[Ed. Originally posted Feb 7 2011, I’m moving this up front due to the 30th Anniversary]

I’ve been digging out a few interesting old stories on the periphery of Michigan football in recent days and here’s another story I think you’ll like.

You know Bob Wojnowski of course, the long time Detroit News columnist and the Nutter Butter-gobbling co-host of the great ‘Stoney and Wojo’ radio show from 1995 to 2009.

Wojo is a Michigan grad and cut his journalistic teeth at the Michigan Daily three decades ago.  In one of his final assignments as sports editor, he and Daily photographer Brian Masck became part of the story back in 1982 after they spent a few hours in a Columbus jail.

After midnight on November 20, 1982, the evening before The Game, the two were down on High Street taking in the sights and sounds with a few of their peers from The Lantern.  When a pickled reveler started cussing out the police monitoring the scene, the cops got rough–brutally shoving him up against a wall.  Masck questioned the police tactics and whipped out his camera hoping to capture the scene.

When the cops told him to put away the camera, Masck challenged the legality of such a request and was arrested.  The Daily later published this shot, the best Masck could manage:

masck photo

Meanwhile, Wojo saw this go down and protested Brian’s arrest (and also tried to fetch the car keys in Masck’s pocket).  Wojo was promptly arrested as well.

They spent a few hours in the Columbus clink before being released around 6 a.m.

Fast forward to the early 1983.   Once the “charges” were dropped against he and Masck, Wojo dropped this guest opinion piece/bomb (he was no longer editor) into the March 22, 1983 Daily.  I was going to highlight a few sections but it’s too good.  For those who have heard the story before I still encourage you to read this piece of vintage Wojo from the aftermath of this incident:

wojo-82

I’ll have a pretty interesting follow-up in the next couple days [Ed. It’s posted now]. I reached out and exchanged a few emails with Masck about all this and he shared some great stuff.  I asked him (not being snarky, I was generally curious) why he had his camera at with him at 1am-ish on High Street, back when cameras didn’t fit in your pocket of course.   You’ll love his answer.

Related:
Part II
High Street Blues (‘82 Daily arrests – Part Two)

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So over the weekend a gent named Neal Rubin for popped up and wrote this piece on Rodriguez in the Detroit News, basically talking about how much of an a-hole Rich Rod is.   Normally I wouldn’t bother to say anything – it reads like a bad sports radio call – but after basically calling Rich Rod a slippery, money-grabbing phony, he went here:

Fielding Yost didn’t sign contract extensions and then flirt with other schools to extort raises.

Actually, despite this being a completely different era in college sports, Yost maneuvered quite a bit with his contracts and with U-M.   I know FHY on some level—he was a very savvy negotiator and businessman, go read The Big House–so when I saw this I got a laugh.

I asked author/historian John Kryk [Natural Enemies], who’s in the process of writing the definitive history of Yost and his Point-A-Minute teams, and he shared this on the topic:

“No matter how long Yost’s contract was (one-year, two-year, five-year) in his first decade, it was always a source of relief in Ann Arbor every late-Nov/early-Dec when he announced he was for sure coming back. Occasionally, there were reports he was considering an offer from, say, Wisconsin — or from the East. One year he even boldly and publicly disputed the wording of his contract as to whether he’d be allowed to coach elsewhere if he opted out of coaching Michigan.   Another year he threatened to retire, he was so discouraged.  Yost worked it masterfully to his own advantage.”

Someone tell Rubin he just got served.  Then tell him what that means.

You’d think the more experienced writers would be a little more conscientious about tossing out these historical references but I don’t find that to be the case at all.   Rubin then mentioned some other big names:

Fritz Crisler didn’t try to weasel out of a buyout clause. Bennie Oosterbaan didn’t make an embarrassing public plea for his job at a banquet. Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr were in Ann Arbor for the long haul, and there was comfort and benefit in that for all concerned.

As for Crisler, while I wouldn’t characterize it as a “weasel” move, he did break his contract at Princeton to come to Michigan.  He was in the middle of a five-year deal with the Tigers and got out of it to coach in Ann Arbor.  Oosterbaan, who dedicated his entire life to Michigan, didn’t make a plea—he simply resigned from the heading coaching post to make way for Bump Elliott.

And Bo was in for “the long haul” all right, that is after he seriously considered but rejected Texas A&M’s 10-year deal that would have made him coach and AD.

Rubin should stick to the sweet and yucky love at Milford High