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Guest Post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

Before we examine the 2015 decal (which we started in Phase I here) we need to look back at the evolution of the Michigan Football helmet decals. 

1969-1974 Version #1 – When Bo introduced the helmet stickers at Michigan in 1969 (Version 1), they were solid, maize-colored, crudely shaped footballs. These were used through the 1974 season.  Here’s Don Moorhead’s helmet as featured on HelmetHut.com:

moorhead3

1975-1982  Version #2 – The decal shape became more oval and the snarling wolverine head was added.   There was now a left-facing version, and a right-facing version.  Here is a good look at them from one of Jim Dack’s helmets (find more info on Jim’s collection at wolverinehelmet.com):

Photo Sep 13, 8 34 56 AM

The other distinction with this version was that the wolverine image was actually clear, thus allowing the blue helmet paint to make the wolverine appear blue:

sticker_thumb 
Because the design was made 40 years ago, there was no high-end computer program like Photoshop that was used to create the snarling Wolverine head graphic.  It was probably created using Line Art.  Notice the level of detail on the hair, teeth and nose of the wolverine. The more you zoom in, the more detail you will see.

1983-1984  No Helmet Stickers.  The mystery of this two-year stretch discussed here.

1985-1994 Version 3 – After a two year absence, the decals returned in 1985 (Version 3) with a few modifications.

clip_image004

The shape was now more spheroid in nature. The snarling wolverine is no longer a clear image – it is distinctly colored blue.  The wolverine head was centered in the decal laces were now added to the top of the shape giving it more of a football feel, and the color was a little brighter yellow.  Before Saturday, we hadn’t seen decals on the Michigan helmets since the Wolverines defeated Colorado State in the 1994 Holiday Bowl.

2015- – Version 4 – So we learned on Labor Day that the decals would be returning.  Here’s another look:

decal Upon further review, a few things are apparent:

  • Size – The overall size is the same as the Version 3 (1985) decal with one distinction- the wolverine logo is actually slightly smaller, 1/16” (from blue tip edge to blue tip edge).
  • Color – It clearly has a darker tone of maize and blue color to it so that it matches the 2015 uniform, including the helmet wings and stripes.
  • Design – Overall design is basically the same as Version 3, with the laces and wolverine head are the same as Version 3, but now there is blue trim to it.

When looking closer at the image, I noticed a few things that were different from the 1985 decal, specifically with the quality of the wolverine:
 image

  • (1) Teeth – there is less white area in teeth of this year’s decal.
  • (2) Nose – there is less white area on the nose, as well.
  • (3) Hair – the hair length around the neck and back of head has now been “smoothed.”
  • (4) Outline – the blue trim becomes jagged when zooming in on the decal.

I think all these differences are the result of scanning the 1985 version vs. scanning the 1975 version.   So, here’s the deal: the 1975 version was the original, and the 1985 decal was created from a scan of the 1975 decal.  When it came time to create the 2015 decal, hardly any of the 1975 stickers were in good enough condition to re-scan, so the only option was to scan a 1985 decal.  What you ended up with was a scan of a scan to make the 2015 version.  When you do that, there is a loss of image quality and that is why the hair appears to be smoothed, and there is less (white) detail in the nose, teeth and elsewhere.

Is anyone going to notice this from their seats in Michigan Stadium?  No.
Will I? Yes.
Am I ok with it?  Yep.  I’m thrilled that the helmet stickers are back!

Just maybe next time a tweak is being considered for the decals, maybe Dr. Sap can be consulted?

– – – – – –

More from Oregon State game here:

 

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12. September 2015 · Comments Off on Sights and Sounds – Michigan 35, Oregon State 7 · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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De'Veon Smith - Michigan Daily

“I GUESS I HIT THAT HOLE YOU NERDS!” (via Michigan Daily)

Following another Smith score to put U-M up 26-7, Harbaugh personally called for the 2 point conversion.  He gave some kind of signal to the celebrating players – it looked like a bear claw from the press box.  He sat hunched over outside the team area basically begging for Rudock and a few other guys to get the message and line up—flashing the bear claw gesture as hard as he could.

Rudock and crew eventually got the message, lined up and successfully executed the 2 point conversion to put U-M up 28-7.  On the trot back to the sideline Rudock tried to slide back to the bench with the rest of the unit but Harbaugh put his hand in Rudock’s chest—stopping him in his tracks.  There was a quick chat between QB and coach, I assume something along the lines maintaining composure even after a TD and paying attention.  After the chat, #4 delivered a pair of hearty butt slaps and Rudock went back to the bench.

Here’s the deal – Harbaugh is in absolute control (most of the time) of the sideline and what the players are doing on the field.  The only other way he’d have it is if the rules allowed him to play a snap or two.  So the coach is in charge and coaching.  Big deal, right?  Welp…it is in these parts.

Now, it’s classic college football fan to oversteer on losses and on the wins, and that’s 3X in Ann Arbor and 4X here in Saline (me).  But the team is better and actually demonstrating real toughness. Given the recent past this is step one.  Looking ahead to some of the big games you have to feel, if nothing else, Michigan Stadium is difficult place to play again.

Sights and Sounds:

  • Darker, darker, and decals.  Uniform updates includes darker maize, darker blue and decals.  More on all that here and here the full Uniform Timeline is there.

decal

  • Darker Maize.  So now that the uniform, for the most part, has adopted the deeper, old school maize – it’s time for the rest of the stadium to get on board.  Most notably the block M on the field and the MICHIGAN in either end zone.  The contrast is striking when looking at the players against the field graphics:

image            Memo to AD Hackett.  Other things that need to get in sync with the deep maize color:

    • The GO BLUE banner
    • The band uniforms
    • Pretty much everything fans wear
    • The goal posts?  I consulted the MVictors law-talking-guy and we agree we have some leeway here to repaint the uprights.  cc: AD Hackett.  2015 NCAA rulebook:

Maize Posts

  • Banner Start. Speaking of the banner, Jim Harbaugh did not touch the banner on his way out to the field.  Vid via Mark Snyder of the Freep.   Coach did slap many-a-butt on the sidelines after units returned to the sideline, but left the banner alone despite my 85% odds on him doing so.
  • Want (in darker maize naturally):

IMG_8072

  • New Drum Major.   Well done to that guy on your first head dip.  Nice core strength.
  • Free Peek.  BRAVO to #1000SSS on the kick ass game program cover.  And bless you for sparing us shots of  players posing in golf shirts all season.  I look forward to what they bring week-to-week.  This is an actual colorized shot from Ferry Field via the U-M Bentley Historical Library.  I’m efforting more info but I assume it’s 1920-1925-ish. [Update 9/14:  Per Greg Kinney of the Bentley “The photo is from the graduation ceremony of June 1940.  It was on the cover  of  the July 1940 issue of the Michigan Alumnus Magazine. Before 1927 you would have seen a goal post (or maybe temporary bleachers) from that view.”]  

2015 Michigan-Oregon State game program Insert joke about Dave Brandon’s great granddad trying to charge this kid 2 bits for the peek

  • 2015 <—> 1964  After surrendering an early touchdown to Oregon State, the team pitched a shutout from then on, scoring several touchdowns with the lead U-M running back finding the end zone 3 times.  Sounds familiar?    That’s how the biggest game we’ve played against Oregon State in U-M history played out, namely the 1965 Rose Bowl.  So 50 years ago this year Michigan won 34-7 after the early Beaver TD put them up 7-0. Mel Anthony tallied 3 TDs and captain Jim Conley and Bump had their Rose Bowl championship.  Here’s All-American Bill Yearby looking Chris Wormley-esque in his beastness:

Bill Yearby - 1965 Rose Bowl My money is on Michigan in this one

  • Twelve.  Prior to the once-in-a-half-century snap snafu, Michigan had twelve men on the field.  The U-M sideline caught it, called a 30 second timeout, and then the snap snafu ensued.   Props to the tweets from a few folks reminding me that 12 men beats 10 (Agreed).  A pic of the 12 fellers from upstairs:

12 men on the field - Michigan

  • Coach B in the Booth.  Nice work by coach Beilein hopping the radio booth and even showing his chops on a play-by-play call:

Beilein)

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