Ed-S: Just to avoid confusion, this is the Michigan Men's Football Experience, which I was told by its organizers is a different thing from the Michigan Football Experience. It is run by U-M Health's Urology Dept, which is a proud supporter of MGoBlog.
In this article, Nick Baumgardner of A2.com tells the story of the newly revived and just completed "Michigan Football Experience", essentially a fantasy camp for Michigan fans.
[There were] 50 participants in this week's 2012 Michigan Men's Football Experience, a two-day Michigan football fantasy camp aimed at raising money for the "Men of Michigan" prostate cancer research fund. Participants were required to make a $5,000 donation to attend, and organizers estimate roughly $350,000 was raised during the event.
Here's the history of the event. It turns out it was started as a result of a suggestion by then Domino's CEO Dave Brandon in 2006. The event took a hiatus from 2008 to 2011. I'm glad Coach Hoke recommitted to this and reordered "program priorities". It seems like a great companion to the upcoming (sold out) Michigan Women's Football Academy, also a great fundraiser supporting supports Patient & Family Support Services (PFSS) at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The charity event evolved not from an idea about football, but instead as a way for a grateful patient to honor the doctor who performed his life saving surgery. The patient, U-M Athletic Director Dave Brandon, was then CEO of Domino’s Pizza, Inc. and his doctor, James E. Montie, M.D., was chair of the U-M Department of Urology.
Brandon, a former Michigan football player coached by Bo, conceived of the idea and contacted Coach Lloyd Carr in 2006 about offering an offseason 48-hour window in the life of the Michigan football team prior to kick-off. Coach Carr immediately embraced the idea of doing this for cancer research with these conditions:
- Participation by his coaches would be voluntary and there would be no monetary compensation;
- Participation would be limited to the number of lockers (116) in the Michigan locker room; and
- Attendees would be taught individual skills, exposed to the mental side of the game, would learn how to execute a couple of plays and would be treated like walk-ons no matter their off-the-field status or accomplishments.
The MMFE went into hiatus following Coach Carr’s retirement in 2007 due to renovations of the Big House and other priorities making the program impractical. However, before he had even coached a game at Michigan, Coach Hoke revived the event set for May 30 & 31, 2012.
Including expected donations through 2012, the MMFE will raise in excess of $1 million to fund cancer research. Research, like football, is a team sport. It requires many members, each playing an important role. Funds from the MMFE allow University of Michigan physicians and researchers to flush out their roster with blue chip research recruits and provide the infrastructure and start up monies to investigate promising new ideas for diagnosis and treatment and get them to the point of external funding or venture capital interest.
YouTube is blocked at work, so if someone could embed the video of the event posted at A2.com, I'd appreciate it.