05. April 2015 · 1 comment · Categories: 2015



To those who attended, that had a game day feel, didn’t it?   Now we need to convince Ira, Sam and Steve to prop up the Victors Lounge tent in 2016 and we’ll be all set. 

As far as the game, sure, the offense was lackluster overall but given they drafted “even” and didn’t protect the quarterbacks, I don’t think a shoot-out was in the cards.  Speaking of QBs, I was impressed with Malzone but I’d go with Morris if the season started tomorrow if you asked me to put the ol’ depth chart up on the ol’ wall.

A few sights and sounds:


Carr Mo Harbs

Carr/Mo:  It was very cool to have Carr and Moeller as honorary captains and, as we learned later, have them draw a few trick plays.

Band: Another nice touch that gave the day a game day feel was the band, though seated, rolling through the pregame song sequence.

Uniform Update:  I won’t call it Uniform Timeline worthy (beyond what is already there), but there was no Legends patch on the #48 jersey.  My $.02: until they make it official, leave the patch on the jersey.

While there were seemingly no major uniform reveals out there (not even a spring game patch like the last few years) I did love seeing the GO BLUE-tongued shoes on a few of the guys:

GO BLUE kicks

Can’t Wait: I got a close up look at Ty Issac before the game and the dude is an absolute house – I can’t wait to see this beast carry the pigskin:

IMG_4692 x

Git-R-done:  File under FWIW.  The media used to wait around a good 15 minutes or so after they were seated for Brady Hoke and IIRC, RichRod, to start their postgame press conferences.  If the Q&A Saturday sounded a bit odd, my man Harbaugh was at the podium before really anyone from the press box made it downstairs and sat down. 

Bowl Half Empty:  Who cares?  But ok I’ll bite. Calling the bowl 100,000, the question comes down to whether the bowl was half full.  Keeping in mind that everyone is jammed in there for games, I say it was not quite half capacity.  I’d call it 45K– but I could be sold on 10K in either direction.  But..

Photo Apr 06, 12 42 19 PM

..then again Bacs (who was back in the press box and not in the thin air of row D) says I’m on crack.

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imageMaully in 1915 team photo | Bentley Library

From reader and memorabilia collector Mark Bomia:

Over the last couple years I acquired the entire John Maulbetsch estate. Maully was an All-American halfback for Michigan in 1914 and member of the College HOF. Some of these items, like most of his scrapbooks, I’ve donated to Bentley Library.

One of the coolest pieces I still possess is Maully’s 1914 All-American ring, given to him by the “Ann Arbor Boys” in December 1914 when he was selected by Walter Camp. It is a gold ring with a .7 carat diamond with a block M on one side and “AA” on the other. The band has a congratulating inscription.

Let me know if this is something your readers may enjoy. I can send pics, if interested.

Naturally I wanted to see the pics – pretty sweet:

Maully's rings

Bomia later shared, “The ring is 14k gold with a .7 carat VSI, D color diamond. The inscription on the inner band states ‘To Maully Maulbetsch from the Ann Arbor Boys Dec 1914.’  I’ve also included a signed letter from Yost congratulating Maully on his AA selection..”

Here’s the letter from Yost, congratulating him on the All-American selection and urging him to expand his skillset “I am anxious to have you punt and drop kick and practice catching punts when you can” for the upcoming season.  It was sent from the law offices of his brother-in-law Dan McGugin:

letter Cheers to Bomia for sending this along !  This is an awesome slice of U-M lore.


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31. March 2015 · Comments Off on Yost on Drinking at Games: Inconceivable! · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , , ,

On eBay right now, this –> a series of football ticket applications from the early 1930s, with one including this message from #1000SSS from The Grand Old Man himself:

Yost and drinkers

This wasn’t the only time that Yost spearheaded a message on the ills of drinking at games during this era.  Back in 2008 I noted this cartoon that appears in the 1934 yearbook:

drunkWhile we know folks found a way to drink during Prohibition, the law ended with ratification of the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933.  That said, Michigan state law approved the sale of 3.2 percent alcohol earlier that year and I’m sure more than a few bottles of the good stuff found their way to and through the gates of Michigan Stadium.


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30. March 2015 · Comments Off on I dub thee, “Hoss” · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , ,

A nice little sequence, in two parts, from the Dr. Sap Archives.   Sap takes you to the 1991 Ohio State game, as called by ABC’s Keith Jackson:

Part I – Matt Elliott wants to be a Hoss:

Part II – Matt Elliott is a Hoss:


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30. March 2015 · Comments Off on Legends Update · Categories: 2015 · Tags: ,

BennieBen  McCready and Captain Jake Ryan

As a follow-up to my post from this weekend on the potential changes to the Legends program, today I chatted with Ben McCready, godson (and namesake) of Bennie Oosterbaan.  Ben confirmed that Jim Hackett called him about the Legends program.  A few notes:

  • Nothing is official, but U-M is indeed evaluating the Legends program and considering changes.
  • The evaluation is being driven, in part, by feedback from the players.
  • McCready’s understanding is that they do intend to maintain the Legends distinction, but are considering honoring those players in a different way.
  • All options are on the table including a presence in the stadium to recognize the Legends. 
  • Hackett is soliciting input from the Legends/families and has already connected with one other Legend/family.  Hackett will be talking with all the Legends families and keeping everyone in the loop as this moves forward.
  • Timeline is TBD, but McCready’s understanding is that they plan to settle this before the season starts.

McCready also told me, “I trust Jim Hackett completely,” and added, “I am very confident that everyone – the players, the fans and the Legends families, will be very happy with the way this all turns out.”


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Helmet Decals

So word is out that the helmet decals will return and the Legends program will be modified in some manner, starting with the patch on the jersey.  Bacs:

bacs tweet

Regarding the helmet stickers:  I’m not surprised (my spies confirmed a lot of chatter weeks ago) and you can imagine that I’m pretty jacked up and looking forward to the decal reveal. I’d prefer a replica or close variation of the Bo-era decals, but I’d go with a block M or whatever.  I know Dr. Sap has a few ideas that we’ll reveal down the road.  Heck, I’d even go with this design if it would mean cheaper tickets & Twizzler prices:Im loving it

On the Legends jerseys, I’ll start with Bacon’s tweet.  I think he’s probably right that Canham or Bo wouldn’t have been crazy about the concept, but I wonder if they would be ok with unwinding this (at least the jersey portion) after it was already unveiled. 

I need more info on what exactly happening here, but I really like the Legends program including the patch on the jersey.  Whether you like the aesthetics of the patch or not, what this concept did was bring these great players to the forefront and got people (people other than yrs truly) talking about them again.  Dave Brandon had to sell the families of those who had previously retired jersey numbers to bring them back on the field, so now what?  

Legends Program Montage(Bennie McCready & Jake Ryan | Ox Wistert | Mark Harmon)

I know that the athletic department has at least tried to reach out to certain family members of Legends recently I assume to, ahem, talk this through.

I think the biggest problem with the Legends program is that it became a burden on the coaching staff to dole out these jerseys to the “right” player and they felt obligated to include the families as much as possible.  It was probably easier to not bother.  My take, and what I’d sell to the families—just let the coach decide who gets the jersey and leave it at that.  If the designated player and the families form a relationship after that, all the better, but I wouldn’t ask the coaches to work all that out ahead of time.  To Desmond, one of the living Legends (along with Ox Wistert), I’d say the same thing – don’t worry about whether the player “earned” the right to wear #21, just let the coaches assign the number and that’s that.  It should be an honor to Desmond that his name is on any jersey on the sideline.    This bureaucratic burden was why RichRod buried the #1 jersey. 

So, before I blast away any further I’ll chill until I hear more.  My questions — Do the special Legends lockers in the stadium go away?  Does the section of the Towsley museum carved out for the Legends vanish?   Of course the biggest question – do the previously retired jerseys go back in the vault?

No matter what, looks like we’ll have some interesting tweaks to the Uniform Timeline this fall.


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Coach Harbaugh recently sent this tweet lauding a few great nicknames in M lore – and as you might guess most of them fall into the Bo era.  With some help from Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis and a few of his contacts, a nickname Rosetta Stone of sorts on that tweet:


One of the great M Men who was quick to dish out nicknames was of course the great announcer Bob Ufer.  Back in 2012 Sap ran down a healthy list of his nicknames and Ufer-isms that seems apropos:

Below are a few of the more famous nicknames from Bob “THE UFE” Ufer:

* Don Lund (Ufer’s color commentary man) – Lundo
* Jack Lane (Ufer’s stats man) – The Human Computer
* Tom Ufer – Old #3 son
* Bo Schembechler – Bo “George Patton” Schembechler, The General
* Woody Hayes – Dr. Strange Hayes
* Woody Hayes’s Buckeyes – Test Tubes
* Earle Bruce – “Darth Vader” Bruce
* Earle Bruce’s Buckeyes – Scarlet and Gray Stormtroopers
* Dan Devine – Dreary Old Dan Devine
* Michigan State – Jolly Green Giants
* Dennis Franklin – Dennis “The Menace” Franklin
* Ed Shuttlesworth – “Easy” Ed Shuttlesworth
* Mike Lantry – Super Toe
* Gil Chapman – The Jersey Jet
* Gordon Bell – The Whirling Dervish
* Rob Lytle – The Blonde Bullet, The Fremont Flash
* Rick Leach – Ricky “The Peach” Leach, The Flint Phenom, The Guts and Glue of the Maize and Blue
* Russell Davis – Russell “Hustle” Davis
* Harlan Huckleby – Harlan “Huckleberry Finn” Huckleby
* U-M’s 1978 Backfield – Huckleberry Finn deep and Tom Sawyer close
* Thomas Seabron – Old Sea Dog
* Mike Jolly – Butterknife, Bones
* Chris Godfrey – “Manster”  (half Man, half Monster)
* Ron Simpkins – Boo Bear
* Curtis Greer – Curtis “Harvey Martin” Greer
* Roosevelt Smith – Roosevelt “Rosey” Smith
* Bryan Virgil – Bryan “Ozzie” Virgil
* Lawrence Reid – Lawrence “LP” Reid
* John Wangler – Johnny “Winging” Wangler
* Mel Owens – The Hulk
* Mike Trgovac – Tiger Vac
* Anthony Carter – Spider, Darter, Sparkplug, the Human Torpedo and of course just, “AC.”
* Robert Thompson – Robert “Bubba Baker” Thompson
* Butch Woolfolk – “My name is Butch, don’t call me Harold, Woolfolk!”
* Steve Smith – Smitty

And because you can’t have one without the other, here are a few common but classic phrases frequently uttered by ol’ Ufe:

* Referees – $100 an hour men
* Michigan Stadium – The Hole that Yost dug, Crisler paid for and Canham carpeted
* Michigan’s Tartan Turf – Canham’s Carpet
* Ohio Stadium – The Snakepit
* Ohio Stadium Crowd – 10,000 Michigan fans and 75,000 Truck Drivers
* The Little Brown Jug – The Finest Piece of Football Crockery in America
* Offensive Co-Ordinator Chuck Stobart’s Offense – Stobart’s Stallions
* Jerry Hanlon’s O-Line – Hanlon’s Hustlers
* Gary Moeller’s Offense – Moeller’s Marauders
* Bill McCartney’s Defense – McCartney’s Monsters
* Michigan Football – “Football is a religion and Saturday is the Holy Day of Obligation”
* The CBs of Michigan Football – “Crisler, Benny, Bump and Bo”
* Ali Haji-Shiekh – “the only Iranian I know who wears cowboy boots”
* Out of the endzone kickoffs – “Aluminum Beer Cans – Non-Returnable”
* “Closer than fuzz on a gnat’s eye “
* “Like a bat out of … you know where bats come from”
* “Pickin’ ‘em up and layin’ ‘em down”
* Two things you can always count on Ufer saying: football is a game of emotions, and games are always won or lost up front in the trenches.


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