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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  1. Thank you, Greg! Before the athletic department went ahead with this program they contacted the families of each of the Legends. Every one of us welcomed and supported this program. It means a lot to those of us who were family members and we are thrilled that it means every bit as much to the players who are selected to wear these jerseys. Jake was thrilled when I brought the Oosterbaan jersey which the athletic department gave to me and my family and he couldn’t wait to try it on. Watching Jake and his parents, Tim and Sue, when he put the Oosterbaan jersey on was a priceless moment for me and my family. Go Blue!

  2. Great stuff, Greg. And thanks for coming back this weekend, Ben.

    Now let’s get 47 back on the field.