SAE dominated FIJI 30-12 in balmy conditions down on the corner of South University and Washtenaw on Saturday morning.   When they announced the game was moved to November naturally I assumed it would be frigid and it turned out to be one of the nicest mornings for a Mud Bowl in memory.

The event once again benefitted Mott Children’s Hospital and no doubt raised quite a bit of money based on the crowd and the sponsors.

Thanks to Geoff Voss for providing these, more later. 


SAE Mud Bowl 2012 - Michigan - photo via Geoff Voss


SAE Mud Bowl 2012 - Michigan - photo via Geoff Voss Holding?  Loosely enforced in the Mud Bowl


SAE Mud Bowl 2012 - Michigan - photo via Geoff VossGlad they added a scoreboard.  The most common question at previous Mud Bowls: “When do the girls play?”   The second most common question, “What’s the score?”


SAE Mud Bowl 2012 - Michigan - photo via Geoff VossFlop around in some frigid mud?  No problemo.   But, “Ewww, keep that damp dirty towel away!”


SAE Mud Bowl 2012 - Michigan - photo via Geoff Voss


SAE Mudbowl 2010 – Photo Gallery
SAE Mud Bowl 2009: Recap & Photos
Mud Bowl 2008: SAE Rolls (photos, video)


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  1. The Mudbowl is No Longer a Mudbowl: I’ll take a somewhat contrarian view here, as one who has watched the Mudbowl over many years now, going back to 1957 or so. (And I recognize that this is an issue of major national and regional import.)

    When I was a kid I lived four blocks away, and many times we’d hang around at SAE, both the night before, and the morning of, the Mudbowl, to watch — and help with — the prep. The brothers – who always treated us great, year-round (even after the time we got caught, years later while in high school, breaking into the house) were VERY concerned about getting the right “balance” in the bowl, by maximizing the mud, without entirely flooding the bowl. No one wanted it to be a large swimming pool. I guess you could say they were mud artists.

    Now days it’s alot closer to being a large backyard wading pool. The game’s alot different, maybe the pool minimizes the effect of skill.

    SAE needs to rush a Mud Artist or two.

    [Don’t get me wrong — the Mudbowl’s still a great thing, maybe still alot closer to what Michigan football was back in the 1890s when the varsity’s playing field was at Burns Park.]

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  3. I too liked the thick gooey mud that slowed running. Early games were played on whatever surface condition nature provided, only muddy if it rained. In some of the 70’s, the field was flooded many feet, then drained. Each generation makes the event their own.

  4. The Mud Bowl exhibited more football skill in past years when the entire “field” was not underwater. This is the history of 64 year Mud Bowl rivalry between PDT v SAE from the perspective of Phi Delta Theta (

  5. @PDT PDT — great photos! Was there any particular reason that the PDT v SAE element of the game disappeared? — did PDT engage in “excessive celebration” or something?
    [Also, do the Phi Delts still have a St Bernard dog? — when I went to Angell Elementary School, up back of the Phil Delt house, they always had a St Bernard – a massive, lovable oaf, but we hated him because he’d tend to show up out of the blue at our daily before-school soccer games on the asphalt field there, chase after the ball , and then when he got it, he’d open his big jaw and chomp his big teeth into it, and the ball would deflate with a loud hiss. Game over. We went through alot of balls that way. My memory is the Phi Delts had some kind of agreement with Ms Junquist, our principal, to pay for replacements.]

  6. @Wm Wilson
    Phi Delt lost their charter in 1997, so they lost their status as a fraternity. SAE opened it up in 1998.

    Phi Delt also doesn’t have a dog any more, we have a couple guys in the house allergic, so we can’t really have one. We have had a few throughout our history, if you check out those pictures of mud bowl, there is one of all the guys in front of the house with a Dalmatian named Michelob of Bavaria.

  7. Back in the mid-seventies we would rototill the entire field, flood it for a week, and drain it in the wee hours the day of the game.

  8. I have a few good pix from the 1975 game, the last year the meter cheater worked so that the hoses were on all week. The SAE opponent is determined on the field by a tournament, the entry fees are part of the funds raised for Mott.

  9. @PDT
    I saw Michelob there in that photo — I bet Stroh’s loved that name. Too bad we can’t hear from one of the current SAEs about the swimming pool vs. mud issue. I think I need to get Tom Hayden and the SDS onto this issue. And get you Phi Delts a big bottle of Claritin and a new St. Bernard.

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