Amara Darboh

So Amara Darboh had 9 helmet stickers after Utah, Jake Butt 8 and a handful of others (Peppers, Rudock) had seven.   Assuming the stickers are dealt out after games, we’ve presumably got a few guys with at least 15 helmet stickers on their lids following Oregon State. Now, I’ve heard some argue that these assumptions are wrong – that many of the decals to date were earned in practice (including camp) and therefore it’s not a straight line ratio from now to the end of the season.  But if the stickers are tied to game performance, and the criteria for getting stickers in a game stays consistent throughout the season – things will get sticky soon.   The skinny:

We already know they stickers are the same size as the 1985-1994 version.  As discussed here, the standard for decals likely goes to Mike Hammerstein, the mid-80s standout defensive tackle.  He was the team MVP in 1985 and his helmet showed it.  The big man was honored with 47 decals entering the bowl game, assuming he didn’t leave a couple on Keith Byars’ arse:


Assuming we’re not touching the area on or inside the wings (I will fight you, Jake Rudock!), at a glance it looks like we’ve got max capacity at 60.  Maybe we could get 62 on Wormley.

Fast forward to 2015.  A guy fifteen dekes after week 2 is projected to have 90 after playing the Buckeyes and entering the BCS playoffs bowl game.    So at this rate we’ve got a problem unless Harbaugh and crew slow their decal roll.

We’ll see how this plays out.



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30. September 2013 · Comments Off on Dr. Sap’s Decals: When the Decals Returned · Categories: 2013 · Tags: , , ,

Ed. The Decals don’t stop just because it’s a bye week.  Here’s Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis with a guest post and a little decal history:

After a two-year hiatus, award decals returned to the Michigan helmets in 1985.   Bo removed them from the helmets after the 1982 season because he felt there was not enough emphasis and focus on The Team, so off they came.

helmet decals Michigan still kept track of them for the 1983 and ’84 seasons, but in 1985 somebody convinced Bo to put the decals back on the helmets. (My guess is that somebody was Jim Harbaugh, but that is a story for another time.)

When Bo first debuted them in 1969, the decals were crudely shaped footballs that were more orange than yellow in color.  In 1975, a snarling Wolverine head was added while the shape became more rounded and elliptical.  Ten years later, the now more spheroid-shaped footballs centered the Wolverine head on them and added laces.

The 1985 season was a great year for Michigan and that team will forever be remembered for having one of the best defenses in U=M history.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that the top two decal award winners came from that side of the ball.

All-American Mike Hammerstein had 48 decals on his helmet at the end of the season in the Fiesta Bowl and Mark Messner had 44:

1985 Michigan Defense

But one player was not thrilled about the decals.  Senior co-captain and All-American defensive back Brad Cochran had ZERO decals on his helmet.

Why?  He told me several years ago that he “didn’t want to put anything on that beautiful helmet.”


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Ed. Instant historical analysis of the Outback Bowl jersey reveal compliments of Steve Sapardanis aka Dr. Sap:

The matte finish is a first for the U-M headgear.  Back in the 70s and 80s there was no gloss finish on the Michigan helmets.  Much like their coach, there was no flashiness to them – they were maize and blue and that was that.  You’d be surprised at how basic and crude those old helmets look compared to the newer ones of today.  From 1977:

1976 helmets

If you wanted the old ones to look shiny, you would have to rub some car wax on them! 

In the past 10 years or so the paint used has been more automotive grade with a much more durable and glossy finish to it.  As long as it’s not a chrome finish, I can deal with it.  The blue color seems deeper and darker, but might have more to do with the matte finish more than anything else.  Can’t really speak to the yellow unless I see it next to a current helmet that has the newer "neon" yellow color to it.   The Outback Bowl helmet seems to have a more deeper yellow than (older helmet) orange hue to it.

jerseys Via photo gallery

You have to go back to Jim Mandich in 1968 to see when the yellow "M" first appeared on the sleeves of the U-M jerseys:

mandich 1968But that was on the home, blue jerseys, not the road whites.   [Ed. Reader Brian noted this blue block M on the road jersey in the 1965 Rose Bowl]:

1965 Rose Bowl Block M

The yellow numbers are a first for the road whites as well.   Speaking of the road whites, here’s a look at the 1976 Orange Bowl whiteys:

All Whites 
The bowl game patches are now commonplace, but that took a long time for U-M to accept them on their jerseys.  The first U-M bowl game "patch" was the 1984 Sugar Bowl when MIKEHAMMERSTEIN and crew hounded Bo Jackson all day:

1984 Sugar Bowl Michigan

It wasn’t really a “patch”– it was silk-screened and printed on the shoulders of Michigan’s white jerseys.

Editor’s take:  If you are going to go white, go all the way and toss in the pants.   I don’t like what appears to be multiple different shades of maize.   I’m good with block M on the jersey, don’t like the maize numbers, I’m ok with the matte helmet.  I also like the band Rush.

Other takes:  Brian at mgoblog    Brad at MBN    Zach T. at MnB


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