Via Twitter from Ariel Piotter via deuce-deuce:
Kudos to another Buckeye fan who’s taken a run at constructing a LEGO Ohio Stadium:
Paul Janssen of Dublin used about a million Lego pieces to build the recently finished 8-foot-by-6-foot model, which has room for 6,000 Lego people.
Janssen says the project “took about 1,000 hours over two years.” A couple nice photos of his masterpiece:
This version of the ‘Shoe puts the 2006 version constructed by another rabid Bucknut, (discussed here on MVictors) to SHAME. It took twice as long for the ‘06 project and it stands just about a foot tall:
It’s unconfirmed whether Janssen’s next “project” is to kiss a girl. (Of course this jab is coming from a man who has a piece of the Big Chill ice in his freezer).
Anyway, a hearty salute from up North to Janssen and his efforts here but he’s clearly missing a few details, especially the goings on just outside the stadium:
And while he included bathrooms, he missed this critical slice of reality:
WTKA broadcast live from Schembechler Hall this morning and Sam and Ira did a solid segment with AD Dave Brandon. Topics ranged of course, but Brandon also addressed some tough questions about divisional realignment, particularly where Ohio and Michigan might fall.
You can hear these and all the WKTA podcasts here, or click below, in two parts. He gets into the division realignment questions in the second part:
A few key quotes on divisional realignment.
- When asked if he were making the decision, would he put Michigan and Ohio State in the same conference division? Brandon paused then answered. "No."
- Sam asked, "Why?" Brandon: "Because we’re in a situation where one of the best things that could happen, in my opinion in a given season, would be the opportunity to play Ohio State twice. Once in the regular season and once for the championship of the Big Ten.
- Sam asked about whether they would hold the tradition to keep that the last game of the season. Brandon: "I think there’s a distinct possibility that that game will be a later game in the season, but not necessarily the last game of the season. And that’s simply because…I don’t think the coaches, or the players, or the fans, or the networks or anyone, would appreciate that match-up to happen twice within the same seven day period. So, however the divisional alignments occur, and I think we’re getting closer and closer, and I don’t get to make the decision but I get 1/12th of the vote…"
- Further. Brandon: "What you’re really going to want is that last game of the regular season to really determine, often times, the championship—who’s going to be the champion of that division and go to the championship game and play for all the marbles. So from a scheduling/timing perspective it’s a new ballgame and although I love playing Ohio State in the last game of the year, I don’t think it’s necessarily a slam dunk that that’s going to continue."
- Translation? Bank on it. Ohio State will be in the other division, we’ll meet every year midway through the Big Ten schedule.
- Update: mgoblog reaction, Mass Hysteria! And Ace isn’t happy either. Thoughts from Brad at Maize and Blue Nation.
Regular readers of this site know one of my favorite decades of Michigan football is the 1930s, having covered different seasons and events in eBay Watch and in the Little Brown Jug Lore series from those years.
If I had to pick one year as my favorite during the stretch it’s definitely 1934 which is ironic, as it’s arguably the worst season in Michigan football history. I argued this point here and here, but in a nutshell consider that Harry Kipke’s team, coming off back-to-back national championships, finished 1-7, was shut out in five of the eight games, and scored a mere 21 points. Fugly.
Despite the futility on the gridiron, the season is packed of historical treasures of major significance both on and off the field. The next edition of eBay Watch features the auction of a program from the Ohio State-Michigan held on November 17, 1934, exactly 75 years ago today in Columbus:
The program features several photos of players, including a collage of the Michigan team including team MVP Gerald Ford:
The top of the photo features Willis Ward, the African American end who was at the center of a fierce controversy that played out before the Georgia Tech game a few weeks earlier that season. For those not familiar, The Jackets made it known well before the game that they wouldn’t take the field in Ann Arbor if Ward played, spawning intense protests on campus in Ann Arbor.
Eventually Michigan caved, sitting Ward after a deal was struck with Tech that required the Jackets to sit a player as well. (It’s not lost on me that the 1934 OSU program features two white dudes shaking hands.) The 9-2 game was the Wolverines’ lone win of the miserable season but came with a historical price. These incidents resonated with would-be President Ford, a friend of Ward’s, who wrote a 1999 New York Times Op-Ed piece defending Michigan’s affirmative action policies:
“Do we really want to risk turning back the clock to an ear when the Willis Wards were isolated and penalized for the color of their skin, their economic standing or national ancestry?”
President George W. Bush also mentioned the Ward incident in Ford’s eulogy.
The 1934 Program also features a photo of one of the most famous athletes in the world, a burgeoning freshman track star at Ohio State named Jesse Owens:
Owens of course knows a little something about race and discrimination. He’ll forever be remembered for kicking Hitler squarely in the bucknuts at the Berlin Olympics a couple years later. While certainly on a smaller stage, Owens did some serious damage in Ann Arbor on Ferry Field in 1935 and the Bentley Library details his exploits:
Ferry Field has been the site of many great individual performances in Big Ten track championships, none more remarkable than Jesse Owens’ efforts in 1935. Within a period of two hours, the Ohio State sophomore set world records in the 220 yard dash – :20.2, the broad jump – 26 ft. 8 1/4 in., the 220 yard low hurdles – :22.6 and tied the world record in the 100 yard dash – :09.4 seconds. A plaque at the southeast corner of Ferry Field commemorates Owens’ incomparable performance.
That’s rubbing it in, man.
The year 1934 also marked the start of a Buckeye tradition that lingers today like a foul odor: the issuing of gold pants charms to players. Their timing was impeccable. The Sweatervest’s website explains the deal:
Schmidt founded the "Pants Club", which still exists today as reward for a win over the Wolverines. Since 1934, each player and coach receives a miniature pair of gold pants for each victory over Michigan. The charms contain the recipient’s initials as well as the year and score of "The Game".
This prize commemorate OSU’s 2007 and the seller even gives the initials of the original owner (D.H.) which are placed on each pair. That’d narrow things down to ‘07 senior De’Angelo Haslam, freshman Dan Herron or yikes, assistant coach Darrell Hazell. Didn’t mean that much, obviously.
Another vintage Michigan football item showed up this week on eBay, this time a post card celebrating Fielding Yost and his fine 1905 squad. The team is assembled in a line with Yost in the middle, standing on a large sign in the shape of a football that reads ‘Western Championship’. Atop the photo is a block letter title, ‘A HARD COMBINATION TO BEAT’.
The copyright of the postcard is 1905, so I’m guessing this was produced before the season as a souvenir to students and fans. The mention of the Western Championship refers to the undefeated 1904 campaign when the great Willie Heston and the Wolverines ran the table 10-0 and outscored opponents 567-22.
More evidence that this was produced prior to the season, someone wrote on the card “We defeated Wisconsin 12 to 0, as ever.” The Wolverines indeed defeated the Badgers by that margin on homecoming that season, on November 18, 1905 specifically. The “as ever” zinger was a 1905 version of smack talk if you’re keeping track; probably about as harsh as it got it those days.
The 1905 crew was a well photographed group. Yost and his teams hadn’t been defeated since he stepped on campus four years prior so it makes sense that folks were eager to get a good look at the machine that was tearing up the football world. Thankfully the Bentley Library has republished a few bonus photos of this team online and they include the shot that was used for the postcard in the eBay auction. Closer inspection reveals that the “Western Championship” oval on the postcard was likely dubbed-in later (1905 version of photoshopping) as Yost is standing on a small stool:
Other photos of the 1905 squad that can be found (and can be blown up into incredible detail) on the Bentley Library site:
In a very cool huddle around Yost – Bentley Library
Line up for good measure – Bentley Library
At the Whitmore Lake Hotel – 1905 – Bentley Library*
*[Ed 10/1/09: Thanks to reader Michael F., who correctly identified the correct whereabouts of the photo above. It is from Walter Graham's photo album at the Bentley Library, a 1905 shot on the front porch of The Whitmore Lake Hotel. The team used to train at Whitmore Lake before the season. Very cool. Here's a link to the photo.]
The author of that smack talk was justified in dropping some postcard pomposity, as to that point the 1905 crew were rolling. Through the shot-out of Wisconsin and onto the next week when they added a 75-0 defeat of Oberlin, Yost’s men were undefeated with 12 wins, outscoring opponents 495-0. The smack would end there unfortunately, as a few days later Michigan traveled to the Windy City and experience something that hadn’t happened in Yost’s five seasons: they lost. Barely. Their old rivals Chicago sent The Victors back on the train to Ann Arbor with a 2-0 defeat, the streak broken.
A Bonus eBay Watch:
A member of the 1967 Ohio State football squad is selling the sacred gold pants they receive if they defeat Michigan. It’s not the first time one of these beauties has come up for auction; it won’t be the last.
Coaches and players receive the award which has its roots during Michigan’s brutal season of 1934 when new OSU coach Francis Schmidt sized up Gerald Ford & the two-time defending national champions and observed, “They put their pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else.”
I’ve seen these fetch around $1,000 in the past, we’ll see how this auction goes, here’s a pic: