The Climb, Part XIII: Number One

The Climb, Part XIII: Number One

Submitted by Dr. Sap on January 8th, 2018 at 10:13 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed (Colorado); The Hit (Baylor); The Stop (Notre Dame); The Captain’s Down(Indiana); Vengeance (Northwestern), Gut Check (Iowa), Six Picks (Michigan State), The Trap (Minnesota), Judgment (Penn State), The Crucible (Wisconsin) No Flags (Ohio State), The GOAT (Heisman)]


Materials: Box Score, a TON of articles


[Sara Stillman Archives/UM Bentley Historical Library]


On December 10, 1997, three days before the Heisman ceremony, an event occurred that mattered more to many football coaches than any outcome of any game that season: Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne announced his retirement. His #2 Huskers had finished the season undefeated, thanks notably to the “kick six” that saved an embarrassing loss to Missouri, whom they’d beat in overtime.

This was the last year of the bowl system that predated the BCS. Under that system four of the big conferences—the ACC, the SEC, the Big XII, and the Big East—had tried to organize a quasi-championship game by agreeing to put their best two teams in a rotation of the Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta Bowls. Noticeably absent from this agreement was the Big Ten and the Pac Ten, who were happy enough to send their champions to the “The Granddaddy of Them All,” thank you very much. This caused a lot of resentment: Not only had national championships been split too many times over the years because of the bowl alignments that didn’t match the best teams, but the Rose Bowl had cachet, history, and viewership that the rest of the games did not, and it didn’t seem right that two conferences could hog them all.

By Osborne’s retirement, this had finally been hashed out, and the BCS system would go into effect the following season. And once #2 Florida State was knocked off by Florida, a lot people wished Michigan could play Nebraska instead of Washington State.

Michigan was going to the Rose Bowl to face Ryan Leaf and the 10-1 Pac Ten champions of Washington State, who were just #8. While it was WSU’s first appearance in the Rose Bowl in almost 70 years, they weren’t exactly backing into this game. Even though some writers were saying that UCLA was the best team out west, WAZZU silenced their critics with upset victories over the Bruins as well as USC. The Cougars had the #2 offense in the country, and liked to spread the field by going five-wide, a matchup nightmare in an era when teams rarely had to play more than two cornerbacks in a game.

All things considered Michigan probably would have preferred to play the Huskers. Because Woodson didn’t need safety help the Wolverines would have been free to send a safety aggressively after the pitchman, and the Michigan interior defensive line would have been a steep upgrade over any competition Nebraska had yet faced. If you had to design the absolute worst possible matchup for the 1997 Huskers, the 1997 Wolverines wouldn’t be far off from the result.

Number 3 Tennessee, whom Nebraska would face because of the Bowl Alliance, was on the other hand a highly favorable matchup. Favorable and ominous in two respects: (1) The Cornhuskers would play a Top 5 opponent and (2) the Volunteers were overrated in ’97 thanks in part to their darling, senior QB who couldn’t win the big game (or the Heisman—tell your friends!). A Big Red victory seemed to be a sure thing. The question was just how big would the margin of victory be?

Towards the end of December, talk had started circulating that if Michigan barely beat Washington State and Nebraska throttled Tennessee there just might be a split in the voting for the National Championship. But folks back here in the Midwest wondered just how that could be possible? UM had a 69-1 margin (presumably Graham Couch) of 1st place votes over Nebraska in the AP (writers) Poll heading into the Rose Bowl and a 58-4 margin in the Coaches’. Even if the Wolverines struggled to defeat the Cougars, historically no #1 team that won its bowl game had ever dropped in one of the two major polls.

If you weren’t a coach with a grudge about the Heisman vote or the Husker quarterback’s mom or something there was no plausible reason to give Nebraska’s collection of favorable bounces versus mediocre competition the same respect as Michigan, who sat 11-0 versus one of the toughest schedules in the history of the game, and a hypothetical victory over YET ANOTHER top 10 team shouldn’t change that. And yet.

[After THE JUMP: A Leaf on the wind]

The Climb: Part XII: The GOAT

The Climb: Part XII: The GOAT

Submitted by Dr. Sap on December 13th, 2017 at 10:32 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed (Colorado); The Hit (Baylor); The Stop (Notre Dame); The Captain’s Down(Indiana); Vengeance (Northwestern), Gut Check (Iowa), Six Picks (Michigan State), The Trap (Minnesota), Judgment (Penn State), The Crucible (Wisconsin) No Flags (Ohio State)]



UM Bentley Library

December 13, 1997: Heisman Voting

Rk Name Team Yr P 1st 2nd 3rd Total
1 Charles Woodson Michigan Jr CB 433 209 98 1815
2 Peyton Manning Tennessee Sr QB 281 263 174 1543
3 Ryan Leaf Washington State Jr QB 70 203 241 861
4 Randy Moss Marshall So WR 17 56 90 253
5 Ricky Williams Texas Jr RB 3 18 20 65
6 Curtis Enis Penn State Jr RB 3 18 20 65
7 Tim Dwight Iowa Sr WR 5 3 11 32
8 Cade McNown UCLA Jr QB 0 7 12 26
9 Tim Couch Kentucky So QB 0 5 12 22
10 Amos Zereoué West Virginia So RB 3 1 10 21

It was perhaps the greatest Heisman field in the history of that award. It included a generational quarterback and a guy everyone thought would be. It had the most talented receiver the game had ever seen. It had the most productive rusher college football had ever seen. And Twenty years ago today the award for the “most outstanding player in college football” finally went to a primarily defensive player. He was just that good.

In 1997, two-way stars like Tom Harmon were a thing of the past or it was something “cute” that guys like Gordie Lockbaum did in D2 football. As Warren Sapp correctly pointed out a few years earlier, the bronzed Heisman statue has a player carrying the ball, not swatting it down.

Charles Woodson challenged that paradigm. You didn’t need to be a senior anymore to win the award. You didn’t need to be a quarterback or a running back, either. The trophy is engraved thusly: “The outstanding College Football Player In The United States.” The instructions given to voters are to choose…

The outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.

It doesn’t say anything about being an offensive MVP; but that was the paradigm. Paradigms had changed before in the history of this award—it used to be so Domer biased that QB Paul Hornung won it in 1956 while going 2-8 and throwing 13 INTs to 3 TDs (Jim Brown finished third). It says outstanding.

Woodson was. Leave aside the highlight reel and look at the effect he had on that defense. Michigan’s D spent most of that season in a Cover 1 with the free safety either shaded over the side opposite Woodson, or running around in a robber. Students made a shirt (now available on the MGoBlogStore) that noted “75% of the Earth is covered by water, the rest is covered by Woodson.” They weren’t far off. Ask any coach if he thinks he could get away with this:


Back in 1997, few in America believed the 1,000 voters had finally figured out what that truly meant, especially when they had a nice, easy senior career candidate who “deserved” it for turning down the NFL and virtually repeating his 1996 performance.


The Climb: Part XI: No Flags

The Climb: Part XI: No Flags

Submitted by Dr. Sap on November 20th, 2017 at 10:00 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed (Colorado); The Hit (Baylor); The Stop (Notre Dame); The Captain’s Down(Indiana); Vengeance (Northwestern), Gut Check (Iowa), Six Picks (Michigan State), The Trap (Minnesota), Judgment (Penn State), The Crucible (Wisconsin)]


01 LEAD bhl_bl007586_full_5999_4790__0_native

[Robert Kalmbach, via UM Bentley Library]

November 22, 1997: #1 Michigan 20, #4 Ohio State 14

  • also #2 FSU 29, #10 Florida 32 who remembers when we were huge Gator fans?
  • also also not that it should matter but just in case “undefeated” Nebraska tries to stake a bogus claim to a championship that shoulde be Michigan’s and Michigan’s only, a struggle vs unranked team ought to take care of that, and lo and behold: #3 Nebraska 27, Colorado 24

Materials: Box Score. Cumulative stats. Articles. WH Highlights, Part II, Entire broadcast by j bakkar, or if you want to watch this with friends we’ll have it on at the MGoBlog Tailgate before The Game on Saturday.


Back in 1997, there was no B1G Conference Championship Game. That meant THE GAME between Michigan and Ohio State was going to be for all the marbles – sort of.

It was #1 UM (10-0) going against #4 OSU (10-1). It was essentially for the Rose Bowl, with a slight twist. If Michigan won, they would be the outright Big Ten champs and go to the Rose Bowl. If Michigan lost and Penn State defeated Wisconsin and Michigan State -- there would be a three-way tie for the Big Ten title (with OSU & PSU) -- Michigan would still go to the Rose Bowl under the Big Ten tie-breaker rule, unless Ohio State was ranked #1 or #2 in either major poll, in which case the Rose Bowl would be obligated to take OSU.

Got all that?

[Hit THE JUMP to go back to that cold terrifying morning]

The Climb, Part X: The Crucible

The Climb, Part X: The Crucible

Submitted by Dr. Sap on November 13th, 2017 at 10:00 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed (Colorado); The Hit (Baylor); The Stop (Notre Dame); The Captain’s Down(Indiana); Vengeance (Northwestern), Gut Check (Iowa), Six Picks (Michigan State), The Trap (Minnesota), Judgment (Penn State)]


November 15, 1997: #1 Michigan 26, #23 Wisconsin 16

  • also #2 FSU 59, Wake Forest 7
  • also also not that it should matter because they should have lost to lowly Missouri last week so they’re not passing Michigan unless Michigan loses or there’s some crazy B.S.: #3 Nebraska 77, Iowa State 14

Materials: Box Score. Articles. WH Highlights, Entire broadcast by j bakkar:

we’re going transcontinental baby!


Three times since Bo retired, Michigan had been ranked #1 during the season. All three times they had lost the next game. Following their convincing 34-8 victory at Penn State, 9-0 Michigan had finally earned the nation's top ranking in at least one poll – the Associated Press writers' poll that was released on Sunday, the day after Judgment Day. It was the first time in seven years that the Wolverines had earned the top position. In the USA Today / ESPN coaches' poll, the maize and blue moved up one spot to #2, behind Florida State.

"It feels real good," tight end Aaron Shea said. "It's really an exciting feeling. It's hard not to get excited. You just can't think about it. You have to go in like we did at the beginning of the season when no one gave us a chance. Now that we're #1 in the nation, we have to keep the same focus."

Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr, whom the players credited for their ability to avoid a letdown week after week, cautioned his squad against getting carried away by the ranking.

"To be ranked at this point in the season creates a pressure," Carr said. "I'm hoping the team and coaches embrace that pressure and use it to our advantage. Being the #1 team can also make you complacent and give you the feeling you're unbeatable. We aren't unbeatable. I certainly hope we won't become complacent."

In the meantime, the Wolverines were after one thing – the Big Ten title and a trip to Pasadena, California.

"We're a proud group of guys," tight end Mark Campbell said. "The great thing about this team is we know we still have a lot to do. Our goal wasn't to be 9-0, our goal was to go to the Rose Bowl."

Michigan, historically had not handled the #1 ranking very well:

[After THE JUMP: who’s afraid of a big young Sconny back?]

The Climb, Part IX: Judgment

The Climb, Part IX: Judgment

Submitted by Dr. Sap on November 6th, 2017 at 4:54 PM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed (Colorado); The Hit (Baylor); The Stop (Notre Dame); The Captain’s Down (Indiana); Vengeance (Northwestern), Gut Check (Iowa), Six Picks (Michigan State), The Trap (Minnesota)]


November 8, 1997: #4 Michigan 34, #2 Penn State 8

  • also #1 Nebraska 45, Missouri 38 (OT) thanks to the “Flea Kicker”
  • also also #3 Florida State 20, #5 North Carolina 3

Materials: Articles. WH Highlights Part II. Entire broadcast by j bakkar:

watch the whole thing if you’ve got time.


Week #8 was barely in the books when ESPN’s Beano Cook lit the fuse for the much anticipated match-up between #4 Michigan and #2 Penn State. While Michigan easily took care of Minnesota the week before, Penn State held on to beat Northwestern by only a single point. Much like UM, perhaps PSU had a “Trap Game” of their own?None of this mattered to the Howard Cosell-like curmudgeon, Cook.

To Beano, the unabashed East Coast lover of all things Notre Dame and Penn State, victory for JoePa was a mere formality the next week against Lloyd Carr and his Wolverines. So much so that on Saturday night, one week before the big game, he uttered the now famous phrase: “Don’t even bother showing up next week, Michigan. JUST SEND THE BAND!”

The buildup to the titanic clash of undefeateds was raised up another notch when at the Monday press conference in Ann Arbor, Charles Woodson didn’t shy away when asked what was on everyone’s minds:

just the nation?

Prophetically, Woodson also offered this nugget: "If everybody says that the Heisman Trophy is given to truly the best player in the country, I would think I'd have a legitimate shot at winning," he correctly offered.

Penn State vs. Michigan’s band

No one in that room argued that point, and neither did Penn State head coach Joe Paterno when he said that he thought #2 was a great athlete and quite possibly the best EVER in college football history! JoePa’s compliments on Woodson start at the 5:17 mark in this clip here.

To ratchet up the pre-game hype even more, ESPN dubbed the historic weekend, “Judgment Day.” This wasn’t just because of the UM-PSU tilt. The ACC had their own epic clash of undefeateds as 3rd-ranked Florida State (8-0) was playing at 5th-ranked North Carolina (8-0), in Chapel Hill, NC. For all you Husker lovers out there, #1 Nebraska was playing at Missouri this same day and was expected to win rather easily.

The historical significance of this type of day in college football occurring so late in the season was best described by Beano Cook (at the 2:50 mark in this clip):

For those of you too young to know what Hale-Bopp was, there was a comet we could all just go outside and stare at for over a year

[Hit THE JUMP for the best game Michigan ever played]

The Climb, Part VIII: The Trap

The Climb, Part VIII: The Trap

Submitted by Dr. Sap on October 30th, 2017 at 10:49 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed (Colorado); The Hit (Baylor); The Stop (Notre Dame); The Captain’s Down (Indiana); Vengeance (Northwestern), Gut Check (Iowa), Six Picks (Michigan State)]


November 1, 1997: Michigan 24, Minnesota 3

Materials: Articles. WH Highlights

Back in 1997, I don’t think the term “Trap Game” had been used very much, let alone become part of the College Football lexicon. But twenty years ago, with a trip to #2 Penn State looming the following week, the Battle for the Little Brown Jug was definitely a Trap Game for Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines. The Minnesota Golden Gophers were a team in transition with first year coach Glen Mason. Even though they had pushed JoePa to the brink of an upset two weeks earlier, Minnesota was still bringing a butter-knife to a gunfight at Michigan Stadium two decades ago.

The Wolverines were now ranked #4 in the country and everybody was looking forward to a #2 vs #4 matchup the next week in Happy Valley. With the Nittany Lions playing Northwestern’s Wildcats, it was expected that both teams would clash the following week with undefeated records.

If Lloyd Carr’s warnings about how Minnesota pushed Penn State in a one-point loss two weeks prior didn’t get his team’s attention, the Gophers first drive sure did. Shockingly, Glenn Mason figured out that running right up the middle was the best way to move the ball against Jim Herrmann’s Michigan Defense. Before you could say, “Golden Gophers,” Minnesota was sitting on the Michigan doorstep with a first and goal at the UM 9-yard line.

[After THE JUMP: You woke the DeBord]

The Climb, Part VII: Six Picks

The Climb, Part VII: Six Picks

Submitted by Dr. Sap on October 25th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed, The Hit, The Stop, The Captain’s Down, Vengeance]


October 25, 1997: Michigan 23, Michigan State 7

Materials: LOTS of articles. Full broadcast

Granted, it was Michigan-Michigan State. The battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The battle for state bragging rights. Nothing more needed to be said, though if you checked out the articles folder above you’ll note there wasn’t any shortage of things being said from the beginning of the year. Michigan was undefeated. Michigan State was in its 3rd season under Nick Saban, and was demolishing opponents, rising as high as 11th in the country one week before hosting their biggest rival.

Problem was, the fever-pitched build up for this game took somewhat of a hit when the Spartans unexpectedly lost, 19-17, the week before to Northwestern. That meant #5, and 6-0 Michigan would now be playing #15, and 5-1, Michigan State. Not exactly the marquee national matchup that the networks had been anticipating but it didn’t stop ESPN’s College Gameday from paying a visit to East Lansing.

"It's going to be tough," Michigan quarterback Brian Griese said, remembering that his last visit to East Lansing was a 28-25 loss. "Their fans are going to be loud and they're going to be ruthless. It's the state championship," Griese went on. "Before you can go on to win the Big Ten championship, you've got to win the state championship."

Lloyd didn't have a countdown clock for this game, nor was there any more than the usual bulletin board material. But Carr did have a sweatshirt, as Angelique Chengelis reported in the Detroit News:

Hanging on a mirror that each Wolverine player could not avoid seeing was a sweatshirt that read the ugly score and the uglier words.

"It said '28-25, Spartans beat Wolverines,'" U-M safety Marcus Ray said. "It was taped up there all week and we saw it. We just wanted to come up to Lansing and win this game."

[After the jump: THE JUMP]

The Climb, Part V: Vengeance

The Climb, Part V: Vengeance

Submitted by Dr. Sap on October 9th, 2017 at 10:29 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed, The Hit, The Stop, The Captain’s Down]


October 11, 1997: Michigan 23, Northwestern 6

Materials: WH Video, full broadcast via j bakkar, articles


[Robert Kalbach via UM Bentley Library]

By Week 5 of the 1997 season there were no more doubts as to whether Michigan’s defense was elite. But the offense—and its achingly conservative playcalling—made fans wonder how it would hold up over a season. All it would take is for a particularly bad offensive showing and a few lucky breaks for a scrappy opponent to put an L on the board. And if recent history was any indication, the next foe was a highly likely candidate to do just that.

It was difficult to believe, but in 1995 and 1996, Northwestern was not only the darling of the Big Ten, but all of college football. The nation was gaga over Gary Barnett’s Cinderella Wildcats, led by all-American linebacker Pat Fitzgerald. They weren’t particularly talented, but those Northwestern teams were hardscrabble, made few mistakes, and on the field got a reputation for, well, exploring the blurry edges between gamesmanship and unsportsmanlike behavior. These weren’t your grandpappy’s gentlemanly purple warriors: the Barnett Cats went to class on the weekdays, then on Saturday they took your lunch money.

En route to two consecutive Big Ten Championships, Northwestern defeated Michigan twice, each time ruining the maize and blue’s undefeated records.

"I don't think it's the R-word as revenge, I think it's the R-word as respect," said U-M fifth-year quarterback Brian Griese on what his teammates hoped to achieve in game #5 of the 1997 season. "We want to make them respect us. We gave away the game both years. They had no reason to respect us.

"Anybody who goes through this week of practice and is not fired up and ready for this team, they don't have red blood in their body. They've won the Big Ten championship the last two years, and we've lost to them the past two years, and if that's not enough motivation for somebody then I don't know what is."

Those teams were embodied by Fitzgerald, who was tough, smart, and knew what you were going to do before you did it. But Fitzgerald was gone now, and nobody knew what was left. Northwestern pummeled Oklahoma 24-0 to start the season in that year’s Pigskin Classic, but then lost to Wake Forest, Rice, Purdue, and Wisconsin while also barely scraping past lowly Duke.

[After THE JUMP: how to cheat a cheater]

The Climb, Part IV: The Captain’s Down

The Climb, Part IV: The Captain’s Down

Submitted by Dr. Sap on September 26th, 2017 at 8:04 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it. Previously: Those Who Stayed, The Hit, The Stop]


October 4, 1997: Michigan 37, Indiana 0.

Materials: WH video, articles


A defensively dominant trip to Indiana came at a high cost: team leader and sideline-to-sideline playmaker Eric Mayes [Heather Stone/Detroit News]

There’s a saying in football: good teams make it through the season without a major injury, great ones overcome them. In an otherwise rote blowout of an overmatched team, the Wolverines suffered a blow in a spot they weren’t supposed to be able to afford. Their captain and defensive leader would leave the stadium in a golf cart; the team would depart with a firm identity as a dominant defense, and a far better idea of what kind of offense they were capable of scratching out.

After winning out in the non-conference schedule, Michigan opened up Big Ten play with a trip to Indiana to face a program trying to climb out of a deep hole by hiring an offensive whiz with a penchant for trick plays.

First-year coach Cam Cameron, the same guy who was a UM assistant under Bo and Mo in the mid-80’s and early 90’s, was now the head guy at his alma mater. He vowed to make changes and bring Hoosier Football “back” to the not too distant period of 8-win seasons and bowl games under another scion of Bo, Bill Mallory.

Cam wasn’t going to hang his hat on history: he even re-designed their uniforms to look like the team that embodied success at the highest level back then. As the Hoosiers dressed for their Homecoming game against Michigan they looked an awful lot like the Bill Walsh San Francisco 49’ers; underneath they were still the same Hoosiers. Whereas Michigan under third-year head coach Lloyd Carr was trying to avoid a third disappointing 8-4 season in a row, Indiana’s definition of hope meant getting back to that same level.

Carr revealed a uniform tweak of his own against Indiana. For the first time in 20 years, Michigan changed the look of the road white jerseys. The triple stripe sleeve was now reduced to two solid, thicker maize and blue stripes with a block M (last seen in 1968) above them. The v-neck collar also sported a maize and blue trim as did the numbers. To the blue-hairs back then, it was an unnecessary change that didn’t go over very well. To the youth of the day, it was applauded. Imagine that?

[Hit the JUMP]

The Climb, Part III: The Stop

The Climb, Part III: The Stop

Submitted by Dr. Sap on September 18th, 2017 at 11:14 AM

[Ed-Seth: This being the 20th anniversary of the 1997 National Championship, Michigan historian Dr. Sap is taking us game-by-game through it.]


Sept. 27, 1997: Michigan 21, Notre Dame 14, 3-0 (0-0 Big Ten)

Materials: WH video


[Sara Stillman/The Michigan Daily, via the UM Bentley Historical Library]

Game 3 for 1997 Michigan was way too tight for comfort against a team with nothing to lose. Notre Dame had not made good on Beano Cook’s promise to win two national championships and two Heismans for quaterback Ron Powlus, but they had all of that talent still.

This wasn’t Lou Holtz’s Fighting Irish anymore. Holtz had stepped down and ND promoted Defensive Coordinator Bob Davie to be the man in charge. To fill his old job, Davie called on his friend Greg Mattison, who’d coached DL in Davie’s Texas A&M defenses, to do the unthinkable: abandon Michigan for Notre Dame.

Mattison had been Jack Harbaugh’s DC at Western Michigan, with stints at Navy and Texas A&M before Gary Moeller, on Harbaugh’s advice, put Greg in line to perhaps one day be the head man at Michigan. When Mo had to go, Carr pegged Mattison, not linebackers/special teams coach, former Michigan player, and much longer-time assistant Jim Herrmann, as Carr’s replacement. Mattison had recruited half of this young defensive front, and designed the 4-3 under defense. Also consider important offensive pieces like Chris Floyd, Chris Howard, Jerame Tuman, and Mark Campbell, not to mention Steve Hutchinson, came to Michigan as defensive or two-way players. This betrayal did not go over well in Ann Arbor.

[After the JUMP: Lloyd does not bite his thumb at Mattison, sir]