I’ve had a few days to think about the newly unveiled ‘Michigan Football Legend’ program.  Bottom line–I really like it.  My whole thing about the history of U-M is whatever gets people talking about former players, coaches, seasons, or games is a 99% of the time a good thing.  (Glen Rice).   The BTN Icons series, for example, had everyone talking about Harmon and of course this was a big couple weeks for Desmond.

legendAnother thing we learned is that it’s clear Michigan will not be retiring any new numbers and on Sunday, Angelique caught up with Dave Brandon who told her this:

Brandon intends to offer the families of the players whose numbers have been retired — Tom Harmon, Bennie Oosterbaan, the Wistert brothers, Ron Kramer and Gerald Ford — to have those numbers re-established but with the "Michigan Football Legend" patch associated with those players.

I’m hoping the families of the guys who have already have had their numbers retired agree to join this program.  The fact is no one really talks a whole lot about Kramer, the Wisterts and even Oosterbaan (unless of course we’re talking about retiring a jersey).

And I’m with Brian, it’d be cool to see someone wearing #98 on the field and have a tricked out Harmon locker.  Someone get Mr. Shoop on the phone to clear this STAT.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see these guys honored again in front of today’s fans?

This is a great opportunity to do a few things:

  • Bob Chappuis could be honored while he’s still with us.  That would be so cool.
  • I think it’s unfortunate that the museum in Schembechler Hall isn’t frequently open to the public, but it’s very well done.  I hope they enhance it with this Legends area and make it more accessible to the fans.
  • This is great way honor Benny Friedman, something that’s long overdue.

A couple questions remain:

  • Funny, after all this we still have an issue with the #1 jersey.  Is it still a Braylon/Carter scholarship thing?  Do we need to pick one person (Carter) to be the Michigan Legend for the #1?
  • Is there some way to honor the Willie Hestons of the world, who did great things before they installed jersey numbers players?
  • Here’s a silly thought but I offer it up nonetheless.  So let’s say a guy heading into his junior or senior season is on the Heisman shortlist.  Does he accept one of the Legend jerseys (if offered) or stick with his existing number, hoping that one day he too will be honored alongside the Desmonds, Woodsons and Friedmans of Michigan history?   What if C-A-T spelled dog?

As an aside, while as mentioned I really like this program and give the AD credit, I’ve gotta question who Brandon considers Michigan football program “experts”:

"In making the decision in how to do this going forward, I have consulted with people who follow the program and consider themselves experts. I would simply say, ‘Name the numbers and the players that have been retired.’ They may name one or two, but they can’t name all five.

Say what?


Did I tell you to order the Notre Dame program. Inside is an special audio clip including the calls from Musberger and Beckmann on ‘The Catch’ in the 1991.  Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard that before.

That is nice of course, but they also inserted a couple choice snippets of the audio from Gary Moeller’s headset before the play.  How they have that I have no idea.

In the clip first you hear someone [not Moeller, perhaps Grbac?] calling the play, which appears to be, “Right side 29, Caesar or Ghost.”  Then you hearMoeller talking to Grbac, presumably in the huddle right before the play: “If you’ve got a simple completion, throw it.”

Then the next part is amazing.  Moeller then is talking directly to Howard, telling the Heisman candidate: “Desmond, you’ve gotta look it in.”  Jeez that is awesome.  (and he did):

desmondIt gets better.

You then hear Moeller talking to the coaches on the headset, presumably as the team is lining up, telling them exactly what is about to happen:

Moeller: “You know what we’re gonna do right now?  He’s gonna throw it to Desmond and Desmond’s going to score a touchdown…”

I love it.

[Update:  mgoblue.com posted all of the clips here, including the full length of Moeller.  Funny, after he says “..and Demond’s going to score a TD…He asks, “J, should I be kicking a field goal?” LOL.  After the play he adds, “That kid in unbelievable..” ].  Here it is:


Memo to AD Dave Brandon, we need some more headset audio of Bo, Mo, Lloyd and whatever else you have.

10. September 2011 · Comments Off on Heisman Caliber Accessories · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , , , ,

Check out this close up of Desmond at the GameDay desk from this morning:

desmond up close

First off, you’ve gotta love the custom cufflinks.  The one on his right cuff appears to be a photo of one of his sons.  (I assume the left features another son).  Love that.

Next, is the ring.  My instincts tell me that that’s not a Michigan ring, rather, it’s a College Hall of Fame ring.  We had this discussion a few years back when I discussed the band Dan Dierdorf donned on a 2008 CBS broadcast:

Reader David, who seemed to be in the know, asserted that the ring I spotted was indeed Dierdorf’s CHOF ring:

Actually he wears one ring on each hand. On his right hand is his College Football Hall of Fame ring and on the left hand is his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring. Both have blue stones, but the one in the picture (right hand) is his College Hall of Fame ring which has a larger blue stone.

I doubt I’ll see Desmond buzzing around in the press box but if I do, I’ll get on that.

As far as the pink pen, discuss amongst yourselves.


  • ESPN GameDay – Then and Now
  • This Week in Michigan Football History – Remy Steals Powlus’ Thunder (audio)
  • Pre-GameDay
  • Desmond on Strike
  • Night Moves – Michigan’s First Name Game (1944)
  • Hoisting A Legend

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    09. September 2011 · Comments Off on Pre-GameDay · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , , ,

    A couple shots from a quick visit with the ESPN GameDay crew.  They were on campus prepping today and took a few minutes to meet with the media.

    The man of the hour, Desmond Howard, seemed a tad bit tired but flash that smile a few times:

    IMG_4219He’s got a lot of family in town so he has no plans to tour the town with rest of the GameDay crew tonight.

    Herby and Erin Andrews answered a few questions as well:

    IMG_4220 IMG_4223

    Erin looks surprised – she couldn’t believe how cool the local media was.

    07. September 2011 · Comments Off on Hoisting A Legend · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , , , , ,

    Author Bill Roose was kind enough to send along an excerpt from his new book on Desmond Howard titled, “I Wore 21: The Legend of Desmond Howard”.  The book is dropping this week around Ann Arbor and will be available at the game on Saturday.

    While we’ve all seen the famous photo of Desmond making ‘The Catch’, how about this shot from page 69 of I Wore 21 of Howard celebrating with the lineman and the madness over in the student section?  Look at the faces of the guys running up to him:


    Side note: I’m probably in that photo somewhere, over to the left.  It’s up there with Woodson’s 1997 interception in East Lansing as the greatest Michigan catch I’ve witnessed.

    Here’s a clip from chapter two, Grbac talking about the play:

    Quarterback Elvis Grbac is still amazed by what Howard did that day. “I threw the ball up and it was really incomplete, to tell you the truth,” Grbac said. “Then at about the 5-yard line, Des looks up and he goes into another gear and absolutely runs by the corner and there are not too many guys who can do that. "That was a catch that just propelled him through the entire season, because now once we got inside the 20-yard line, people were like, ‘OK, what’s he going to run? Nobody’s going to stop him.’ After that ND game we could do whatever we wanted with Des.”

    Looking forward to seeing my classmate and Heisman Trophy winner honored on Saturday.

    More details on the book and where to find it here.

    ’94 Michigan grads Randy and Jason Sklar guest-hosted Jim Rome’s radio show Friday and as they do, brought a little Michigan feel to the show.  In the second hour they were joined by Desmond:

    They discussed the timing of the Ohio State-Michigan game, the BCS in general, Reggie Bush giving his Heisman Trophy back and NCAA violations, on the upcoming season, his sleeper team in the Big Ten (Wisconsin), and the outlook for Michigan and Rich Rodriquez (needs 8 or 9 wins, or seven with Ohio State), "no doubt in my mind they will score points."  Howard also joked about Bill Martin disappearing earlier than originally expected.

    Love the outro music.