26 Years Ago Today

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on September 14th, 2017 at 7:13 PM

Michigan went for it against Notre Dame and Elvis connected with Desmond in the end zone. Play still gives me goosebumps. Here's a story from last year on the 25th anniversary, with Desmond talking about the play:


"That play didn't happen on Sept. 14, 1991,” Howard told Sporting News. “That play actually happened during the summer preparing for that season. I give coach Gary Moeller a lot of credit because he had the cojones to give us that chance to be great."

I can't wait to play those sons-a-bitches again.



September 14th, 2017 at 7:29 PM ^

That play made Desmond my childhood hero.

For the 2011 UTL game Lou Holtz was a guest on ESPN College Gameday and he and Desmond had this testy exchange about that play:

Lou Holtz: "You're a legend because your team wasn't tough enough to run the football."

Desmond: "No, I'm a legend because your defensive backs weren't coached well enough to stop me."

: )



September 14th, 2017 at 7:20 PM ^

 I was a freshman and it was my first ever game.  I had such lousy seats, all I saw was his feet go up in the end zone and I had to wait to see if he caught it based on the reaction of the crowd.  One of my most happy and enduring sports memories ever.  Also, I'm old... 


September 17th, 2017 at 1:02 PM ^

I launched out of my seat when the pass went up, watched Desmond laid out for it, but couldn't see whether or not Desmond reeled it in. The roar that shook the Big House helped clue me in that it was a good thing. A very good thing.

BTW — we're getting old. 26 years!?! 

El Jeffe

September 14th, 2017 at 7:38 PM ^

I had graduated earlier that year and was in Baltimore visiting my pal Tim, who was in law school at UMD. It's one of two nights I have ever vomited from too much alcohol, and the other time gets an asterisk because I think the beer was skunky or something.

Good memories. Sort of.

EDIT: Also, to hell with Notre Dame.


September 14th, 2017 at 7:38 PM ^

Was at that game. My first thought when Grbac threw the ball was that it was overthrown. No way could Howard catch it. I'm sure others in the stadium thought the same thing. Certainly added to the excitement when Howard hauled it in.


September 14th, 2017 at 7:43 PM ^

I was still in training in the Navy, stationed in Idaho.  Another squid, from Chicago, was my roommate - really cocky ex HS QB type.  It was a great game to watch and enjoy a roommate smack down!


September 15th, 2017 at 8:19 AM ^

I'm pretty sure I was there to drink all their beer and meet tall women.  The rest of em...

Should there be a problem, radiation exposure could be reduced by three factors: Time, Distance and Shielding.

The desert provided one of those, Distance.

So, it's where the DOE/USN built their first nuclear plant prototypes and subsequently trained future operators.  The training has been moved elsewhere since, but all the spent fuel from the Navy nuclear fleet is still being stored there.



September 14th, 2017 at 10:21 PM ^

...today would have boo-ed for kicking to Rocket. I was there too... hard to watch. But back then we still believed in the concept of a collective team. You know:

"We're gonna believe in each other, we're not gonna criticize each other, we're not gonna talk about each other, we're gonna encourage each other. And when we play as a team, when the old season is over, you and I know, it's gonna be Michigan again, Michigan."

...crazy stuff like that...not the douche bags of 2017 who boo 30 minutes into the first home game 'cause they're smarter than Harbaugh, yet still need a safe space...it was embarrassing to sit next to tools booing our team at home...bunch of freaking closet Spartans...


September 15th, 2017 at 11:51 AM ^

You're probably still mad we transitioned to the "horseless carriage" and that women are allowed to wear "long pants", aren't you?

Here's a counter story to yours. During the dark years for UM football in the 50s and 60s, Michigan Stadium was so empty that kids could play football in there durIng games. A buddy's dad told me stories of how games would attract what seemed like "20 or 30 thousand" fans (I don't know if actual stats exist), and so he and his friends would space out in empty rows and play catch. So, which fans are worse, the new or old?


September 17th, 2017 at 9:39 PM ^

...don't remember any commentary outside of your 11:51am dialogue about 1940s / 50s fan ambivalence...none of which change my belief that Bo's words resonate throughout many aspects of life, including one's opportunity to encourage "your team" (your family, your co-workers, your friends, or a collection of 18 to 23 year old athletes), or to do them the absolute privilege of hearing you voice your displeasure with their aptitude with a profound vocalization of "boooo." I think Bo's words live well beyond the horseless carriage, not to mention your implied insults regarding where I perceive my wife's and daughters' place in this world, which got a chuckle out of my wife.


September 14th, 2017 at 7:53 PM ^

Notre Dame beat us all four years I was in Ann Arbor.  Reggie f-ing Ho, Rick f-ing Mirer, Rocket f-ing Ismail, Mike f-ing Stonebreaker all haunted me.

But this game exorcised those demons.

The PSU and OSU games in 1997 also rate.  The first because it's when I first thought we genuinely were going to get it done, the second because of all the times we had beaten heavily favored Buckeye squads in years prior.  

Next will be November 25.


September 14th, 2017 at 9:43 PM ^

This is part of what made that play so incredible. We were absolutely snakebit by ND starting in 1987. Michigan had national title potential (and the corresponding high ranking) in every season from 88-90 and we lost each time, often in soul-crushing fashion. It seemed like we'd never win. 

And we were barely up, with Rick Mirer waiting on the other sideline to take the ball down and beat us again. And Mo went for it.

And Grbac THREW.

And there he was.

We've won bigger games and climbed higher mountains since then, but I don't think there was a moment I was more excited watching a football game. 

*BTW I feel like we actually underrate Desmond Howard. Maybe it's because Woodson won the Heisman AND the national title so soon after. Maybe it's because we've had other transcendant receivers, which robs Howard of the privilege of being the greatest at his position (this here blog gave the title to AC and it's not like it's a bad choice). 

But that WH highlight video of him is absolutely amazing. He was Reggie Bush and Percy Harvin before there was a Reggie Bush or Percy Harvin. And he made the most incredible catches. What a brilliant player.


September 15th, 2017 at 8:40 AM ^

"We've won bigger games and climbed higher mountains since then, but I don't think there was a moment I was more excited watching a football game."  

That is exactly my feeling about the game.  Primal scream when Desmond came down with that ball.

I think Desmond may also get less play than Charles because he had a shorter NFL career without sustained success as a receiver. Also, we remember Charles for laying on hits, and can take pride in him as representing both the flash and defensive grit we want to see in Michigan football.


September 14th, 2017 at 8:18 PM ^

Every second of the game in person. There is no football team I loathe more than the one from That Trade School In South Bend. None, and not even despite Ara my fellow Armenian descendant. I am very pleased the series has resumed, Jimmy is our coach and purple-face is their coach. We must defeat the domers. Always henceforth.

Mike Damone

September 14th, 2017 at 9:47 PM ^

watching Notre Dame lose and seeing their lame ass carbon copy Wonder bread fans mope out of the sports bars is almost as much fun as watching Michigan win.

The Irish Envy message board is calling for Kelly's head again.  Last year, it was "Jon Gruden has accomplished everything he can in pros and as a sportscaster.  I think he would love the challenge of Notre Dame."  This year, it is "John Harbaughs daughter might play lacrosse at Notre Dame next year.  Good chance that John will get tired of pros and take the Notre Dame job."  The only thing worse than arrogance is stupidity combined w arrogance.

To hell with Notre Dame.  Hope they enjoy their 6-6 season.

The Mad Hatter

September 14th, 2017 at 8:52 PM ^

Are why people my age, and older, value playing ND over any other team save for OSU. This is why MSU was always an afterthought.

I can't wait to kick their asses again, even if it fucks up the schedule.