Ed. The Decals don’t stop just because it’s a bye week. Here’s Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis with a guest post and a little decal history:
After a two-year hiatus, award decals returned to the Michigan helmets in 1985. Bo removed them from the helmets after the 1982 season because he felt there was not enough emphasis and focus on The Team, so off they came.
Michigan still kept track of them for the 1983 and ’84 seasons, but in 1985 somebody convinced Bo to put the decals back on the helmets. (My guess is that somebody was Jim Harbaugh, but that is a story for another time.)
When Bo first debuted them in 1969, the decals were crudely shaped footballs that were more orange than yellow in color. In 1975, a snarling Wolverine head was added while the shape became more rounded and elliptical. Ten years later, the now more spheroid-shaped footballs centered the Wolverine head on them and added laces.
The 1985 season was a great year for Michigan and that team will forever be remembered for having one of the best defenses in U=M history.
As a result, it should come as no surprise that the top two decal award winners came from that side of the ball.
All-American Mike Hammerstein had 48 decals on his helmet at the end of the season in the Fiesta Bowl and Mark Messner had 44:
But one player was not thrilled about the decals. Senior co-captain and All-American defensive back Brad Cochran had ZERO decals on his helmet.
Why? He told me several years ago that he “didn’t want to put anything on that beautiful helmet.”
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