5 Years without Bo

Submitted by dtod on November 17th, 2011 at 10:06 AM

5 years ago today we lost Bo.



November 17th, 2011 at 1:00 PM ^

Rare is the man who not just symbolizes, but embodies, something much larger. Bo did not represent Michigan football. Bo so aggregated the qualities of authenticity, honesty, concern and zeal that he came to BE Michigan football. We did not lose Bo; we did not lose a program; we lost an entire way of seeing the world when he passed. We can never regain that, but I do believe that we can take the best of what Bo offered and translate it into a new time and a new team. I believe that Brady Hoke and the rest of the coaches and team have done that to an extent I did not think was possible. My hope is that, with an amazing amount of luck and grace and hard work, we can re-build a program that dimly reflects what Bo embodied. When we do, I know that Bo will be somewhere smiling.


November 17th, 2011 at 1:01 PM ^


Mark Braman, former Schembechler cornerback, 1976 to 1979: "My freshman year ... and it was really quite a session that we were having with the entire team. Bo said, 'Men, I want to talk to you about something important.' It went along the lines of, 'How many of you guys in here are All-Americans?' Of course, people raised their hands. 'How many of you were All-State?' Pretty much everybody raised their hand. Then he said, 'Well, how many of you guys think you'll play as a freshman?' Of course, nobody raised their hand; you're a freshman, even if you think you're going to play you're not going to raise your hand. He goes sophomore, junior, goes through that track. He goes, 'Well, so I think you guys are right, very few of you guys will ever play as a freshman, very few will play as a sophomore. I'm a businessman first and then a coach. The way I look at this is that you guys need to do excellent in the classroom. And you need to do excellent in the classroom because if you don't, I'm never going to get a return on my investment because you're never going to play as a freshman. Very few do that. Very few people have a chance to play as a sophomore, so for me to get a return on my investment I have to make sure that you guys are actually eligible and still here on campus.'

"He goes through this story and the bottom line of this whole message was to make sure we were going to go from practice to training table to study table. The emphasis was on study table and the importance of that, and he's making sure long-term we're here to experience this wonderful Michigan tradition and experience the opportunity playing in the Big House. That was such an interesting way of him positioning all of that as a business guy getting a return on his investment. It's one of those stories you never forget."


November 17th, 2011 at 1:06 PM ^

Its an odd feeling. In terms of Michigan Football is seems like its been an eternity since we lost Bo. However, in the grand scheme of life it doesn't feel like its been that long. I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I was a freshman in high school. I was wearing my Woodson jersey in geometry class when all of a sudden a vicious bloody nose came out of nowhere. I immediately rushed out to the bathroom to stop the bleeding when I noticed a TV in a commons area was on ESPN and a picture of Bo was on the screen. I stoppped to look for  a second and noticed that Bo had passed away. I just stood there for a second, bleeding all over in the middle of the hallway becuase I didn't believe it. Eventually I made it to the bathroom, but I couldn't believe what had just happened.


November 17th, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

I remember watching this I packed to go to Columbus for this game. I was in shock, couldn't believe it. I remember calling my Dad, who I sat next to every Fall Saturday singing the fight song since I was a kid and being crushed after every loss. We both must have gotten dust in our eyes, they were watering for sure. Sad day for humanity and Michigan.

You know this man commanded respect when his moment of silence prior to the #1 vs #2 matchup even got the creatures of osu to shut up and pay their respects.

2 Wins and a sparty loss puts us in the BCS. Let's go boys!

*Edit* BTW - Wolverine Nation on ESPN has some REALLY cool articles on Bo, his players, coaches, friends, etc.


November 17th, 2011 at 2:32 PM ^

I remember that weekend I made my first post on here. I had been a lurker on here and I felt compelled to comment for the first time so I created an account on the Sunday and expressed respect. My Buckeye fandom centered around my family's connect to Woody and tangentially a lot of them really admired Bo too. I was taught that the "hate" could be respectful. I cried when I heard Bo died and I remember that made the long wait to watch the game that much worse. I just wanted the kickoff time to come so I could escape into the actual game. I lived just outside of A^2 at the time and threw a party every year with all my high school friends who were 90% UofM fans, but would invite up my Ohio buddies to even the party out and we'd play a flag football game at halftime every year. We sat around that day, and talked about Woody and Bo, one kid's dad played for Woody and Bo at OSU, another kid's uncle had played at UofM for Bo. We still played the flag game at halftime in the dark.


November 17th, 2011 at 4:03 PM ^

I feel fortunate to have grown up in the Bo era. I became hooked on Michigan football in 1975 when I was ten, and the Bo-Woody war was waging. Those days were glorious.


November 17th, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

I was alright unti I saw this stuff here today, I've spent most of the day fighting back the tears, I never met him in person but he was a great force in my life.  His moral and ethics were in the place where I have strived to be all my life, no-nonsense no excuses and how hard work is it's own reward.

I got a lot from my Dad as well but Bo was the other other piece of the puzzle in my youth.  I'll never forget being at an Ohio State game in the '90's and there was a contest to win a trip to Michigan's bowl game and he was drawing the winner at halftime, When He walked out to the 50 yard line to draw the winner the "Bo is God"  chant started and the love that poured into the old  hole in the ground was just amazing. Of course he would hear nothing of it and quieted the crowd so that he could draw the name of the fan that would see the Team win it's bowl game.

 Sorry if I'm rambling but Bo Schembechler has left a lasting impression on me that I will never forget, and I nver played for him or met him on any personal level. But I respected him and he (without knowing) helped me become the man I am today.



November 17th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

Miss you Bo, being born in 1989, I didn't have the chance to consciously watch you coach, but I know what you meant to the program. We'll be thinking of you when we win our next BT Championship, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later.


November 17th, 2011 at 6:19 PM ^

Five years ago at about this time, I was rolling into Crisler Arena with my high school band to serve as the pep band for the Michigan vs. Harvard basketball game.  I don’t ever remember coming to Ann Arbor and it looking so sad.  Many of my classmates didn’t know or understand, but I did; the University of Michigan had lost its biggest icon earlier that day.

I wasn’t even school that day, having a dentist’s appointment in the morning (somehow my mom let me skip the entire day for that!).  We got home from the appointment to turn in the TV, and saw the news.  I didn’t really know what to think.  I wasn’t even born when Bo Schembechler last coached the Wolverines.  Yet, I knew a large part of the team was forever lost.

Coming into Ann Arbor that night was awful.  Seeing all the flowers and memorials set up around the stadium was so beautiful and sad at the same time.  Before the game, we were allowed to walk around Crisler for a while to sight see and such.  I went right to the picture of Bo that was hung out by an entrance to the arena, and just paused for a moment.  I looked at that picture, thanked Bo for all he had done to help me enjoy the place he had put so much work into, smiled, and walked away.

Before the game started, there was a moment of silence held in his honor.  After that, we played The Victors.  I’ve never heard the song sung with such passion as I played it.  I was almost crying while doing it, but knew I couldn’t mess it up and disrespect Bo like that.  He’d probably get right in my face and tell me to suck it up. 

Michigan won the game 82-50, and it still remains as one of the most memorable moments I’ve had in my life.  I still feel so honored that I was able to be a part of that man’s enduring history, even if he was already gone a few hours before that.  No one will ever be able to take away from me the fact that I was part of the first group to play The Victors in Bo’s honor, and that is pretty damn amazing.