Hoke didn’t bring them back but I think a surprising number of Michigan fans would like to see them return.  I’m talking about the helmet stickers or decals of course, Bo Schembechler’s 1965 invention (while at Miami, OH) that he brought to Ann Arbor. 

Wolverine gear guru Dr. Steve Sapardanis was one hoping they’d be back and he’s even suggested a 2011 version to grace the Schutts and Riddells on Saturdays:

Although these won’t adorn the headgear this season, Dr. Sap thought he’d run down a his thoughts on who he’d honor each week.  First, some context from Sap:

In the past, Bo Schembechler had a list of achievements and criteria for each team (Offense, Defense and Special Teams) as well as individual accomplishments for awarding his helmet decals.

Not being privy to film study or game performance grading, the process has been simplified to just touchdowns and big plays – and a few other "Awards of Distinction" as you will see below.

Here’s Sap’s rundown for Eastern Michigan, including some influence from the editor of this site.

Week #3 vs. Eastern Michigan
ALL members of the Michigan Defense: for not allowing a point in the 1st quarter – first time all season!
Jibreel Black: 1 decal for Forced Fumble in 1st quarter.
Thomas Gordon: 2 decals – one for 1st quarter Fumble Recovery and one for 2nd quarter one-handed Interception.
Jordan Kovacs: 2 decals – one for 4th down goalline stop in 1st quarter and one for 3rd down stop/open-field tackle in 2nd quarter.
Denard Robinson: 4 decals – one for 52-yard run in 2nd quarter; 9-yard TD pass to Kevin Koger; 11-yard TD run in 2nd quarter; 19-yard TD pass to Drew Dileo in 3rd quarter.
Kevin Koger: 1 decal for 9-yard TD reception in 2nd quarter.
Vincent Smith: 1 decal for Denard Robinson fumble recovery in 2nd quarter.
Drew Dileo: 1 decal for 19-yard TD reception in 3rd quarter.
Brandin Hawthorne: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
Craig Roh: 2 decals for 3rd quarter Sack and Tackle For Loss.
Martavious Odoms:  1 decal, editor’s choice, for his blocking downfield and driving an EMU defender five yards out of bounds
Jeremy Gallon:  1 decal, editor’s choice, for doing a great job handling punts.  Relief!
Jake Ryan: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
Will Heininger: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
Fitzgerald Toussaint: 1 decal for 1-yard TD Run in 3rd quarter.
Brendan Gibbons: 1 decal for 21-yard Field Goal in 4th quarter – the FIRST UM FG this year!
Mike Martin: 1 decal for the NASTIEST-LOOKING HELMET on the team – it looks like it already has a year’s worth of scuff marks in just game #3 of the season!
Vincent Smith & Jordan Kovacs: 1 decal each for the BEST LOOKING HELMET DESIGN on the team. No surprise that they BOTH wear Schutt helmets designed by Russ Hawkins of Capitol Varsity.  and Finally:

Ron English: 1 decal for putting decal awards on the EMU helmets – what a novel concept!

And since we’re in week 3, Sap shared his tallies for the first couple weeks:

Week #1 vs. Western Michigan
Brady Hoke
: 1 decal for not wearing a coat or jacket during the downpour of rain. TOUGH!
Michael Shaw: 1 decal for 44-yard TD run.
Fitzgerald Toussaint: 2 decals – one for 1-yard TD Run and one for 2-yard TD Run.
Brandon Herron: 3 decals – one for 94-yard Interception Return for a TD and one for 29-yard Fumble Recovery for a TD, and +1 editor’s pick for getting us to talk about Tom Harmon’s exploits.
Jake Ryan: 1 decal for knocking down pass at goalline that Herron returned 94 yards for a TD.
Ryan Van Bergen: 1 decal for Fumble recovery.
Jordan Kovacs: 2 decals – one for blitzing hit on QB that caused fumble return for TD, one for other blitzing sack.

Week #2 vs. Notre Dame
Dave Brandon: 1 decal for creating an outstanding atmosphere for a college football game -2nd only to the Rose Bowl at night! (For those of you who have never been, the Rose Bowl at night is a DEFINITE UM Fan Bucket List priority!).
Charles Woodson: 1 decal for the biggest (Super Bowl) ring in the stadium – I could see it 3 sections over and 30 rows up –sweet!
U-M media relations – 1 editor’s pick, for posting the audio from Gary Moeller’s headset before the catch.
Desmond Howard – 1 decal editor’s pick, for his wonderful speech before the game.
Steve Everitt: 2 decals – 1 for still being the toughest AND toughest LOOKING dude in the stadium & the best center U-M has had since…#48?  And editor’s choice, for blowing up this website with people searching on the name ‘Steve Everitt’.
Drum major McMahon: 1 decal for his pre-game catching of the baton over the crossbar, atoning for the fumble in Season Opener vs. WMU.
Denard Robinson: 5 decals – one for each TD (4 passing, 1 rushing).
Junior Hemingway: 2 decals – one for 77 yard reception and one for 43-yard TD catch.
Jeremy Gallon: 2 decals – one for 14-yard TD reception and one for 64-yard reception to set up winning TD.
Vincent Smith: 2 decals, one for the epic 21-yard TD reception on the screen, and +1 editor’s choice, for tossing the ball into the hands of the Irish Guard at the back of the end zone after the play.
Roy Roundtree: 1 decal for 16-yard game winning TD reception.
Jordan Kovacs: 1 decal for 2nd quarter interception.
J.T. Floyd: one decal for 2nd quarter interception.
Will Campbell: 2 decals – one for 3rd quarter fumble recovery and one for 3rd down stop late in game.
Jake Ryan: 1 decal for 3rd down stop late in game.
Ryan Van Bergen: 1 decal for 4th quarter fumble recovery.
Marvin Robinson: 1 decal for forced fumble.
Terrance Robinson: 1 decal for fumble recovery.
Stephen Hopkins: 1 decal for executing goalline fumble-rooskie play to Denard for TD – NICE!


  1. So, not a single member of the offensive line has earned a sticker in 3 weeks of play?

  2. Love this idea, love the idea of a Block M with a Rose, love the tracking. Can we get a running tracker as well Greg?

    Also, I wouldn’t mind Wolverbear as the center of the sticker, maybe for the most old school play of the game?

  3. @HHW
    Great question for Sap to consider but I’ll note that we’re trying to keep this somewhat simple. Bo had a pretty complex system for awarding these things, including stuff that went on in practice that no one could see.

  4. @Craig
    Good thought, we’ll have a running tracker in some form. The old school play of the game – I like that! I suppose that goes to Herron in week 1 for evoking memories of Harmon vs. Iowa.

  5. I liked having the decals during the Bo/Mo era, but I like the clean classic look of the helmets without the stickers in the modern era.

    The Team, The Team, The Team.

  6. I feel like Smith earned at least one sticker for his excellent running (9 carries, 118 yards). Gallon’s sticker shouldn’t just be for handling the punts, but for that 70 (?)-yard return that was called back. The penalty, while legit, really didn’t affect the play that much.

  7. Not crazy about defacing our perfect helmets. But if Bo was fine with it, so am I…

  8. I don’t want helmet decals back. I think the classic look of the helmet speaks for itself. Otherwise we would end up looking like tOSU, where some of the players have half their helmet covered in stickers before they played the first game. It also rewards individual accomplishments when we’re trying to build a TEAM.

  9. Koger should get an additional sticker vs EMU for making a block with no helmet…

  10. They were dumped for a reason. It didn’t look good. They took away from the beauty of the helmets.

    I simply don’t think they look good on our helmet. It diminishes the contrast of the maize wings and the blue base color. Clean look is much better for the best helmets in college football. if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  11. how about a decal for “luck” – ’cause it’s really the only reason you pulled that one out of your *** against ND