26. September 2014 · Comments Off on Bennie O. to Bump, and the Unforgettable 1964 | This Week in Michigan Football History · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This week we start with 1958, Bennie Oosterbaan’s final season at the helm in Ann Arbor and roll up to the coach and the team being honored Saturday in Michigan Stadium: Bump Elliott and the 1964 Big Ten & Rose Bowl Champions:

You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here…And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM or inside the Bud Light Victors Lounge starting at 11:30am.


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25. September 2014 · Comments Off on Captain Conley & the 1964 Wolverines | Business Time (Part III) · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , , , ,

Ed.  On Saturday the 1964 championship team will be honored during the Minnesota game.  Earlier this year I spent a couple hours with the (lone) captain on that squad, Jim Conley.  The full version of this story is available in mgoblog’s wonderful annual Hail To The Victors mag.   Given it’s their week, here’s a tighter and yes, less spicy, version of the story of that great season.

See Part I: Starting from Nothing
See Part II: 
The Season

Getting Business Time
The trip to the Rose Bowl was conducted in two distinct phases – party time and business time.   The first portion started off with the usual tours, some time to hang out and a bit of partying. And the team lost focus.

“Chrysler gave us a car for every 4 guys,” Barry Dehlin recalled.  “For the first week, you had a bunch of 20-year-old guys out there and we were partying.”

But as young men tend to do, they took advantage of their celebrity status with the California coeds.  “We go to Disneyland and the next thing you know we’re in our hotel room and there are eight or ten of the Disneyland tour guides,” Conley recalled.  And the captain wasn’t immune.  “We went to the Whiskey a Go Go.  The girls are dancing and all that, and let’s just say we had some guys that were good at what they do, you know what I mean?”  

“I’ll never forget, we’re walking into the hotel.  There’s Bill Laskey with me and a couple of other guys.  We’ve got these damn girls with us with those frilly skirts shaking around.  As we’re walking down the hall [assistant coach] Jocko Nelson walks by, looks at me and says, ‘Captain Conley.’ And I go, ‘Coach Nelson.’  And we just kept going right on by. [laughs]”

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01. December 2012 · Comments Off on eBay Watch: The Sting & the 1965 Rose Bowl Ring · Categories: 2012 · Tags: , , , , ,

Naturally the question emerges from fans when they see stuff belonging to former U-M players up on eBay:  How could (or how dare?) a Wolverine player do that?   As I’ve stated on these pages again and again, we usually don’t know the circumstances of how or why something ends up for sale so I’d rather not speculate on the reason.  And we know, of course, that property of former athletes has value and thus is sought after—sometimes by deviants.  

Take the case of former footballer Jerry Mader.  He earned 3 letters in football and played on Bump Elliott’s 1964 Big Ten & 1965 Rose Bowl championship squad.   When his ‘64 Rose Bowl ring showed up on eBay recently he sent this note to his teammates explaining what happened..along with the rosy conclusion.  Thanks to Mader for sharing a copy:

For those of you who are concerned about my Rose Bowl being put up for sale on EBay, please understand that I’m not destitute and in need of extra cash. Of course, a little extra cash will always help but I wouldn’t mortgage my past efforts and experience as a member of the 1965 Rose Bowl Team! I especially appreciate the close relationships I have with many of you.

1965 Rose Bowl Ring - Michigan As background, my ring was stolen from the Med- Sport locker room at Domino Farms in mid-December 2006 when I was rehabbing 2 knee surgeries and a wrist surgery. I notice that many of us are experiencing these physical  breakdowns from those football days of long ago. I’m OK with that because I learned much and of course, I need the scholarship. At that time, I filed a police report with the U of M Campus Police and then the issue went dormant.  Early July of this year I received an email from an unnamed person asking me if I would be interested in purchasing my ring from him since he bought it in an auction. We exchanged several email and of course I told him that the ring was stolen. I attempted to draw him into a conversation but the email ended abruptly when it appeared that I would send him $ 8,000 for my ring.

A couple of weeks ago he placed the Ring on EBay with my bio. He might of done this because I told him the Ring would be more valuable if my bio accompanied it. Well, when several of you informed me that my Ring was up for sale on EBay, I called the Sheriff’s Office and a very nice junior detective researched my case and forwarded my past police report and the EBay information to the Campus Police.

Jerry Mader - Michigan

Yesterday, I received a phone call from Detective [name removed] of the Campus Police, informing that there division organized a sting operation and enticed the perpetrator to travel from Chicago to Ann Arbor to buy my Ring plus another ring (2003 Rose Bowl). The sting involved 9 officers and was very well thought out and creative.

The bottom line is my Ring has been recovered and the perpetrator is being held on 2 felonies, selling stolen goods and extortion! The Detective is a very good guy and he was pleased to point out that this creep in an MSU grad!

Thank you for your concern.  I [was] lucky to have the opportunities back play football and go to Michigan and I continue to be blessed today by an awesome God.

Go Blue,

Punish the Spartan deviant!

So here’s another case.  Up on eBay right now, a pile memorabilia and awards that belonged former back Jon Vaughn. [HT: Brian at mgoblog and mgo-reader Joe].   The stuff ranges from his high school to his NFL days:

rose bowl Bo pic

John, err, Jon Vaughn won this for leading the league in kickoff return yards as a member of the Patriots:1993 NFL Mackey Award - Jon Vaughn 
Vaughn is best known around these parts for his 1990 season, and in particular his ridiculous start to that year, with over 200 against Notre Dame and UCLA:

jon vaughn stats 1990 
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something of Vaughn’s up on eBay.  Here’s a post from 2010 featuring his “Hustler” award from 1990 after the ND game.

Again, I don’t know the circumstances of why Vaughn’s stuff is on eBay and won’t speculate unless I have some better info.


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