Iowa vs. Michigan 1900
Of the Michigan football fans that give a damn about the history of the program, these are typically broken into two groups: those that cherish the program as they know it during their lifetime or thereabouts, often starting with the Bo era in 1969.  And then there’s those who go deep, usually back to Yost’s first season in Ann Arbor in 1901.  You’ll notice there are only a few pre-Yost posts on these pages.

Looking at Iowa, one thing that’s kind of curious is that despite their long history of playing Michigan (starting in 1900) and their involvement in our league (they joined the Western Conference in that same year), we’re really not stacked with a bevy of major moments in history that would yield a rivalry with the Hawkeyes, although there are certainly important ties between our programs.

Take Forest Evashevski, the coach that delivered Iowa’s only recognized national championship in 1958 (a postseason vote by the writers after the 8-1-1 Hawkeyes delivered a dominating performance in their bowl), who played for Fritz Crisler’s Wolverines.  Evashevski is remembered by many as the man who helped lead Tom Harmon to the Heisman Trophy in 1940 as a “devastating blocker” per his college football Hall of Fame profile.

Today our rivalry with Iowa ranks somewhere buried beneath Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Penn State and even Wisconsin in that strata that probably includes teams like Illinois and maybe lately, Northwestern.

Reaching back to the game that started it all in 1900 I found some interesting stuff.   This was of course the season before Yost stepped foot on campus and just as with the ‘68 team that Bump Elliott delivered to Bo, the cupboard wasn’t exactly bare.   In fact ‘00 captain Neil Snow was an All-American on Yost’s 1901 team that outscored opponents 555-0.

The 1900 campaign started off with six straight wins heading into the first meeting with the team from Iowa.  The game was played at Bennett Park, the early home of the Detroit Tigers at the famed corner of Michigan and Trumbull, the future home of Tiger Stadium.

Iowa won the game 28-5 and I’m just going to let you partake in a little turn-of-the-twentieth century beauty put down in print by a writer at the Detroit Free Press:

The visitors were a most gentlemanly set of young giants, though anything but gentle when in action. They showed magnificent education and training from the tips of their long scalp locks to the soles of their perniciously active feet. Their brains worked like greased lightning set to clock-work. They were shrewder than a strategy board and could mobilize in less time than is employed in an owl’s wink. When they charged it was like a bunch of wing-footed elephants, and when they tackled one of the enemy it was like the embrace of a grizzly. They could kick harder than a gray mule with years of experience, and with the accuracy of a globe-sight rifle.

Get a bunch of rooms, old time Freep dude.

And when the Iowa team returned to Iowa City, well, they found good times along with a small bit of crime and some damage:

The things that happened…that night are written in the books. When our train reached Iowa City…, every person in town was there. A farmer was just driving in with a load of shelled corn. The boys confiscated it and filled their pockets and hats with it. [Ed. Corn was a hot commodity in Iowa?]

We were thrown up on a Tally Ho that was pulled by students with a rope a block long. There was a bonfire on the field. The boys pulled President MacLean and faculty out of their buggies and carried them in a dance around the fire. The president’s hair was singed.

The fire’s heat was so intense that plate glass windows cracked and for a time, it looked as if the flames were threatening an entire block of the business district.

Then they ran to the field and painted the opponent’s locker room pink.

07. November 2016 · Comments Off on Another Fritz Fixer-Upper (1938) | This Week In Michigan Football History · Categories: 2016

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For Saturday’s This Week in Michigan Football History we headed back 78 years to 1938, the year Fritz Crisler made his coaching debut in Ann Arbor.  Fritz was brought in to do a fixer-upper, as the Harry Kipke-era left the program in a shambles:

As always, this segment appears on 1050AM WTKA and 1330AM WTRX’s epic KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff prior to each game.  During home games you can hear it live inside the Go Labatt Blue Light Victors Lounge starting 4 hours prior to kickoff.  Go Blue!

You can listen to all of This Week in Michigan Football History clips here.

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script after the jump:

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06. November 2016 · Comments Off on Almost Point-A-Minute | Dr. Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2016

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Here are the Decal Champions for week 10 by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – After coming off an emotional win against your in-state rival, this game with Maryland had all the makings of a trap game if Michigan was looking ahead to Iowa on the road next week. So how did the Wolverines respond?  They pulled an Arby’s and went Five for 5 on their first half possessions and ended any speculation about an emotional let-down or an eye on the Hawkeyes.  Bob Ufer used to say, “Victory has a thousand fathers, while defeat is an orphan.” While there is plenty of credit to be spread around for this win, I will start with Wilton Speight.  My gosh does he look in command!  He is making all the throws and even channeled a little Ricky Leach by running/jumping for a touchdown:

speight-jumpmanArtwork: @candor_for_sale (inspired by E. Upchurch photo)

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – I thought Ben Gedeon matched up well against the Terrapins in the run game and made some big stops to end a couple of Maryland drives.  That appears to be his strong suit so hopefully #42 can start to settle in and continue to do that for the balance of the year.  The Michigan Defense is going to need him down the stretch.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Once again, Kenny Allen was solid in everything he did. Nice to have him back to his old, reliable self. Upsets typically happen because the favored teams make mistakes that allow the underdogs to stay in the game and make a big play. Those plays typically happen in the kicking game, but #91 is rock-solid right now and not allowing that to happen.

COACHING CHAMPION – Think back to all those times we all criticized the previous Michigan coaching staffs for being too predictable on offense. Whether it was personnel, or down and distance, it seemed liked we ALL knew what play was going to be run when say, Carl Tabb came into the game (running play), or whoever. As I watched the Wolverine offense execute on Saturday, I was amazed at how creative, and different each play and drive was. When you thought they would run on 3rd or 4th & short, the Michigan offensive coaches threw the ball. They totally kept Maryland of guard and, save the one pass play to Jabrill Peppers on 4th down, they were almost perfect on Saturday. I get it – Maryland is still a basketball school – but the Maize and Blue did not play down to their competition – another trait of the Michigan offense that the coaches have instilled on them.

UNIFORM CHAMPION – Last week he wore #95 and this week he wore #10. What number will Juwann Bushell-Beatty wear next week? At this rate, he is on track set the record for most numbers worn by a Wolverine in a career (3) in just one season.

HONORARY CAPTAIN – Gotta give it up to my man, Rick Leach. It was great to see the Guts and Glue of the Maize and Blue back on Canham’s Carpet, er, Hackett’s Rug on Saturday! Nice to see some of the older players who re-built the Michigan Football Program during the Schembechler Years get recognized. Don’t take what these guys did for granted – they were warriors and paid the price to build a foundation of excellence that we all enjoy to this day. Also nice to see ESPN show Leach’s TD run against Duke in 1977. You know – the one where 13-year old Jimmy Harbaugh jumps on #7’s back in the endzone.
leach-harbs

I wonder where they got that clip???  :)

 

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Week 1:  Chris Evans (Offense), D: Mike McCray (Defense), Jabrill Peppers (Special Teams), Don Brown (Coach), Michigan helmet (Uniform)
Week 2:  Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers (O), Tyree Kinnel/Chris Wormley (ST), Chris Partridge (C), Soles of shoes (Uni)
Week 3: Jake Butt (O), Jabrill Peppers (D), Jabrill Peppers (ST), Don Brown (C), Helmet Stickers (Uni)
Week 4: De’Veon Smith (O), Maurice Hurst (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Greg Mattison (C), #26 White Shoe Laces (Uni)
Week 5: Wilton Speight & Amara Darboh (O), Channing Stribling (D), Jourdan Lewis (ST), Jay Harbaugh (C), Jumpman do-rag (Uni)
Week 6: Jabrill Peppers (O), (D), (ST), Entire Staff (C), White socks (Uni)
Week 7: Khalid Hill (O), Rashan Gary (D), Khaleke Hudson (ST), Coach Tyrone Wheatley (C), blue socks (Uni)
Week 8: Amarah Darboh and Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Jim Harbaugh (C), white Jumpman Towels (Uni)
Week 9: Wilton Speight (O), Ben Gedeon (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Offensive coaches (C), Juwann Bushell-Beatty and his roaming jersey # (Uni), Ricky Leach

week-9-helmets

[Ed.  Originally posted in 2010, a repost for the anniversary of this important day in Meechigan football history.  And if you love Kryk, and I know you do, get STAGG vs. YOST now!]

1910 Headlines 

Guest post by JOHN KRYK of Natural Enemies – (Follow John Kryk on Twitter)

On Friday, Nov. 4, 1910, Michigan authorities cancelled the showdown football game scheduled for the next day between the Wolverines and the University of Notre Dame on old Ferry Field, now site of UM’s track and field oval.  In a nutshell, the Wolverines contended that at least two Fighting Irish players were ineligible under the rules of the game contract, and when Notre Dame refused to sit them out, Michigan pulled the plug on the contest, and, as it turned out, on the series for the next 32 years.

As I wrote in the two incarnations of my book Natural Enemies, just who was right and who was wrong is difficult to ascertain, because the status of the disputed players rested on the vague and variant eligibility rules of the day. That each side devised interpretations to suit its position, then steadfastly defended that position, should come as no surprise. Nor should the explosions that followed.

Michigan had literally taught the game of football to Notre Dame, in November 1887. For the next 21 years, the teams played off and on, with  Michigan always winning. Small-fry colleges in the Midwest, such as Notre Dame at the time, were always desperate to get a spot on the football schedule of a Midwestern giant such as Michigan, and when they failed it could devastate them. But as I first wrote in Natural Enemies in 1994 (13 years before Mike Hart popularized the analogy):

In Michigan’s eyes, Notre Dame was just the pesky kid brother who refuses to understand he can’t always hang out with the big boys. And when kid brother goes off whining to the other small fry on the block, well, big brother couldn’t care less. But kid brother was determined to prove he belonged. Indeed, for the next two decades, Notre Dame aspired to be everything that mighty Michigan already was in athletics.

In 1909 Notre Dame finally defeated Michigan in its ninth attempt, 11-3 at Ann Arbor. It was the only blight on an otherwise landmark year for Yost and his Wolverines, who knocked off defending national champion Penn in Philadelphia, and Conference champion Minnesota in Minneapolis. The loss rankled Yost and his team, because Michigan was observing the new Conference rules that barred freshmen and limited player eligibility to three years, while Notre Dame was still wantonly playing freshmen and four-year men. More »

02. November 2016 · Comments Off on The QB Wristband Playsheet | Storytime with Dr. Sap · Categories: 2016

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Ed. Who knows the Bo era better than Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis?  NOOOOBBBOODY.  Here’s another great story from Sap:

The first three games of the 1985 season brought about some major changes to the Michigan football uniform, some thirty years ago.

In Game #3 against Maryland, the helmet manufacturer “BIKE” no longer appeared on the front of the Wolverine helmets.  “MICHIGAN” was now stickered on the front nosebumper of the maize and blue’s headgear.

nosebumper

Game #2 at South Carolina brought a smile to my face, as the helmet stickers/decals returned to the Michigan helmets after a plain-and-boring-helmet-looking two year absence in 1983 & 1984.

While these changes were somewhat cosmetic, the most impactful and most important change happened in Game #1 against Notre Dame.  The wristbands changed for the quarterbacks.  No, this wasn’t a cosmetic or color change, it was much more than that.  The wristbands had the offensive plays listed on them.  Not only did the quarterbacks wear the wristband playsheets, Cam Cameron, the Michigan Receivers Coach, did as well.  (see pics below)

michigan-playsheet-wristbands

No longer would they be used to dab sweat or look cool – the QB wristbands were now a strategic weapon in the Michigan Football arsenal.

Think that is overstating their significance and impact on the Michigan offense?  Well, in 1983 and 1984 the Michigan offense averaged just over 130 yards passing per game.  In 1985, that number jumped to 176.3 yards – the second highest average in Michigan football history at the time which was only topped by the 1947 Mad Magicians with 178.8 yards passing per game.

Worn on their non-throwing wrist, the playsheet would contain play numbers and play nomenclature.  They would contain all the passing and running plays that the team had practiced for their upcoming opponent that week.  Invariably, that would mean there were anywhere from 50 to 250 plays on that little wristband.

When I asked Coach Jerry Hanlon where they got the idea to use the wristband playsheet he didn’t recall it as being a big deal.  “We probably stole it from another school,” he joked to me.  “You talk with all these other coaches about things – what has been working, what hasn’t been working – so that’s probably where the idea came from.”

First used in the NFL in 1965 by Don Shula’s Baltimore Colts and as early as 1961 in the college ranks at Alabama with Bear Bryant, the QB Wristband Playsheet had been around for a while – just not at Michigan.

In the 1970’s, Bo would talk on the phone with Hanlon who was upstairs in the press box.  After asking, “What do you want, Jerry?” Bo sent in the plays with offensive guards that rotated in and out of the game.  It looked and sounded like this:

In the 1980’s, rotating wide receivers became the method of communication.  The clip below can be summed up thusly, “Oh geez, Mo, let me handle this!  AC, you tell Wangs to throw you the damn ball!  Now THAT is how you do it, Gary!”

After a few delay of game penalties in critical situations, a change needed to be made.

While Hanlon, who coached the Michigan QBs in 1985, didn’t remember all the details surrounding its introduction, he did recall that its primary purpose was to speed up the playcalling in some situations.

“It was easier to call or signal play number “12” as opposed to “Z53 DRAG T X1,” Hanlon told me.

The “Z53” and the “DRAG T” were passing terms and that’s why and when things became a mouthful. More receivers meant more terminology. “Passing plays were more complex in nomenclature than running plays,” said Hanlon.  Clearly the Hanlon loved him some good old-fashioned option football.

Running play terminology was more simplistic and straightforward. For instance, “Rip Dark 26” was a favorite of Bo and Jerry’s in the 1970’s.  Rip Dark was the formation and 26 was the hole and direction or side the play was to be run. Plays that ran to the left side of the offensive line had odd numbers attached to them while the mirror-image or “flip” of the play would have an even numbered designation. The complement or flip to Rip Dark 26 to the right, was Rip Dark 25 to the left.

This methodology certainly followed the KISS Rule: Keep it simple, stupid.

In 1985, the Wolverines and quarterback Jim Harbaugh would end up having a hugely successful year.  While they didn’t win the Big Ten Title, the maize and blue finished the season ranked #2 in the country in the final polls – the highest ever for a Schembechler-coached team – and Harbaugh was the nation’s most efficient passer – the first Michigan QB to do so.

Just to prove that the wristband playsheets weren’t a one-year-wonder, the 1986 Wolverines won the Big Ten Title, Harbaugh was the nation’s 2nd most efficient passer.  Today, almost every team at every level of football uses some variant of the QB wristband.

But what about the jump in passing stats from 1984 to 1985? Wasn’t that all attributed to the wristband playsheet?

“The most important thing is the ARM of the quarterback and not what’s ON the arm of the quarterback,” Coach Hanlon reminded me.

Of course it is!

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P.S. Speaking of Bo, my fellers at The Bo Store continue to kill it:

bo-hat

 

30. October 2016 · 9 comments · Categories: 2016

I assume thanks to my fondness for the Little Brown Jug, a few folks pinged me after the game about the Paul Bunyan Trophy.  To be clear: this trophy sucks.

falk-paul

Historically speaking, Michigan never wanted this to be a trophy game or for that thing to be the trophy.  Of course given circumstances where there is a trophy when you win, we’d just assume win and take the trophy. If nothing else you keep it out of the opponent’s hands so it won’t sit in their football building and get a Santa hat around Christmas time.

There is no sideline swap of the trophy.  There is no running across the field to take it back.  It stays in the locker room.  Spartan players like to bring it on the field – that’s fine – but that’s not what we do.

001bunyanoutside

Take a few photos with it after the game?  Fine.   But when you are done, put it on the truck.  When it gets back to Ann Arbor I just assume we keep doing what we’ve always done – tuck that thing away in Schembechler Hall until next fall:

raiders5

Update:  More historical context on this mgoblog thread, including:

The following year in 1954, the trophy was left on the field for half an hour after Michigan defeated the Spartans 33–7. “We’ll find a place for the trophy,” Crisler told The Michigan Daily after game. The Paul Bunyan Trophy was stored in the Michigan Stadium locker room in one of the equipment closets.
Despite winning in 1954 and 1955, Michigan did not engrave their scores onto the neglected trophy. When the Spartans won in 1956, they engraved the Wolverine victories onto the trophy.
And, yep:
elliott

 

 

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30. October 2016 · Comments Off on Table Turning, Sticker Earning | Dr. Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2016

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Here are the Decal Champions for week eight by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis:

pep-what-up

George Perles used to say, “all games count one.” Not this one and not for the reason you might think. Not only did Michigan put another nail in the Spartan coffin, they made it real difficult if not unlikely for the Spartans to become bowl eligible.   This would also mean MSU will not have those 15 bowl practices which are critical for player development and evaluation.  Sucks to be Sparty!

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – If your receiver has a career day and makes crazy-tough, one-handed catches then that means your quarterback is making some crazy-clutch throws. Amara Darboh and Wilton Speight are starting to be like The Hawaiian War Chant and Temptation – you can’t have one without the other. If Michigan is going to be playing in January, #82 and #3 need to keep it up.
pep-montage

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – Gotta go with two guys: Jourdan Lewis & Jabrill Peppers. Lewis, because he single-handedly stopped two drives – one with an INT and one with a fourth down tackle at the UM goalline. Peppers, because of what he did all over the field and particularly the fourth down sack late in the game. Of course the 2-point conversion “Oh he has trouble with the pitch” play was the perfect exclamation point put on by the perfect guy to do it! PERFECT!!!!!

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – When your kicker makes all three of his field goals, has a solid day punting, and booms almost every kickoff into the endzone, your opponent has to go a long way to score. Credit Kenny Allen for having a solid game. Michigan was solid in all three phases of the game. That is Championship-esque.

COACHING CHAMPION – This game was a Jim Harbaugh special. Hotly contested. Paint-swapping in the trenches. A true test of a player’s, a team’s and coach’s will. That’s why I think most of the game was played between the tackles. Both coaches wanted to impose their will on each other and that was fine with coach Harbaugh. He had his team ready. They weren’t too jacked up nor were they too tight at the start of the game.

bakery

Amazing how far this team has come and changed in just over a season and a half. One word – Harbaugh. Last year he taught the team how to win. This year he is teaching them how to be tough and never was this more emphatically demonstrated than each time an MSU player was helped off the field. Remember when that happened to Michigan and Devin Gardner a few years ago in East Lansing? Times have changed. Tables have turned. Consider the Sparty chip knocked off their collective shoulders. Ain’t no big thang!!

UNIFORM CHAMPION – I like the white Jumpman Towel the team is wearing on the road. Curious as to why Michigan has only been using white towels, I found out that the NCAA only allows white or pink. Leave it to the NCAA to restrict and legislate something as simple as a towel.

butt-towel

The coolest towel ever worn by a Wolverine? Easy. The one Rick Leach wore in the 1978 Rose Bowl:

leach-towl

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Week 1:  Chris Evans (Offense), D: Mike McCray (Defense), Jabrill Peppers (Special Teams), Don Brown (Coach), Michigan helmet (Uniform)
Week 2:  Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers (O), Tyree Kinnel/Chris Wormley (ST), Chris Partridge (C), Soles of shoes (Uni)
Week 3: Jake Butt (O), Jabrill Peppers (D), Jabrill Peppers (ST), Don Brown (C), Helmet Stickers (Uni)
Week 4: De’Veon Smith (O), Maurice Hurst (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Greg Mattison (C), #26 White Shoe Laces (Uni)
Week 5: Wilton Speight & Amara Darboh (O), Channing Stribling (D), Jourdan Lewis (ST), Jay Harbaugh (C), Jumpman do-rag (Uni)
Week 6: Jabrill Peppers (O), (D), (ST), Entire Staff (C), White socks (Uni)
Week 7: Khalid Hill (O), Rashan Gary (D), Khaleke Hudson (ST), Coach Tyrone Wheatley (C), blue socks (Uni)
Week 8: Amarah Darboh and Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Jim Harbaugh (C), white Jumpman Towels (Uni)

28. October 2016 · 1 comment · Categories: 2016

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chicago

For this #BeatState edition of This Week in Michigan Football History we go back 112 years to 1904, a season that featured arguably the greatest Wolverine squad of all time.  Dig it:

As always, this segment appears on 1050AM WTKA and 1330AM WTRX’s epic KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff prior to each game.  During home games you can hear it live inside the Go Labatt Blue Light Victors Lounge starting 4 hours prior to kickoff.  Go Blue!

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script after the jump:

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mandarich_messner
I always think about this interview during MSU week, especially this morning when I heard Mark Messner join Michael Spath on WTKA.  Originally posted in 2009, here’s Messner talking about his great battles with MSU’s superfreak lineman Tony Mandarich, along with a bit about Bo’s drug policy and how the team self-regulated bad behavior.  Dig it:

MVictors: Is there a particular game that you look back on with great memories?

Messner: The Michigan State game my senior year is one that sticks out, because there was so much hype about Mandarich. There was talk about ‘the game within the game’, with Lombardi and Outland trophy candidates going at it and all that. He was such a physical specimen and I vowed that I would not let myself get embarrassed by someone who could overwhelm me physically. I could not let that person get me because if I did, the media coverage would be all over it.

He did get me once and that’s when I realized that there was something strange going on with this man, because no man should ever do that.  It was my junior year.  We were watching film getting ready for Michigan State and I was like, “Look at this thing! He’s destroying people.” In that game I got out of position and he got underneath me. He picked me up off my feet and ran with me for fifteen yards with my feet just dangling. He threw me like a rag doll into the Michigan State bench.

No matter what, there was no way I was going to let that happen again. And I never did. In my senior year I would not let that guy catch me. Bo used to say he’d never seen somebody out-run, out-think, out-maneuver someone when they shouldn’t have.  It was purely motivated out of not getting embarrassed [laughs].

MVictors: Did you ever get a chance to know Mandarich personally?

Messner: Yeah. On different All-American teams, like the Playboy team, the AP, UPI, Bob Hope Show, you’d come down for a few days for taping and publicity stuff and they would room us together [laughs]. They’re thinking, “Oh, Michigan people!” I’m like, “This is our frickin’ rival, what are you doing putting me in the same room with this guy!”

He was a very personable and a nice person. He wasn’t like some of these guys, and I don’t bad mouth people, but Broderick Thomas was just arrogant guy and not respectful of other people. Tony wasn’t like that at all and we had a mutual respect for each other on the field.

MVictors: Obviously Mandarich’s name evokes thoughts of steroids.  How did Bo handle drugs within the team?

Messner: It’s one of the things that makes me respect and love the guy the way I do. Well before the NCAA was doing the drug tests, Bo was doing random tests to anybody so that you wouldn’t be out on campus smoking. He was more concerned about recreational drugs on campus (than steroids). We’d come to practice and if your name was on a list you’d have to pee in a cup. That was before it was mandated. We’d still have to do it for bowl games but for the regular season, no one was doing that. Bo was that way all season long.

I remember one day I took the socks from practice because I need some socks [laughs].  The next day I was getting dressed  for practice and I had no socks. I practiced without socks. [Equipment manager] Jon Falk told me, “Listen son, that’s an NCAA violation. I can not let you have them. I can’t replace them. If you bring me an old pair of socks I’ll give you a new pair but you’re not leaving this building with our t-shirts, shorts or socks.”

I had to bring the damn socks back so I could have socks for practice. That’s how strict they were. I’m proud of that.

MVictors: We’re starting to see students arrive on campus that might not remember Bo, certainly not during his coaching days. Is there something unique you remember about Bo?

Messner: Bo had a very protective media persona. He was standoffish and harsh toward the media, and that’s what a lot of people saw, but inside he was one of the most caring and long-term developers of men that I’ve ever met.

I was privileged to be one of his captains. After practice you’re sitting in his office and he asks you about the team chemistry, about problem kids, about which kids need help getting their degrees.  As the captain you are rattling off the guys that are struggling, or aren’t feeling confident or not sure if they are going to stay with the squad and so on.  Bo wanted special emphasis on these players because he really cared about guys.

MVictors: As leaders on the team, did you have to self-police the other players?

Messner: We didn’t police for steroids because it was pretty obvious, from the physical changes to the personality changes. But we would self police guys breaking rules on campus.

I remember when Brad Cochran was our captain one of the kickers was out the night before when we were going to be at Campus Inn. We had a strict internal policy against it. Brad got a phone call and let him know that one of the players was up at Rick’s. He stormed right up there, grabbed him and told him, “Sorry bud, you’re not playing tomorrow.”

Full Messner Interview here

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23. October 2016 · Comments Off on Sights and Sounds | Homecoming Train (Michigan 41, Illinois 8) · Categories: 2016

A few sights and sounds from Saturday’s colossal beating:

  • Relentless.  Up 41-8 Harbaugh challenged the spot.  I love it.  It was a reminder that no matter what the circumstances, our focus will remain sharp, the gas pedal will be pressed down.  The team came out stale in the second half and I wonder if Harbaugh did this to reminde everyone that this never stops – there are no moments to relax – and this is how it will always be.  Even up 41-8 in the 4th.
  • Speight Watchers. While it’s tough to draw meaningful conclusions against that caliber of opponent, Speight looked much better.  He was more relaxed in the pocket and the he dialed in his accuracy during the bye week.  Next week will say a lot because despite the sink hole that’s opened on the banks of the Red Cedar, he (and many others) will be under a lot of pressure next week.
  • Harbs’ Specs.  Harbaugh explained his new glasses in the postgame presser.  No way he came up with this dynamic trio off the cuff:

And then the glasses is that a Woody Hayes nod?

[laughs]

“It is, actually. There’s really three people. Got my eyes checked out a couple weeks ago and they said I needed to go to glasses full time, so as of Tuesday I’m now a full-time glasses person. This style in particular is a tip of the cap, a nod, to Woody Hayes, to Michael Douglas in the movie ‘Falling Down,’ and also a tip of the cap to Malcolm X. In honor of those three men.”

  • HR King on prem. Hands down you have to give Harbaugh an A+ this season on honorary captains.  A torrid pace ain’t it?  Here’s a great shot of Hammerin’ Hank (via @mgoblue):

hank-aaron

  • Yostian Pace – My man @JohnKryk notes that we’re on a splendid scoring pace.  Through 7 games Fielding Yost’s 1901 team scored 340 points.  Harbaugh’s have put up 341.  Counting the Rose Bowl, the 1901 crew put up 550 and completely shut out their opponents.
  • The Bo Store.  Item of the week, back half mesh lid  /flame /flame /flame

bo-hat

  • Mudbowl:  Props to the SAE gents for keeping the Mudbowl rolling in high style, a Meechigan tradition that dates back to the 1930s (H/T Geoff Voss for the photo):

mudbowl

• The Wolverines improved to 64-29-2 in the all-time series against Illinois and 33-11-1 in home contests against the Fighting Illini. Michigan also improved to 90-28-2 on homecoming and has won 18 of its last 22 homecoming games.

• Michigan is now 7-0 for the first time since 2006 and just the fourth time in 40 years (1986, 1997, 2006, 2016).

qb-socks-suck


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