Friday, October 31, 2014

Brandon Quits

Well, the news in Ann Arbor Is that Athletic Director Dave Brandon resigned. With all the negative publicity surrounding Michigan football, the only surprise is that it was today. Was Brandon the right person for this incredible position or was the Peter Principle in play? I have not studied or evaluated Brandon’s tenure as the athletic director at the University of Michigan(although he fired, Rich Rod and hired Brady Hoke).

However, some background is needed. In 1968 Don Canham succeeded, Fritz Crisler, as the athletic director at the University of Michigan. Canham was an impressive athlete being an All-American at Michigan in the high jump in 1940. After completing and helping the Michigan Wolverines track and field team win the Big Ten Conference in 1940 and 1941, Canham later served as Michigan’s head coach in track and field for 18 years from 1950-to 1968. During his tenure, the Wolverines won 12 Big Ten conference championships, seven indoor and five outdoor. It’s obvious that Canham was superb evaluator of talent and recruiting.

 Don Canham ran the athletic department as A.D. from 1968 through 1988. He first hired Bo Schembechler as its head coach in 1968; was a skilled, aggressive marketer; placed Notre Dame on its football schedule and set national attendance records at the Big House. Canham knew about business marketing and selected a brilliant football coach to say the least.

Don Canham was succeeded by Bo Schembechler as A.D. Schembechler coached until 1989 when he began became athletic director and served for two years. Schembechler’s health had something to do with his short tenure as the Wolverines athletic director. We all know that Schembechler was a brilliant and successful coach.

In my opinion, I don’t think anyone has successfully run the A.D. department as did Don Canham. Sure, William Martin made a profit during his 10 years or so. And the others since Canham, had relatively short stints as A.D.’s. That doesn’t say much for stability nor direction.

Hopefully this time, the highly intelligent new president Dr. Mark Schlissel will select the right A.D. for the University of Michigan. And that he’ll not be threatened by picking the best individual for this position. Some of the criteria he might consider include:  1. an outstanding athlete 2. Head-coaching experience 3. Business-marketing skills 4. Ability to evaluate, understand and surround oneself with brilliant, competent individuals

Go Blue !

Thursday, October 30, 2014

An Unusual Trip

For 12 days and evenings, Frank and I spent quality time with 7 unique football players, 2 coaches, a College -NFL referee and current Athletic Director from the University of Michigan. These players were the core of 1969 Michigan Football during the rivalry with Ohio State that influenced football to this day. The players became so bonded during those years they are, today, still best buddies. Being with these men was like being amidst a hilarious comedy show. They bounce their humor off each other like a fast football play. I just sat back and did what I like most -- laugh. Their era was the turning point of Michigan football. The team was developed by Coach Bo Schembechler, who had unusual training methods. He was a master in psychology and although the players, at the beginning didn’t like him, they learned to admire and love the man to this day.
How did this trip happen?
Frank wrote his second book “Bo’s Warriors” about this great time in Football, the development of Bo’s team, the evolution of each of these men, their backgrounds and their contributions today. He interviewed the men for 2 years by phone and in person, hours at a time, and became a good friend to all of them. They still phone him “just to talk”.  The trip was to promote his book, and what a great trip it was. This is just the beginning of our fun journey with them.
I felt like a celebrity’s wife at the Michigan Alumni Association where 200+ people gathered to hear Frank, Coach Hoke and some of the players talk about those successful days of Michigan Football. Three of my favorite fun venues were the radio interview with Frank and players, a function at an M Den gathering, and an interview by Jim Brandstadder’s and Coach Brady Hoke’s weekly Radio Show held at the Pizza House.The timing of the book is pertinent since Coach Hoke is having a poor season and the Fans would like to have Bo, the legend,  back for coaching.   
More Fun
Last season and this year we attended the Michigan homecoming game. This year the 1969 team was honored on the field. Both times the players invited us to attend the Tailgate party, before and after, the game. Last year Frank was taken through the Tunnel onto the field to meet the Coach.
My Take on the success.
This is not just about football but instead about boys during turbulent times who developed through the experience of becoming a winning team because of a tough coach. At times they wanted to quit but instead were driven by each other and their coach. The character of each of them was incubated during their childhood. It has been an honor to know all of them.

Linda Lieberman,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can the Wolverines be Saved ?

I remember, when Michigan football was great. I remember, when Michigan won the national title. I remember that Coach Lloyd Carr had some awesome teams. I also remember that Lloyd Carr had some difficulty beating Ohio State, especially the time, when Bo Schembechler died just prior to the OSU game.

After Coach Carr retired, I remember, there was talk about bringing in a new head coach that was familiar, and had expertise with the spread offense. I remember, there was a lot of buzz in the college football world about the spread offense.

I remember that Michigan went out and hired a spread offense guru as its head coach. I remember they called him Rich Rod. I remember, he recruited a spread offensive quarterback from Florida named Denard Robinson. Was he ever exciting and special. The first time he got in the game he dropped the ball; picked it up and ran some 40 yards or more for a touchdown.

Denard Robinson was a quarterback, and he threw to young receiver named Devin Gardner, until Denard suffered a throwing arm injury. Well anyway, Robinson is playing, as a running back, for the Jacksonville Jaguars and has run for over 100 yards in his last two NFL games. By the way, Rich Rod was fired, but now coaches the University of Arizona Wildcats. In case you haven’t noticed, they’re having a terrific season and are ranked 14 in the AP top 25 poll.

Would Michigan had been better if they kept Rich Rod as head coach, even if he wasn’t a “traditional” Michigan coach? Michigan now has a traditional head coach in Brady Hoke. And, it is safe to say that Michigan is not better at this point that it was under head coach Rich Rod.

I’ll make one prediction: Devin Gardner is going to play in the NFL. However, he will not play as a quarterback. I leave you with two questions. 1. who’s the guru that is going to hire the next AD? 2. And, who will he bring in as the savior for Michigan football?

PS. Notre Dame is ranked 6; Michigan State is ranked 8; and Utah is ranked 18. Minnesota was dropped from the rankings (24) as result of its loss last week. Yes, so far, Michigan got beat by 4 ranked football teams.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Wolverines Problems Include ?

The Wolverines Problems Include ?
  Yesterday’s loss, Michigan State 35, and Michigan 11 was to put it mildly a disappointment. Michigan State was ranked number eight in the country going into that game, and heavily favored. Further, Michigan State’s coach has a good winning percentage against Michigan. Not only that, Michigan had not scored a touchdown in the previous two games against the Spartans.
However, any team could be beaten on any given day, but Saturday was not the day for the Wolverines. At times they played well, during the game, and just before the half, they were behind 7 – 3. But the Spartans scored just before the half, making it 14 to 3. At that point a victory for the Wolverines seemed relatively slim in my mind. There was no miracle in the second half, and Michigan was simply whipped by the better team.
I’m not sure what the problem is for Michigan. But it is clear there is a problem. The “boo” birds are calling for A.D. Brandon’s, and coach Hoke’s head. Quarterback Gardner has also been criticized for his inconsistent play. Coach Moeller told me that the team has practiced very hard during the week. That would suggest that the team is still playing for coach Hoke.
A few weeks ago we attended a Michigan alumni function, and coach Hoke spoke to the group. My wife Linda thought that Hoke seemed unimpressive-not tough. That was her read. I’m not sure. I know that the team is young and there have been a couple of offensive coordinators, which might partly explain quarterback Gardner’s inconsistency.
What was puzzling, in this game, was the fact that Wolverines picked up some yardage rushing and perhaps they gave up on it too soon. Also, at times, their receivers were wide open and sometimes made the play and sometimes not.

On a positive note, they have lost to some good football teams, i.e., Utah, Notre Dame, Minnesota and MSU. It is still possible to salvage the season. In other words, Go Blue!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Memories of the Michigan and Michigan State Rivalry

Personal Memories of the Great Rivalry Between Michigan and Michigan State
 Today, the rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State continues. This rivalry is very special and brings me back to the late 1950s. In 1959, I visited Michigan State with Ed Budde and Ted Guthard during that winter. One of the things I remember is the radio commercial “if you want my advice sir, use deicer.” That was a Standard Oil, advertisement back then.

Once at the campus in East Lansing, we were met by fellow Denby High School football players, Larry Hudas, Mitch Newman, and Jim Haslip. Larry was heavily recruited by Duffy Daugherty and introduced me to Duffy, along with one of their position coaches named Burt Smith.

Larry, had competition, as Herb Adderley and Gary Ballman were also running backs. Herb played for the Green Bay Packers and Gary went on and played tight end with the New York Giants in the NFL.  Ed Budde played both ways for the Spartans and was a number one draft pick for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Ed chose to go to the AFL and played 14 years with the Chiefs. He is still president of their alumni Association.

Two years ago, I did book signings, “It Has Nothing to Do with Age” in Kansas City with Ed and met his buddy Conrad Dobler, “Pride and Perseverance.” To share with you a couple of connections is the following. Connie Dobler was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and was part of that illustrious line that featured Dan Dierdorf. Connie and Dan are good friends. Further, Jim Brandstatter’s brother Art was a teammate at Michigan State with Ed, Larry, Mitch, Jim and Ted.

Reggie McKenzie was all pro with the Buffalo Bills and his buddy was Michigan State’s Joe DeLamielleure. Reggie and Joe were part of the “electric company” as they turned on the juice. Simply put, they were the keys, when OJ Simpson broke the NFL rushing record. For another connection, my high school football coach Ed Rutherford became the freshman coach at Michigan State. According to Reggie, Ed told him that he didn’t think he was Michigan State material. I told the story to Ed Budde and he couldn’t believe that Rutherford told Reggie, that.

So, at one time I must admit that I rooted for the Spartans when they played Michigan. I now have switched alliances and root for the Wolverines. Let the better team win.


For an autographed copy of Bo’s Warriors, go to the link.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fun With the Reunion and Book Launch

Last month in September, Linda accompanied me on my Bo’s Warriors book tour. On 18th of September, we were in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where we met none other than, Thom Darden. Thom was an All-American and an all Pro with the Cleveland Browns. He is both their single season and career interception leader. In the Michigan, Ohio State game of 1971, Thom made an interception that ESPN called “one of the plays that signifies college football. Ohio State’s, Woody Hayes went nuts and received not one but two 15 yard penalties. He wanted to pass interference call and attempted to get referee Bill Quimby fired. Referee Quimby later officiated in the NFL as well. Thank goodness, Linda took a picture of Bill Quimby at that Barnes & Noble book signing. You can find a picture of Darden, making that interception in my book.

On September 22, Linda and I were in Ann Arbor. We met the Michigan alumni at Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor. Coach Brady Hoke (in the white shirt) was the main speaker. Mike Keller (gray suit), Jim Betts (dark shirt) and I followed Brady Hoke at the podium. There are also pictures of Jim Brandstatter (voice of the Lions and the Wolverines in dark suit), me, Keller (64th draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl champions), and Jim Betts (drafted by the New York Jets), eating and signing books. Linda took six pictures at that event.

Frank,Mike Keller, Coach Brady Hoke & Jim Betts
Mike Keller,Jim Betts, Frank and Jim Brandstatter-M Club
On September 24, Linda and I attended the Jim Brandstatter (M shirt)-Brady Hoke radio show. After Brady Hoke spoke, Mike Keller (dark jacket) and I spoke. Jim Betts (white-striped shirt) accompanied us. There’s also a picture of Kathleen (radio producer), and the Little Brown Jug. All in all, there are five pictures.  
The M Den was the venue for 25th of September. Mike Keller (gray suit), Jim Brandstatter (white shirt), Thom Darden (white shirt), Jim Betts (light blue shirt) accompanied Linda and I for that book signing. Darden, Keller and Brandstatter were in the same sophomore class and were part of that 1969, upset against Ohio State. Jim Betts, was a junior that season. These players have so much fun together and for me it was one of the highlights. They laughed, joked, put each other down and told stories. The Duke (Brandstatter) did his impersonations and started off with a number of Motown hits from the 60s and 70s. That event was so much fun for me. There are five pictures.
Mike Keller,Frank& Jim talking to M Club
Thom Darden,Linda and Jim Betts at M Den in Ann arbor
There is one picture that was taken, in Charlevoix, Michigan, on September 20. I am talking to an employee in the bookstore with my sister Bev listening to our conversation. My sister lives in Connecticut and came in for one of our family, reunions. We have a number of cousins from the Detroit area. That weekend was a blast as well.

We are signing rapidly while Coach Hoke has the floor

Kathleen producer of Brandstatter-Hoke radio show-Little Brown jug
Jim Betts drafted by NY Jets
Betts,Brandstatter & Frank
Keller,64th pick by Dallas Cowboys,Thom Darden All Pro with Cleveland Browns,Brandstatter radio voice of Detroit Lions and the Wolverines
Betts,Keller, Darden ,Brandstatter & Frank at M Den
Brandstatter (Duke) and me
At Brandstatters radio show in Ann Arbor
Frank,Bev and sales person in Charlevoix book store

Jim Brandstatter,Frank, Mike Keller & Jim Betts at U of M Alumni function in Ann Arbor
Bill Quimby in Cedar rapids ,Iowa at B&N signing

Coach Brady Hoke U of M Club
Jim Betts,Mike Keller,Frank & Jim Brandstatter at U of M club luncheon
Mike Keller ,Jim Betts & Frank at Brandstatter-Hoke radio show
Remember to keep laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating because it’s good for you.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Part Three
Go Blue Go
An Excerpt from the New Book Bo’s Warriors
Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football

Roughly, 75 to 80 players stayed with the team. They may have complained about some of the tactics employed by Bo, but they stayed. Along the way, one or two of them would be talked out of quitting the team-Reggie McKenzie, for one. McKenzie went through a spell thinking that Bo was unfairly on his back. He was reminded by his family, “McKenzie men do not quit.” And from that point on, Reggie showed Bo his character. He told himself, “I’m not going to let Bo beat me.”

These young men became strongly motivated to contribute to the team’s welfare and advance its objectives instead of their own individual achievements. They bonded on the field and off. They roomed together, took the same classes, socialized, partied, got fixed up on dates by roommates, worked at the same places in the off-season, pledged the same fraternities, boycotted the same classes, and collectively they became inspired together. They were a part of something much larger than themselves (for one thing, University of Michigan’s gridiron history). And with a campus undergoing serious racial unrest in the 1960s, according to Jim Brands tatter, told them, “we are one race-Michigan football. You guys are not about race. No one from the outside is going to get between us. Race is not an issue.” Mike Keller remembered the coach putting it in more colorful terms: “Son of a bitch, you’re not red, you’re not white, and you’re not blue. You’re Michigan.” Bo also supported the Mellow Men’s (comprised of seven African- American football players) stand on boycotting the economics building during a campus demonstration.

To get your special autographed copy of Bo’s Warriors, email me for Pay Pal information.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Get Your Signed Book

For those of you interested in purchasing a signed copy of my recent book Bo’s Warriors, please email me for details regarding PayPal.

Go Blue Go-An Excerpt From the New Book Bo's Warriors

Part two

Within their team practices and group drills, the teammates began to identify with each other, and developed unity; their goals became interdependent, and in the process they formed aspirations and expectations together. And, as the teammates began to identify highly with the group and its goals, they gained camaraderie and satisfaction with the attainment of a goal. Even under certain circumstances, failure to meet a group goal also increased group bonding (as in that early-season loss to rival Michigan State). And when the teammates easily accepted a common goal (i.e. executing and minimizing mistakes of the I formation) and supported the actions required to reach it (practice, practice; drill, drill, drill), teammates felt great and recognized contributions of their teammates (a solid block, a hard hit, or a key interception).

And team unity also positively influenced the personalities, each player developed. As individuals, they became less self-centered, more giving. Simply, they cared about each other. And what Schembechler knew well was that membership in the group was paramount for security, achievement, competitiveness, and status. The team became “we” - forget about “I” or “me.” So, when Fritz  Seyferth, a fullback, began sharing duties with a sophomore, he didn’t complain or say “Poor me.” Instead, he continued to work hard for the team.

Reggie McKenzie told the story about Preston Henry during one spring practice. On that day, Henry, a running back, had to practice on offensive maneuvers for both the first and second string offense for some 130 plays or so. “After practice, everyone ran sprints. Even Preston Henry. We all felt sorry for him. Absolutely no one on the team would have been upset if Preston Henry was excused from running wind sprints.”

With newfound cohesiveness, Michigan was able to mobilize its energies in their support of the group goals, which were to prepare physically (even if doing exhausting, unintelligible exercises like “slap and stomp”), so that on-field performance (a win) became second to none. Solidarity was important and expressed by the final core players who didn’t quit or leave the team. There was a sign on the wall that encouraged this ethos. It read, jokingly,  “Those who stay will be champions. (One player who left the team named John Prusiecki added jokingly, “Those who leave will be captains of industry, lawyers, and doctors.”)

To be continued.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Wolverines Win The Wolverines Win

Well, the Wolverines came from behind and won the game-Michigan 18, and Penn State 13. From the very beginning, when past Michigan footballers took the field to support Brady Hoke and the team that showed, Michigan’s character. To have past players support this program is a good thing to see. There has been a ton of negative publicity and I hope the critics understand the importance of having its former players stand behind current players. It means, it is Michigan true and simple.

As far as the game, it seems clear that Michigan’s defense played a terrific second-half for the win. The line play, linebackers and secondary played well. Hopefully, the coaches can build on the player’s confidence for the next game against Michigan State-a big rivalry
Also in the second half, Gardner, left the game, limping. That, limp was not a good sign as far as the Michigan offense was concerned. At least the third string quarterback did not make any major mistakes, and Michigan was able to kick a field goal.

Then, Gardner returned to the game even though he still was limping. However, his play was inspiring and he demonstrated both mental and physical toughness. Hats off to Gardner. His leadership was paramount and highly significant in the win.
The losing streak ended. Well, next week is a bye.

Go Blue!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Go Blue Go

                                            Go Blue Go                              
An Excerpt From the New Book  Bo’s Warriors  :

 Bo  Schembechler And The Transformation Of Michigan Football
  By Frank Lieberman
On Saturday, November 22, the University of Michigan hosted the Ohio State University Buckeyes in Ann Arbor in front of 103,588 fans. Woody Hayes, was the coach of the nation’s unbeaten (in 22 games), defending national champion top- ranked college football team. Some called them the greatest team of all time and compared them to the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL’s gold standard at the time. Hayes believed this team was one of his best, if not his all-time best. If the Buckeyes were Goliath, then, the Wolverines were David. Then again, you know what happened between David and Goliath.
Even though they were the home team, the Wolverines were 17- point underdogs going into the game. Michigan had suffered two early-season losses, but had since been on a roll and entered the game with a 7-2 record. They were led by a young, first-year coach named Bo Schembechler. Coach Schembechler told his team that if they couldn’t remember Schembechler, “just call me Bo.” Previously, coach Schembechler had been a head coach of Miami of Ohio, known as a hotbed of coaching talent. He brought with him young, talented, energetic and intelligent football minds in assistants. Gary Moeller , Jim Young, Chuck Stobart, Jerry Hanlon, and Rick Hunter  among others. These coaches also had experience as high school head coaches, which some believe contributed to their understanding of how to better communicate, teach and motivate athletically gifted young men.
Bo was described by many as a psychological genius because of his ability to understand, teach, motivate, and underscore the importance of “team” to his players. He drilled the concept of teamwork over and over again, which resulted in the cohesion of his squads .It as about the team, the team, and the team. These young men became psychologically part of a group to which they belonged (what he called “bonded teammates”). As a result, for example, Mike Taylor, a defensive All-American specialist, got on Reggie McKenzie an offensive All- American stalwart, for dogging it during practice drills. He said to Reggie, “Come on, they’re watching you. Don’t go through the motions.”
Source: The Wolverine ,October ,2014

To Be Continued

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines

The controversy regarding Brady Hoke continues. I guess the only thing that might stop the noise is winning. In fact, I saw an online poll that had to do with when Hoke might be terminated. Also, there was an article regarding the number of potential recruits that have decided to go elsewhere. All this noise although expected is not good to say the least. On the other hand, even though the San Francisco 49ers are winning, there is speculation that head coach Jim Harbaugh will leave the Niners at season’s end.

If coach Harbaugh leaves the Niners, I wonder if he would return to his alma mater. Jim was an All-American and a co-captain while playing there. In fact, the other co-captain for the University of Michigan was Andy Moeller, Gary Moeller’s son. Andy is currently coaching in the NFL. Jim Tombaugh has been a winner as a player in college football, and in the NFL. Further, he has been a winner as a coach in college and also in the NFL. Would he ever return to coach for the University Michigan? If he did, I know he would be a good fit. Incidentally, Jim’s father Jack coached at the University Michigan and for Jim to return as head coach would be something. What do you think?

Go Blue Go!

Monday, October 6, 2014

How Much Time Does Brady Hoke Have?

Unfortunately, the University of Michigan lost its third consecutive football game on Saturday. This time, the score was Rutgers 26 and the Wolverines 24. In their loss to Utah and Minnesota, they were simply outplayed and likely out coached. Although I didn’t see the Rutgers game, the score suggests that Michigan was in the game to the end. For the past few weeks, the media has been relentless, with its desire to remove Coach Brady Hoke and A.D. Dave Brandon. The apparent concussion to sophomore quarterback Shane Morris in the Minnesota game brought more negative criticism and media outrage. Should Brady Hoke, go along with Dave Brandon? If there is going to be a coaching change during the season, it would likely happen during Michigan’s bye week.

Let’s go back to 1968, when there was a coaching change. In 1968, the Michigan Wolverines finished the season with eight victories and two defeats. However, the last defeat of the season was to the Ohio State Buckeyes-the big rival. During that game, the halftime score was Ohio State 21, and Michigan 14. It seemed that Michigan was still in the game. By the end of the game, it was Ohio State 50 and Michigan 14. In fact, Coach Woody Hayes went for a two-point conversion on their last touchdown. When asked why he went for two points, he replied, “Because I couldn’t go for three.”
At the time, Michigan’s football coach was Bump Elliott. Elliott was an All-American, a Rose Bowl winner as a player, and in fact, even coached his Wolverine’s to a Rose Bowl win. Coach Elliott was loved by all, especially the players he recruited. He also impressed the parents of his recruits by being well-dressed, polite, sincere and speaking, impeccable English.

The athletic director was Don Canham, a track and field All-American, as well as a track coach, whose team set world records. Canham apparently had no difficulty in removing Bump Elliott, as head coach and replacing him with the rough and tough Bo Schembechler.

Perhaps, if Canham was A.D. today, he would have no difficulty removing Coach Brady Hoke. Everyone agrees that Brady Hoke is a nice guy. When A.D. Canham hired Bo, he wasn’t looking for a nice guy. He was looking for a no-nonsense tough as nails coach like Bo Schembechler. However, this is 2014 and not 1968. What is certain at this point, is the story goes on. Keep tuned for developments.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Wolverines Are In Trouble

Last week, Linda and I were in Ann Arbor for our book launch. During that week, Mike Keller, Linda and I had a private meeting with Dave Brandon the athletic director. He seemed relatively calm despite the media uproar. Keller reminded Dave that the 1969 team’s record was two wins and two losses going into the Minnesota game. Not only that, Michigan was behind 9-7 at the half. And from then on the transformation of Michigan football began.
Also during the week, I presented along with Coach Brady Hoke for the Ann Arbor alumni and was on his and Jim Brandstatter’s radio show. There were a series of questions about the Minnesota offense. Coach Hoke made it clear that the Gophers had a formidable running attack, and really didn’t need to pass much for their victories. Also, the Gophers head football coach hadn’t announced, who would be their starting quarterback. Apparently one quarterback was a better passer and the other a better all-around quarterback. So, Michigan, was aware of their running attack. Coach Hoke declined to name his starting quarterback, and verbalized a lot of positives about his players.
Would Coach Hoke bench Gardner, and insert sophomore quarterback Shane Morris? It appeared that Morris was a better drop back quarterback, but that Gardner was much more athletic and explosive. Both Coach Hoke and AD Brandon appear to be likable. Is that enough in today’s football world of college sports?
Prior to Saturday’s game, Linda and I attended Richard Caldarazzo’s tailgate. Some of the players like Reggie McKenzie, Fritz Seyferth Mike Keller, Bruce Elliott, Jim Betts, and so forth where there along with Coach Dick Hunter and trainer Lindsy McLean. Then we headed to the game. There was a crowd of little over 102,000 which was below capacity. The biggest cheer was when it was announced that Michigan was ranked the number one public university in the country. Also, getting big applause was when the 1969 and 1964 teams were introduced along with the various Michigan conference champions, especially the basketball team.
There was not much to cheer about during that game. In the first half, the score was tied 7-7 and Minnesota had the ball on about their 2 yard line with a few minutes left in the half. They drove down the field, and kicked a field goal at the end of the half to take a 10-7 lead. Would the second half provide the same magic as did the 1969 team?
Well, the third-quarter was disastrous for the Wolverines. As I recall, they did not have any positive yardage either running or passing.  The game was clearly over by the end of the third-quarter. Michigan had serious trouble and difficulty either running or passing. The Wolverines also could not stop the balanced, Minnesota running the football or throwing the football attack.
Gardner entered the game in the fourth quarter when Morris was injured. And then when Gardner, lost his helmet on a play (according to the rules, the player has to leave the field) and Morris came in for one play. From the stands. It appeared that Morris had a possible leg injury, but now were told he had a possible concussion. More bad news for the Wolverines.
I must admit that I’m worried about tomorrow’s game with Rutgers. However, I’m still a fan.

Go Blue Go!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Go Blue

Linda and I just returned from Michigan, where we launched my new book, “Bo’s Warriors” Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football. We started with a Barnes & Noble book signing with Mike Keller in Grand Rapids, on 9/21 and from there headed towards Ann Arbor. On 9/22. I presented to the Ann Arbor, Michigan Alumni along with Coach Brady Hoke. I was joined by Mike Keller, Jim Betts, and Jim Brandstatter. The next day, on 9/23, I did a Barnes & Noble book signing in Shelby Township. On Wednesday morning Sam Webb interviewed Mike Keller, Jim Betts and I on his radio talk show. That evening I was a guest on Jim Brandstatter and the Brady Hoke radio show, and was joined by Mike Keller, and Jim Betts. Thursday evening I was joined by Thom Darden, Jim Brandstatter, Mike Keller, and Jim Betts for a book signing at the M Den in Ann Arbor. Earlier in the day Coach Gary Moeller signed books as well. On Sunday the 28th, Fritz Seyferth joined me for a book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Northville.

The experience with the players was simply joy. I had a fun time and was on such a high. It is clear that these players from the 1969 historic Michigan team like each other. It is also clear that they bonded as a team and that connection is still strong. One memory was at the M Den signing. In my book, I titled Jim Brandstatter as the Duke. He is funny and quite the entertainer. The joy, the laughing was contagious. Jim does impersonations especially of John Wayne. He also initiated singing popular rock ‘n roll songs of the 60s. And of course, Jim Betts, Thom Darden and Mike Keller embellished along the way.

I am very blessed that I got the opportunity to meet and write about these guys. In the process, they have become friends. And that my friends is my real reward for writing this book.

Go Blue!