META (Research): The Go Blue Banner in Crisler?

Submitted by Seth on May 22nd, 2018 at 10:21 PM


[UM Bentley]

I’m looking for anyone with recollections of seeing the FOOTBALL BANNER at Crisler Arena or elsewhere in the late ’70s or early ’80s. Especially the game above.

I’m editing a history of the banner (written by Dr. Sap) for HTTV and I keep finding references to the banner being used occasionally at Crisler. Even this photo, which Bentley wrongly* dates to “1974?” doesn’t say if that was a special or regular thing. It also appears THE banner was on hand in February 1982:


Is that when the photo is from? Was anyone there?

Since this was all happening from years before I was born to when I was a toddler, I could use some help: Does anyone remember a time when the banner was at Crisler? Not the separate one in the early ’90s but the actual football banner being used for basketball games? Any other uses of the football banner besides the ’79 Gator Bowl?


* This is nerd as fuck but the 1974 banner was the old one with quotes around the “M”

e.g. Denny Franklin

And I have seen enough photos of the 1962-1971 one to know that’s not the banner on display at Crisler above. Also—here’s where it gets nerdier—note the warmups the basketball team is wearing in the background. The earliest I have seen those warmups is December 1979, and Michigan was definitely wearing a different style of warmups through 1977.

ALSO look at center court in 1974:


versus the M at center court in our photo:


And here’s 1982:


It didn’t look like that until 1981.

The only reference I could find to a hoops game with the football banner was that 1982 game.



May 22nd, 2018 at 10:30 PM ^

Are those Illinois warmups in the background? Orange on blue? I can't make out any text of course... but it seems logical.

Maybe that would be another way to check - looking at their different warmups throughout the years?


May 22nd, 2018 at 10:32 PM ^

For other uses of the banner; it was used prior to the Michigan hockey game at Michigan Stadium... Sticks raised to touch it iirc the image I see in my head is Hunwick reaching up with his goal stick


May 22nd, 2018 at 10:32 PM ^

It was under the Frieder years, I was a teen then started 82, 83 maybe(?). From my memory the football prop was a morale thing as UM started to field better teams but was encouraging more crowd power. The banner had a presence that’s for sure. Could’ve stopped when Fisher took over.

JWG Wolverine

May 22nd, 2018 at 10:33 PM ^

Wish I could provide you with some useful info to help you out Seth, but I don't have any.

However, I can't wait to read about this in HTTV! Is there gonna be pictures showing the evolution of the banners (such as the "nerd as fuck" comment you made)? That would be fascinating.

Of course, don't forget the Big Chill:

Excited to see what Dr. Sap has up his sleeve. It's always good!

Ike Pond

May 22nd, 2018 at 11:40 PM ^

I believe the picture is from Saturday, January 29, 1983. Illinois was at Crisler that day. I see that Tim McCormick, Eric Turner, Leslie Rockymore and Paul Jokisch are all in the picture. Also I was in the basketball band that year and I am in the picture too! Kind of fuzzy though.

Ike Pond

May 23rd, 2018 at 9:02 AM ^

My recollection is that they would bring out the banner out a couple of times each season throughout the early to mid-80's anyway.  Usually for the couple of nationaly televsied games that there would be each year.  Howard King would get on the PA and announce that the TV coverage would be starting and ask the crowd to make some noise.  I think the banner was used to hype the crowd a little bit more on those occasions.  Also when games were nationally televised back then they would bring in additional lighting which added to the atmosphere.  Those games were special and the crowd responded accordingly.


May 23rd, 2018 at 5:42 AM ^

cheerleader running on the 'M' in that picture, the one with the scary mustache?  

also, would be interesting to know what happened to the guys on that team, joubert, mccormick, rockymore, etc. kind of a 'where are they now'.   that is my era and i remember seeing them in the training room, occasionally shooting hoops with them, but lost contact upon graduation and moving away.  


May 22nd, 2018 at 11:48 PM ^

I went to some games in the 80s and I think they used the banner. I remember during timeouts, the band would play a catchy tune (was it the Lone Ranger's theme) while a cheerleader would walk on his hands from one baseline to the other. Do they still do that?


May 23rd, 2018 at 8:11 AM ^

I agree, my parents had a friend with season tickets and now and again we would get to use them, and I remember the lone ranger theme, handstand across the floor, and the banner a few times. Man brings back some memories.

Bando Calrissian

May 22nd, 2018 at 11:58 PM ^

I definitely remember seeing it brought out at Crisler in the early-mid 1990s. Just once, maybe twice. It definitely came off a bit weird, in part because the banner was almost too wide to be held at full width on the court.

EDIT: Covered above. I'm not crazy! All these years I thought I was imagining things.