President Ford has been honored quite a few times by U-M over the years. Along with his team MVP after the 1934 season, his #48 jersey was retired in 1994 and of course it will be put back on the field Saturday as part of the Michigan Football Legends program.
If you follow this site you know that 1934 is arguably the worst (and perhaps most controversial) in Michigan history but clearly Ford kept things in perspective. In a speech to the U-M Club in March 1975, he recalled, “ was the year we lost seven out of eight of our scheduled games. But you know, what really hurt me the most was when my teammates voted me their most valuable player. I didn’t know whether to smile or sue.”
But the ‘34 MVP wasn’t the first honor Ford received while at U-M. During his freshman year of 1931-32, he received a different but quite prestigious honor. On May 12, 1932 Ford won the Chicago Alumni Award (now the Meyer Morton Award) as the player who showed the most promise during the lengthy spring drills (which lasted all the way from early March to early May). Ford edged out classmates Russell Oliver and Willis Ward to earn the honor.
As mentioned the award is still given out today but receives quite a bit less fanfare. This spring the Meyer Morton was apparently given to DE Brennen Beyer, but I don’t believe there was any official announcement or press release by the athletic department. I only noticed the other day that Beyer is currently listed on the historical rundown of the winners on the official site.
In 1932 the speculation of who might win the honor earned a piece in the Michigan Daily, and the announcement on May 13, 1932 was worthy of a full length headline..
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