RIP Charles Drake Comment Count

Seth July 7th, 2012 at 11:22 AM


Via @vicsoto

Per Phil Brabbs's twitter, Charles Drake, starting strong safety for Michigan from 2001-'02, has passed away. Drake was a moderately shirtless '99 running back recruit who traded in a career of kick returning to play safety because Michigan had no safeties after June and Curry. Drake did it mostly with athleticism and a taste for (juuuuuust close enough to the whistle to not get flagged) hitting. Personally I remember him going ham against Michigan State a few times, and causing two turnovers in the closer-than-it-seemed 2002 Michigan-Illinois game. In the first he forced Beutjer to throw to Marlin Jackson (at 2:02), the other…

…was his only career interception and sneaky runback that caused know-it-alls on couches across the state of Michigan to exclaim, "remember, he was a kick returner!"

His senior year Drake shared the Ufer Bequest award (for enthusiasm and love for Michigan) with Bennie Joppru. From the little I knew of Drake off the field—all from a guy who worked with the team—"enthusiasm and love for Michigan" was most apropos. Let it stand as a fitting epitaph to a Wolverine who'll be missed.



July 7th, 2012 at 12:26 PM ^

Sad news. Considering the seriousness of the post, it might be worth changing the word epithet to epitaph.  There is a big difference in meaning.  

El Jeffe

July 7th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Logged in to co-sign. I'm not ordinarily that guy with the main bloggers (although I have been known to poke fun at some posters' questionable grammar and vocabulary), but in this case I think it would be worth the edit.

RIP indeed, Sir Drake.


July 7th, 2012 at 12:40 PM ^

No offense, and this is indeed extremely sad news, but how is it that Charles Drake's passing is worth a front page mention but Chappuis was basically ignored....?  For a blog so obsessed with the tradition of Michigan and how it's constantly being erroded that choice is hard to make any reasonable sense of.  


July 7th, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

Unless you're part of the family, the self importance of thinking that saying something other than rest in peace is disrespectufl anonymously on an internet blog causes me to question your connection with reality.  I'm sure the Drake's are worrying about more important things right now than if everyone on this website is focusing strictly on the death of their family member.  I said it was extremely sad news, and then I questioned why this was newsworthy but Chappuis wasn't...if that has your panties in a bunch then I might recommend new panties.  


July 7th, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

Note that it was I, not Brian, who wrote it. I did so because Drake's career at Michigan spanned 4/5 of my seasons as a student (graduated dec '02) so I had a personal connection to that career which moved me to write a short RIP. Chappuis was indeed a greater player however I have zero personal recollections of his playing years, so if I made an announcement for him it would have been kind of disingenuous. I left it up to Brian or one of the history guys to do that. If someone would like to pen a diary on the career of Chappuis and it's good I'll probably bump it


July 7th, 2012 at 3:33 PM ^

I'd be surprised if somewhere there weren't front page links to the many articles from Bacon to the NY Times on Chappuis. People who are historians and have memories of what he did; far more than MGoBlog would. But while extremely sad, he was very old, and it's not shocking. Charles Drake has the same sadness, but is also newsworthy in that it's taking place tragically young, and unexpected. Bob had many decades Charles will not get to enjoy. Always hurts to lose one of the family.


July 7th, 2012 at 6:16 PM ^

but both the column and and board posts moved pretty quickly from the front page.  I posted a link to the Times article, but it's a good read, so here it is again:

A friend's father played with Chappius (one of those guys who played both before and after WWII), so we went back and forth sending info, and he very much enjoyed the MGoBlogger contributions (with magazine and comic book pix!):



July 7th, 2012 at 7:09 PM ^

I did note that.  I wasn't expecting a personal memoir of Bob Chappuis or anything like that, but I do think at a website devoted to Michigan athletics, especially one that takes its tradition and history so seriously, it would be appropriate to acknowledge when one of the greatest passes on in something a little more than a link or a board post.  I think it would've been a great opportunity to find out more about Chappuis and educate some of the younger Wolverines about a guy that helped build the traditions we hold so sacred. 


July 7th, 2012 at 12:51 PM ^

We expect 90yr old people to die, we don't expect 30yr old people to die. It's that simple. When someone is cut down in their prime, it is much more news worthy. Also agree with Magnus here. When you have to start your post with, "no offense, and this is indeed extremely sad news, but...", you probably should just not post it.


July 7th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

I'm sure if Lloyd Carr died there would be a post on it, would there not?  All I'm saying is, if we take our tradition so seriously, perhaps the event of one of our greatest players on one of our greatest teams passing should be considered newsworthy.  Deservingly, this blog has a sterling reputation for the very reasons that it should be newsworthy- because it's smart, comprehensive,  and representative of the greatness of Michigan, but ignoring something like that is a pretty big oversight IMO.  


July 7th, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

It was mentioned and linked to-…

To MVictors and their more historical base, and their press release. There are other sites far more about the history of Michigan Football. Could there have been a front page post on it's own, without any sort of eulogy because no one saw him? Sure. It also happened in the middle of magazine final stuff, because Brian and Seth were hardly posting, and Ace might have been on vacation. And again, this wasn't breaking, shocking news. Seth threw in a couple of remembrances, because he can remember him. Likewise, this Blog was rolling during the Lloyd Carr year, so your example doesn't really hold any water. There are lots of people who would remember him, he'd still be rather young, and a bit of a surprise. Not to mention as a coach he's involved in Michigan at a far older age than a player. I don't really expect a list of memories fom the 30 year old beaming things into our brain off the wifi implant in 2062 about Charles Woodson.

Ron Utah

July 7th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

In 2002, I watched a Michigan game with his parents at a bar in LA.  They were a pleasure to be around.  I certainly wish his family the best, and may Charles rest in peace.


July 7th, 2012 at 1:49 PM ^

There's just a sense that he was part of the Michigan 'Family' which is so cool to me.

I love how he switched positions, earned respect, and from all accounts did everything the 'right way'.  And that respect earned him some amazing compliments and cool little stories at a tragic time.  

Sad to see a life pass at anytime, but especially one so young. 

I hope God blesses him.


July 7th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

Very sad news indeed. Hope his family is receiving the comfort they need, losing someone at such a young age is truly devastating.


And I know this is not the time or the place for comic relief, but check out Ross Kesler working on his MJ moves in the background.


July 7th, 2012 at 6:41 PM ^

So sad to hear. But, even though he's not with us here anymore, the fact that he's one of the select few who can be truly called a Michigan Man means he'll live on forever.

Go Blue always, Charles.


July 9th, 2012 at 10:36 PM ^

Charles and I had several classes together, and we worked on a couple group projects together, too. He was a great guy. A great guy.

Given my major, I knew a lot of the athletes, but Charles was by far the nicest, most considerate football player I knew. He was nice for a regular person, much less a revenue athlete.

I'll always remember him for the time I missed a week of Anatomy class preparing for the LSAT, and he had noticed I wasn't in class and took an extra copy of all the handouts for me. Just a class individual.

Hehehe, I'll never remember the look on his face as he was joking around with the skeleton's arm in his hand and I informed him that it was a real human skeleton, not plastic. It was as if he had seen a ghost. After that, he always had to sit on the other side of the class from where the skeleton was.

If you do a Twitter search for Drake's name, you'll see a ton of people who are genuinely sad that he's gone. He was that good a guy.

I'm sure he's in a better place right now.


July 10th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

Its rare to get an account on someone from a source like you, someone who actually knew and talked with him regularly. 

Welcome to the board, or at least your first posting.  Wish it could have been under happier circumstances.