"Wolverine Olympics" - Still a Michigan football "tradition"?

Submitted by profitgoblue on November 4th, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Surprisingly, after a fairly lengthy search of the site, I have not found any reference to "Wolverine Olympics" anywhere.  I'm knee-deep in Three and Out and, on page 149, Bacon references this competition that Rodriguez devised -

whereby the seniors drafted teams of eight players, then tried to get the most points - given out for touchdowns and tackles, attending classes, getting above a 3.0, visiting Mott Children's Hospital, and so on - and to avoid demerits.

(emphasis mine).  Does anyone remember hearing about this competition?  Does anyone know if the tradition is being continued under Hoke & Co?

Seems like a very cool way to hold the kids accountable to their teammates in a much more intimate way, all the while feeding their competitive spirit.  A way to hold each other's feet to the fire in all aspects of their college life.  Mostly, I am very surprised that we never discussed this (or even heard of it) as fans.




November 4th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

Yeah, I just got to that part recently, myself. When I read that, I thought I remembered hearing something about that when it started. I can't pinpoint where or when, but I just know when I read that part, it was more of a "Oh yeah, I forgot about" moment, rather than a "Wow, that sounds really interesting. Can't believe I never heard of that before" moment.

Edit: A Bing search turned up an article from the Michigan Daily in September '08. Here's the link.

To instill competition in his players, Rodriguez developed a superstars competition, which became the Mountaineer Olympics and is now the Wolverine Olympics. Over the years, events have included an egg-eating contest, tobacco-spitting contest, swimming, dodgeball and belly-flop contests.



November 4th, 2011 at 5:12 PM ^

I like that idea a lot. Hoke will do what Hoke does, but I wouldn't mind at all if this continued. Sounds like a fun way to keep kids on track.


November 4th, 2011 at 5:44 PM ^

I'm pretty sure Hoke just expects all these things (in the OP) as the standard, which is as it should be.  To each his own, but if you need a tobacco spitting contest to instill a competitive fire in the players... you got the wrong players.


November 5th, 2011 at 7:56 AM ^

Nothing else in the story seems to be sarcastic.  The writer certainly did quite a bit of research on the story.  It's a great story; I encourage everyone to read it. I especially liked the part of his parents making him sit in the back seat with a blanket over his head on the way home after his team lost because of his foul attitude. There are several other points, too, that show how competitive he is.