With the 30 for 30 coming out, I got to thinking about the Fab 5, and remembering how much they impacted me as a teenager, and since. I only really caught on to them after their first year, but they had a huge impact on me - I still wear black socks when playing ball, etc. They were, as much as Ty Wheatley, the biggest reasons I became a Michigan fan. I wore my shorts like them, the socks, the black Nikes, etc. The excitement they brought was a big part of why I got excited about basketball. I followed their careers (the good, bad and ugly) and still follow them now as their playing careers have wound down. When considering it all, I concluded that as athletes, they made more of an impact on me than any other player or players (unfortunately, I never had 1/100th of their game). I got to wondering however - how many of you were also caught up in the hype/fame/notoriety of the Fab 5?
The Fab Five's impact on you
Impact? In a word, huge. I remember the word spreading like wild fire in my dorm freshman year that Webber committed. Then I got to watch history for the next three years. Say what you want about off the court activities. On the court, it was excitement on an epic scale. It's a shame they never won a title (BT or national) but what a ride.
as Freshmen then as Sophamores. I think that counts as winning something.
Ask Purdue. They would have gladly traded all their run-of-the-mill Big Ten championships of that era for what the Fab 5 accomplished.
As a 40-year old suburban white guy, I still wear black shoes, short black socks and knee-length shorts when playing basketball at my weekly open gym.
when the Fab Five arrived in 1991. Lived in 5250 Bush House, across the hall from Shonte Peoples, and neighbors with Todd Collins (man, he was stupid) and some defensive end whose name I don't recall.
Every other day or so, when I'd be outside in the hall talking on the phone with family back home, Chris Webber would walk down the hall and go into Shonte's room and close the door. Within seconds, the first few wisps of smoke would be billowing out from under the door :)
Their first run to the Final Four was, to me, more memorable and exciting (on-campus) than the second.
Across from Shonte? I hope you safely avoided the gunfire.
Shonte was a nice guy, despite the persona. He asked to borrow my Poison Clan tape (a Miami rap group put together by Luther Campbell) and he said I could borrow whatever he had, but I never did.
I can't stress enough how dumb Todd Collins was/is.
One bad decision has Shonte labeled for life--all yahoos like me know is what we read in the papers. It's surprising to hear Todd Collins could be a dummy--he's survived as a QB in the NFL for what, 16 or so years now? Honestly, it is really interesting to hear from people who knew these guys as people and students, not just as a jersey and a helmet.
Looking at the 1991 roster, I think it was Steve Morrison.
I, too, was a freshman in '91. I lived in 7816 Huber, and four of the five also lived on the 7th floor Huber--I think it was either the 77 or 79 hall, can't remember. I didn't have a whole lot of interactions with them, but I do recall that Jalen used to enjoy a game of Nintendo Tecmo Bowl every now and again with an acquaintance of mine who lived on Jalen's hall.
Ray Jackson lived with someone on the 8th floor; I always felt a little bad that he was the one relegated to a different location.
Juwan was a really friendly guy, seemed to be smiling all the time. I don't remember any interactions with the other four.
They immediately made my high school basketball team photo far more embarassing than it had been when it had been taken, only three years earlier. Now I'm cursed to have a photo of me, wearing late '80s nut huggers, on my parents wall at home. My wife and kids laugh at it every time we visit.
Simmons had the genius idea for improving the NBA All Star game of having the losing conference wear 80s throwback shorts the following year. Would totally work...
Of course, she might be laughing at the mullet.
As an '08 grad I don't remember the Fab 5 playing, but I wish I had. Us youngsters were left with what some of those guys left behind.
But yea, I'm still looking forward to the 30 for 30.
My son's basketball shorts reached an inch below his knees a few weeks ago. On his direction I had to go to Dunham's to buy him longer shorts. Dads outside of the area may have had a go at their kid, but I just rolled with it and made sure he remembered why he needed them long.
Long shorts, long live...Fab Five!
I still have the original fab five Nike shorts. Got them at Moe's back when it was on State St. I believe. Don't kill me if was a different street. I went to Steve Fisher's bball camp in 1992 and again in 1995. Best time of my life as a youth.
You're not wrong. Moe's used to have a second, smaller shop on South State just south of the Packard intersection. It closed a few years ago (it's now a Subway). The main store on North University is still there, of course.
I still have the original fab five Nike shorts.
Impossible - the originals were Russell Athletic.
He may have been referring to THE original Nike shorts that one of the members wore during the 1993-94 season. Nike came on the scene during their sophomore year, if I recall correctly. My buddy bought a pair of Webber's warmups at the Athletic Department garage sale in 1995 and they were most definitely Nike. So, not so fast Mr. jmblue.
By 1993-94 the Fab Five had broken up, so by definition those were not Fab Five shorts. Besides, those were definitely not the iconic shorts that everyone had. The Russell ones were distinctive - they had this sheen that the later shorts did not have.
Nike came on the scene after the fact and tried to sell Michigan jerseys with "WEBBER" on the back (they could do that since he was now in the pros), but they didn't sell the ones when he actually played here. (I think they did make the warmups, though. But how were C-Webb's warmups still sitting there in the AD garage sale two years after he left?)
The garage sales were outstanding. But they were not held every year and, as such, the Fab 5 gear like Webber's warmups were available even though he had left the school. My buddy bought the XXXXL pants and top for like $50. We had to get in line the day before it started to get first pick. My other buddy bought Mercury Hayes' cleats and I purchased Daydrian Taylor's winter jersey (with pockets).
If memory serves that is the sports store that Mr. Webber talks about in the Albom book. The scene where he is "scrounging" for enough money to buy a big mac at McD's and across the street he can see "his" jersey being sold for what seemed at the time a rather high sum.
Of course now we know that he was lying through his teeth since I'm not sure how someone who got that kind of cash from Mr. Martin could have been searching for a nickel or two to afford a big mac.
Effect on me. I was a student from the fall of 88 to the spring of 93. So I saw the national championship as well. 4 of the Fab 5 were awesome, no complaints with them. I really dislike Chris Webber for taking the money and Steve Fisher for looking the other way. There were good times, but now that time is colored by the lasting impact it has had on Michigan basketball. Almost 20 years on and Michigan is still recovering. Nothing is worth the years in the wildnerness that the program and it's fans have been through.
I've said it before, but I wouldn't trade the Fab 5 years for anything. An esteemed colleague pointed out that it wasn't necessarily Webber's bad deeds that brought the program down. So, there's that.
That part in the book is proof that Albom is an idiot. Here he's supposedly covering the Fab 5 so comprehensively but yet he doesn't notice Webber having a ton of cash? Then again it might be a sign that Webber/Martin's actions weren't nearly as far out of line with everything else going on in college bball in the early 90's.
Oh and I don't think it was the State street Moe's that would have been referred to in the book. No McDonalds in that area...more likely it was the M-Den that used to be on South U. Or even more likely it was just another thing Albom pretty much pulled out of his butt.
Jeez, age sucks, you're right I was thinking MDen.. not the Moe's... didn't read the op's post correctly.
I still think that Albom was with Webber w hen it happened, and I bet Webber did say that it was awful having to scrounge up some money. Remember Webber's the same guy who screamed "You come to the ghetto to only recruit me..." Right Chris Webber, in the Ghetto. Much like Elvis was in the great late 60's movie.
Webber was a liar and a cheat. The rest of the Fab 5 seemingly weren't. At the end that's what I'll remember...
I'm trying to convince my son to wear nut huggers in his next tournament just as a distraction. Whomever is guarding him will be laughing too hard to play basketball.
...He's not buying into it.
I was a sophomore in HS and went to the Palace to watch the Fab 5 play Iowa State - the best basketball game I ever attended. Michigan blew 'em out but it was a dunk-a-thon, highlight film game...will never forget it.
Was the hottest girl you dated whom smashed your heart but a memory you think about quite often. I wonder if theyre on Facebook??
Major part of my life. They had swag for sure! Every game was awesome. I remember watching the first Duke game, freshman year. That's what put them on the map and let the country know they were for real.
The semi-final Kentucky game was great, but my favorite was the UCLA regional. One of the best comebacks in Fab Five history and probably tourney history. They were down like 20 or so and just remember the feeling as they came back to win on a last second tip in. Goosebumps....
That UCLA game took five years off my life...
Game IIRC. We were a #1 seed and UCLA was a #8 or 9.
I just watched that game on youtube. I watched it live back then too, but I was like 9 or 10 so, very vague.
The 1992-1993 baskeball team (Year 2 of the Fab 5) had a limited edition team trading card set that was sold by the Athletic Dept. I got one - its still sealed, never opened it and sitting in a shoebox full of basketball cards.
I have those, too. Go ahead and open them - it's not worth keeping them sealed forever.
They did that for the football team, too, as I recall. There were a couple series of them around 1993 or so, I think I have an autographed Wheatley card sitting in a box somewhere at my parents' house.
Well im 17 and my parents named me jalen juwan rice. So id say a bit of an impact.
Assuming you are pulling a leg or two on that, but I will say that I have two kids in middle school in Ann Arbor and there are a disproportionate number of Jalens and Juwans in their classes, including a set of twins who are Jalen and Juwan and a pair of brothers (not twins) who are Chris and Jalen...these are kids who were born in the 1997, 1998, 1999...so I'd say there is a link.
They gave kids everywhere belief in themselves. You could do things that had never been done before. It was unheard of to compete at that level with five freshmen against teams stacked with juniors and seniors.
I remember J Rose saying he wanted to start a record label called Madd Lute.
ancient....just kidding. I'm only 21 and grew up watching CWebb play for Sacramento...but right after my dad taught me the words to "the Victors" he always told me stories about the fab 5 on the way home from school some afternoons.
On another note,
was being a twenty-something in the early 90's as glamorous and carefree as Dante and Randall made it seem?
Can I get a gatorade?
I remember sitting in my girlfriends room at Georgetown screaming at the TV watching the Duke NC game. She thought I was nuts, but she should have known better after just having witnessed me at Gtown games all year. I remember being proud of how these freshman had handled themselves all year and couldn't wait for the team next year (Gtown had just lost Mutumbo in 91 and Zo in 92 so I was reverting to my childhood team for a minute).
No matter how great it was to see the fab 5, going to a Dead show at Crysler Arena and then watching Michigan win the NC the next week was great (or was it the other way around? It's all foggy now)
They taught me that sometimes you just
Pretty much every young person in the state of Michigan was obsessed with them. (Their parents weren't always, though.) By their sophomore year, every high school team had reordered its shorts to be long like Michigan's. It was awesome. I don't know if I was just older and more of a diehard, but their runs to the Final Four seemed like a much bigger deal than the '89 team's. I remember hearing in the spring of '93 that Webber would go pro and that was one of the saddest moments, knowing it was all over.
I remember opposing fans going "but they never won anything", and it was like "would you trade your last few years of basketball for the Fab Five?" and it was alway Yes. They were the Rock Stars of basketball, a national phenomenon. Of course, they finished like a VH1 behind the music too.
The 89 team was not just another champion.
If they feel the same way. It was big for Michigan, but no one ranks them as one of the all time greats. Everyone around at the time remembers the Fab Five.
And the fact Rumeal has basically said they were dirty too takes that elevation away from them too (and that's the least of his problems).
as well when they were there. I played pick up ball on the outside South Quad court with Ray Jackson once. He was down to Earth, but could jump far far off the Earth.
Your screen name and mention of playing hoops on the SQuad court brought back a ton of memories. Outstanding!
my sophomore year and I remember watching fools get pwned by Ray Jackson on the South Quad basketball court. I also remember seeing Dugan Fife there as well (or was it Dane, can't remember). That dude could stick the outside jumper. Granted, 5'11" students were guarding him.
I was 10 and 11 during the Fab Five but I remember it like it was yesterday... I remember the basketball parties my family would throw during the games. The only other time our family had a basketball party was for the 1989 Championship game. So it was like every weekend, go here, go there, watch the Fab Five play. Thats when I started getting into them. We would set up a basketball hoop in the middle of the living room and play basketball while the family would drink and watch the games (molded me the right way, as now I do the same thing, haha). I just couldnt believe how good they were. How they were only 7 or 8 years older then me and how I could do that when I get older! I got the black Nikes the next basketball season, our shorts were longer, we wore the black socks, it was crazy! This was at a Catholic school!
I was a Freshman the same year as the Fab 5. i remember running down to South U and chanting 'We Want Duke" on the steps of the Grad Library on the Diag when UM advanced to the Final Four that first year.
I also remember going to New Orleans the following year for the Final Four - though the NCAA says that didn't happen but they still haven't refunded my money. Best part about that Final Four was drinking at Pat O'Brien's on Bourbon Street with none other than Bobby Hurley... (aka Rat Boy).
study really hard so I could get into the college of engineering. Thank goodness for them because they changed my life!
I also cant forget about the timeout.That damn timeout. I remember exactly where I was when it happened. That being said, I freaking loved the swagger and sported the long shorts and black socks, too.
I remember the banners coming down. Then I remember sitting in Crisler Arena with about 14 other people while a team that started the season 0-6 got zero support. Then I remember that team turning its season around, finishing third in the Big Ten, having everyone jump on the bandwagon and fill Crisler Arena for a win against MSU, and still watching that team denied an NCAA tournament bid because a bunch of immoral cheaters needed to be punished (by suffering the horrible consequences of multi-million dollar NBA contracts and getting paid big bucks to bring their "magic" to schools like, I don't know, San Diego State).
It was a shameful era where two head coaches and numerous Michigan student athletes broke the rules. It shouldn't be celebrated simply because they wore cool clothes and made their opponents look bad with highlight-reel dunks..
Let's not forget that only one of the Fab Five was ever found guilty of wrongdoing, and he (Webber) fell into a real gray area, with Ed Martin sidling up to his dad when he was still in middle school, long before Martin had any connection to U-M.
The three that took money later on don't have much of an excuse, but you can legitimately argue that Webber got a bum deal being included among them.
His relationship with the Michigan coaching staff (specifically Frieder) pre-dated any contact with Webber or Perry Watson's hiring at U-M. If anything, the actual wrongdoing probably far exceeds what we now know or was definitively proven by the NCAA.
This is exactly what happened. I was a sophomore at UM when it happened, and it was devestating to me because the Fab 5 had such a huge impact on me eventually attending Michigan. I actually was at the press conference where the school announced its own self-imposed sanctions and basically disassoicatied itself from the era. It was such a surreal experience. Because the Fab 5 brought me to Michigan where I eventually met friends and a fiancee, I can never totally turn my back on them. But I can't fault anyone for feeling this way either.
Its okay to be angry. And its also okay to feel a little jealous/envious of those of us that were on campus for the Fab Five era and enjoyed every minute of it. Sorry the fun we had ended up affecting your enjoyment. But don't hate the playas (as the kids say).
I'm not jealous of SMU football in the '80's or Auburn's success last year (in an instance with far less organized-wrongdoing) either. We can't wag our collective fingers at them and then celebrate an era with widespread, rampant, long-term cheating from the head coach on down. Maybe people just aren't familiar with how involved Fisher and his staff were in all this? Maybe any fanbase will justify its successes no matter what? But for a fanbase that gets up in arms about oversigning and other attempts to push the envelope in technically-legal gray areas to then continue to celebrate people guilty of the most blatant, organized rule-breaking is complete hypocrisy.
Can we recognize the impact the Fab Five had on the popular culture generally and college basketball in specific? Of course. Can we celebrate the contributions of individual student athletes who appear to have been innocent of any wrongdoing? Certainly. Should we continue to act like the Fab Five and the entire tenure of Steve Fisher had a positive impact on the University of Michigan? Not if we take integrity as seriously as we pretend to do when we think other schools may be gaining a competitive advantage over us.
Legendary team. Ending the golden era starting with Bird/Magic, and carrying through NC/Jordan, Phi Slamma Jamma, G-Town, NC St/Villanova miracles, UNLV (which has a special on HBO the night before the Fab Five's), Duke's back to back, and then the Fab Five. Nothing has come close since. Great teams, sure. But it was also the time early entry, then high school entry, became common place. Florida won back to back, but no one cares. George Mason couldn't close out history, much as last year came up short. I really feel for those younger. You're still able to see great college football, but basketball is a shadow of what it once was.
Personally, it was a heck of a way to finish a college career. Come in defending champs, but go back twice. The magic of doing it with freshman, shocking the world. And the absolute mission to get back. (I weever have a t-shirt from 1992 saying "1993 National Champs...we'll be back"). Disaster averted with UCLA. Chaney and his Temple thugs trying to hurt our players. The epic battle vs. Kentucky. (I'm still of the belief if NC had to get through Kentucky...even if they could, they would have been the spent team. Kansas was an overrated Final Four team that we had wasted by 20 in the same Tourney in Hawaii we had beat NC). The time out. Not again. Knowing that was it. So hard to get there, the risk/reward wasn't worth Webber coming back. We even went their last home game vs. Northwestern knowing this is the last time they'd all be together in Ann Arbor.
Webber drafted #1 at the Palace in Auburn Hills (by Orlando, setting up dreams of the greatest front court of all time with Shaq and Webber. Instead he was traded before the night was done. And Shaq left the Magic and the guy they drafted). Then rumors, and eventually, betrayal. The sad day when the paper listed the amounts...not taking a little on the side, but denying $180k. The day all the Fab Five memorabilia came down.
It's trite, but it really was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And unless you lived it, I'm not sure you can understand. But I hope the special on ESPN helps.
Though I play basketball left handed, that's how bad I wanted to be Jalen Rose. I was a point guard, and while not a tall one like Rose, I loved his swagger, his mouth, and mostly his game. My first born son is named Jalen Joseph, named after my favorite basketball player growing up, and my grandfather. I only own one NBA jersey, an old Denver Nuggets #5 - which has always been my basketball number. I use to be a huge Golden State Warrior fan, and screamed like a school girl when they won the lottery that year, winning the rights to draft Chris Webber first overall. I always wore black socks and black shoes. My favorite shirt, which I still have to this day -- though much faded, is my - DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT, as reference to Chris Webber winning the NBA Rookie of the Year. My older brother loved him some Juwan Howard, and to this day - SHOCK THE WORLD - is when five freshmen made their way, all starting, and ended up in the National Championship game. Just fun times...
Fab Five changed basketball, like it or not - it's fact.
(I wrote this on a jalen rose thread earlier but cut/pasted b/c damn, I'm Fab5 all the way)
While at uni I worked p/t at a home for severely mentally and physically disabled boys. The boys were given passes to a UM's women's BB game and were allowed early access to the stadium. We went real early and were able to walk around. We caught the very end of the Men's BB practice. We were in the locker room tunnel as the men's team exited the court. My boys, all dressed up in UM gear, did the double row high five as the men ran through. Four guys - Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Chris Weber and Ray Jackson - didn't run through. Instead they stayed and talked to these boys. Chris Weber left quickly but was very polite about it.
These boys were about as visibly disabled as any you have ever seen. Most people were very uncomfortable even looking at them. They had no social skills, couldn't ask proper questions, and often wore helmets and body braces of all kinds.
And there were Rose, King and Ray just chatting it up for several minutes to the boys, asking if they had any questions. Jimmy King even went back on the court and dunked for them when asked (Jimmy had no idea what the boy was asking - I had to translate that question for him). They then told us to go out and everyone take a shot.
As amazing as this was to me, the thing that stood out clearest was the eye contact. Truth be told, Ray made little eye contact, and Jimmy's varied. I will always respect them for staying and taking time with these kids... but Jalen Rose steadily looked each kid in the eye. I knew very few people who were able to to this - it was far too uncomfortable.
But Jalen did. He made the kids feel both normal and special.
The Fab Five scandal broke a couple years later. There was a lot of news in the media about selfish players and stories really trashing the quality of people they were. I never bought into it. The scandal was what it was, and big business college basketball was what it was. But as young men, I respected those guys, and none more than Jalen Rose. He's been my favortie player since that day. I'm proud of what he's done for himslef and how he's represented the university.
Honest question here, for those that remember it... At the end of 1993, with the stories that came out about Jalen hanging out at a "crack" house, etc, if there had been a poll, "Guy most likely to be universally respected" between Rose and Webber who would have went with Rose? Jeez the guy had a nice career, and is now a respected analyst. Webber well he's tried being an analyst, most of the stops on his career he was a malcontent, and then there's that whole perjury thing.
I'm not surprised at the end with your story. Truth is over the years my respect for Rose has went up a great deal. He and Juwan are my favorites of the Fab 5.
Agreed - I loved Howard, even though I was dumb enough to wonder why he was starting over Eric Riley, but my respect for Rose increases exponentially every time I hear more about what he's doing with his life now.
I still think the best person that the 5 minus Webber gave was taking Arkansas to the wire in Rose and Howard's last year, after Webber went pro. That Arkansas team went on to win the National Championship...
In truth, I had always thought he was the thug of the Fab 5, trash talkin' and recklessly shooting up 3-bricks. I would never have thought that he would become a true ambassador for the University.
I was wrong.
But they sure were a lot of fun to watch. I saw Webber play a couple of times in the HS playoffs. I didn't get to follow his entire regional like I did T Mills and A Joubert in past years, but it certainly was a lot of fun watching him be the biggest player on the floor by six inches and fifty pounds in Class B, or C, or whatever it was.
It was weird when they got to campus. Michigan already had a team full of players, but it wasn't playing as well as we had been used to. When all five started for the first time, it was definitely electric. This may be a bizarre comparison, but the only thing as alien as seeing five freshmen start was when the Wings had the Russian unit. The realization that they were better than the rest of the team was almost surreal.
I was already older and had a pretty well-developed sense of self and personality, so no basketball team was going to change me at all. They sure brought a lof of joy into my life those two years, though. They can take down all the banners they want, but they can't erase memories.
I should be really embarasssed to admit this, but I'm not; one of my better memories of the Fab Five was when they decided to, uh, dust" the Sparty logo with their glutes after a victory in EL. It couldn't have happened to two nicer programs.
I don't think I have enough points to start a thread, but we need to make this happen. Someone needs to do a peitition or something!
The Fab Five shorts were to me as a youngster as iconic and "Michigan" as the winged helmet. Those shorts were such an outrageous fashion statment at the time, that we absolutely flocked to and they still stand to this day.
The Big Ms had to intimidate opponents. They'd still be good for a few points a game. I hate our tiny Ms now. Who's with me?
Enough with the prissy little "M"'s. We are Michigan. Be proud and show it.
Bring back the Fab 5 unis. Chris Webber does not own them. He's stolen enough from us. Don't let him steal our iconic unis.
I was unaware that the Fab Five were personally responsible for us hiring Brian Ellerbe and Tommy Amaker - not to mention doing nothing to upgrade the facilities for years.
In 1992, I believe it it was, I went to see Michigan play Minnesota in football (Michigan drubbed them like 60-something to 14 or something. I think Minnesota's only 2 scores were on kick returns). Afterwards my friend and I just kind of wandered over to Crisler and saw a door was open so we walked in to take a look (I was 18 and it was my first UM football game and my first time on campus). The basketball team was there shooting around and the arena was pretty empty. So we took a seat and got to watch them play around for a while.
When they were done we got brave and walked down to meet them. I don't remember any of them being jerks or anything. In fact Webber offered to sign a seat cushion I had bought at the football game. Felt weird getting an autograph from someone who was like my same age but I am glad I did and I still have that seat cushion.
Regardless of what happened off the court with Webber I'll always have great memories of that period and that team. They can take the Final Four banners down and erase them from history but they can't erase the times I spent watching the Fab Five with my dad and my friends.
Lived in Cincinnati during their freshman year. Drove to Lexington, KY with a couple of other UM grads and bought tickets on the street for the regional final against Jimmy Jackson and the #1 Buckeyes. OSU dominated the crowd like the game was being played in Columbus. Every time the UM band would play the victors, OSU crowd would drown it out with boos, UM gets the last laugh with an OT victory to go to the final four.
I also went to the regionals that year. I was only 11, but I can remember it as clear as yesterday. We bought tickets for the semifinal game against Oklahoma St. and sat in the nose bleed section for that game, but were able to score 15th row tickets off of an Okie St. fan who obviously didn't want to stick around to watch the next games. I agree that the Ohio St. game was a hell of a game, and Buckeye fans sure haven't changed a bit. They were just as big of assholes then as they are now. We would hold up a Fab Five sign during timeouts, and a lady would swing her purse at us and swear like crazy at a bunch of kids cheering on their team. Classy.
We also stayed in the team hotel during our stay. Just walking around and seeing all of the players was crazy for me as an 11 year old, as these guys were my heroes at the time. I have pictures playing Super Off Road with Chris Webber and some shooting game with Rose and Howard. We also watched the Duke-Kentucky Laettner final shot game with a couple of them in the lobby. I think it was Jason Bossard who was wearing a Kentucky sweatshirt so he wouldn't have to keep signing autographs, but they were all great sports about doing it. A lot of the "forgotten five" were actually excited to be getting all of the attention. Michael Talley and Pelinka seemed like really likeable guys, and were really chatting it up with all of the M faithful that made the trip. They only player who we didn't see was Ray Jackson, but as many others have said, he seemed to keep to himself more than the others.
While I don't like all of the behind the sceens stuff that has come up about Webber and others, it doesn't change how I feel about that team. It was and always will be my favorite basketball team, and I will make sure to be in Crisler when the ice thaws and they are welcomed back into the Michigan family.
Think about that Elite 8 in 1992, when Michigan beat OSU in overtime. That was the same round that Laettner hit the shot to beat Kentucky in OT!
I have fond memories of that weekend. Since we were in Lexington watching the Fab 5 do their thing, it also meant we were around a bunch of Wildcat fans during the Laettner game. My Dad and I watched that game in our hotel room, but eventually we just opened our door to listen to all the locals cheer from the hotel bar or wherever they were. We didn't even need sound on the TV, cause you could tell from the groans or screams who was doing well. And then of course, the hotel went deathly silent after Laettner hit that shot.
That probably cost us the championship.
Made me a Michigan fan! I didn't have a team affiliation until they came along, it's weird that football didn't start my fanhood at a football school. I still have a Webber jersey, still wear black nike socks and my shorts hang low. I knew I didn't want to be a fan of Indiana or Purdue, I wanted the complete sports package in a school. Michigan offers that they are consistantly good at football, hockey, basketball, softball and baseball whereas teams in my state are consistantly good at maybe one of those. Go Blue!
I had no connection to Michigan at all. I'm originally from North Dakota, but I was raised in a college basketball family. My Dad is an alumni of the University of Kansas, and just a rabid college basketball fan in general. For years previous, he had picked up the habit of traveling to various sites to catch first round games, regional finals, and even some Final Fours, which he still does today. Loves him his Jayhawks too.
In 1992, I turned 10 and he decided I was old enough to bring with him on a basketball trip. He brought me to Lexington, Kentucky where four teams were squaring off in the regional finals. North Caroilina, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and the freshman version of the Fab 5. As a North Dakotan raised in a Jayhawk family, obviously I had no rooting interest. I can't say I even remember following Michigan that season or knowing anything about the Fab 5 until that moment. But our seats were right behind the pep band. I was mezmerized on the street and in our hotel when random groups of people started yelling "Go" and people would respond with "BLUE!!!." Michigan beat OK State, and during the rest day, I made my Dad buy me Michigan everything. Shirt, hat, pom poms, whatever. I was an in-the-tank Michigan fan when Saturday rolled around and they beat Ohio State on the way to the Final Four. (Hey, turns out that was their rival too. I learned so much that weekend.)
I was hooked the rest of my life. I followed Michigan sports all through the 90's, and eventually got a Michigan Starter jacket during one Christmas which was the greatest thing ever. When adulthood rolled around, I had to pick a school, and there was only one place I really wanted to go. I graduated in 2005, I'm marrying a fellow Wolverine in May, and now I happily work and live in Michigan. None of this happens without the Fab 5. It broke my heart that they were the impetus to sinking the basketball program, but at least they gave me a heart to break for Michigan.
The "they never won a championship" line is just silly. The 1992-93 team went 15-3 in Big Ten play. That wins you the conference title the vast majority of the time.
Playing Kansas interesting....
Lasting impact: whenever a team I'm rooting for calls for a time out late in a close game, I cringe and wonder if they have any remaining time outs to call.
What's really annoying is that the NCAA added an extra timeout (the 30-second one) the next season. Grrr.
The longer shorts were great—the '80s nut-huggers were an embarrassment to the human race—but hated the black socks back then, and still do now.
It's funny how Jalen had the bad-boy persona back then, compared to what kind of guy he really was, and is now. From the very beginning I thought Webber was a punk, and he's never given me any reason to think differently. It's too bad that King, Jackson, Howard, and Rose have gotten tarred along with Webber.
from moderately interested to captivated by a team as fast as I did between the two weeks before their second season and the opening game against Rice. I watched in their freshman year, but I was just really becoming a die hard sports and Michigan fan at that point. After a football game in October before the basketball season had started, I went and watched the inter-squad scrimmage (nearly sold out) and I was hooked, for better or worse. Their run in the 1993 tournament was probably the most excited I have ever been about any sports team, UCLA gave me a legit heart attack. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the timeout was the most painful sporting related moment in my life, either playing or watching. It did not stop with Webber's graduation either. I was watching Ray and Jimmy v. Western Kentucky almost as intently.
All in all, I am HUGE sports fan. I would say about 50% of that is directly related to the Fab Five.
92-93 was my first year of grad school at U-M. I wasn't particularly interested in basketball, but I had a really tight cohort full of sports fanatics, most of whom bought season tickets. There was always someone who couldn't go, and would give me their ticket, so I ended up seeing an awful lot of games and got really into the team.
I remember how compassionate I felt about that time-out mistake; and it seemed to me that a significant portion of the Michigan fanbase stood behind Webber and forgave him. He was our guy, our sweet kid, so devastated by that error. The stories of him crying in his Dad's arms after the game really got me. It cemented my emotional attachment to the team.
So when the story came out about Webber and Ed Martin, I felt like my heart had been stomped on. I was really and truly peeved at him. I still am.
My other Fab Five memories including being at Scorekeepers when we lost a close tournament game. Someone threw a pitcher at the screen and lit out for the door and I got knocked over in the rush. Out of nowhere one of their bouncers was right there and yanked me up off the floor so hard I nearly bit my tongue off, but he spared me getting stepped on by 40 people so I was grateful.
Oh, and going to the NBA draft when it was in Detroit! That was fun--we had obstructed seats for the stage... but they allowed us to see the backstage area where the players were sitting around tables biting their fingernails. Interesting perspective.
I remember Jalen's RED suit, too--wow.
After the '90-'91 season, it was just so AWESOME to pe part of it.
I remember the class coming together and the immediate hype that followed.
So many moments of "Oh no, oh no, oh Jalen noooo......YES!"
I remember the first game all 5 started.
I remember my [now wife then] girlfriend driving to Minneapolis and me staying behind b/c I needed to schedule classes for my senior year the day of the final game in '92. Me and a buddy got to Scorekeepers when it OPENED on Saturday and were there until it was time to run from there, through the quad, all the way to the intersection by Ulrich's yelling "WHO GONNA SHOCK THE WORLD?" "WE GONNA SHOCK THE WORLD!"
I remember driving (!) to New Orleans with 3 others in '93 in a Dodge Daytona. I remember the euphoria after beating Kentucky and how bad I felt for Webber afterward. Say what you want, but without him, we wouldn't have been there. [Never mind that the first half officiating in that game was so lopsided, most of our guys were in foul trouble and had to treat UNC with kid gloves for the entire second half. Then the officials decided to "let 'em play" and didn't call anything on UNC in the second half.]
The trash talk, the swagger, the artistry. It was amazing. Even losing to Duke and UNC -- we were the bright center of the college basketball universe. And I still say that if that SUV doesn't roll over, Cleeves goes to M instead of MSU, a generation of "Flintstones" plays for Michigan, and the Ed Martin scandal is never brought to light. Not that I'm proud of it, or think it is bad that it was exposed -- just that things would have been different.
if the university in 2002 had to take down two national championship banners instead of two final four banners?
What could have been...
And to think all the dramatic finishes and highlight reel dunks don't even officially exist anymore.
The NCAA would have ignored it, or come down a lot lighter. Up till USC, the NCAA has been pretty hands off with National Champs, and certainly wasn't in the business of taking titles away.
I was also part of the class that got to pay the price. It's not nearly as fun watching those wins get stripped away and the current team punished for actions that happend well before they ever got to college. But I can't complain too much since my senior year was the last time we beat OSU in football.
In high school I was obsessed with college basketball, and I loved the Fab Five (I was instantly drawn to the idea of five true freshmen starters). When I was choosing universties (I graduated from HS in 1993), I checked out Michigan and was impressed with the academics, so I applied (I'm from Maryland). I visited and was hooked. I'm not sure that I would have applied to Michigan if the Fab Five hadn't drawn my attention to the University. I loved my time at Michigan and got a great education. My younger sister also went to Michigan.
Ah, the memories of Raycom Sports!
up through the Regionals. But then I had to take a business trip to Cincinnati during the time of the Regional Final and the Final Four.
Damn if the Fab 5 didn't keep playing and playing, and advancing and advancing in the tournament. I didn't really expect that, they had somewhat of an up and down year during the regular season.
I had to drive out during the Regional Final game against OSU. I listened to the game on the radio through regular time. Just as I crossed the border into Ohio, the game went into overtime.
Screw it, I thought. I'm going to find a bar and watch the OT on TV. I don't care if I'm surrounded by buckeyes in the Appalachain part of Ohio or not, Michigan sweatshirt and all.
I found a hotel bar to watch the rest of the game. Sure enough, I found myself in the middle of a hostile crowd of OSU fans. I tried to play it cool but I got louder with each Michigan basket. When we won, I hightailed it out of there like I just had sex with the Farmer's daughter.
I was in Cincinnati for the Final Four game against Cincinnati. Again I found myself at a hostile bar, rooting for Michigan against the home team. The local Cincinnati news station came to film the reaction of the crowd. What they got were lots of shots of me being obnoxious channeling my best Dickie V "It's awesome baybeee!!" as we beat the home team.
The Fab 5 led me into hostile territory a couple times that year, but pulled me out victorious.