Unverified Voracity Takes Everything Not Bolted Down Comment Count

Brian July 22nd, 2008 at 1:08 PM

The rich history of Michigan stealing traditions may go even deeper than previously known. Michigan, of course, stole Cornell's hockey cheers and Princeton's winged helmets and West Virginia's coaches and, on three separate occasions, Notre Dame's dignity. And this is the first page of the 12th chapter of a 1960 book by Bear Bryant:

Insert Dave Letterman going "eeeeeh" and pulling on his collar here.

Not even I believe this. Ex-sign-gobblin' linebacker and current Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald pulls out the Playbook of Ultimate Boredom when quizzed by ESPN's Adam Rittenberg re: Rodriguez:

I see you have a magazine on your desk with Rich Rodriguez on the cover. How will his arrival at Michigan impact the league?

PF: It will be a huge change for Michigan football. I've gotten to be around Rich a couple times and I'm very impressed with him as a person. I'm very impressed with his demeanor and his humility. A coach that who's been a head coach since a young age, has been very successful in his time as a head coach. The success that he had at West Virginia is incredible. To bring that mind-set and what they do to Michigan, it's going to be a great challenge for all of us. I'm not looking forward to competing against him. He's had great success. It's just going to take him a little bit of time, like it takes everybody when you go to a new university, to get all his pieces into place. But I'm sure he's got an acceleration plan to get that ready this fall.

Emphasis mine. Product Rodriguez's humility does not appear in my list of TOP 500 RICH RODRIGUEZ ASSETS. (All assets omitted are "Mike Barwis.")

1. Approx. 15 years experience as collegiate head coach
2. Modern, ass-kicking offensive system
3. "Coal spoon" mentality
4. Tendency to hire people based on qualifications, not friendship
5. Mike Barwis
11. Brandon Graham
23. Donovan Warren
56. "Lion King" joke he tells during press conferences.
110. Access to lifetime supply of hairspray.
124. Tight buns, according to my grandmother.*
234. $2 million dollar West Virginia home he will never ever sell
298. General lack of proximity to Mike Debord
343. Still-beating heart of West Virginia cheerleader
412. Pact with devil
499. Crack team of a lawyers who say things like "OMG he's a slave"
500. Agent Mike Brown.

*(Sadly, not really.)

Wisconsin 1999. Via the prolific Wolverine Historian:

"Rivalry" of a sort. Fanblogs compiled the top 15 most lopsided series (minimum: 50 games) and Michigan is on the good side of four:

15) Michigan-Purdue, 53 games, .770

14) Michigan-Iowa, 54 games, .778

11) Michigan-Wisconsin, 61 games, .795

4) Michigan-Indiana, 59 games, .847

#1 is Oklahoma-Iowa State, which Oklahoma is winning at a 92% clip; the only other Big Ten matchup in the list is #9 Ohio State-Northwestern.

Another 3:30 start. I hate 3:30 starts. You can't see the end of the noon games or (obviously) any of the 3:30 games or the start of the later games and in general I feel like I've missed a whole day of football whenever that goes down. So, like, bleah to Stadium & Main's clever breakdown of the possibilities for the Michigan-Michigan State game that leads inevitably to this:

Maybe there's an super-small chance that if both Michigan and MSU absolutely stink, the game will be given a Noon start on BTN, ESPN, or ESPN2, but that would mean no Big Ten 3:30 game on ABC - and I don't think that's ever happened, or is even allowed to happen since it probably violates the Big Ten's contract with ABC/ESPN.

And thus the conclusion that M-MSU will be 3:30 on ABC.

I think we can swing a few grand for edumahcation. If anyone ever tells you your plan to funnel more money to kids playing college football by extending their scholarships by a year or two is "too expensive" or something like that, please do me a favor and laugh in their face:

In just the last three years, assistant coaching salaries in the Big 12 have risen by almost 37 percent.

At OSU, that figure is a Big 12-high 65 percent, and would've been even higher had former Cowboy offensive coordinator Larry Fedora - who was making $393,000 - not left to be head coach at Southern Mississippi.

Once a bottom dweller in assistant coaches' pay, OSU, at $2.13 million, is now second in the Big 12, trailing only Texas' $2.38 million payroll.

The money goes somewhere, and increasingly it goes into palatial facilities and rich coaches.

That's what she said. A guy on MGoBoard points out that walk-on defensive back Jermaine Jackson is from Alaska, and he's not someone you want to mess with in the Eskimo stick pull:

University of Michigan defensive back Jermaine Jackson, a Bartlett High School graduate, won the Eskimo stick pull in an intense battle of leverage and strength against Matthew Evans.

In the event, two athletes sit facing each other with their feet together and knees bent and try to pull a short stick away from each other. Evans had a longer reach and a weight advantage, but he needed to defeat Jackson twice in best-of-three rounds. He took the first round, but Jackson won the second.

"What I was thinking was grip, all grip," Jackson said. "I was losing my grip in the first round."

Good news for Jackson: "Hold the rope" is one of Rodriguez's mysterious catchphrases ("spot the ball" is the other).

Odd demographics. This is probably not the exact right place to mention this, but if you live around MIS there's a charity raffle going on with this sweet hog as a prize:

Proceeds go to "Racing For Wildlife" and their effort to restore Mill Lake Youth Camp. Tickets can be bought here.

Etc.: Wolverine Liberation Army provides a stunningly accurate blueprint of the Michigan offense; commenter "Noahdb," a former recruiting writer, dishes on the way Hargrave works.


chitownblue (not verified)

July 22nd, 2008 at 2:05 PM ^

When does the second chapter of Bear Bryant's book - "The Alabama Man" come out?

k bizzle

July 22nd, 2008 at 2:29 PM ^

The book form 1960 is obviously RRs fault. We can only hope Braylen Edwards is able to get a time machine and get our traditions back in order.


July 22nd, 2008 at 2:39 PM ^

On the radio down here in Alabama fans are calling for a 2008 version of the "junction boys" at Alabama. They want results! You know the "fitted Bo" was initially called the "fitted Bear" -- it was a wool houndstooth hat with a slot in the band for a red feather.


July 22nd, 2008 at 3:17 PM ^

I can't believe I saw mention of the native olympics here, if anyone has the time I highly suggest looking into the seal skinning competition. The ear pull isn't bad either.


July 22nd, 2008 at 4:27 PM ^

I also heard that Knute Rockne stole his "Win one for the Gipper" speech from the movie 'Airplane', which he happened to see the night before the game.

Tim Waymen

July 22nd, 2008 at 5:14 PM ^

The name "University of Michigan" is totally stolen. First of all, there were already schools established before named "University of (state)" and "Michigan" is stolen from the name of the state.

Blue in Seattle

July 22nd, 2008 at 7:19 PM ^

who stole this saying from Picasso.   Great artists take what they find that's great and make it better. In essence a great artist INNOVATES,                               Winged Helmet history                                                                         nothing like the Bentley library to get historic facts on Michigan."The famous "winged" design dates from 1938 when Coach Herbert O. "Fritz" Crisler arrived from Princeton to begin a new era in Michigan football. Even as the design and composition of helmets evolved from stitched cowhide to high-tech, molded plastic, the winged design has remained the pre-eminent symbol of Michigan football. Other Michigan athletic teams have adopted the winged design for their own headgear as well. The distinctive helmet would also have practical advantages on the field. Crisler figured the helmet would help his quarterbacks find receivers downfield. "There was a tendency to use different colored helmets just for receivers in those days, but I always thought that would be as helpful for the defense as for the offense," Crisler recalled."

Tim Waymen

July 23rd, 2008 at 11:00 AM ^

So it seems that Bo used Bear Bryant's chapter title as a motivating message for his players. It is possible that they both came up with it on their own, but I doubt it. I have Bo's Lasting Lessons, so I'll check it out to see if he mentions Bear Bryant. Either way, it's not stealing, as Bo didn't take the chapter title and then trademark it for profit or anything (although it might be trademarked today); he used it to motivate his team. So many coaches use works of others to inspire themselves and their players. Tressel says that he's read John Wooden's book many times over. And Bo happened to find something in a book that he could use. So a Michigan mantra isn't original. It sucks, but its use was inspirational.

As for the winged helmet, I don't think that is actually stealing. Crisler merely applied the Spalding design. But anyways, about the whole Princeton/Michigan thing, I think that it is a bit different here. It's the same guy using the winged helmet. Crisler didn't take the idea of using it from someone else. He had it at Princeton, brought it to Michigan where it became what it is today, from a stitching pattern on a leather helmet to an integral helmet design.

Re: the fight song, tons of songs are inspired by previous pieces.  Riffs and concepts are borrowed, it happens all the time.