the just released schedules were a flat-out statement that the B10 doesn't believe SOS will matter in playoff selection
I own too many books. I read…a lot. But I learned the lesson a long time ago that books are heavy, and when you have to move them, 35+ boxes of books is a lot of boxes. Movers charge by the pound. So I now only buy “important” books, i.e. the kinds of books that can only be found in university libraries or literary reviews. As a result, I use my local library…a lot. Sometimes that means waiting for books. I am currently second on the waiting list for Steven Erickson’s new book in his series, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. After catching up on my magazine reading, I was left with nothing to read. So I hopped online and started trolling my local library catalogue. And here in London, Ontario, what do I find? None other than the Bo Schembechler/Mitch Albom book: BO. (Warner: New York), 1989. It arrived at my local branch yesterday and from page one it was nothing less that fabulous. He tells story after story after story.
What I loved most about this book were the two chapters that highlight the 1969 season and the 10 Year War. Bo’s stories about his first season at Michigan were fantastic and the parallels to this year with Coach Rodriguez jump out at you again and again.
He brought his entire staff with him from Miami [Not That Miami]. Upon arriving and seeing the facilities and locker rooms Bo’s first response to his staff was,
“Men, we are going to make a few changes here.” 
He treated the players like dogs. In the racially charged 60’s everyone got the same treatment. They were all equal…they were all dogs.
Up to that point, spring practice was a series of light workouts. They started two-a-days in the spring. He cursed, he yelled and he kicked them in the butt. When Dan Dierdorf first introduced himself to Bo, he extended a hand and politely offered his name, and in return Bo grabbed a fistful of his midsection and promptly told him, “You are fat.”  Turn that boy over to Barwis. Eeeeeeee.
Soon Bo had them doing drills, screaming at them so much that Dierdorf ended up telling a reporter,
“The track team runs less than us. And their coach isn’t as mean.” 
He tells the story of how, during this pre-season, the coaches came up with the now famous slogan, “Those Who Stay Will Be Champions.” Some did not stay. And someone wrote in marker on Bo’s sign, which he paid for out of his own pocket, “And those who quit will be doctors, lawyers, and captains of industry.” He then names the player who is now a lawyer and finishes off with:
“Didn’t think I knew, did you, John? You owe me $150.” 
He says this about that 1969 team:
“Of all the Wolverines I’ve ever had, they had the most right to resent me; after all they didn’t pick me, they got stuck with me. And I killed them. I ran them ragged. I made them suffer every day of that first maddening season. Somehow, they believed in me. They stayed.” 
What Bo did that first season was key off on the Michigan-Ohio game. Bo against his former coach and mentor. Bo figured that gunning for Ohio State would carry his team through all the bumps and hurdles that would come. After beating Iowa 51-6 that year in the second to last game, in the locker room the team did not celebrate, instead a slow, rising chant started among them, “BEAT THE BUCKS, BEAT THE BUCKS…” The coaches joined in, and the scene go so intense that Bo screamed to one of his assistants, “That !@#$% Ohio State better be good—or we’ll kill them.” 
Against a team that was labeled “The Greatest Team of the Century” and favoured to win by 17, Michigan was up 24-12 by the half and in the locker room there is Jim Young, the defensive coordinator pounding on the chalk board, “They will not score again!”  They didn’t.
Those who stayed were champions.
In the light of the Justin Boren departure and the whole “Family values” thing, another story grabbed me. Bo recounted the time when the team was grumbling a lot behind Bo’s back about practices being too tough. One of the instigators was captain Andy Cannavino.
Bo pulled Cannavino into his office and gave him this speech, by the end of which Andy was in tears:
“Now let me tell you something. When you were back there in Cleveland, at St. Joseph’s High School, Ohio State, where your daddy went to school, didn’t even offer you a scholarship. We brought you to the University of Michigan. The coaching staff made you an All-Big Ten player. Your team mates elected you captain of the team. And you have the audacity to criticize Michigan Football? How dare you?
“I’d like to stand you up before all those guys who played here in the past, all those guys who won championships, went to bowl games, did all the things you want to do in college football, and I want you to tell them that your practices are too hard, that they’re hitting too much, that you spend too much time watching film! And you know what they’re going to tell you? Grow up! Grow up and be a man! And if you won’t, then get the hell out of Michigan football!
“Cannavino, we have one problem on this team, and only one problem on this team, and that is you! And until you change, we will never win. You are the captain of this team. What you say, especially the other players and especially the young ones will listen to. How can you possibly ruin this team by criticizing the leadership here? You are the problem. Understand me? You are the problem! 
With tears streaming down his cheeks, the young man left, and the Michigan defense, from that point forward, did not allow a touchdown in 24 consecutive quarters, eventually beating Washington in the Rose Bowl.
Who cares if this is not the best piece of literature ever written, I think next time I am in the MDen, I am going to buy this book and a couple more of Bo’s because these are “important” works. Bo is a great read, especially this year of all years. I highly recommend it.
I usually drink Brian's fan-criticism kool aid, but not this time. Yes, students shouldn't be doing the wave when they need to be loud and support the team. Yes, the band should be the only source of music once they step on the field. But students, it's always great to be a Michigan Wolverine, no matter what the score of a football game is. After all, the chant doesn't go, "It's great. To be. A Michigan football fan."
The thing that sets Michigan apart from most other football programs is
that it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine inside the Big House, at the
bars, in the classroom, and in the real world with a Michigan diploma.
If the only reason students should be proud to be Michigan Wolverines
is the success of the football team... well, then we're just another
student body that goes "WOOOOTT TRE$$ELL SUX!1!" when our team wins. And then boos them when they lose. We are - or should be - better than that. And that expectation is why it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. As
"When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can
make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by
them. Keep believing."
Cheer up. Rick's doesn't close when the team loses.
Under Lloyd's watch I recall hearing he left Schembechler's office untouched and would never enter it. Does anyone know if the same holds true with RR?
I admit it. I read a lot of posts on MGoBlog. I also admit that I don't understand half of the silly language that is used here... the "inside speak" of blogs if you will... but it's still fun! I'm a 40-something which I am sure is old by standards of readers here, but what the heck? I'll try this out! It will give me a place to share my "M-thusiasm!"
I don't know a lot about recruiting and because I live well south of Cow-lumbus, (actually in the former land of Rich Rod) - it's a little risky wearing M apparel around. But I do know that I love to follow the Wolverines. It's not easy here, but I still do it. MGoBlog REALLY helps too!
I didn't even attend Michigan. I graduated from another school in Michigan, but I grew up going to the games. I believe my first game was a Wisconsin game when I was somewhere around 8-10 years old. This was back in the days when we were wiping teams out by dozens and dozens of points.
But I learned to love the traditions of all that is the M experience. I'm doing my best to pass them on to my kids now.
The one thing that MOST attracted me to the program was Bo. He was straight up an incredible influence on a lot of young impressionable males my age. Yes, our dads were the ultimate men we looked up to, but Bo ran a close second. Every time I met him he always was kind to me. Always had time for a word. Always encouraged a young fan to keep rooting for his team... our team. He ran the show the way it should be run. I'm sure a lot of OSU fans my age feel the same way about Woody Hayes. But I'm on the Maize & Blue side of this line - forever!
So, thanks to Brian for putting up this site. A chance to connect and feel a little closer to the place where I had so many great memories as a young person!
And now - it's back to reading about WVU and OSU in my local paper every day. Ha-ha!