landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
After watching a December basketball game paint Brooklyn Maize, I was inspired to pass along a thank you.
It’s well known that Michigan has the largest living alumni base of any university. There are many of us who are proud alums and who never have to “justify” our fanhood. Being a Michigan fan came easy to me. The son of two alums (and native Michiganders) I was almost pre-destined to head to Ann Arbor after I graduated high school, despite having grown up outside Chicago. I was lucky and worked hard and managed to go to Michigan and graduate in 2009. There are many who aren’t as lucky as I was. To those of you who are fans of Michigan despite not having a degree: Thank you. You may have been questioned, demeaned even for supporting College Football’s most winning program.
Some may call you “Walmart Wolverine” in a derogatory manner because you choose to support Michigan. But guess what – Michigan doesn’t succeed without the support of everyone: Students, Alumni, Faculty, and (as Fielding Yost called them) “Friends of the University”. It’s true. Michigan Stadium doesn’t get built without non-alumni fans.
From page 190 of Soderstrom’s The Big House* “No one: no student, no alumnus, and no friend of the university would be “giving" anything to the athletic department. Rather, the athletic department would sell a bond at a given amount of interest and pay back all the money over time… it had always been a Michigan athletic tradition that no attempt would be made to secure funds from the state, like the school in East Lansing had done for its new stadium.” Yost needed investors to build the Big House, and it turns out that the first bond letter had provided a “disappointing alumni response” (Page 318)
After bonds were extended to anyone who wished to buy them, not just alumni, “by early 1927, the whole initial issue, 2000 bonds, was sold.” Yost actually angered some alumni (and students, who felt that their seats were terrible even then) by making sure that there were new seating blocks in Michigan Stadium that were specifically NOT for alumni. Yost’s appeal was as such: “’This is a State University – not a privately endowed institution. Ownership of this institution is vested not in our students, faculty, and alumni – but in the people whose taxes make it possible’ Yost would never tire of making this point” (Page 194). I’ll take Yost's point one step further – It’s not just the taxes or the tuition, but ANY support of Michigan makes you a “real” fan. Maybe you can’t afford tuition and thus aren’t an alum. Maybe you don’t live in Michigan and don’t pay Michigan state taxes. Maybe you can’t afford season tickets (which are no longer $2.50 per game like they were in the 1920s), maybe all you do is own some apparel and visit MGoBlog – both of which provide support to Michigan no matter how small. The next time someone asks you if you went to Michigan, just remember that it was fans like you (not just alums!) who gave us the greatest football stadium in the world. And remember that there can be a little inferiority complex around East Lansing, after all they needed money from the state to build their stadium.
*As an aside if you need a stocking stuffer or just a great read on Michigan’s history, I couldn’t recommend Soderstrom’s book more. Click through the MGoLink to Amazon and order it!
It has begun.
- Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM)- Washington State vs Colorado State, 2pm on ESPN (ESPNEWS until KU basketball finishes up)
- Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas, NV)- USC vs Fresno State, 3:30pm on ABC
- Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, ID)- Buffalo vs San Diego State, 5:30pm on ESPN
- R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (NOLA)- Louisiana vs Tulane
Let the football, snacks & drinks flow
Info on some of the sponsors. Some I had to look up, because I've never heard of 'em.
2015 WR Christian Kirk has been hearing from the Wolverines for quite some time in a limited capacity but the Arizona native will get a chance to check out the Wolverines in person when the team arrives for bowl week. The coaches have reached out to Kirk and invited him to attend a bowl practice as they prepare for Kansas State.
Kirk is probably a long shot at this point but he does have interest in Michigan. He is an electric athlete in space. While at 5'10" and 175 lbs. he doesn't fit the big receiver mold the coaches have been targeting, people who recently coached Jeremy Gallon can't be down about this kind of talent:
(Gallon-like out route at 2:30. Gallon-like NO DON'T RETURN THAT! at X:XX)
A couple of weeks ago Warren, Ohio, DT recruit Hjalte Froholdt surprised quite a few people by committing to Arkansas over thought-to-be front-runners Michigan, Florida State, Alabama, and Ohio State.
I spoke with Hjalte today. Froholdt told me that it just came down to "a gut feeling," which probably isn't as interesting to you as the fact that Michigan finished an extremely close 2nd place to the Razorbacks:
"I just had a feeling that Arkansas was a better fit for me. Just the whole feel of Arkansas. I could just picture myself there for the next 4-5 years. The campus was just awesome to me and the coaching staff is excellent there. Michigan was so close though, it was marginals separating the two. They are both great and amazing schools!"
Froholdt was a great kid to talk to and had a really unique preparation and recruiting process being a native of Denmark. He went to high school for one season in Ohio and is now back in his home country finishing high school. He will return to the US for his college football career with the Razorbacks.
Angelique tweeted earlier tonight that Michigan had sold 5,500 tickets out of its 11,000 allotment for the BW3 Bowl, and that we "donated" back the rest. Curious as to why people aren't going, if they have gone in the past? Price? Distance? Less-prestigious bowl?
Finally finished a piece for my book of information that covers every Michigan player who went on to be a head coach. College and pro, that is. I was contemplating doing HS but quickly realized that would be impossible due to the very little information there is out there about HS football.
B1G schools with Michigan ties-
|School||# of U-M Alums as HC|
|Illinois||1 (Pete Elliott)|
|Iowa||3 (Roger Sherman, Forest Evashevski, Jerry Burns)|
|Michigan State||1 (Harry Kipke)|
4 (Charles Thomas, William Cole,
Henry Schulte, Pete Elliott)
|Ohio||1 (Albert Herrnstein)|
|Purdue||1 (Albert Herrnstein)|
|Wisconsin||1 (Ivy Williamson)|
Other programs of note with Michigan ties-
|School||# of U-M Alums as HC|
*Delaware is listed because of the long history of a Michigan-Delaware connection. When David Nelson (HB, 1939-1941) arrvied in Newark in 1951, he brought Fritz Crisler's winged helmet design and the Blue Hens have worn them since. Similar color scheme to Michigan's too.
Fast forward to the end of Nelson's tenure. Another Michigan Man took over the Fightin' Blue Hens. Harold "Tubby" Raymond (G/E, 1946 & 1948). Raymond is the greatest coach in Delaware history going 300-119-3 from 1966-2001 with the Hens including three NCAA Division I-AA National Championships. Delaware's stadium is named Tubby Raymond Field or "The Tub" for short.
Full document detailing every player that went on to become at HC-