Here’s the next entry in ‘This Week in Michigan Football History’ to be played Saturday on WTKA 1050AM’s Key Bank Countdown to Kick-off pregame show before the battle against the Spartans.
This time we head way, way back to one of my favorite years. It all started on October 9, 1909 when Fielding Yost and his ‘Yostmen’ faced off against the Case Rough Riders. A few notes on this one:
- Note I called the score of the Syracuse game as 44-0. One of the highlights of doing history on this site was discovering the extra point in the score of this game. I convinced the great folks at the Bentley Library to change it from 43-0 based on my findings – full story.
- I quickly dismiss the Notre Dame loss in the clip but it was a pretty big deal at the time for Notre Dame. It’s rumored that during this game the nickname, ‘Fighting Irish’ was hatched, and at the end of the year, the distinction of ‘Champions of the West’ was heavily debated as either belonging to Michigan or the Irish. And yes, Yost tried to convince folks Michigan didn’t take the game seriously, as if it were more like a scrimmage or practice. More here.
- The Penn game and the support of the crew of the U.S.S. Michigan has been addressed on these pages and in Hail to the Victors 2009 and it’s an underrated tale.
- As far as the Little Brown Jug, 1909 was the first time the teams battled for the jug and the tradition of playing for the crock was indeed crafted just prior to this meeting with the Gophers. I dived into this elsewhere (Ann Arbor Observer and Scout.com) and will at some point produce the full story here, but rest assured that Yost never sent any letter to Minnesota asking the jug be returned, nor did L.J. Cooke tell Yost he’d have to “win it back”. It was merely an idea Cooke came up with the week of the game. Yost actually didn’t know anything about leaving the jug behind in 1903.
Here’s the audio, enjoy:
You can hear all of the This Week… clips here.