second he was beyond the line and running for the Michigan goal like the wind.  There was only one man available to stop his progress.  That was [Michigan’s Full Back]  Bloominsgton.   And he did it in a way that will not be forgotten by the 10,000 spectators until next season.   The two men were both at top speed and running almost at right angles.  When Bloomingston reached just the right point he put out his arms and made a headlong flying dive.  For several seconds he hung in the air and then struck Gale just below the hips.  It is needless to say that Gale went down as if struck with the heavy part of a trip hammer, while the crowd on the bleachers screamed themselves hoarse at the prettiest tackle ever seen on the Marshall Field.

Other notes from the game:

  • Bloomingston scored Michigan second touchdown from 15 yards out, but he exactly score “no one seems to know.”   He ended up getting stopped “on the top of the huge now bank back of the goal line.”
  • The game started at 11:33am, and the teams played two thirty-five minute halves.
  • As noted above, touchdowns were worth 4, kicked extra points 2.
  • Early in the game Michigan came close to a first down, requiring the referee “to measure with a handkerchief.”
  • Chicago’s Quarter Back “Ewing” was listed in the box score as injured: “collar bone broken.”

Michigan’s 1895 squad was one of the finest of the pre-Yost (and even pre-The Victors) period, finishing 8-1, outscoring opponents 266-14, dropping just a 4-0 game to eastern powerhouse Harvard.

Elsewhere on eBay:

  • Revenge Served Cold (with Stuffing): Speaking of Chicago and Thanksgiving, the teams met again on that Thursday in 1905.  Stagg delivered to Fielding Yost his first loss since the Michigan legend stepped foot in Ann Arbor in 1901, a 2-0 defeat.  This week a seller is offering a program to the game, currently bid up to $405 but it’ll surely go higher:

1905 Chicago Michigan Program

  • Credential of the Century: Has there ever been a bigger regular season game (not involving Michigan) for our rivals?   The 1966 Notre Dame-Michigan State game was dubbed ‘The Game of the Century’ and famously ended in a 10-10 tie.  On eBay today is a press pass to the game, bidding currently at $250:

1966 Michigan State Notre Dame Press Pass