By Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis
Forty years ago, Michigan Football Coach Bo Schembechler had open-heart surgery. With it being his second procedure in just over 7 years, people were wondering just how The General would respond.
Being aware of what was happening around him, and to squash any rumors or negative recruiting talk about his health and his ability to coach, Bo did what he loved to do – he jammed it down your throat.
He conducted an interview to show and tell everybody how good he looked and how great he felt. But to make his point more emphatic, Bo would do the interview while running! Check it out:
Former Michigan Replay host Larry Adderley recalled to me that it was one of the more unique interviews he ever did.
“It was shot out of the back of a truck while we were jogging around the field. (laughs) It was shot for Michigan Replay when Bo was in the recovery stages of his heart operation. (Producer) Bob Lipson and I were always looking for stories on Michigan Football and realized that other coaches shows didn’t pursue the same kind of features and segments we did.”
Adderley, a former MSU football walk-on, also told me that the interview “was Bob Lipson’s idea. I had actually done a series on running earlier in the year with a Wayne State University professor that helped me do this interview with Bo. I remember the professor telling me, ‘If you’re not willing to do this all the way through, don’t do it!’”
Having hosted the show from its inception in 1975 on WXYZ-TV in Detroit until it moved to WDIV-TV in 1980, Adderley said Bo was very accommodating to work with.
“We didn’t need Bo’s approval (to do these segments). Lipson was a Michigan fanatic and Bo was always busy with football stuff, so we typically never required Bo’s approval. Bo was good in that we rarely did any re-takes of the show. I recall the segments with Bo always went smoothly. I became fast friends with Bo and really appreciated the access he gave us for the show.”
[Ed. You might recall this gem from 2014 !]: