Michigan Legend #s get special lockers!

Submitted by phjhu89 on August 1st, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I just returned from the BIg House, where a great fellow named John Simon gave an awesome tour to my 42 preschoolers (and a bunch of dads!)  

So, we did an abbreviated tour of the towers, only going up to the club level.  4-yr-olds really want to get to the locker room and have lots of time on the field!

Anyway, we spent quite a while in the locker room, and there was one major change from my visit there a week year ago:

The #21 locker is now completely different from the rest of them.  It is done up in dark wood, the top says "Michigan Legend - Desmond Howard" and inside the locker where the block M goes is an oval plaque that resembles the jersey patch.  Here's the locker:

Here's the locker in context:


John, our very informative tour guide, told me that there was a work order for another FOUR legends lockers.  So we heard back in June that Ford, Oosterban, and Kramer's numbers were being "legended," so who do we think the fourth is?  Harmon?  Woodson?  Wistert?  John did not speculate.

Other items of interest:

As an earlier poster noted, Fitz's 28 is no longer there.  However, removing it has seemed to wreak some havoc with locker placement, as Kenny Wilkin's #41 is now in its place:

John said that would have to change as Hoke demands the lockers be arranged numerically.  

Finally, a completely gratuitous pic of Denard's locker:




August 1st, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

I understand the whole idea behind honoring past legends...just seems odd though that we preach..."The Team, The Team, The Team"... yet certain players stand out from the team? Again, this doesn't bother me that much...just always seemed contrasting...again...great pictures!

Michigan fanatic

August 1st, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

Quick question. I always see pics of people in the big house locker room which this one is but never in the Schembeler hall locker room which is so much nicer and has a lot more eye candy. Does the tour not go in that one? I assume because it would always be full of players after workouts, practice etc....



August 1st, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

I think we might have our first bit of evidence for an answer as to whether legend numbers will be worn by certain players for the duration of their careers in the future.  If guys wearing the legend number are going to be awarded better facilities than the rest of the team, then it certainly seems we'll be awarding numbers to deserving upperclassmen.  I can't imagine we'd give some incoming freshman the nicest locker just because he wants to wear #21 when we have juniors and seniors who have sacrificed and earned a perk.


August 1st, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

If you flipped the varnish and the rest of the lockers were dark and the "legends" lockers were light, would that change how nice they are? They're different, sure, but only with a different coat of paint and a little plaque saying basically "Desmond put on his jockstrap here".

Don't get me wrong, I think they're cool and all, but I don't see them as something nice that would have to be earned. If anything I think you could argue it's supposed to be a humbling experience, since it's a constant public reminder of the expectations of wearing 21.


August 1st, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

Even though it is "just" a different color of paint, I think it IS something special that needs to be earned. What they represent is an honor and I think current players on the roster would strive to earn it. What happens when you give it to a freshman and a less heralded classmate out performs that player thoughout their career?


August 1st, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

I disagree, but just for the record my original point was just that the lockers aren't inherently nicer.

We should stick with the #1 jersey model (pre-Braylon), even if it's being formalized with lockers and such, IMO. That gives players like Denard the chance to stick with the number they've risen to stardom with, and lets fans associate one number with one player most of the time.


August 1st, 2012 at 2:25 PM ^

When I took our group last year, they gave us the full-on tour featuring both towers, and lots of talking to the kids about Michigan history.  While well-appreciated by the adults, that was totally over the heads of the kids.  This year, I worked with Bill Austin to adjust our tour for our age group, and John did a nice job.

But while the kids don't know or care about the differences between the lockers, they think the locker room is really cool, and they love running down the tunnel and playing on the field.  

Since the first "reading" most children do is of environmental print, the block M is a major part of any Ann Arbor child's emergent literacy experience.  Also, things that are important to their parents are important to them.  So going to this place where the block M is everywhere turns out to be very meaningful!


August 1st, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

yeah, last year the team only used the big house locker rooms to get ready for 2 practices that simulated pregame routines, etc. and those took place about a week prior to the start of the season, so this is not a big deal imo.

More telling would be if his locker was taken away at Schembechler, as that is used pretty much every day.


August 1st, 2012 at 6:02 PM ^

Both John and Bill (the head tour guy) have both told me that every Friday night before a home game event staff set the lockers up with game-day uniforms, pads, shoes, and helmet.  John also said that on Thursday nights, six hand-picked event staffers tend to each helmet, painting over scratches and shining each helmet.

Just passing on what I was told...


August 1st, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

arranging them numerically would suck if Vincent Smith (god forbid) was excused. Every locker has to move down lol. Wouldn't seem to work with the legend lockers though.


August 1st, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

I have a feeling its going to cause some numbering headaches in the future... .e.g., if you permanently place #21, you better have 20 lockers ahead of it or else what happens when you get a class that actually uses all 20.... and you still want to have numerical lockers...



August 1st, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

I actually like how they have differentiated the "legends lockers" from the other ones. It certainly is all about the team, but like most things in life, you have a deeper view of where the team is going if you know where the team has been. Here, you see Desmond's name (and apparently four others soon) and would undoubtedly think, "Wow, where this team has been...". It's a cool idea, and it looks great as well.

I have to think that corraling 42 preschoolers during a tour of the football facilities had to be interesting though. Actually, I am impressed you had a moment to get thoughtful shots like these. Doubly good work!


August 1st, 2012 at 2:34 PM ^

The idea of having the lockers arranged by number adds a level of intrigue to the numbers game. Who's on either side of you matters. You can kind of see the numeric apprenticeships in the freshman as they're assigned numbers (and thus lockers) beside the guy they're supposed to be learning from.


August 1st, 2012 at 2:56 PM ^

Between this legends thing.

On one hand, it is great to honor players who left such prolific legacies at Michigan.  It is important to recognize and remember them.

However, signaling individual players out while currently on the team by designating them "legend" numbers and such really seems to be that it could cause resentment and effect cohesion on the team.

Yet again, it gives players something to strive for.

Do you see my dilemma?

Wolverine Devotee

August 1st, 2012 at 3:02 PM ^

Went on a tour last week. Bill Austin said the woodshop crew is making the lockers for #47 Oosterbaan, #48 Ford and #87 Kramer. He also said, NOBODY WILL WEAR THOSE NUMBERS THIS YEAR.

Stephen Y

August 1st, 2012 at 3:19 PM ^

If there is another legacy locker on order, I'm guessing it's for Charles Woodson's #2. It's been stated in the past, I believe, that it will be a legacy # once Vincent Smith graduates.


August 1st, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

Not enough points, hopefully someone who does agrees with me for a possible thread...hopefully those who are able to visit Chick-Fil-A for Family Day can and support a good cause. Lines are incredibly long but who cares!!