Great Bo quote about night games

Submitted by Blue 4 Life on September 29th, 2017 at 3:43 AM

In the freep today there was a quote from Bo Schembechler about night games and his thoughts on them. I greatly cherish hearing new quotes that I hadn't heard from two of my all time favorites, Ernie Harwell and Bo.

We miss ya Bo.…


The last time I had the distinct pleasure to be in the company of the late Bo Schembechler, he had a few thoughts about the current state of college football.

Among the topics he discussed were the varying start times for the games. Needless to say, Bo wasn’t thrilled with the notion of playing under the lights. In his distinct Schembechler voice, he scrunched his eyes behind his trademark sunglasses and delivered the following line.

“We used to tell the TV stations that we’re going to tee the ball up at one o’clock. If you want to come down and take your little pictures, feel free.”




yossarians tree

September 29th, 2017 at 1:13 PM ^

I can imagine him saying (in classic Bo snarl): "And we have ten teams in our conference. That's why it's called THE BIG TEN! And we play all the other teams. Every year. And on the third Saturday in November we play Ohio State at noon. Every year!"

Simpler times. An "if you build it, they will come" approach. As opposed to today, when it's "will you come, if we build it? please?"


September 29th, 2017 at 1:28 PM ^

I would say today is more like: "we will build it on your back and then we will own it."  The passion of tradition and resistance work together in the fight against vanilla.

I am so proud there are no ads in Michigan Stadium.  It makes a huge difference to my experience.

M_Born M_Believer

September 29th, 2017 at 11:09 AM ^

I took my two boys there (17 and 10) and when it started snowing we had a blast.

Cool Story alert.  The funniest part is that my 10 year old (the very competitive one) was trash talking with a group of IU fans / students.  He was getting very frustrated thruogh the first half, but as Smith started to take over in the 2nd half he was giving it back to them in spades.

Everyone was laughing about it.  To watch a 10 year old talk smack (and more than hold his own) with some IU students / Co ed was entertaining within itself.......


September 29th, 2017 at 3:15 PM ^

I think it's a cultural thing, as in if your parents make college an expectation (ie. grades 13-16), you probably don't have these reservations. My niece hasn't had those kind of expectations placed on her, so she views college more as an optional thing. She is wary of the idea of more school beyond what's required and isn't sure how she'd pay for it, etc. I say these are common because I heard it at a lot at my high school where only ~10% of kids went to selective colleges. 


September 29th, 2017 at 10:40 AM ^

no matter who's voice it is, I cannot fathom listening to a game on radio.


I was telling my boys during the Purdue game that when i was little (1990's) only about half of the Michigan games each year were on TV. Sometimes we could call the cable company and buy a game for $20 pay per view style and sometimes we were just SOL and had to just wait to see the score in the paper. 

Remembering times like that make me want to puke!

Bando Calrissian

September 29th, 2017 at 11:03 AM ^

By the 1990s, more often than not, the game was on TV... It was way more than "about half." The people who have the right to complain about this are the folks who got 2 games a year through the 1970s.

And if you can't fathom listening to a game on the radio, that's on you. That's how we did it if it wasn't on TV, and no one died.


September 29th, 2017 at 11:21 AM ^

It's what you're used to and, while I prefer TV, the radio games sure built some great memories.  I used to rake leaves with the game on the radio.  And I clearly remember listening to Ufer call the Woody-rips-up-the-yard-markers game with my dad while we were driving back from Vermontville where my grandma lived.  I couldn't play amateur analyist like I try to do now, but I'll remember that drive with Dad forever--one of those transcendent moments that makes sports special.


September 29th, 2017 at 11:29 AM ^

My huge collection of games would beg to differ with your memory. 

By the 90's, almost every game was on TV.  In fact, off the top of my head, the games that weren't televised were 1995 Memphis (tape delay on PASS) and 1994 Minnesota.  The jury is still out on the 1990 Maryland game.  I could never find a televised copy of that one. 

In 1989 (Bo's final season) 8 of our 12 games were broadcast on ABC, all of them by Keith Jackson and Bob Griese. 

Bando Calrissian

September 29th, 2017 at 11:59 AM ^

Gosh, the arguments I got into around here about that 1995 Memphis game. Yep, tape-delayed on PASS. Listened on the radio, watched it that night.

And if we can move a few threads down for WD carping about regular-season hockey games not being on TV... I listened to the Mike Legg game in '96 on the radio because it got tape-delayed. And that was the freaking NCAA Tournament. How far we've come in 20 years.


September 29th, 2017 at 3:29 PM ^

but PASS was also --- seriously --- a "luxury" item in those days.  Their penetration rate was pretty low, even in SE Michigan.  Cable TV in that era was also not what it was today.  I never had cable TV in my household until my college apartment (late 1990s).  That growing up in a above-middle class family.

So sure ... U-M football was "on TV" for the non-ABC/non-ESPN games but radio was still the primary option for ~25% of regular season games.



September 29th, 2017 at 11:21 AM ^ didn't even get that.

In '78 I moved to NE Ohio and if I really worked the transistor I could just barely pick up the games on a Toledo station. But before that there was nothing but watching the scores come across whatever the TV game happened to be.


September 29th, 2017 at 1:36 PM ^

is because the games are too f-ing long to start at 1pm and fit three slots in during the day.  Four f-ing hours to play the same 60 minutes of football.

That's why you see the 3:30 start time pushed back to 4pm more frequently.  The noon games aren't done by 3:30.

Soon, it'll probably be all (or mostly) noon, 4pm and 8pm games.


September 29th, 2017 at 5:55 PM ^

They'll change the timing rules to shorten the games, and the change-of-possession breaks will slowly expand to fill the slack. They usually find about ten minutes and it takes about a decade to fill back in. Next time they'll either let the clock run on first downs or they'll start in on the ready-to-play after an incompletion.

And you're probably right--expanding the slots will take the place of a couple of rounds of rule changes.

Blue since birthed

September 29th, 2017 at 4:26 AM ^

Thought this (or some variation) was one of the most widely known Bo quotes...

I like night games. Most people like night games (judging by the ratings). I disagree with Bo on this and the rematch that wasn't in 2006.


September 29th, 2017 at 1:45 PM ^

primetime is TV time.  The sun has gone down, yard work is done, the (younger) kids are in bed.

Most college football viewers only want to watch (and only have time to watch) one team so their ability to watch that team depends on their ability to be sitting in front of a television, and primetime is the time more people are able to do that than other time slots.

There are people that watch all day, and by your argument (which is correct), they'll watch whatever is on so for those people game times are irrelevant.

The networks aren't good at much but they know about television viewing habits and all else equal, the ratings will be better at night.


September 29th, 2017 at 6:15 AM ^

Well, time to dust off this bad boy.

-2003 NLCS: Bartman interferes with foul ball in stands. Florida Marlins advance to WS instead of Cubs.

-Because the Marlins and Dolphins shared the same stadium, the infield dirt diamond stayed in Sun Life Stadium for an extra couple weeks. Against the Patriots, Olindo Mare misses two game winning field goals because he slipped on the dirt twice. Dolphins miss the playoffs by one game and Dave Wannstedt is fired.

-Pitt hires Wannstedt. In 2007, they upset #2 WVU in the last game of the season as a 30 point underdog. LSU goes to the National Championship instead and wins.

If WVU goes instead, Rich Rod never leaves and Les Miles comes to Michigan.