The 1951 Rose Bowl victory capped off a nice season for coach Bennie Oosterbaan’s crew.  The 1950 squad featured team MVP Don Dufek and All-American R. Allen Wahl and won the conference title with a 6-3-1 overall record, dropping games to Michigan State, #1 ranked Army [played at Yankee Stadium), and to Illinois.  Despite a tough start the team rallied to win their final three games and added the great victory in Pasadena.

You probably can’t say this for any Michigan Rose Bowl champion, but the win over Cal in Pasadena was not the definitive victory for this team. That distinction will always be reserved for the game over a month earlier on November 25, 1950 in Columbus—a game that will forever be known as The Snow Bowl.

The week leading up to the game was somewhat normal for a November in the Midwest. On Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), Columbus experienced 38 degree temperatures and rain. By 8am Friday morning the thermometer sunk to 5 degrees and it snowed off and on for most of the day. The forecast for Saturday was a chilly 15 degrees and possible snow, but Friday evening to early Saturday morning things took a wicked turn:


A shirtless, unruly hairy beast with bad teeth seen outside Ohio stadium?  shocker

During the night, a storm moving up the Carolina coast pumped Atlantic moisture like a fire hose westward to meet the southward blast of frigid air. The clash of these two air masses reached full fury over Ohio and western Pennsylvania, paralyzing the region with heavy snow, gale-force winds and near-zero temperatures. Pittsburgh lay under a 16-inch snowfall with another foot forecast, forcing cancellation of the Pitt-Penn State game. Southeastern Ohio measured 14 plus inches. Transportation across the state ground to a halt.

As game time drew near the field was buried and around 50,000 brave fans huddled beneath the Ohio Stadium stands and waited to take their seats. A meeting was held between the schools to decide whether to play the game that included Ohio coach Wes Felser, Ohio athletic director Dick Larkin, Michigan AD Fritz Crisler and Oosterbaan. There had yet to be a Big Ten conference game canceled for any reason and this game held greater significance. If the game wasn’t played, Ohio State would earn a trip to the Rose Bowl. But Larkin knew (and certainly Oosterbaan and especially Crisler reminded him) that Michigan could potentially earn a trip to the Rose Bowl with a win. Ultimately Larkin gave the green light and remarked, “We’ll just have to do the best we can.”

When the game started, the teams did the only thing they could. Run a play or two and then punt rather than risk a turnover.

Michigan entered the game third in the conference standings behind the Buckeyes and Illinois. During the game word made it to the Michigan sideline that Northwestern upset the Illini meaning a Wolverine victory would send Oosterbaan and company to Pasadena.

The decisive moment came with time running out in the first half as Fesler made a tactical move that probably cost him his job, as described by Sports Illustrated:

On third and 6 at the Ohio State 13, Buckeyes coach Wes Fesler instructed [Heisman Trophy winner Vic] Janowicz to punt with Ohio State holding a 3-2 lead. Only 47 seconds remained in the half and it is likely that Ohio State could have run out the clock. But Michigan’s Tony Momsen — whose older brother Bob played for the Buckeyes — blocked the kick and then fell on it in the end zone, closing the scoring in a 9-3 Michigan win.

Thanks to WolverineHistorian, a few clips from the game:

 

 

The statistics from the game are remarkable:

  • Ohio State had 41 yards of total offense, Michigan 27.
  • The Buckeyes actually attempted 18 passes, completing just three for 25 yards.
  • Michigan had no first downs; Ohio State three.
  • The teams punted a combined 45 times for a total of 1,408 yards.
  • The team fumbled 10 times but lost only one each.

There’s probably hundreds of other stories about the game from those who witnessed it. HBO’s The Rivalry spent a good portion of the documentary on the game providing some phenomenal footage. The BBC website pulled together an impressive recap and added this anecdote which will definitely get a chuckle out of any Michigan Marching Band fan:

..the Ohio State Marching Band, which considered itself the best in the country (and still does), was offended by an article in Life magazine which claimed Michigan had the best. Ohio State was determined to prove itself and arranged an elaborate performance for half time. However, the brass instruments were chilled and the mouthpieces frozen. It seemed it would be unable to play.

The band planned to silently perform its maneuvers, which included standing together in a shape resembling a Buckeye leaf, while previously recorded music played over the loudspeakers. However, the determined band members got hold of some antifreeze for their mouthpieces and did the performance.

I’ll bookend end this eBay Watch with another item from the period. It’s a 1951 Michiganensian yearbook, featuring a few photos from both games, here’s a few pics from the Snow Bowl as displayed in the yearbook:

[Originally posted November 16, 2008]

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Sources:
* From the Ohio State library 1950 OSU vs. Michigan, The Snow Bowl
* An excellent recap from The BBC Website
* Game footage from ohiohistory.com
* Weather Events: Blizzard Bowl
* SI.com on the 10 greatest games in the U-M/OSU Rivalry

[Ed. With the talk of boycotting Saturday’s game (or at least the kickoff), a repost.  It’s not the first time there was talk on campus of boycotting a home game, although the circumstances in 1931 were quite different. Originally published in July 2011.]

1931

I rarely feature ticket stubs on eBay Watch but this one is pretty unique.  In 1931 the Western Conference agreed to schedule a full slate of games to benefit a fund for the many Depression-era unemployed worker at the end of the season.   The league also agreed the games would count in the tight conference standings.

A full unused ticket to the game between the Wolverines and Wisconsin on November 28, 1931 went up on on eBay:

Wisconsin Ticket Stub
Check out the backdrop of the stub with the football player tossing a bag of loot (“A Forward Pass”) to the mass of needy onlookers with arms outstretched.

It’s actually not a shock that this ticket appears to be unused given the story of this one.  Charity be damned, barely 9,000 fans (some reports say only 7,000) bothered to show up for the game.  This ticket sold for $1, others went for $2.  Regular season ducats went for between $2-$3 that season.

Why the poor turnout?

Well, it seems that early in the process of determining the match-ups for the charity games, it was decided that Michigan would square off in the Big House against Northwestern.  The teams had shared the conference crown in 1930 and were near the top of the standings again.  Thinking they could raise more money by putting Northwestern in Chicago’s Solider Field, a couple weeks before the date they changed course and pitted the Wildcats against Purdue. Michigan was left with Wisconsin.

unemployment

Everyone in Ann Arbor – from Fielding Yost to the editors of the Michigan Daily — went berserk.   After the Badgers were assigned, director Yost told reporters, “This whole thing has been such mess that I won’t even venture a conservative guess on how many will turn out.  It won’t be many.”

The Daily suggested a boycott.  Students were quoted saying they “wouldn’t give a nickel” or even “cross the street” to see a weak Wisconsin squad.

Ironically the biggest benefactor of the whole event, which raised $154,000, might have been Michigan.  Northwestern ended up losing to Purdue 7-0, so those who watched Michigan defeat Wisconsin 16-0 actually saw them earn a share of the league title.

The Wisconsin win propelled Michigan into the next two championship seasons when Kipke and crew won back-to-back national titles in 1932 and 1933.

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07. October 2011 · Comments Off on TWIMFBH – Crushing The Cadets and “Kramer of Michigan” (1955 – audio) · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , , , ,

This Week in Michigan Football takes a look back to Saturday October 8, 1955, when Michigan took on Army in front of 97,000 at the Big House.

Michigan prevailed that day 26-2 for its first win over Army.  I touch on the game but talk a bit about the legend Ron Kramer who passed away last fall.

As always, you can listen to it out before the KeyBank Countdown to Kick-off on WTKA 1050AM tomorrow, or click play now:

 

You can hear all of the  This Week… clips here.

image For more on Kramer’s life, check out his book, co-written with Dan Ewald, That’s Just Kramer!

Hoke didn’t bring them back but I think a surprising number of Michigan fans would like to see them return.  I’m talking about the helmet stickers or decals of course, Bo Schembechler’s 1965 invention (while at Miami, OH) that he brought to Ann Arbor. 

Wolverine gear guru Dr. Steve Sapardanis was one hoping they’d be back and he’s even suggested a 2011 version to grace the Schutts and Riddells on Saturdays:

Although these won’t adorn the headgear this season, Dr. Sap thought he’d run down a his thoughts on who he’d honor each week.  First, some context from Sap:

In the past, Bo Schembechler had a list of achievements and criteria for each team (Offense, Defense and Special Teams) as well as individual accomplishments for awarding his helmet decals.

Not being privy to film study or game performance grading, the process has been simplified to just touchdowns and big plays – and a few other "Awards of Distinction" as you will see below.

Here’s Sap’s rundown for Eastern Michigan, including some influence from the editor of this site.
sap

Week #3 vs. Eastern Michigan
ALL members of the Michigan Defense: for not allowing a point in the 1st quarter – first time all season!
Jibreel Black: 1 decal for Forced Fumble in 1st quarter.
Thomas Gordon: 2 decals – one for 1st quarter Fumble Recovery and one for 2nd quarter one-handed Interception.
Jordan Kovacs: 2 decals – one for 4th down goalline stop in 1st quarter and one for 3rd down stop/open-field tackle in 2nd quarter.
Denard Robinson: 4 decals – one for 52-yard run in 2nd quarter; 9-yard TD pass to Kevin Koger; 11-yard TD run in 2nd quarter; 19-yard TD pass to Drew Dileo in 3rd quarter.
Kevin Koger: 1 decal for 9-yard TD reception in 2nd quarter.
Vincent Smith: 1 decal for Denard Robinson fumble recovery in 2nd quarter.
Drew Dileo: 1 decal for 19-yard TD reception in 3rd quarter.
Brandin Hawthorne: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
Craig Roh: 2 decals for 3rd quarter Sack and Tackle For Loss.
Martavious Odoms:  1 decal, editor’s choice, for his blocking downfield and driving an EMU defender five yards out of bounds
Jeremy Gallon:  1 decal, editor’s choice, for doing a great job handling punts.  Relief!
Jake Ryan: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
Will Heininger: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
Fitzgerald Toussaint: 1 decal for 1-yard TD Run in 3rd quarter.
Brendan Gibbons: 1 decal for 21-yard Field Goal in 4th quarter – the FIRST UM FG this year!
Mike Martin: 1 decal for the NASTIEST-LOOKING HELMET on the team – it looks like it already has a year’s worth of scuff marks in just game #3 of the season!
Vincent Smith & Jordan Kovacs: 1 decal each for the BEST LOOKING HELMET DESIGN on the team. No surprise that they BOTH wear Schutt helmets designed by Russ Hawkins of Capitol Varsity.  and Finally:

Ron English: 1 decal for putting decal awards on the EMU helmets – what a novel concept!
                    ——————————————————————————————

And since we’re in week 3, Sap shared his tallies for the first couple weeks:

Week #1 vs. Western Michigan
Brady Hoke
: 1 decal for not wearing a coat or jacket during the downpour of rain. TOUGH!
Michael Shaw: 1 decal for 44-yard TD run.
Fitzgerald Toussaint: 2 decals – one for 1-yard TD Run and one for 2-yard TD Run.
Brandon Herron: 3 decals – one for 94-yard Interception Return for a TD and one for 29-yard Fumble Recovery for a TD, and +1 editor’s pick for getting us to talk about Tom Harmon’s exploits.
Jake Ryan: 1 decal for knocking down pass at goalline that Herron returned 94 yards for a TD.
Ryan Van Bergen: 1 decal for Fumble recovery.
Jordan Kovacs: 2 decals – one for blitzing hit on QB that caused fumble return for TD, one for other blitzing sack.

Week #2 vs. Notre Dame
Dave Brandon: 1 decal for creating an outstanding atmosphere for a college football game -2nd only to the Rose Bowl at night! (For those of you who have never been, the Rose Bowl at night is a DEFINITE UM Fan Bucket List priority!).
Charles Woodson: 1 decal for the biggest (Super Bowl) ring in the stadium – I could see it 3 sections over and 30 rows up –sweet!
U-M media relations – 1 editor’s pick, for posting the audio from Gary Moeller’s headset before the catch.
Desmond Howard – 1 decal editor’s pick, for his wonderful speech before the game.
Steve Everitt: 2 decals – 1 for still being the toughest AND toughest LOOKING dude in the stadium & the best center U-M has had since…#48?  And editor’s choice, for blowing up this website with people searching on the name ‘Steve Everitt’.
Drum major McMahon: 1 decal for his pre-game catching of the baton over the crossbar, atoning for the fumble in Season Opener vs. WMU.
Denard Robinson: 5 decals – one for each TD (4 passing, 1 rushing).
Junior Hemingway: 2 decals – one for 77 yard reception and one for 43-yard TD catch.
Jeremy Gallon: 2 decals – one for 14-yard TD reception and one for 64-yard reception to set up winning TD.
Vincent Smith: 2 decals, one for the epic 21-yard TD reception on the screen, and +1 editor’s choice, for tossing the ball into the hands of the Irish Guard at the back of the end zone after the play.
Roy Roundtree: 1 decal for 16-yard game winning TD reception.
Jordan Kovacs: 1 decal for 2nd quarter interception.
J.T. Floyd: one decal for 2nd quarter interception.
Will Campbell: 2 decals – one for 3rd quarter fumble recovery and one for 3rd down stop late in game.
Jake Ryan: 1 decal for 3rd down stop late in game.
Ryan Van Bergen: 1 decal for 4th quarter fumble recovery.
Marvin Robinson: 1 decal for forced fumble.
Terrance Robinson: 1 decal for fumble recovery.
Stephen Hopkins: 1 decal for executing goalline fumble-rooskie play to Denard for TD – NICE!

A repost, the seller informs me he still has some in stock.
A must have for any man cave, Michigan shrine, office, garage and/or living room (if you aren’t married).   It’s a bunch of pre-locker room renovation lockers removed from Schembechler Hall.  Check it out:

lockers

  Details:

Full size locker, WITH COMBINATION!!  We have proof of authenticity, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the ultimate Michigan Football memorabilia collector. It could be a very long time before they change lockers again.  Locker numbers still on them.

Dimensions:  36" wide x 24" deep x 74-3/4" tall
Weight: About 200 lbs – costs about $250 to ship or free pick-up in Detroit

It seems a local demolition company cleaned out the locker room and was granted rights to take away the lockers.  Get this—they actually crushed one of them before someone came to their senses.  The company is based in Detroit and they’ve got a few left to sell.

How much?  The seller told me asking around $800 and willing to talk if you want more than one.   They’ll even deliver in the Detroit area.

Interested to buying one of these to round out your shrine or for a gift? 

Here are a couple higher resolution photos:

locker1

locker2

For more info or to buy one if they’re still available, send me an email.  Very cool.

P.S. Yes I have one and yes, it made it inside the house into my office (!)

16. August 2011 · Comments Off on A Nice Day for Football (Photos) · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , , , , ,

A few shots from practice today:

Troy Woolfolk - MVictors
Troy Woolfolk looking fit working with the DBs

Brady Hoke Watching Kickers 
The boss was keeping a close eye on the kickers

Michigan Players Warming Up
Open punting try-outs (not really)

 

Denard Robinson Taking the SnapDenard grabbing the snap

 

Denard hitting the Tight End
Denard hitting TE Steve Watson

Related:

  • Heading to the Third World
  • Media/Fan Day – Photos
  •  

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    Ira Weintraub and I walked through a bunch of topics related to 1930s Michigan football early Thursday morning on WTKA 1050AM.  One thing we didn’t discuss was why Kipke’s Wolverines were named national champions back then (and consider so to this day).

    Harry Kipke’s 1932 and 1933 teams were champions not by virtue of a poll of writers or coaches.   The two titles were determined by the most widely recognized method at the time: the Dickinson System, a formula devised by Illinois economics professor Frank Dickinson that ranked college teams at the end of each season.

    Michigan_Rockne_Trophy The formula was pretty simple.  Each game outcome (win, loss or tie) earned a score based on the quality of the opponent. The total of points for a season was then divided by the number of games to arrive at a common rating metric.    They key for teams in these parts: Dickinson added a factor to adjust for games that involved teams from different parts of the country and it contained a very heavy “Middlewest” bias:

    “differential points” would be factored in for an “intersectional game”, with ratings of 0.00 for East schools, higher points for “Middlewest” (+4.77) and Southwest (+1.36), negatives for the South (-2.59), the Big Six (2.60) and the Pacific Coast (-2.71).

    Strength of your opponent was a huge factor in the Dickinson system.  A loss against a ‘first division’ team earned you 15 points, while a win against a ‘second division’ team earned you just 20.  In 1933 consider that Michigan actually earned more points for tying Minnesota than did Fritz Crisler’s Princeton for pummeling Amherst 45-0.  I mention the Tigers as they were the only unbeaten, untied team that year but only received sparse support for recognition as national champ as they finished a distant seventh according to the Dickinson.

    The NCAA has collected all the other groups that did or have since devised a method to determine the champion.  They’ve since taken them down or moved these listings, but here’s how they break down 1933:

    Michigan: Billingsley, Boand, Dickinson, Helms, Houlgate, Football Research, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis*, Poling
    Ohio St.: Dunkel
    Princeton: Parke Davis*
    Southern California: Williamson

    Without getting into too far into these ridiculous arguments over who’s better, Ohio State and USC both had losses that season (the Buckeyes were shut-out by Michigan!). Princeton has a beef given they finished 9-0-0 but played what is perceived to be a much softer schedule.  Not a major surprise but the Tigers do claim ownership of the ’33 title per their horrible & shameful website covering the rich history of their football program:

    Art Lane ’34 captains the Princeton eleven to an undefeated, untied season and the national championship. This is one of the best defensive teams in Princeton Football history allowing only eight points.

    So yes, it was a mathematical formula created by an economics professor that gave Michigan the 1932 and 1933 national titles.  The Dickinson ratings were published until 1940 but in 1936 it was displaced as the accepted determinant of college football champion by the Associated Press writers poll.

    Further demonstrating the silliness of these various methods of sorting out the college football season, check this out.  In 2004 the folks down at Southern Cal were digging around and noticed that they held the highest Dickinson rating in 1939 (again, a few years after the Dickinson system took a backseat to the AP Poll).   According to the NCAA no other body views the 8-0-2 Trojans as the champion and all (including the AP) give official the honor to undefeated Texas A&M.  “Whatever,” said USC and in 2004, a month before kick-off of the college football season, USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett made an announcement:

    “It was brought to our attention by various individuals that we should be claiming the 1939 Trojans among our national champions in football,” said Garrett. “We took this matter seriously, did significant research and determined this to be true. That 1939 team was one of the greatest in our history.”

    If you are curious, here are a few unclaimed national titles Michigan can go after–so someone email Dave Brandon and tell him to get crackin’:

    1910: Billingsley
    1925: Sagarin <—you could argue this was Yost’s best team
    1964: Dunkel
    1973: National Championship Foundation, Poling
    1985: Matthews, Sagarin

     

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    09. July 2011 · Comments Off on Dirty Harry (WTKA audio) · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , ,

    When I hopped in the car Friday morning I was happy to hear the discussion on the WTKA 1050AM morning show focused on the 1930s and in particular, former M coach Harry Kipke.   Ira took a few calls including a notable one from listener Don who broke down the whole discussion of “worst” three year stretch ever, and the fall of the Kipke era.   Here’s Don’s call:

    Well done, Don.

    As far as Don’s online Michigan historian, I’m pretty sure that’s me and he’s correct that you can find a lot more on that era on these pages.

    kipke

    Regarding the worst stretch ever, I started that discussion three seasons ago when local writers started calling RichRod’s first the worst of all time.  And despite what folks say (including our athletic department), by almost any measure the 3 year stretches from 1934-1936 and from 1935-1937 are worse, and Don adds some great points about our dismal performance against our rivals.

    It’s not so much that I care if you make a statement about the worst or best or whatever.  But out of respect for those who care about the history and traditions of this university, at least mix in a “one of the” or “among the” before you drop in the word “worst” or “best”, assuming you are not willing to do the research. Right?

    As far as the scandalous end to the Kipke era, you can get your fill here, to this day one of the more popular pages on this site.   His most egregious foul (at least in today’s terms) was this one:

    Subsidizing players.  Yes, it appears as though Michigan promised the classic nice “jobs” to incoming freshman.  According to a university report players were basically guaranteed a wage at certain jobs whether they showed up or not.  The local employer was “instructed to bill another Ann Arbor firm for the time the freshman collected for not working” [Chicago Tribune, 11/11/37].  The whole thing unraveled when a bogus “employer” wasn’t reimbursed in a timely manner and complained.

    As I’ve said, there’s a reason why Bo, Yost, Crisler and even Oosterbaan have buildings named after them and Kipke has a service drive through the stadium parking lot.

    Related:
    Yost’s Warning to you Drunks (1933)
    1933 and the Dickinson Formula
    1933 MSC Ticket Application
    Harry Kipke and the Fall of 1934
    Smoke ‘em if you Got ‘em (1935-ish)
    The Willis Ward Protests (1934)

    oregon-michigan-bribe-1960

    I stubbed my toe on this interesting nugget of Michigan football history recently.  It turns out that there was a foiled attempt by wiseguys to bribe an Oregon player prior to game against the Wolverines in the 1960 season opener. 

    The failed fixing attempt was revealed to the media after the Wolverines’ 21-0 victory over the Ducks on September 24, 1960. 

    Here’s a rundown of what happened:

    • Shortly after the Ducks’ plane landed at Willow Run (just down I-94 from Ann Arbor) airport, Oregon junior halfback Mickey Bruce was approached by a 27-year old school teacher from Brooklyn, NY named David Budin.  Later Budin told police he was acting on behalf of two gamblers from Miami, FL.
    • Budin allegedly offered Bruce $5,000 if he could “let a pass receiver behind him” and if he would cause the Oregon quarterback to “call the wrong plays” in the game against Bump Elliott’s Wolverines.   Michigan was a six-point favorite in the game.
    • Budin targeted Bruce because he claimed to be a friend a former Oregon basketball player named Jim Granada, who in turn was a close friend Bruce’s.
    • Budin and the two gamblers followed the Oregon team to their Dearborn hotel and approached the Oregon junior again.  After this second meeting Bruce went to Oregon coach Len Casanova and told him what was going on.  The FBI was contacted and they turned matters over to the State Police.
    • The two gamblers apparently got wise and split; Budin was arrested Saturday morning before the game back at the hotel.
      Days after the 21-0 victory word of the scandal made the papers but in the end, Budin wasn’t busted for anything beyond a misdemeanor…He was fined $100 for registering in a hotel with a fake name(!).  That’s a crime? 
      FWIW Bruce had an interception in the game.

    Naturally Budin was in and out of the news in the 1960s for various gambling-rated encounters, including an investigation of college basketball fixing a couple years later.   He and his son Steven were indicted in 1998 for running an off-shore (incorporated in Costa Rica) gambling operation out of Miami. 

    josh_groban_thumbs_up

    You heard?  On an recent email thread in my inbox someone mentioned they heard Jim Rome talking about how Rodriguez played Bette Midler at the banquet.

    I was there and even live blogged for the second year in a row if you missed it.  (It was going well until the Dee Hart to Bama rumors emerged and unfolded during the middle of the bust and the live chat went sideways for a spell.  Recruitniks! <shakes fist>)

    So regarding Rodriguez’s speech and the Josh Groban moment.  I was seated in the back of the room.  Rich Rod starting his final words around 9pm and lost in all the Grobanathon is that Rodriguez delivered an excellent speech.  It was passionate, heartfelt and he seemed truly humbled in the moment.   About ten minutes in he dropped two of his big lines, “Our time is coming, and it’s coming in a big way”, and “We’ll let people jump on the bandwagon. They may not get a front seat.”  You forget that Rodriguez is a skilled public speaker in these type of forums.

    Then came the Groban stuff, about 10 minutes in.  When RR first mentioned the pop-opera crooner I winced.  When he recited the lyrics I chuckled & when they started blasting the tune I cringed.  And it was LOUD.  I think it would have been a little easier to consume if they had a highlight package or video piece along with the music but they didn’t – they just panned the cameras around the room.  I’m not sure who started the hand holding, etc., but it was in the vicinity of Beckmann, Rich Rod and Rita Rod, who were seated together.   I didn’t watch the whole scene because I was too busy typing snarky comments and tweets – (keep in mind I was seated in Snarkville).  Admittedly if Michigan were 12-0 or 11-1 right now I would have stood on the table and fired up a lighter, swayed back and forth like a champ and ran out and grabbed some wrap-around scarves.

    OK, other than those four minutes here’s what else happened:

    • Brandon and the Bowl. Dave Brandon only spoke for a short spell and to me, didn’t bring the same energy level you typically witness from Super Dave.  He was seated on the opposite side of the podium to Rodriguez if you are keeping score.  After MC Frank Beckmann (did a great job) mentioned the possibility Insight Bowl, Brandon said he wasn’t so sure we were headed west.  Take that for what it’s worth and usually people in those positions don’t throw out comments haphazardly so we’ll see.  P.S. MSC couldn’t make it.
    • Seniors. I was graduated from LSA in the early 90s and back then if you asked me to give a speech in front of all those people as a 21 year-old I’m not sure what would happen.  These guys looked great, sounded great and a few delivered their words like real pros.  Be proud of these guys.
    • “Irregardless of what you say, it’s in the past.” The funniest cat was Perry Dorrestein for sure and reading his body language and tone you can be sure he’s a real cut up.   Rodriguez mentioned in his intro that he heard that Dorrestein did a great Rich Rodriguez impression.   After he stepped up to the podium, the senior informed everyone that we wouldn’t be hearing that impression tonight because he had another month under Rodriguez and didn’t want to get killed.
    • Neither Tate nor related to Ricky. Kevin Leach gave an excellent speech – check it out if you have the means.   He looks a lot like Tate Forcier and he thanked everyone who asked has asked for his autograph thinking he was Tate, but got his signature anyway after getting the bad news.

    More from the seniors:

    • James Rogers, who looked sharp in his black suit and white vest, gave a shout out to “all the true Michigan fans.”
    • Several of the guys thanked their girlfriends prompting several puke face/gag me gestures from me.  A couple of the guys read their speech from their phones/devices.
    • Zac Ciullo is already accepted into U-M Law school. Rich Rod said (paraphrasing), he probably won’t need him because he’s been lawyer’d out the past 3 years.  After Ciullo’s excellent speech, RR said something like, “maybe I could use you!”.
    • Obi Ezeh thanked the seniors “who stayed.”
    • Jon Bills, who was in that brutal car accident, said Michigan players he hadn’t even met yet visited him in the hospital. Said Rich Rod visited him just about every day.  (File under: stuff you don’t hear about but RR is actually a good guy).
    • Sr. Doug Rogan mentioned an funny story about a hit during practice, said it occurred within the NCAA limits of practice time drawing many a chuckle.
    • Martell Webb had a great moment, yelling over to Denard, reminding him they have one game left (as in – don’t forget about me/throw me the ball)! Crowd loved it.
    • Jonas Mouton was choked up big time and had a touching moment.  He stepped up there, paused and said he’s “Not really ready to say goodbye yet”.
    • Kicker Scott Schrimscher killed it too.   He reminded everyone he’s 2 for 2 on extra points and thanked Barwis for “this incredibly good looking physique” and ended with “Those Who Stay will be champions”  – awesome speech.
    • Dominique Ware thanked Barwis – said he put him thru things no sane person should go thru (paraphrase) and like many guys, thanked Big Jon Falk for his socks and the gear (busting Big Jon’s chops a bit).  Said he’s coming back to get them after he graduates.

    All in all a great event.  Oh, and yes they honored the 1985 team and I sat right next to one of their tables.  I would have done a little more on the team – invest 10 minutes with a highlight package, maybe a few words from the captains, etc., but oh well.

    More nuggets inside live blog replay.