There’s much talk lately on the noise created by the Michigan fan base during games, especially now that the new structures are up and enclosed on the east and west sides of the Big House.  It makes this edition of eBay Watch apropos.

It’s the auction of a “1900’s” era paper megaphone, outfitted with the words to Varsity, The Yellow and Blue, and the chorus to The Victors.  It’s not quite in tip-top shape (perhaps one of Zoltan’s ancestors rolled on top of it), but it’s still pretty cool:

 

mega 

The auction description came up with the 1900’s date, which some might believe suggests this is from the first decade in the century.  Well, the earliest this beauty can date is of course to the timing of the last composed.  From reading these pages you know the story of the origins of Elbel’s The Victors in 1898 and of Varsity in 1911.  A brief browse on the U-M Bentley Library website puts the origins of The Yellow and Blue at 1889.  Plugging all this into pivot table tells me the earliest this could date to is 1911, and more likely later on after the song was better established.  I’ll call it 1920s-ish.

The description all calls it a “University of Michigan Football Cheerleader Megaphone”, but this thing isn’t anything a cheerleader would be raising up—this was something that was used by the fans.  

The Hail: Here’s an interesting takeaway.  I always figured The Yellow and Blue was an old song, if nothing else by virtue of the song title and lyrics going with “Yellow” instead of Maize.  98% of Wolverine fans know and sing but a single word in the tune: “HAIL!”, which is emphasized on the megaphone:

hail

So…I guess I always thought that was some kind of salute to the beloved chorus of The Victors, but this can’t be given The Yellow and Blue was composed nearly a decade prior.  If anything, it’s the other way around providing (even more) inspiration for Elbel. 

The bidding starts at $49 for the auction that ends September 15.

3 Comments

  1. I’m not buying this whole argument about Michigan Stadium being louder now because the additions traps the noise in ONE BIT. For those of us old enough to actually remember Bo, I know of at least one occasion where he told the crowd to knock it off… back in those days, the home team could get penalized if the other team couldn’t call their signals on account of crown noise. The fact of the matter is, Michigan fans got complacent over the years. Sitting on their hands and the stupid “key play” contributed to the quietest group of 100,000 people around — NOT the design of the stadium.

  2. Sorry Chris, but I’ve attended games going back to 24 Sep 1977 (Beat Navy 14-7), including the last 181 consecutive home games. It is louder with the new additions. I can hear the MMB and the south end better (from Section 40).

    Regarding the “crowd noise” penalty, I don’t recall ever being penalized for it in Michigan Stadium. The procedure was to give two warnings, before loss of timeouts and/or yardage. Our crowd was smart enough to know when to shut up. Now, we need to know when to yell louder….

    Also, you may remember we benefitted from that rule big time at Wisconsin in 1986. IIRC, Wisky lost its remaining timeouts for the 1st half, and we “moved” the ball about 25 yards deep into their territory without taking a snap.

  3. > Now, we need to know when to yell louder….

    Which is kinda my point exactly… when did Michigan fans stop knowing??? They obviously knew at one point in time!!! After all, you did note, that Michigan did indeed receive crowd noise warnings in the past. When Michigan did receive those warnings, how many additions adorned the stadium? Hmmmm!

    But then people forgot about all the noise the fans could generate and started blaming the shape of the stadium. All the noise goes straight up, became a convenient excuse.

    I’m just tired of the excuses ya know. Michigan Stadium was once a great home field advantage. Then came complacency.

    I bet even without the additions, Saturday would have been loud. It’s pretty clear that not only RR and the players are tired of the drama but the fans are too. The fans were into the game again for a change. Of course, if the additions do make the stadium inherently louder, I’m ALL FOR IT. Just tired of excuses, that’s all.