MVictors.com http://mvictors.com The History and Culture of Michigan Football Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:00:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 2195385 2001-2008 gregdooley@yahoo.com (MVictors.com: Michigan Football Blog) gregdooley@yahoo.com (MVictors.com: Michigan Football Blog) michigan football 1440 http://mvictors.com/images/pod2.gif MVictors.com http://mvictors.com 144 144 Feeds provided from MVictors.com, a michigan football blog covering M football and University of Michigan athletics. Podcasts from MVictors - Michigan Football blog. Usually includes relevant snippets from local and national sports shows related to M football. Commentary, History, Jokes and Opinion, straight from the shadows of the Big House. Michigan football, blog, wolverines, ann arbor, schembechler, big house, stadium, university of michigan, college, sports, athletics, detroit MVictors.com: Michigan Football Blog MVictors.com: Michigan Football Blog gregdooley@yahoo.com no no Stanford 1973 and The Vote | This Week in Michigan Football History http://mvictors.com/stanford-1973-and-the-vote-this-week-in-michigan-football-history/ http://mvictors.com/stanford-1973-and-the-vote-this-week-in-michigan-football-history/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:00:53 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=254127

This week we get into a little history of our history playing Stanford – the first Rose Bowl, 1947 and finally 1973 as Bo’s #5 Wolverines faced the Cardinal on this Saturday back 45 years ago.   Of course we can’t leave 1973 without mentioning the infamous postseason vote and I’m not naming names (yes I am) but your beloved Meechigan got screwed!

Listen to it “live” tomorrow afternoon on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM….or inside the Go Labatt Blue Victors Lounge!

script after the jump: 

Today we look back to September 22, 1973, as General Bo George Patton Schembechler’s 5th ranked Wolverines were set to take on the Stanford Cardinal. 
Stanford holds a special place in Wolverine football lore.  Not only is it where Jim Harbaugh established himself as an elite coach, historically speaking, they were Michigan’s opponent in the first Rose Bowl.  Really it was the first bowl of any kind, played back in 1902 when they faced Fielding Yost’s undefeated, untied, unscored-upon squad in Pasadena.  The Indians as they were then known were pounded early and often by Yost’s point-a-minute wrecking crew.   With 8 minutes STILL left on the clock, Stanford tossed in the white towel and conceded the 49-0 defeat.
 
Nearly half a century later these two teams met again on October 4, 1947 this time against Fritz Crisler’s Mad Magicians.  Stanford wasn’t given the option to quit early this time, and Wolverines hung another 49 points, to Stanford’s 13 – in the 2nd game that year.  The ’47 season concluded with dominant victory over USC in the Rose Bowl that year prompted an unprecedented postseason AP vote, where Michigan was named national champion over <ahem>  Notre Dame. 
Fast forward to this day 45 years ago as Stanford visited Ann Arbor to face team 94.   Bo’s men kept with tradition and unleashed another beating on Stanford, this time 47-10 in the 1973 home opener.  Schembechler gave the ball to 5 different backs who pounded away nearly 250 yards on the ground.  Quarterback Dennis Franklin needed to put the ball in the air a mere 8 times as Michigan crushed the Cardinal.
 
1973 featured one of Bo’s finest teams and the year holds a special place in Wolverine Lore.  Franklin and crew finished the season undefeated with one tie – the epic 10-10 deadlock with #1 and undefeated Ohio State in The Game.   
In one of the most controversial moments in college football history, the tie prompted a vote of by the Big Ten athletic director to determine who should go to Pasadena.  Clearly influenced an injury to Dennis Franklin’s in the finale, along with an alleged nudge from conference commissioner Wayne Duke, the ADs voted to send Dr. Strangehayes and the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl.  Are you kidding me???
 
So which specific schools screwed over, I mean, voted against Michigan??   I wouldn’t be one to name names ( ahem – Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, Northwestern, and yes, Wisconsin (thanks former Michigan player Crazy Legs Hirsch) and Michigan State (thanks alot, Michigan grad Bert Smith)..
 
Elephants, Ufer, Dooley and the Meechigan faithful will NEVER FORGET.
 
Go Blue!! Beat the Huskers and for more check out MVictors.com and WTKA.com.  For the Key Bank Countdown to Kick-off, this is Greg Dooley.
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Cornhuskers Deliver the Royal Treatment (1911) http://mvictors.com/cornhusker-hospitality-in-1911/ http://mvictors.com/cornhusker-hospitality-in-1911/#comments Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:00:45 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=11526 [Ed. 9/18/2018…in honor of our friends from Lincoln returning to town a reminder of the over-the-top hospitality that our future conference mates gave us on the trip we (the team and the fans) made to Nebraska in 1911.  This was originally post in mgoblog’s HTTV 2011 as part of a Michigan Daily article blow-by-blow of the entire 1911 season.]

Cornhuskers hold Wildest Gridiron Jubilee in West [U-M Bentley/U-M Daily Digital Archives]

Week 8 vs. Nebraska (Lincoln) | November 25, 1911

With the great Penn win in the bank, Michigan looked ahead to the trip to face Nebraska.

On Fielding H. Yost’s Mind: Certainly Yost’s thoughts were on returning to Lincoln where he was head coach of the Cornhuskers in 1898. He led the team to an 8-3 record but moved on to Kansas following that season, then headed further west to coach at Stanford and San Jose State before ending up in Ann Arbor in 1901. In 1905 Yost crushed the Huskers 31-0 in Ann Arbor, near the conclusion of his the five year Point-A-Minute reign of terror.

Early in the week The Daily reported that Nebraska would treat the Michigan team and band to “a hearty reception” in Lincoln and they requested copies of all Michigan favorite songs (which were gathered up and sent on Monday the week of the game). The trip out west would take a couple days and the team headed to Chicago on Thursday and arrived in Lincoln Friday morning.

The Game: The Nebraska governor delivered an “exhibition kick-off” before the game, I assume a form of the old baseball honorary first pitch—something that I’d love to see return. (Imagine a mildly pickled Mike Wallace lining up and giving the pigskin a boot).

Michigan’s captain Conklin “saved the day” for the Wolverines, scoring U-M’s only touchdown by converting a blocked punt in the third quarter. After an exchange of punts, Nebraska tied the score and the game ended in a 6-6 deadlock.

The Daily added its maize-and-blue spin on the event reporting, “Outweighed, outlucked, and often outplayed, the Wolverines gave an exhibition of gameness and hard fighting that has never been seen in the west and won even the plaudits of the most loyal Cornhusker.”

In a generous extension of courtesy, the Nebraska folks invited the entire Michigan contingent: we’re talking faculty, alumni and students, to their Cornhuskers banquet.

“We were treated royally,” reported one attendee.

Off the Field:

  • It was reported that Nebraska also considered using “moving pictures” to cover the Michigan game as a means to advertise their school to folks around the country. I’m not sure this was ever done or if a copy exists.
  • A prevalent undercurrent during Michigan’s time as an independent involved the goings on in the Western conference and whether the Wolverines might return or if other schools might follow Michigan and break ties. In 1911 Minnesota signaled that they might be interested in getting the Wolverines back on the schedule, and the Daily speculated on the potential domino effect: “If Minnesota has offered a contract, the minute that Michigan accepts [Chicago’s] Stagg and his conference go up in a cloud of inglorious smoke.”
  • Western alumni groups tried to push for a Thanksgiving game at Colorado after the Nebraska game. The idea was Michigan simply wouldn’t come home from Lincoln—they’d just travel to Denver.   The administration squashed the idea.
  • On the train ride home from Lincoln, Captain Conklin went through the process of determining who on the team earned an ‘M’ letter, apparently a duty left to the captain each season. Those not earning the coveted M were issued a not-so-coveted ‘R’ as in “reserve” (and I imagine, co-ed Repellent).
  • On Tuesday of the following week, the team assembled for its annual postseason meeting and “Bottles” Thomson was selected at captain of the 1912 squad.   The team also gathered for the 1911 team photo which features captain Conklin cradling a painted ball that reads, “Michigan 11, Penn 9”.

With another football season gone and several months until Yost and crew returned to Whitmore Lake for summer camp, a Daily writer informed the students of the obvious: “the dull season of athletics has hit the university.”

Word.

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Sights & Sounds | Michigan 45, SMU 20 http://mvictors.com/sights-sounds-michigan-45-smu-20/ http://mvictors.com/sights-sounds-michigan-45-smu-20/#respond Sun, 16 Sep 2018 21:00:58 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=254071 This was a strange one at times.  Pregame Saturday had more of a feel of a true season opener as last week it felt like fans were still suffering over their hangover following the loss in South Bend.  The mood was up, the day was hot but beautiful and it just seemed more lively out there.  Then the game started and once again the fans got testy after a few stalled drives in a row, and a few instances where the offensive line seemed overwhelmed or at best, confused.  There were even a couple glaring defensive breakdowns.

More and more it does seems to be about what we thought it was – the offensive line. If there’s a shot at a truly great season it’s coming down to the in-season maturity of that group.  I’m certain the coaches are taking a hard look..like, this hard:

Bo glaring deep into the particulars [U-M Bentley Historical Library]

Jury’s out.

Sights and Sounds:

He Stayed.  That’s Michigan Man Dick Caldarazzo, offensive guard on Bo’s 1969 team, looking great in the blue lot before the game:

Forbidden fruit.  Each week this guy taunts the band as they march out of the stadium, imploring them to take a cookie.

Michigan Marching Band wants a cookie

“Take a cookie! You know you want one! Everybody loves cookies! Take a cookie!”

Of course your beloved Meechigan Marching Band is supposed to be in Queens guard mode and dutifully march on as if there were no cookies dangling inches away.  And yes, for the record I did see at least one gloved paw reach out and grab a cookie, but I’m not naming names (trombone).

Acing the Mace – Speaking of the band, much props to drum major McKenna Thayer Kelly Bertoni for the perfect mace toss over the crossbar as part of the pregame routine, clearly inspired by my encouragement following last week’s miss.

Mood.  Based on twitter feedback we’re hanging tight at 78.

What do you mean I’m a funny guy?  The Sklar brothers are back in town next week (Friday-Saturday at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase) and they recently joined Angelique on her new pod, worth a listen especially the part about Harbaugh about 40 minutes in:

[Harbaugh] said to us, “I don’t get it. Anytime I’m trying to be funny no one laughs.  And anytime I’m not trying to be funny everyone laughs.”  And Randy and I both laughed at that.  [Harbaugh] was like, “See..I wasn’t trying to be funny..”

Umm, yeah – that’s Harbaugh.  P.S., I’ll be at the Friday 10:30pm Sklar show handing out virtual helmet stickers.

You better don’t.  Dude, SMU’s head coach Sonny Dykes got hit with a 15 yard penalty pretty early in the game for saying something obviously pretty brutal to the officials.   He must have called the ref a thief??  Oh snap!

Three letter snark.  Michigan improved to 3-9 in their last 12 vs. teams with S, M and U in their initials.

Zip It or at least Note It.  There was a lot of hubbub about this:

OK, ok. Look I get this makes me look like history-snob guy but I maintain if you’re going to make this statement, and lots of people did, you have to note that there wasn’t a Big Ten in 1894.  Props to BTN’s Dave Revsine for doing as much on The Final Drive. And for the record, the non-conference team Akron beat in 1894 was Ohio State, and the Buckeyes were not a member of the conference until 1912.   Has anyone checked if Akron has played and defeated Chicago at any point since 1894?  OK now I’m done.

More Whiskey.  This game was looong man.  And that’s coming from a guy who watched from the pleasant climate-controlled confines of the press box.  I tweeted out this during one of the breaks and I got the sense that most don’t know what this is about:

Here’s the context if you need it, but in a nutshell we used to trot this fellow and watch him chase that ball and it was fun, man.  Let’s get a pooch out there again.

Go Blue, Follow MVictors on Twitter 

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We’re Keeping These http://mvictors.com/were-keeping-these/ http://mvictors.com/were-keeping-these/#respond Sun, 16 Sep 2018 15:14:00 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=254075 This week I posted the audio of Coach Moeller’s headset from The Catch in 1991 which happened 27 years ago this Friday.  In the backwash of Twitter reaction a gent replied with this…stadium signs apparently made back in ’91 that his roommate hung onto all these years:

First off, it’s so great that Desmond himself checked out the signs and loved it.  You have to wonder if this is actually the first time he’s seen them.

More importantly let’s break this down and talk about serious fandom.  No, I’m not talking about guys making signs for a football game in the early 1990s, but I’ll note that these are beyond commendable, and by the way, easy to read from a distance on TV thanks to the clear contrast and thick letters.  Well done.  But it’s not that.

Following the game in 1991, after crushing the postgame pizza & beers I imagine something like this was uttered: “dude, we gotta keep these signs!”   And they did.  For nearly three decades now and running. Rolled up in someone’s closet to the dismay of family and/or spouse and/or unenlightened friends & confused neighbors.  Through all of the awkward conversations about how it’s time to get rid of them.  Through the questions such as “what are you even going to DO with these things?“.  As if that matters to this guy.  It even survived after he read that damn magic of Tidyness book last year.

Through all the changes in life, each time he moved, the signs stayed with him.  And based on the pics, apparently cared-for, protected and preserved as if Greg Kinney was watching after them.  The guy is probably right around 50 now.  That’s fandom right there and I love it.

** Postscript  If you are puzzled on the “Magic’s Kingdom” reference, Magic was Desmond’s nickname back in the day.  I believe it started in high school in Ohio as #21 could handle his business both on the gridiron and on the basketball court.   I don’t think it had legs because you just don’t hear it today.  Perhaps it’s because former MSU hoops coach Jud Heathcote issued an omerta on it:

Gotta love Jud!

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Mustang Sally Champions | Dr. Sap’s Decals http://mvictors.com/mustang-sally-champions-dr-saps-decals/ http://mvictors.com/mustang-sally-champions-dr-saps-decals/#respond Sun, 16 Sep 2018 13:57:10 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=254065 Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis is a Schembechler-era savant and once again he’ll be diligently handing out his postgame helmet stickers after each game. Sap has pored over hours and hours of U-M games over several decades, and in these posts he’s able to tie the present to the past. I encourage you to subscribe to Dr. Sap on YouTube, or follow Sap on Twitter:

By Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

After a rough start to the game Michigan finally got it going, but for a while there I, like Bo, was mildly concerned after that scoreless first quarter.  The good guys eventually won so it’s onward, but not before we hand out some helmet stickers!

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – I thought TE Zach Gentry had a very good game, and he did have a career best performance, but when Donovan Peoples-Jones scores three TD’s, you gotta give the WR some love – and a helmet sticker!  After going almost an entire calendar year without a touchdown by a wide receiver, it looks like number 9 is getting more comfortable with his QB & improving each week – that bodes well for the Michigan offense.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – I’ve always felt that in sports, and in life, you should strive to not just be a contributor, but a difference-maker.  For the Michigan defense, they want to be known as “game-changers.” Well, that was never more evident than what Josh Metellus did on Saturday.  After he shook off a pass interference call, late in the 2nd quarter, he jumped a pass & took it to the house as time expired turning a potential one-score game into a two possession lead. Game-changer!

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – I’m gonna go with Quinn Nordin. He converted all of his PAT’s and he nailed a 45-yard field goal which looked like it would have been good from 65 yards! Before the season’s over, #3 is going to hit a game-winner!

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Calling ‘The Catch’ http://mvictors.com/calling-the-catch/ http://mvictors.com/calling-the-catch/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 18:02:30 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=254055 Reposting this based on Twitter love, here’s the audio of Gary Moeller’s headset calling the 4 & 1 play vs. Notre Dame in 1991 that resulted in Desmond Howard’s incredible catch.  This was originally posted by the U-M athletic department as part of the Under the Lights game program and collateral.  Love it.


For a detailed breakdown of this audio, check out my interview with Moeller where we walked through this…slowly…and he explained behind-the-scenes what all this stuff means, and what was going on. This post also bonus audio from Lou Holtz and his memories of the play via my man John Kryk.

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Yakety Sacks | This Week in Michigan Football History http://mvictors.com/yakety-sacks-this-week-in-michigan-football-history/ http://mvictors.com/yakety-sacks-this-week-in-michigan-football-history/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 16:01:43 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=254039 2007Crowe and SI redo via me (MVictors_, Hart in 300 via CC on Autumn Thunder

The Horror.
Sucks Unlimited

Michigan, a supposed national title contender is spinning out of control at 0-2.   Enter Charlie Weis and his 0-2 Fighting Irish and we had a media circus to witness the cripple fight.

Save us Russell Crowe!  Help me Tom Cruise Mike Hart!  Inspire us Bo!  Here’s Saturday’s edition of TWIMFbH

Ahh and here’s a look at Yakety Sacks:

Yakety Sacks aka “Jimmy Clausen for Heisman” #thebest

Listen to it “live” tomorrow afternoon on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM….or inside the Go Labatt Blue Victors Lounge!

 

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Moeller and Holtz Breaking Down The Catch | Notre Dame vs Michigan 1991 http://mvictors.com/moeller-and-holtz-breaking-down-the-catch/ http://mvictors.com/moeller-and-holtz-breaking-down-the-catch/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2018 04:31:00 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=36242

[Ed.  9/14/18 – Here’s a repost on the 27th anniversary of ‘The Catch’.  A thanks once again to Coach Moeller for sitting down and doing this, and of course Ira for the production.  Of course this doesn’t happen if the athletic department didn’t a) find this recording, and b) publish it as part of their package for the Under the Lights game, so cheers. 

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I was sitting in the student section for this game maybe 30 rows behind Moeller, I forget the section but call it 25-yard-ish as I was senior.   I’ve seen some great plays first hand in my day and this is certainly near or at the top of the list.  To be able to talk to Coach Moeller about it was a huge thrill… ]

Back in 2012 I sat inside the WTKA 1050AM studios with Coach Gary Moeller.  We talked about a few different things but primarily we sat and methodically mo catchstepped through the headset audio from The Catch (recall that the athletic department released it in 2011 in the ‘Under the Lights’ Notre Dame game program).

As a bonus – I’ve included a second clip of the man on the other side of the field.  Writer John Kryk interviewed Lou Holtz for his book Natural Enemies, the definitive tome on the U-M-ND rivalry, and he was kind enough to share this clip from his archives.  It’s Holtz discussing the defensive play call and their strategy.   It’s a little scratchy but I sent it over to Ira who cleaned it up a bit.

The Moeller clip is over 17 minutes long so give it a chance to load up and we cover just about everything that is said on the recording and more.  Holtz is just over a minute (that’s Kryk asking the questions).

A crude diagram:
The Catch options
What you can’t see is the Irish safety, who is back and over on the left side of the defense (toward Desmond) but immediately goes to double cover Howard when the ball is snapped.

Listening to the clips basically you learn that Notre Dame called the right defense to stop this, and more importantly, they successfully disguised the formation enough to get Grbac to believe ND would leave just a single defender on Desmond Howard (I love how Coach Lou calls him his full name) and thus call the pass.   If Elvis knew ND intended to swing the safety over to put double coverage on Howard, he would have checked to the 29 toss to Ricky Powers (or possibly the Caesar off tackle) to move the chains.   As Holtz said, they basically conceded the first down if Michigan ran the pigskin and you can see on the clip they would have struggled stopping the toss.

One thing I think Holtz denies or didn’t recall (or he’s just stubborn)—on the replay (see the endzone view later in the clip below) it does look like the Grbac pump does made the safety take a step in before adjusting and heading to the end zone to try to break up the play.  That change may have provided Desmond just enough of a window to make the play.

Either way, the bottom line here the Irish were in the right coverage but the execution of the pass and catch trumped the Notre Dame defense.

Video clip:

A big thanks to Ira for running the 1s and 2s, to Kryk for the Holtz clip and of course to Coach Moeller for walking through this with us.   Also thanks to pink shorts guy in the end zone:

pink shorts guy

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http://mvictors.com/moeller-and-holtz-breaking-down-the-catch/feed/ 3 36242 0:00:01 [Ed.  9/14/18 – Here’s a repost on the 27th anniversary of ‘The Catch’.  A thanks once again to Coach Moeller for sitting down and doing this, and of course Ira for the production.  Of course this doesn’t happen if the[...] [Ed.  9/14/18 – Here’s a repost on the 27th anniversary of ‘The Catch’.  A thanks once again to Coach Moeller for sitting down and doing this, and of course Ira for the production.  Of course this doesn’t happen if the athletic department didn’t a) find this recording, and b) publish it as part of their package for the Under the Lights game, so cheers.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I was sitting in the student section for this game maybe 30 rows behind Moeller, I forget the section but call it 25-yard-ish as I was senior.   I’ve seen some great plays first hand in my day and this is certainly near or at the top of the list.  To be able to talk to Coach Moeller about it was a huge thrill… ] Back in 2012 I sat inside the WTKA 1050AM studios with Coach Gary Moeller.  We talked about a few different things but primarily we sat and methodically stepped through the headset audio from The Catch (recall that the athletic department released it in 2011 in the ‘Under the Lights’ Notre Dame game program). As a bonus – I’ve included a second clip of the man on the other side of the field.  Writer John Kryk interviewed Lou Holtz for his book Natural Enemies, the definitive tome on the U-M-ND rivalry, and he was kind enough to share this clip from his archives.  It’s Holtz discussing the defensive play call and their strategy.   It’s a little scratchy but I sent it over to Ira who cleaned it up a bit. The Moeller clip is over 17 minutes long so give it a chance to load up and we cover just about everything that is said on the recording and more.  Holtz is just over a minute (that’s Kryk asking the questions). A crude diagram: What you can’t see is the Irish safety, who is back and over on the left side of the defense (toward Desmond) but immediately goes to double cover Howard when the ball is snapped. Listening to the clips basically you learn that Notre Dame called the right defense to stop this, and more importantly, they successfully disguised the formation enough to get Grbac to believe ND would leave just a single defender on Desmond Howard (I love how Coach Lou calls him his full name) and thus call the pass.   If Elvis knew ND intended to swing the safety over to put double coverage on Howard, he would have checked to the 29 toss to Ricky Powers (or possibly the Caesar off tackle) to move the chains.   As Holtz said, they basically conceded the first down if Michigan ran the pigskin and you can see on the clip they would have struggled stopping the toss. One thing I think Holtz denies or didn’t recall (or he’s just stubborn)—on the replay (see the endzone view later in the clip below) it does look like the Grbac pump does made the safety take a step in before adjusting and heading to the end zone to try to break up the play.  That change may have provided Desmond just enough of a window to make the play. Either way, the bottom line here the Irish were in the right coverage but the execution of the pass and catch trumped the Notre Dame defense. Video clip: A big thanks to Ira for running the 1s and 2s, to Kryk for the Holtz clip and of course to Coach Moeller for walking through this with us.   Also thanks to pink shorts guy in the end zone: Follow MVictors on Twitter 2012 MVictors.com: Michigan Football Blog no no
A Banner Day – Bronco Champions | Dr. Sap’s Decals http://mvictors.com/a-banner-day-bronco-champions-dr-saps-decals/ http://mvictors.com/a-banner-day-bronco-champions-dr-saps-decals/#respond Sun, 09 Sep 2018 15:09:38 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=254010 Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis is a Schembechler-era savant and once again he’ll be diligently handing out his postgame helmet stickers after each game. Sap has pored over hours and hours of U-M games over several decades, and in these posts he’s able to tie the present to the past. I encourage you to subscribe to Dr. Sap on YouTube, or follow Sap on Twitter:

By Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

I’m still on cloud nine after today – and it wasn’t the fact that Michigan responded with a decisive win.  I’ll explain my euphoric state shortly, but first things, first – let’s award some helmet stickers!

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – If Bo Schembechler were still around, he would have said that, “Michigan played like Michigan, today!” The old coach would have been right, once again.

The offense looked sharp, decisive and confident. None more than the QB, Shea Patterson, in my opinion. Not only did he throw three TD’s, he displayed tremendous ball accuracy & placement with his throws and he looked much more comfortable running the offense this week against Western Michigan. I get it, WMU is no ND, but Bo always said that a TEAM improves the most from the first game to the second and that sure was the case today. It was great to see #2 put the ball right on the money on almost all his throws today. I have a feeling he’s only going to get better!

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – I thought the interception by Noah Furbush came at a critical time when Western Michigan had a chance to keep the game close. Instead, his pick set up another Michigan score that put the Wolverines up, 21-0 and that was the ballgame. You can “Solve Your Problems With Agression,” as well as making timely interceptions!  Well done #59 – helmet sticker for you!

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – It may sound strange, but I’m gonna go with kickoff specialist, Jake Moody. Every single one of his kickoffs was a 1970s aluminum beer can – non-returnable (that was before the 10 cent deposit came into play). You can never under estimate the value and importance of consistently kicking the ball deep on kickoffs and not allowing your opponent to have momentum swing in their favor by returning one the distance, like Michigan did last week against Notre Dame. Making your opponent drive 75 yards to score against Don Brown’s Dudes is an uphill climb, to be sure!

THE BANNER – On Saturday, I had the distinct privilege and honor (along with Seth Fisher from MGoBlog) of holding up the coveted M GO BLUE M CLUB banner. It was amazing and a thrill I will never forget!  The adrenaline I had running on to the field to prop up the banner was incredible!  The band was playing, the crowd of over 110,000 was roaring and there I was at midfield setting up the banner!  The banner that Woody Hayes and company tore down in 1973 and tried unsuccessfully to do it again in 1977. The banner that Charles Woodson and that national championship team ran under in 1997. THAT banner!

Twenty years ago I was there when, before the Syracuse game of 1998, the banner was stolen and the M-Men had to run under a make-shift blue nylon sheet. So to be there at Michigan Stadium on Saturday and help hold up the banner was just…AWESOME!!! It was great to see the M Club Banner Crew members spring into action and get things going when we got our queue to take the field. But a couple of unforeseen obstacles had to be over come by the group before the football team came roaring out of the tunnel.

For those of you who were there on Saturday, while it might have initially looked chaotic [Ed. Yes, it did Sap!], things were under control. First off, the banner was not folded up the night before by the M Club Banner Crew in the manner it was supposed to be. That resulted in a different disposition of the banner when it was unfurled.

The GO BLUE - M CLUB SUPPORTS YOU banner

Sorting out the banner [photo: Dr. Sap]

Once that was resolved, the banner crew looked to orient the poles in their customary locations. That was where the second issue arose. Because the stadium had new field-turf installed this summer, the block M seemed to be different in size. This caused the customary landmarks for pole-placement to be off. Once the banner crew recognized that difference, adjustments were made and the banner was fully upright and ready for the Wolverines to take the field.

Look at these studs! [photo: Bryan Fuller]

Next thing I knew, the maize and blue came roaring past me to jump up and slap the banner – the beacon of Michigan Football – that I was now holding up. Soo cool!

[Ed. I love the breakdown Sap!  For what it’s worth, a vid I took years ago of the players flying by]:

 

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Sights & Sounds | Michigan 49, Western Michigan 3 http://mvictors.com/sights-sounds-michigan-49-western-michigan-3/ http://mvictors.com/sights-sounds-michigan-49-western-michigan-3/#respond Sat, 08 Sep 2018 23:32:34 +0000 http://mvictors.com/?p=253992 The gist: A complete, all-cylinders win against a 28-point underdog doesn’t do much, but there’s something.  After the mess last week a game like that muffles the notion that this team might be going sideways and it restores a bit of the hope that you had preseason.  Based on what he did out there, it should also build your confidence that Shea Patterson is indeed a guy who could lead this team to good things in the big games.

Mood:  Despite that most M fans would trade blowing the doors off a team like Western Michigan for a third down conversion in a big game, it still feels good.  “Mood” creeps up a couple slots:

meta: Based on popular demand I added the little indicator arrows to represent where the mood was adjusted from the prior week (if applicable), and the mood history for the current season at the bottom.  As always thanks to Scott @TheBlockhams for the faces.

Uncharmed Start:  For the superstitious among us, a couple things had you reaching for the rabbit’s foot:

  • First off, I love the voice of stadium PA man Carl Grapentine, but he fumbled his traditional opening line when he wished the stadium “Good Afternoon“.  It was well before kickoff and thus several minutes before noon.  As many of you know Mr. Grapentine typically makes the distinction to welcome you ‘Good Morning’.
  • It happens occasionally, but after new drum major Kelly Bertoni did a perfect backbend, she short-tossed the mace.  It doinked the cross bar and thumped to the turf.  Instant analysis>>  you can practice the backbend in your apartment, the diag, at Rick’s (a real crowd pleaser that gets you free drinks if I’m tending bar)…but it’s tough to find a place to simulate the mace toss over the goal posts in front of 100,000 folks.  She’ll learn from this and get it done next week, count on it.  P.S.  How long has the drum major been doing the mace toss?  I’m not exactly sure, but here’s an amazing pic from the 1933 Cornell game [Bentley]:

  • Finally, many who walked into the game at Stadium & Main were welcomed by this jaundiced-eyed fellow:

Sticker Shock:  No confirmed changes this week from the last year’s home ensemble, but the helmet stickers deserve note again on these pages.  Last week was the first time stickers appeared before the season (and this is recorded on the Timeline).  Based on a scan of the helmets on Saturday, it appears as though no player received a single helmet sticker following the loss to the Irish.   Jeez.

Here’s Bo getting generous with the helmet stickers in September 1969 [Bentley Historical Library]

This is the first time since Harbaugh brought the decals back that there’s been a team-wide sticker shutout.  That won’t be the case after this game, as the decal factory added a third shift to meet demand.

Columns:  There are a series of former Michigan stars honored inside the concourse in tastefully-done displays.  I like it. Yes, they include advertising but that’s not new, and it’s only inside the concourse so live with it.  More here including a list of the players honored.

Banner:  Props to the great Dr. Sap and Seth Fisher of mgoblog for joining the crew that raised the coveted M CLUB banner!  Here’s Sap warming up:

Banner Part II – Electric Boogaloo: This was new this year as well, as the students unwound this beauty:

Hey that’s cool.  I added in the ‘under review’ section of Michigan Football Traditions (it needs to last a few seasons before getting elevated).  I like this a lot but really would have dug it if they pulled out this beauty:

 

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