Did you know it was 75 years ago Saturday that it was announced Tom Harmon had won the Heisman Trophy? Indeed, back then they voted, announced the winner and held a ceremony to honor the recipient at a later date. So Saturday’s edition of #TWIMFbH talks a little about Old 98 and his finer moments on the gridiron (and off):
Yes, in the radio clip I said Harmon “gave birth”. Ira busted my chops after that and wouldn’t let me edit it (to say “sired” or “fathered” which is probably a little more accurate, although I wouldn’t be against Harmon in life).
You can listen to all 6 years of This Week In Michigan Football History here. And don’t forget to catch the whole KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff on WTKA 1050AM starting at 8am tomorrow, and of course live in the Bud Light Victors Lounge across from the Stadium on Main Street. See you out there.
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Well here were are, another regular season comes to an end as we face the Buckeyes in “The Game”. Today we honor so many great names in Meeechigan lore as we re- re-tire many jersey numbers, including the iconic Old 98 that was once on the back of the great Tom Harmon.
Did you know it was on this day in 1940 that Tom Harmon won the Heisman Trophy? He was the first Michigan man to be claim the honor, but the announcement wasn’t a major surprise. The Heisman capped a brilliant career in Ann Arbor as Michigan Terrible Tommy did a little bit of everything – He rushed for over 2,000 yards, completed 100 passes for 1,300 yards yards, starred on defense and handled kicking duties. He twice led the nation in scoring 2 years in a row, a feat that has yet to be repeated.
The 1940 season was particularly epic for Old 98 – start to finish. It began on the road at Cal, where Tom took the opened kick back 94 yards to the house, and accounted for 5 TDs. On one run eluded 12, yes 12, Cal defenders, as after weaving his way through the Bear defense he had to juke a drunk Cal fan to get into the endzone.
In his final game at Michigan, Harmon achieved arguably the greatest gridiron feat in history in the 40-0 victory at Ohio State. 98 tallied three rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns, four extra points, three interceptions and three punts that averaged 50 yards. At the end of the game he received a standing ovation from the crowd in Columbus. After the game Buckeye coach Francis Schmidt, the man who created the “gold pants” tradition, was told to resign or be fired. He resigned.
Of course ever the Michigan man, after college Harmon, ahem, married a Hollywood starlet, served as a decorated fighter pilot during World War II, played in the NFL, became a legendary sportscaster, and gave birth sired(!) the handsomest man in the world.
Go Blue! Beat the Buckeyes and if you need more, go to MVictors.com and WTKA.com – for the KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff this is Greg Dooley.