09. July 2011 · Comments Off on Dirty Harry (WTKA audio) · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , ,

When I hopped in the car Friday morning I was happy to hear the discussion on the WTKA 1050AM morning show focused on the 1930s and in particular, former M coach Harry Kipke.   Ira took a few calls including a notable one from listener Don who broke down the whole discussion of “worst” three year stretch ever, and the fall of the Kipke era.   Here’s Don’s call:

Well done, Don.

As far as Don’s online Michigan historian, I’m pretty sure that’s me and he’s correct that you can find a lot more on that era on these pages.


Regarding the worst stretch ever, I started that discussion three seasons ago when local writers started calling RichRod’s first the worst of all time.  And despite what folks say (including our athletic department), by almost any measure the 3 year stretches from 1934-1936 and from 1935-1937 are worse, and Don adds some great points about our dismal performance against our rivals.

It’s not so much that I care if you make a statement about the worst or best or whatever.  But out of respect for those who care about the history and traditions of this university, at least mix in a “one of the” or “among the” before you drop in the word “worst” or “best”, assuming you are not willing to do the research. Right?

As far as the scandalous end to the Kipke era, you can get your fill here, to this day one of the more popular pages on this site.   His most egregious foul (at least in today’s terms) was this one:

Subsidizing players.  Yes, it appears as though Michigan promised the classic nice “jobs” to incoming freshman.  According to a university report players were basically guaranteed a wage at certain jobs whether they showed up or not.  The local employer was “instructed to bill another Ann Arbor firm for the time the freshman collected for not working” [Chicago Tribune, 11/11/37].  The whole thing unraveled when a bogus “employer” wasn’t reimbursed in a timely manner and complained.

As I’ve said, there’s a reason why Bo, Yost, Crisler and even Oosterbaan have buildings named after them and Kipke has a service drive through the stadium parking lot.

Yost’s Warning to you Drunks (1933)
1933 and the Dickinson Formula
1933 MSC Ticket Application
Harry Kipke and the Fall of 1934
Smoke ‘em if you Got ‘em (1935-ish)
The Willis Ward Protests (1934)

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