Nice story. Nitpicking, but I think you've got it backwards about Blanchard and his wife - he's the Spartan.
Berets & Rednecks
Berets and Rednecks
Or, Hey, this is actually like a diary entry
The 1984 Sugar Bowl was one heck of a game and a bitter-sweet memory for me. My sister lived in New Orleans at the time, so I decided to make the journey. Almost everything worked out perfect. As I was flying down, sis was flying up. I had her apartment to myself and was met at the airport by one her friends—I’ll call her “Betty”. Well, Betty was one heck of a hostess. She took me to that famous New Orleans restaurant (a scene from “Pretty Girl” was shot there) where she worked part time and we ordered (literally) everything on the menu. All it cost us was the tip.
Attended the pep rally held at one of the ballrooms in the motel where the team was staying. Governor Blanchard was there and made a complete fool of himself when he admitted he went to Ohio State and his wife attended MSU. Everybody barraged him with chants of Recall Blanchard and Boo. (What a jerk. I actually sat in the row next to him on the plane ride home. He’s shorter than Mickey Rooney). Even cooler was the fact that I decided to hang out in the back of the room, and that is where all the players started showing up.
The night of the game we dined at Antoine’s before heading over to the Superdome. It was great. Auburn fans, at least back then, were great people. They would break out with chants and “War Eagle” and the Michigan fans would respond with “Hail to the Victors”. No one got vicious or too obnoxious. Walked to the Superdome after that with my little crew of hometown fans talking trash every step. Remember, you can walk down the street dranking in New Orleans for free. Watch out for the cops on horses though. Them horses can’t exactly stop on a dime.
And then there was the game. What a game it was. Talk about hitting! After the game Bo Jackson was quoted as saying—and I am paraphrasing her—that when the Auburn team looked over at the Wolverines before the game they couldn’t believe how small they were. They were sure they were going to whoop up on them big time. But after the game, Bo said he felt like he had just been in a heavy weight championship fight. Auburn knew they had escaped with a victory. Watch the game on the Classics channel if you can. That is truly vintage Bo Defense. It surely wasn’t one of Bo’s best teams, but that D was a monster that night. Bo Jackson was running for all he was worth that night, and was getting pounded for every yard. Regardless of the outcome, it was great to be a Michigan Wolverine in New Orleans New Year’s Eve 1984.
My seat was somewhere near the 10 yard line. In front of me were a couple of good old boys in flannel shirts, chewing Skoal, chain smoking and sharing a bottle of Jack Daniels. But, they were cool and well behaved and acting like good Auburn fans. In front of them was this old guy wearing beret and who was a member of the UM Alumni band. He was with his wife and both were resolute Wolverines.
After half time the announcer asked everyone to refrain from smoking. The accumulated smoke, which was thick as morning fog, was bothering the players on the field. Well, the two rednecks ignored the request, which apparently irked Mr. Beret who turned around and started chastising them. At first they just laughed the old guy off, but then Mr. Beret got stupid and reached over and slapped the cigarette out of one of the redneck’s hand. The rednecks were so stunned that they just couldn’t figure out what to do. Apparently, they had never had such an experience before. Thankfully, Beret’s wife reacted quickly and got control of her out of control husband. The rednecks said something like, “Sit your ass down, Old Man!”, and sat down. Beret guy pouted some, and then it was over. Saved by grandma.
Hooked up with some elated Auburn fans who bought me all the Black Russians I could drink and joined my little crew of Wolverine fans at Tippatina’s (when Tippatina’s was Tippatina’s) for the rest of the night.
At the airport, waiting to board the plane, I spotted Jerry Cooney trying to hustle some long-legged blonde at a bar. I cocked blocked the crap out of him begging him for an autograph—which he reluctantly gave me. He was a dang bum anyhow.
Hey, it’s the offseason. I’m posted up some junk.
as a member of the MMB. So, I got to perform for you and the alumni gathered at that hotel. We did a few of those - there was some serious envy when we finished playing the New Year's Eve bowl bash but, alas, we were in uniform...
It was quite a blast, though not as warm as we'd hoped - they had an unseasonable cold snap, I think, and water mains were freezing and breaking. But you're right about the Auburn fans and the New Year's atmosphere on Bourbon Street - lots of good natured fun, nothing ugly that I recall. Outside of my own experiences with the walk-through bars. Woof.
My main recollection of that game was that we were the only team to hold Bo to less than a 100 yards all season (didn't google, this may be a time-enhanced memory) and that he said he was grateful he'd never have to play UM's defense again, having never been hit so hard before. Also, sadly, I seem to recall we had a small chance to kick a field goal for the win, had our ball carrier run out of bounds as time ran out.
Thanks for the memory recall...
It seems to me he was trying to get another five yards as the clock expired. If I remember correctly, and I probably don't, the kicker that year had decent accuracy but not great range. I think where Markray went out of bounds was at the edge of his range. I may be full of it, though.
One impressive thing about the game--Michigan kept Auburn and Bo Jackson out of the end zone. Unfortunately their kicker hit three field goals, which was just enough.
in that ballroom. Scart the shiat outta me when you guys first struck up. Talk about explosion of sound. It was great.
Yeah, Bo never scored. Whole game was played in between the twenties.
Probly had blanchard backwards. Too much vodka.
I know some other peoples been to big games....be great to hear about them and better reading that earl campbell decommitting junk.
When you think about it, we are lucky to be in the UM fanbase. No one else in the country, no one else, has our rich history. Our last bowl run amounts to more bowl games than most teams have ever played in. 11 fake NC's. We kilt off the Princetons and Harvards. We stand with a foot still on the throat of ND. And with or without teenage football player from anywhere in the country, Michigan will always be Michigan. Even Rocky Marciano had to prove he could take a punch now and again.
this was going to be about tOSU marching band or something