With the announcement that football games are airing on 950AM WWJ this fall and for the next few years, here’s a brief look back at the first live broadcast directly from a Michigan football game. I’d typically offer up some original research for you but the Bentley Library has done a nice job already:
For Michigan football fans, the most important first came at the 1924 Wisconsin game at Ferry Field when Edwin L. "Ty" Tyson and Leonard "Doc" Holland set up a microphone in the east end zone stands and did the first radio broadcast of a Michigan home game. It is believed to be the first "live" broadcast originating directly from a football stadium.
Mr. Tyson had a long career in broadcasting and became quite the celebrity. Though he passed away in 1968, he’s a got strong presence on eBay right now as there are several photos of him available for bid, including this one with the WWJ microphone:
Back to that first game, apparently Yost almost squashed the idea fearing it would affect the bottom line:
When Tyson first approached the Athletic Department with a proposal to broadcast the Wisconsin game, Fielding Yost was initially hesitant to agree. Like many Athletic Directors, Yost was concerned that providing a free broadcast of the game might hurt attendance. In the end he agreed to let Tyson broadcast the game provided it was a sellout.
In classic Yost fashion, apparently he even made the announcers pay for their seats in that first game:
Tyson would later reminisce that "It sure was a sellout, Doc (Holland) and I had to pay to get in just like everyone else."
Speaking of 1924, you can impress your friends and make women swoon by flashing this 1924 “Foul Shooting” (or Pool Shooting?) silver 2nd place trophy:
Not that you’d question it, especially give the date right on it, but this is definitely from that era. Note the 1837 on the seal, it’s a dead give away.