"Bo" by Schembechler and Albom: Good Read?

Submitted by WichitanWolverine on July 5th, 2010 at 2:03 PM

So I've seen several threads on "Bo's Lasting Lessons" but haven't seen anything posted yet about "Bo," written by Schembechler and Albom.  Have any MGoMembers read this book?  Is it worthwhile or should I just pony up the money and buy Lasting Lessons?  Thanks in advance.



July 5th, 2010 at 2:13 PM ^

I've read "Bo" and have yet to read "Lasting Lessons".  I can honestly say that I enjoyed the book, but since I haven't read Bacon's book, I can't compare the two.  Albom's book still has lots of good stories in it.  The parts that I remember the best was Bo's recollection of his flirtation with Texas A&M, his story about meeting Elvis, and the story of the morale problems he had at the start of the 1981 season.

Bottom line, worth reading.  This book came out when Albom was still just a sportswriter, and it's when he was probably at the peak of his sportswriting career.

st barth

July 5th, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

I've read "Bo" and absolutely loved it...but I was about 14 years old at the time so I'm not sure my opinion would still hold today.  Maybe I should re-read it.


July 5th, 2010 at 2:28 PM ^

A GREAT read. Lasting Lessons is different enough...more a management book. This is Bo's life and career story. And a lot of views on what college football SHOULD be. And I defy anyone to read the halftime of '69 OSU game, and not be ready to run through a wall.


July 5th, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

Much like the other posters I have not read the "Bo" book in some time, but overall I thought it was excellent, and if my memory serves I actually liked it a bit better than Bacon's book.  I did enjoy them both though, and would recommend either to any Michigan fan.  I would read "Bo" first and if you enjoy that then move on to 'lasting lessons'...



July 5th, 2010 at 2:35 PM ^

Great book.  Its what, 20 years old?, but its still Bo, and its still about Michigan.    I think I read it cover to cover in one setting after getting it for a Christmas present. 


July 5th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

I have read it many times and I really enjoy reading it every time. I would highly recommend it although i have not read Bacon's book yet even though I want to.


July 5th, 2010 at 3:41 PM ^

Bo was written while Bo was still officially connected to UM.  When he left for the Tigers, he wrote an addendum for the paperback version.  The beginning of the chapter said something like "Now that I am not connected with the University of Michigan and I can speak without fear of consequences, I am going to tell what happened at the Rose Bowl.

He then talked about hearing one of the refs who called the bogus holding penalty that cost Michigan the 1990 Rose Bowl brag that he "wasn't gonna let that SOB win his last Rose Bowl" and the rest of the refs laughing in agreement.  For me, the chapter confirmed something I had suspected since the early 1970's: refs are as "human" as anyone else and don't always call the games down the middle.  It also made me look at Charles White's "phantom touchdown" as a lot more than a "bad call."


July 5th, 2010 at 4:42 PM ^

Jim Kimberlin was the ref that called the phantom holding call on Chris Stapleton's fake punt in the Rose Bowl.  Even the expression on his face when he called the holding made me want to jump in to the TV and kill him. 

It didn't just ruin Bo's final game but it quite possibly cost us a national championship.  Keith Jackson and Bob Griese talked before the game and they pointed out that the only way for the Miami Hurricanes to get the national title was for USC to beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl.  That's exactly what happened. 

Jim Kimberlin reffed a ton of Michigan games in the 80's and 90's.  I'm not sure about the 70's.  But it seemed any time we had a big game, he was the ref.  My dad and I rejoiced when that prick finally retired.

03 Blue 07

July 5th, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

I've read both; I definitely prefer the Bacon book. Read them both within the past 3 years or so. The Bacon one, I feel like, covers a lot of the same ground and is much richer.


July 5th, 2010 at 4:46 PM ^

13 years ago, I rented this book from the library and I thought it was a good read.  Although, the timing was odd.  The book was written one year before Bo retired in 1989.  I'm not quite sure why he didn't just wait one more season before writing it.  He must have been so happy over that Rose Bowl victory over USC that he couldn't wait.

But overall, it was a good book.  The best part of the book was when Bo described the entire week leading in to the 69 Ohio State game which started in the lockerrom after beating Iowa.  Players banging on the chairs and screaming, "Beat the bucks! Beat the bucks!


July 5th, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

Albom has an easy to read style so the book moves along nicely. If you live in Michigan it should also be very easy to find cheap or at the library. So, the entire experience is at worst fairly painless.

For me, the book was a good primer on Bo's life. It contains all the usual stories that are great--if you haven't read them 30 times already--and I hadn't at the time. I took the stuff about the refs to be Bo doing his crusty old man routine. I don't honestly think that deep down Bo sincerely thought the refs hated him and were out to get him.


July 5th, 2010 at 5:01 PM ^

Mitch has been kind of a dick though in the last five years. I can tell you on thing, Lasting Lessons is great. I have it and I gave it to my Dad for x-mas a few years ago. I really like John U. Talk about a positive M Man.

Bando Calrissian

July 5th, 2010 at 6:01 PM ^

It comes off as a bit dated now, but it's got some good stories in it.  The Ohio State material is unparalleled. 

I find Bacon's book to be a bit heavy on the business-y management stuff, and Albom to be more about the sports.