It sure looks authentic but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one before. Take a look at this 1969 Big Ten Championship Ring currently up for bid:
As I always do on these ring auctions, I’ll lead with the disclaimer that a) we don’t know if any of what the sellers claims is true, b) we don’t know the circumstances of how the ring ended up with the seller and c) don’t assume anything and d) don’t judge.
That said…this is quite a specimen for sure and I’m guessing there’s a collector or two out there that would love to have this. This is of course would be part of the spoils of Bo’s legendary 24-12 shocker over Woody & the Buckeyes in Schembechler’s first season in Ann Arbor.
On top of all that, the seller claims this ring originally belonged to the one of the famous “Mellow Men” on the 1969 team. Here’s an excellent refresher on the Mellow Men via the great “Touchdown” Billy Taylor from mgoblue.com:
"The Den of Mellow Men"
Billy Taylor / 1969-71 Letterman
When I came to Michigan, I was part of the largest collection of black athletes ever at the school on scholarship. A close bond formed among us — Thom Darden, Reggie McKenzie, Butch Carpenter, Mike Oldham, Glenn Doughty and me. We were all roommates in a house on campus that was called the Den of Mellow Men.
That was the time of the Black Action Movement and Vietnam protests, but Bo wanted us to stay out of politics. And we vowed we were going to be part of a championship team together. That fit well with what Bo was planning in ’69 and he kept telling us we were going to beat the Buckeyes.
The Den of Mellow Men were all starters as sophomores and to this day I have never seen a team come together like we did for that Ohio State game. We expected a long oration from Bo before the game, but he just turned the bill of his cap to the back and said "our own newspapers are saying our chances of winning this game are slim and none."
Then, Bo said: "We are going to go out there and kick their ass!"
You had to be a real man to get out of the Michigan locker room that day and when we took the field, no one felt their feet touch the ground. What a great team game we played that day!
The full auction is available here – again, the seller is asking a cool $3,500 for this piece of Michigan football history.
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