The Wall Street Journal has an article today claiming that F. Scott Fitzgerald often called Fritz Crisler to give him advice on football strategy.
The calls came “between 12 midnight and six a.m. of the night before our games—not just sometimes, but practically every eve of every home game,”
“Sometimes he had a play or a new strategy he wanted me to use,” said Crisler. “Some of the ideas Scott used to suggest to me over the phone were reasonable—and some were fantastic.”
This all happened while Crisler was coaching Princeton, but the information came from a 1956 interview with Crisler in the Michigan Daily.
The author of the WSJ article suggests that Fitzgerald may have originally given Crisler the idea to play platoon football. Elsewhere, though, the article seems to say that Fitzgerald didn't really have it figured out. His big idea may have been a sort of bizarre reverse goal-line offense, where you would bring in an extra small lineup to try to punch the ball in.
Sorry if this is a repeat, but I didn't see the article linked elsewhere on the site. The article as a whole is well worth reading, and perhaps a timely reminder that an innovative offense is not alien to Michigan tradition.
One of the legendary "Mad Magicians" passed away today. Chappuis, the 1947 Heisman runner-up, played for Michigan in 1942 and 1946-7 following service with the US Army Air Force in Italy.
It's nine months until we get to see the football team play real games again, the basketball team isn't what we hoped for, and the hockey team is in serious need of defense. It's time to dream a little and speculate. Imagine the possibility of a return of the "Mad Magicians." In 1947 Fritz Crisler coached an undefeated team that outscored opponents 394 - 53. They employed a razzle-dazzle offense that often had the ball change hands three or four times on a single play. Here are some clips of the "Mad Magicians" in the Rose Bowl: http://mvictors.com/?p=519 Implementing an offense as amazing as this is unlikely to happen in one season, but imagine the possibilities for 2011. The following players have all played QB in high school, they all have speed, and I'm sure that old Fritz would find a way to involve them all. Tate Forcier Denard Robinson Jeremy Gallon Terrence Robinson Devin Gardner Dillon Baxter I realize that this speculation is merely fodder for my dreams of National Championships, but it would be fun, wouldn't it? Someone send Coach Rodriguez Fritz Crisler's old playbook, maybe he can work some of it in once practice starts. :) Disclaimer: I suspect some readers will somehow take this post as a criticism of the team or staff. This topic was provided for fun. I am all in, and don't believe a 1948 offense could actually work against modern defenses. I do however look forward to some of the gadget plays that will be implemented with the weapons we have. Go Blue!!