Reclaiming the History of Helmet Stickers

Reclaiming the History of Helmet Stickers

Submitted by Seth on May 14th, 2015 at 11:26 AM


high-rez sticker courtesy Dr. Sap's Archives

[Ed (Seth) note: This article appeared in the 2010 edition of Hail to the Victors. Because they're bringing the stickers back, we thought to bring this article back.

Author John Kryk is all over the latest HTTV, with an original piece on the 1985 football team and an excerpt from his latest book Stagg vs. Yost: The Birth of Cutthroat Football, wherein Yost used horizontal offensive attacks and fast tempo to bewilder our chief rivals.

If you'd like to get our book, you have 4 days to get in on the Kickstarter.

If you'd like to get Kryk's book, it is scheduled to go on sale in mid-July and can be pre-ordered direct from the publisher.

A huge thanks to Dr. Sap and readers who sent in their pics of stickers.

Wolverines On Your Head

Back of Derrick Walker's helmet from 1989, now in possession of reader Rob Graham.

By John Kryk

When Jim Mandich, Dan Dierdorf and the '69 Wolverines dumped Woody Hayes' dream team, they sported reward stickers on the backs of their famous winged helmets.

So did Rick Leach when he led Michigan to two Big Ten championship victories in Ohio Stadium. And Anthony Carter when he caught that 45-yard lightning bolt from John Wangler against Indiana. And Jim Harbaugh when he crushed the Buckeyes back-to-back. And Leroy Hoard and Tyrone Wheatley when they ran roughshod in different Rose Bowl wins. And Desmond Howard when he made The Catch against Notre Dame, and when he struck The Pose against OSU. And Remy Hamilton when he gut-kicked Lou Holtz and the Irish.

But Michigan players' helmets haven't featured those maize, football-shaped reward stickers since Lloyd Carr took over for Gary Moeller in 1995.

It was a tradition begun at Michigan by Bo Schembechler in 1969. And, no, Bo wasn't copying Woody Hayes—as almost everyone today believes, especially the mouth-readers south of Lake Erie. The accepted story today is that Hayes’s 1968 Ohio State Buckeyes inaugurated the college football tradition of placing reward stickers on their helmets after each game. An feature story in 2008 reiterated that it “all started with those buckeye leaves.”

Only it didn’t. Guess who beat Woody to the punch, even within the state of Ohio? Why, none other than Bo. It was Schembechler, Hayes’s most famous pupil and eventual arch-rival, who’d begun the practice in 1965 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


courtesy Miami University Libraries

[At the Jump: how the bird poo got on the Buckeye helmets, right before the guy who invented the stickers brought them to Ann Arbor]

Unverified Voracity Holds It

Unverified Voracity Holds It

Submitted by Brian on March 19th, 2012 at 4:13 PM

1986 again. WH continues his flash back to 1986 with a copy of Michigan Replay from M's win over OSU that year. You should at least watch the first 1:35:

Yes, that's the podcast's theme music, kids. Forever will it be so. Also WH posted Bo's first game.

Senior. Spring practice fluffy video contains "senior" underneath Denard's name:

Sinking in slowly that this is the last opportunity to see the guy in a Winged Helmet.

What are you doing? Man, was that Purdue game last night frustrating to watch. The Boilers had it, but then started running clock with two minutes left and a three-point lead. TOC summarizes:

With 1:44 left to go in the Purdue-Kansas game last night, Robbie Hummel secured a defensive rebound with Purdue up by 3.

Of the 104 seconds that remained in the game, Purdue controlled the ball for 90 of them.

Kansas controlled the ball for the remaining 14 seconds.

Kansas scored 6 points in those 14 seconds.

Purdue scored zero points in its 90 seconds.

The risk of giving your opponent an extra 10 seconds to work with is perhaps being overestimated.

I'm beginning to think the best way to win a close college basketball game is to make sure your opponent has the ball with a one-possession lead with between 60 and 120 seconds left in the game.

Purdue held the ball until there were well under ten seconds on the shot clock in their 90 seconds and got horrible shots and turnovers for their trouble. If you had flashbacks to Rocky Harvey and various other late-game indignities foisted upon us by Lloyd Carr's tendency to clam up too early, you were not alone.

Rule: until you get into a range where the opponent is going to have to foul even if they get twos on all their remaining possessions, play as if there's 20 minutes left. With 1:44 you should only start stalling if you're up seven or more.

Side note: man, does Purdue have an unusual number of guards who can't shoot. Their dual Johnsons are both below 50% on free throws this year, and with 108 and 69 attempts that can't be explained away as a Douglass-like tiny sample size. Without Hummel and Ryne Smith the Boilers are going to be relying on DJ Byrd for a huge percentage of their outside shooting unless they've got some sniper freshmen coming in.

Let my people twitter. Brady Hoke thinks Michigan's silly secondary violation for congratulating Mike McCray on his commitment is silly:

When the linebacker picked Michigan earlier this month, Roundtree reached out to congratulate him. No big deal.

Except, he did it on Twitter. And that, according to NCAA rules, is a no-no. In fact, it's considered a secondary violation.

Brady Hoke sees something wrong with that.

"That one’s really silly," he said.

Hoke's in favor of loosening some of these restrictions put in place when media was media instead of everything being media. Despite his Fred Flintstone-like relationship with technology, he'd also like to let the Zooks run free with unlimited text messaging.  The NCAA should deregulate a bunch of this stuff so people can focus on important things instead.

Restatement of previous suggestion: if a kid wants to opt out let them sign a non-binding intent to commit letter that lifts contact restrictions for the school he's committed to, prohibits them from taking official visits or being contacted by other coaches, and can be rescinded at any time by the player.

Hobey Hunwick. The CCHA's second-team goalie is one of two netminders nominated for the Hobey Baker award:

Michigan senior goalie Shawn Hunwick has been named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation's top collegiate hockey player. Hunwick, named to the CCHA second team earlier this season, is 23-10-3 this season with a goals against average of 1.96 and a .934 save percentage.

Ferris State's goalie was not nominated for obvious reasons.

Profile season. The Daily covered Chris Brown. Texas? Texas:

Around Ann Arbor, he drives a massive black pick-up truck with Texas license plates slapped on it, a not-so-subtle reminder of the Division-I hockey player’s transplanted background.

And there is the music he listens to before games, so different than the hip-hop and electronic beats that usually flow in the locker rooms of Yost Ice Arena. Chris prefers country artists like Kenny Chesney and The Casey Donahue Band, whose most popular song is called “White Trash Story.”

Do you know how short Kenny Chesney is, though? He's really short.

The article goes in depth about the cross-country odysseys high level prospects have to undergo just to get to a place like Michigan. It's a nomadic existence. The only other athletes with comparable journeys are high-level soccer prospects.

Pro day stuff. Hemingway and Van Bergen showed well; so did Martin but that's no surprise. Gil Thorpe Brandt highlighted those two plus Molk and Woolfolk as risers throughout the draft process. Hemingway:

Junior Hemingway, WR (6-0 7/8, 221) — Hemingway looked very good catching the ball from Bruce Gradkowski, the Bengals QB who was brought in to throw. He’s a sleeper who should surprise on draft day when he’s selected earlier than expected.

It is tough to judge receivers in an offense piloted by Denard Robinson.

Quick exit. Holdin' the Rope on Michigan's exit:

Trying to make sense of the NCAA Tournament is like trying to count the grains of sand on a beach. Once you've made what you believe to be a certain amount of progress--you've counted each and every singular grain in your hand--the tide comes in, obliterating everything, weakening your assertion by introducing something entirely new to your worldview. Upsets happen all the time; it is the ordered disorder of this entire thing, a relatively brief spectacle that can either build upon or utterly destroy the five-month slog that precedes it. How upset you should be after this is a product of your pre-conceived notions of Michigan's abilities relative to college basketball as a whole, the somewhat distorting effect of a shared conference title, and most importantly, to what extent you think Michigan "overachieved."

Etc.: Meyers Leonard is probably gone to the NBA; Shaka Smart is going to have to get a lot more out of Nnanna Egwu if he hopes to make Illinois competitive in year one. Red Line is not a fan of Boo Nieves for unspecific reasons. UMHoops has a state of the blog. Michigan is second on MaxPreps' early 2013 class rankings. OSU is #6, Penn State #7. #tenyearwarII #andintroducingPennState

It's time for death hockey.