It was my honor to produce a video celebrating the UM Men's Glee Club's 150 anniversary, which was debuted a year ago during the club's sesquicentennal. On Friday, April 9th 2010, we held a dinner and celebration program at Rackham in which Lloyd provided the keynote speech and I introduced about a 10-minute mini-version of "Tis of Michigan We Sing" (yes, you can get a copy from the club or I think the Wolverine Den).
Anyway, Lloyd attended our dinner (about 400 alums came back to town) and was typically gracious. He's clearly comfortable with events such as this around the area, even if the closest he ever came to singing was postgame "Victors" moments. (Aside: there's a famous ESPN feature on the club being taught how to sing The Victors by former Glee Club director Willis Patterson) His keynote speech that Friday night was full of the pride in striving to be the best, regardless of the setting. It ran probably 20 mins and he left the Rackham stage to a ringing roar of approval from the guys (some of whom were students as far back as the 30s and 40s).
When the applause died down, I was introduced for the final segment of the evening, the abbreviated movie clip. I had written down a few thoughts to set up the video, but couldn't resist breaking away from the script.
"This is, of course, an extraordinary night," I said. "It's something I will always remember. Lloyd Carr is my warm-up act."
Lloyd laughed ... thankfully. When my segment ended (and the video played), I was honored to get a standing ovation (hey, I really was preaching to the choir) that lasted longer than what Lloyd received. He was seated right in front of me, and gave me that wry smile that most of us remember as the applause lingered -- both gracious and a bit surprised by the emotions the club alums were displaying on a very special night.
I was never on a team that beat Ohio State, but I was on the club that won a World Championship in 1978 in Wales. I think Lloyd appreciated the excellence the club represents and the passion any championship organization must have.