It’s not a secret that I’m a fan of the Michigan Football Legends program because it’s forcibly re-introduced these names and these eras into the conversation, especially on the week they’ve been honored.  I’ve also witnessed (and in many cases been a part of) the research and publication of fresh materials on these men as a direct result of the Legends program.   That’s a good thing– and this stuff will be available for future generations to see.

Speaking of that you might have noticed I’ve been plugging the commemorative Tom Harmon/Notre Dame game program this week.  Call me a #1000SSS shill, but those who read this site understand that I aggressively support projects like that program because the athletic department invested resources to make this a big day, and again, to gather fresh material on Harmon.  Great stories.   New interviews.  Digitization of epic footage.  Enhancement of old photos (see the program cover).  Et cetera.

As a fan I think this is a case where a few bucks to grab the program is important.  And I’m assuming a lot of what was produced will end up in Schembechler Hall.

I also understand there are critics.  I felt the Twitter flak when the #11, #87, #21 jerseys were re-introduced and I’m feeling a tad groundswell from those that think the #98 should remain on the shelf.   You could argue that Michigan should be investing, from time to time, in the fresh research on these guys anyway, without having to put the jerseys #s back on the field.  You could argue that the whole end game with the Legends is to make a buck, whether on retro jerseys or whatever.  I get all that.  But again, I think that we’re talking about these guys and given what were seeing produced—it is worth it.

Another consideration is of course for the living families members.  Most the Legends aren’t with us anymore.  Brady alluded to that after the game Saturday when I asked him about the #98.  He said, “Obviously we want to make sure we honor the family..”   Think about guys like Mark Harmon, the actor, 24-time reigning Sexiest man alive and son of the soon-to-be Legend.  When, in Mark’s lifetime, is his old man going to be honored like this again?   Not going to happen.

And speaking of family, check this out.  Over the past few years I’ve become pals with Ben (or as many like me refer to him, “Bennie”) McCready—the godson of the great #47 Bennie Oosterbaan.  Ben was on the field last year when Jake Ryan took the honor of donning the #47.  Since then he and Bennie have a forged a bit of a relationship and after Saturday’s CMU game they hooked up.  Check out captain Ryan trying on this beauty in the shadow of the Glick:

Jake Ryan 47 Photo compliments of Bennie McCready

I don’t care who you are, that’s cool.

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15. September 2012 · Comments Off on Ron Kramer enters Michigan Football Legends Program–Official Release · Categories: 2012 · Tags: ,

IMG_6328Brandon Moore prior to the game

Via U-M Media Relations:

Kramer Recognized as Michigan Football Legend, Tight End Moore to Wear No. 87 Jersey

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan Athletic Department officially recognized Ron Kramer as a Michigan Football Legend today (Sept. 15) during a pregame ceremony at the Michigan-Massachusetts football game.

Fifth-year senior tight end Brandon Moore (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) will wear the No. 87 jersey for the remainder of the season, switching from No. 89. A patch over the left upper chest will be affixed to the No. 87 jersey worn by Moore and all other future players donning Kramer’s jersey number.

"I didn’t know why Coach Hoke wanted to see me in his office, but when he asked me if I would like to wear Ron Kramer’s No. 87 jersey I couldn’t believe it," said Moore. "When you think of the history and tradition of this program and some of the great players like Ron Kramer, to carry on that legacy, that responsibility, is humbling. It’s an honor to wear No. 87."

Kramer was a two-time consensus All-American (1955-56) and a three-time All-Big Ten first team selection (1954-56). He was a standout two-way player at offensive and defensive end, and also saw time at running back, quarterback, kicker and receiver. The former Green Bay Packers All-Pro tight end was a nine-time letterman in three sports at Michigan: football, basketball and track. Kramer led the Wolverines in scoring for two seasons on the gridiron while doing the same in basketball.

Desmond Howard was the inaugural Michigan Football Legend, honored in 2011 during the first night game in Michigan Stadium history. Howard’s No. 21 jersey is worn by senior wide receiver Roy Roundtree (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) in 2012.

Bennie Oosterbaan was recognized as a Michigan Football Legend prior to the season opener against Air Force, and his No. 47 jersey is being worn by junior/sophomore Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius). Former players Gerald Ford and Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert also will be honored as Michigan Football Legends during the 2012 season. Following are the dates for recognizing legend status for those former players:

· Gerald Ford (No. 48) — Illinois (Oct. 13)

· Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert (No. 11) — Northwestern (Nov. 10)

In addition to the permanent patch, the Michigan Football Legends will be featured in a special area to be designed and constructed in the soon-to-be renovated Schembechler Hall. Also, the lockers to be used in both the Schembechler Hall and Michigan Stadium locker rooms will be customized to reflect the fact that those names will forever be recognized as Michigan Football Legends.