Many U-M historians know that it was the Michigan Marching band that first performed the ‘Script Ohio’, the beloved pregame formation favored by the Buckeyes.   As I understand it was first performed in 1932 in Columbus, in fact I understand that this is a photo of the mega-sized writing lesson:


I bring this up because check out this clip I ran across from the October 16, 1932 Michigan Daily, published a day after the Wolverines’ 14-0 victory down in the snake pit.   Not that this fact has been disputed, but the article confirms that this happened (“’OHIO,’ spelled out in script..”) and it provides some validation on the photo above (“diagonally across the field”):


I like that apparently the band didn’t stop there, mixing in a MICH (was it a script MICH?) along with the tradition block ‘M’.

I’m sure the Wagner prelude certainly powerful but I’m guessing it was dropped from the regular MMB rotation thanks to rise of the soon-to-be Chancellor over in Germany.

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  1. Excellent find!

  2. Indeed, but this has little to do with what later became Script Ohio. Firstly, it was a static formation, not the dynamic cursive writing that forms Script Ohio. Secondly, the lettering in Script Ohio was copied not from this, but from the canopy on the Ohio Theater in Columbus. Also the OSU Band had been performing more complex dynamic maneuvers for some time, such as the moving “floating anchor” at the OSU-Navy game in 1930. So this static “Script” was really neither as exciting as the newspaper man imagined, nor does it really have a lot to do with today’s Script Ohio. Sorry.

  3. @TBDBITL-Dad
    static? How on Earth do you know this from looking at a 2D picture? Would it help you to know that this was performed by a MARCHING BAND?

  4. @wright
    All you need do is read up a little more about this formation. This “Ohio” was a simple block formation – it was not “written” on the field, letter by letter, in the way that Script Ohio is.

  5. The roll play they put together was nice for it being way back in 1932 victory was even 14-0 wow talk about well put together and good game.