1933 Willie Heston with the Little Brown JugI call this “Willie with Jug and Pigskin”

Most U-M fans (both U-Ms, I suppose) know the basic jug story. Before the 1903 game between the two schools in Minneapolis, Fielding Yost dispatched U-M equipment manager Tommy Roberts to purchase a five gallon Red Wing water jug. After the brutally fought game of the undefeated teams ended in a 6-6 tie, Minnesota’s equipment manager Oscar Munson found Michigan’s jug and decided to keep it as a souvenir. When the Wolverines returned to Minnesota in 1909 the teams agreed that the winner should take the jug—and the victor of the game has retained the precious crock ever since.

That part of the story is pretty well established. But outside of that, there are still many misconceptions about the history of the jug and the rivalry that persist today. Here’s at five common myths..along with a discussion of the reality.

Myth #1: BROUGHT OR BOUGHT?
The Myth: Common lore suggests that U-M bought the jug because they feared Minnesota would try to “taint” Michigan’s water supply.

The truth of how and why the famous jug ended up on the U-M sidelines in 1903 has shifted around as the decades have passed. In the early days of the Jug rivalry, it was commonly understood that Michigan brought the jug and its own, familiar water from Ann Arbor. Furthermore most believed it was Yost feared the Gophers would attempt to spike their water. Decades later Michigan’s equipment manager Tommy Roberts revealed that he simply bought the jug in Minneapolis before the game and filled it with water in Minnesota.

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02. September 2015 · Comments Off on Jim Harbaugh’s Top 5 Games at Michigan · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

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[Ed. What the heck on the even of the opener and #4’s debut a repost.  Dr. Sap gives you a primer on Jim Harbaugh’s greatest moments as a Wolverine!]

A guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

#5: 1984 Miami (FL) – Jim Harbaugh’s first start as a Michigan Wolverine would come against the #1-ranked, defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes and he didn’t disappoint. Wolverine fans, myself included, had long felt that the maize and blue lacked one thing on offense for a few years – a tall, pocket-passing QB, ideally from California. That finally happened with the Palo Alto, CA 6-3, 202 pound Harbaugh.

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Having heard that he had attended a high school passing camp with John Elway as his instructor, sealed the deal for me – Harbs was going to be the next starting QB in my opinion and his first start was highly anticipated by many. His first two passes against Miami – an out pattern to Vince Bean for 11 yards and another to Steve Johnson for 16 yards – showed off his strong arm, much to the delight of the Michigan Stadium crowd, as Michigan went on to win, 22-14. It was an impressive victory for the Wolverines and a great start for the new QB from California.

#4: 1985 Notre Dame – Remembering how Michigan finished the 1984 season at 6-6, not many gave U-M a chance in the season opener against Notre Dame in 1985. It was a statement game for both Michigan and its quarterback. Would the Wolverines bounce back with another 10-win season?

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Would their quarterback return to form after breaking his arm a year earlier? A strong defense and solid ground game would power the maize and blue to the victory, and while Harbaugh didn’t light up the scoreboard with his passing, he was effective enough through the air to get the win, 20-12. His 3rd quarter touchdown on a quarterback draw and his ensuing endzone celebration put an exclamation point on the victory – Michigan and Harbaugh were back.

 

 

#3 1985 Ohio State – With Iowa having all but wrapped up the Rose Bowl bid a few weeks earlier with a one point win over Michigan, the Wolverines and Buckeyes were playing for Fiesta & Cotton Bowl bids respectively.

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Not quite the same, but the chips were still high and Harbaugh was clutch throughout the game – particularly on 3rd down. Michigan’s QB would finish the game 16 of 19 for 230 yards and 3 TD’s with 8 of 9 passing on 3rd down for 8 first downs. He topped his clutch performance with a 77-yard touchdown bomb to John Kolesar that put a dagger in the Buckeye hearts once and for all as Michigan won, 27-17.

#2 1986 Notre Dame – Going into the game against the Irish in 1986, Michigan was ranked #1 in some polls but Notre Dame was strutting out their new coach and no one knew what to expect from Lou Holtz and ND.

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Two moments stood out for me in this game: (1) After Harbaugh floated a perfect 27-yard touch pass to Jamie Morris for a touchdown, the Michigan quarterback flashed the #1 finger as he raced to the endzone to celebrate the score with his teammates. When did Michigan’s QB ever proclaim so visibly that they truly were #1? Never. (2) Late in the 4th quarter with the contest still in doubt and facing a critical 3rd & 6 at their own 22 yard-line, Harbaugh lofted a perfect 38-yard pass to Kolesar down the Michigan sideline that got the Wolverines out of trouble. When did Bo EVER throw deep on a critical 3rd & short with the game on the line? Never. Not until #4 arrived. A last-second John Carney field goal miss preserved the 24-23 Michigan victory.

#1 1986 Ohio State – After beating Notre Dame (twice), after beating Ohio State at home, and after winning the Fiesta Bowl, there was still something missing on the Harbaugh resume: a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl berth. Both were on the line in 1986. If that wasn’t enough pressure, Harbaugh put the bull’s-eye squarely on himself after he predicted victory over the Bucks on the Monday before the tilt with OSU.

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This game was what he dreamed about as a kid emulating his boyhood idol, Rick Leach – beating the Bucks & going to Pasadena – and nothing was going to prevent him from reaching his ultimate goal. Much like he said before his first start in 1984, he was going to do whatever it took to win. In this game it meant overcoming a 11 point deficit in the second half and the raucous crowd in Columbus he so incited with his guarantee. It meant cupping his hands around his facemask to make it appear that his teammates could not hear his audibles that he really wasn’t screaming to them. It meant not throwing a touchdown pass the entire game. It meant executing the game plan to perfection. When it was all said and done, Harbaugh & the Wolverines would emerge victorious In Columbus, 26-24. They were Big Ten Champs and would head west to play in the Rose Bowl, just like he dreamed about as a kid.

Other Notables on Harbaugh:

  • Harbaugh would be the first UM QB to throw for 300 yards in one game (1986 Wisconsin, 1986 Indiana).
  • #4 was the nation’s most efficient passer in 1985 & finished second in 1986.
  • He would also become the QB to successfully break the Bo threshold of attempting more than 25 passes per game AND WIN – another indication that Michigan had finally devised an effective passing game that could win games.
  • Harbaugh started his career being late for his first team meeting and held a clipboard that entire 1982 season. He ended his career by hoisting the Big Ten Championship Trophy and singing The Victors in Columbus.

 

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[Ed. Originally posted December 2014]

Harbaugh peels

Ed. To demonstrate that Coach Harbaugh isn’t the first head coach to peel and flash the washboard/guns, a repost from January 2014:

Just in time for the polar vortex of death, here’s what the doctor ordered.  How about a look at a shirtless General Bo out for a run in the summer of 1976, as featured in the Sunday Magazine?Bo is cut! Thanks to the keen eye of Dr. Sap for spotting that on eBay, up for bid right now.   I assume this was a product of the Detroit News.

Bo’s in tip-top shape after having open heart surgery in late spring of ‘76.   Here’s Schembechler sitting down with Bob Ufer (also thanks to Sap) not long after that Magazine cover was released, just prior to the opener against Wisconsin.   Bo talks about his surgery, his level of fitness and a little bit about the 1976 season as his Wolverines were ranked #1 heading into the campaign:

Go Bo!

P.S. I love Bo’s shoes — not unlike my custom MVictors adidas?

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UGP

[Ed. In a repost from January 2014, 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

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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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31. December 2014 · Comments Off on Operating Instructions for your Harbaugh · Categories: 2014

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Great stuff from Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (HT: JP & GN).  A snippet:

  • Your Harbaugh does not function like other head coaches. An innocuous query about the weather, for instance, could trigger a florid quote from Admiral William Halsey. And yet a routine question about a running back’s knee injury may cause your Harbaugh to wince, pause and grimace as if a malodorous scent has wafted into the room. Your Harbaugh’s default in this instance is: “We don’t really talk about that here” or “I can’t get inside his body” or “He’s working through something.” This is a design flaw our technicians in California have not yet worked out.
  • You may notice that your Harbaugh never shuts off. This is normal.
  • [this –>] There are still a few bugs in the answer-response system. For instance, you may sense – due to a long pause – that your Harbaugh has completed an answer. You will begin to ask another question. You could be two sentences into your question when your Harbaugh suddenly continues his answer to the previous question. You will feel stupid. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.

Full instructions (and warnings!) here.

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31. December 2014 · Comments Off on Saving for Moe’s · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , , ,

This was a highlight of yesterday’s presser for me:

This time, we flew in, and they had a gift bag for the kids, hats, scarfs, sweatshirts, and that took me back to walking into Moe’s Sport Shop and looking at everything with big, wide eyes hoping you would get something. Moe’s Sports Shop gave us a 10- or 20-percent discount on coach’s families, and that’s what I would save my money for. I would cut lawns, shovel snow and rake leaves so that I could go to Moe’s Sport Shop to get a pair of basketball shoes or something with the block M on it. My kids were wearing, that and that took me back to a place.

I know that feeling…and a tip of the hat to MVictors sponsor Moe’s for jumping on this one:

 

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30. December 2014 · Comments Off on Business Time | Harbaugh Presser Photos · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , , ,

 

Harbaugh taking a break from family time to deliver Blue Steel.  Or is that Magnum?  Either way, after he gave me this look I had no choice but to split. 

And update: the winner on Twitter goes to Ace (/sigh):

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Runner up:

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 weeee:

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Maize Watch

Hackett’s “maize” watch.  Lovely timepiece but not sure that’s a color tone I want to see on my beloved helmet or uniform.

 

 

M ring

Harbs crushed more Diet Cokes than John Daly, probably to help soothe that raspy throat.  Also note the U-M Club of Detroit M ring.

 

 

Lloyd Carr showed respect by rocking the khakis.

 Saint Hackett
Saint Hackett

Coach Carr and Captain Jansen

 Harbaugh

More stuff later on.   Related:

 

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30. December 2014 · Comments Off on Jim Harbaugh | Full Opening Press Conference Transcript · Categories: 2014

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All the press conference pics here

Via mgoblue.com:

Michigan Interim Athletic Director Jim Hackett
Opening statement … “It’s great to be with all of you today. I want to welcome all the people who have come from all over the place to report this news. I want to single out some people here who are quite special and made a special effort to join us. You heard we have former coaches from Michigan in Lloyd Carr, Gary Moeller and Jerry Hanlon. The Michigan faithful will always stop to shake their hands and thank them for all they have done over the years for this great university. Let me do that as well as they unselfishly helped me in thinking through this coaching transition. All of these gentlemen coached under the late, great Glenn E. “Bo” Schembechler and with a simple phone call, we have Bo’s wife, Kathy Schembechler, here who made a huge effort during holiday break and snowstorms in Denver to join in this celebration today. Thank you, Kathy.

“We also have here today Michigan regents Kathy White, Larry Deitch and Andrew Richner, all of whom have been so helpful in the process we constructed that resulted in this great hire. And while I am mentioning the top leadership at the University, let me also thank our president Mark Schlissel, who had just arrived less than six months ago this summer. He was terrific to me in counsel, as a person to brainstorm with and more importantly as a touchstone of what the University seeks in its destiny of being leaders and best in academics and athletics.

“And finally, I invited members of my team, two of whom knocked themselves out since we started this project, Chrissi Rawak and Mike DeBord plus Tim Lynch, who is the VP in general counsel. When you do a deal like this, there is a lot of legal work. Thanks to all three of them.

“As you hear of my selection for head coach, you should also know I broke one of the cardinal rules in negotiation. I fell in love with the guy from the other side. His name is John Denison and he played an enormous part in bringing the coach home.

“I am sorry for the preamble because I know you want me to get on with it. This part of the program is really what it’s about, being at Michigan. We recognize the team first.

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bo and jim

So if Harbaugh is indeed introduced next week, a big question for Michigan uniform mavens concerns whether #4 will re-introduce the helmet decals.  Bo actually invented the concept while at Miami, and brought them to Ann Arbor in 1969.  Here’s a brief run down of the stickers over the years thanks to Dr. Sap:

decal history You’ll note above that the decals actually took a break in the mid-1980s during Harbaugh’s tenure, but did indeed return for his final two seasons, including his captaincy in 1986.  We also know that Coach Harbaugh used them in Palo Alto:

luck helmet stickers

Coach Hoke was asked about this by Wojo back in 2011 and obviously nothing happened, but with Harbaugh?   You’d have to think there’s a good chance we’ll see them on the field in 2015. 

What do you think?

Who was Bo's Best Back?

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Update:  Amani Toomer chimes in with authority:

Toomer

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