to play football, not to play trumpet
One of the greatest Michigan Men to suit up in the Maize and Blue.
Some fun facts and stats via wikipedia:
Harmon played college football at the University of Michigan from 1938–1940, he majored in English and Speech, hoping for a future career in broadcasting, and won the Heisman Trophy his senior season. He made his name as a tailback in the single-wing formation, and also excelled as a kicker. Harmon rushed for 2,134 yards during his career at Michigan, completed 100 passes for 1,304 yards and 16 touchdowns, and scored 237 points. During his career he played all 60 minutes 8 times. He also was a member of the varsity basketball team for two years.
|Born||September 28, 1919 in Rensselaer, Indiana|
|Died||March 15, 1990 (aged 70)|
|NFL Draft||1941 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1|
|Touchdowns||9 (3 rushing)|
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
|Career highlights and awards|
Flashback in time:
On this day in 1940, which also happened to be Harmon's 21'st birthday, Michigan faced off UCLA where Tom Harmon scored four touchdowns to lead Michigan to a 41-0 win at Cal. During one of his 4 long touchdown runs, a Cal fan had enough of the Wolverine football star and decided to take matters into his own hands. Here is a news clipping of the incident: (via LIFE Magazine, Oct 14, 1940, Vol. 9, No. 16, Pg 47)
[Ed-M: Bump'ed like Elliott]
Brian got me thinking about who deserves to be in a Michigan ring of honor, so I did the only thing I know: Dump a bunch of data into a spreadsheet and rank them arbitrarily. I gave a point for being the College Hall of Fame, Michigan's Hall of Honor, Michigan retiring their number, points equal to the number of years being an All American, being in the top four in the Heisman (another 2 for winning it), and up to a point for winning other post-season awards. One could include other considerations, such as championships, captaincy, or being President of the United States.
The table below presents the data, sorted first by points and then year.
I would think anyone Chappuis and above deserves to be in.
I included only some 2-point guys of interest in the table below, most of whom aren't in Michigan's Hall of Honor or the Hall of Fame.
Coaches aren't included, except Kipke who is there because of his playing, though I don't know how much of his playing versus coaching got him in the Hall of Fame.
Why is Benbrook not in Michigan's Hall of Honor?
Obviously newer guys benefit from the various awards now available. The Heisman was first awarded in 1935. I would think Heston could have won it.
In 1939 Harmon finished 2nd in the Heisman voting to Nile Kinnick before winning it in 1940.
The All of American data are a bit surprising. Gerald Ford isn't listed. I had thought Carter was a three-year All American. There may be other surprises. I used a list from the NCAA (data source below), which made it easy, but the list may be flawed.
|Tom Harmon||37-40||y||y||y||2||2nd, 1st||Maxwell|
|Desmond Howard||89-92||y||y||1||1st||Maxwell, Camp, Nagurski, Bednarik|
|Charles Woodson||95-97||1||1st||Camp, Thorpe|
|Bob Chappuis||42, 46-47||y||y||1||2nd|
|Adolph Schulz||04-05, 07-08||y||y||1|
|LaMarr Woodley||03-06||1||Lombardi, Hendricks|
Tomorrow on BTN, after Michigan's win over Penn State (2:30 pm according to DirecTV), is the newest edition of Big Ten Icon with Tom Harmon at #5 on the countdown.
I watched the Woodson episode for the first time today and thought it was pretty good. I'm really looking forward to Harmon's.
See original post from MGoShoe: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/tom-harmon-big-ten-icon-5
This great historical piece came out this morning from LS&A and the Bentley Library on Tom Harmon.
Maybe one of our more talented MGoBlogmates can do a UFR on the attempted tackle made by the Cal fan.
Have to believe Harmon will be one of the upcoming Big Ten Icons on the BTN in the coming weeks.
Thought this was a great photo from SI.com of one of the all time greats and his totally bad ass blanket from his dorm room.
If that doesn't get your blood pumping for next Saturday nothing will. GO BLUE!
Asked by a judge for whom I intern to assemble a collection of newspaper clippings from the early 1940s pertaining to Detroit councilmen who were bribed and ultimately imprisoned [Edit - this project was solely for the judge's amusement, the idea was NOT to inform any current proceedings. This was NOT legal research.], I happened to notice the name "Harmon" on a 1941 Detroit Free Press paper:
The main article reads:
"Harmon Saves Press Agents; Meets Actress at Deadline
The Detroit Free Press - Friday, September 19, 1941
A motion picture actress arrived at City Airport Friday and --
surprise! Tom Harmon was there to greet her.
Harmon, an obliging fellow who seldom tells a press agent where to
head in, has in recent months been photographed meeting (1) Anita
Louise, who accompanied him to the U. of M. senior ball; (2) Elyse
Knox, a move starlet in whom he declared he really had a romantic
interest; (3) Miss Everlyn Keyes, Thursday's arrival.
Miss Keyes, a brown-eyed blond who will join Harmon Friday in a
personal appearance in connection with their current films, almost
arrived without benefit of the All-American halfback.
Ten minutes before plane time, a cordon of press agents was combing
the airport station for Harmon.
"I told him to be here," one of them said distractedly between the
search of the airport restaurant and the men's lounge. "Besides, he
got a wire from the coast.
Harmon arrived as the orchid-bedecked Miss Keyes alighted from the plain.
"Is it romance this time?" a newly arrived reported asked hopefully.
Both principals shook their heads.
"She probably has 5,000 fellows on the coast," Harmon said.
"There's no romantic content in our relationship at all," Miss Keyes said.
The press agents began a hunt for the limousine, complete with driver,
which had been ordered for the occasion. It was missing, so Miss
Keyes went to the Hotel Book-Cadillac in Harmon's roadster."
Good for him, eh? Oddly placed in the midst of this article, however, is another about Harmon:
"Draft Deferment Denied
GARY, Ind., Sept. 18 -- (UP) -- Tom Harmon, Michigan's football hero,
tonight was denied a request for a 3-A draft deferment and was subject
to immediate call to service provided he pass his physical
examination, local Draft Board officials announced."
Beyond Harmon himself, there's an interesting link between the two articles that I stumbled upon by chance when I Googled the three young ladies mentioned in the main article.
As far as I can tell, a 3-A draft deferment is contingent upon "hardship to dependents." Who might those dependents have been?
Well, when Harmon entered the military, it was at the expense of his engagement to Elyse Knox, the second woman mentioned in the main article; they called off their engagement upon his draft. Might Harmon have sought the deferment in order to maintain this engagement?
In any case, there's a happy ending: During Harmon's stint in the military, Elyse married and divorced. Upon Harmon's return, the two rekindled their engagement, and were wed. Her wedding dress was made out of the silk from the parachute Harmon used as he famously bailed out of his crippled plane. The pair stayed together until his death in 1990.
Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool.
I also liked when Harmon called Miss Keyes a slut.