Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film

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TriplePTeam

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Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:42 PM (permalink)
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Hi guys! It's Rob Hoffman from Priceless Photo Preservation, the Ann Arbor archiving firm that brought you the early 30s footage of the U-M football game and the 1998 victory parade down Main Street. I've just found another nugget – and this time I'm counting on the Maize and Blue faithful such as yourselves to do some digging. 
 
On our Facebook page and blog, we have just posted a film we recently converted that shows two minutes of a Michigan football game. We think it is 1956 and we think the opponent is Army. But we're not sure. We'd love to hear your own theories. A bonus: We think we see a number 87 at end, so you might see a little Ron Kramer in action.
 
Enjoy!


 
 
<message edited by Philc on Friday, June 27, 2014 12:34 PM>
 
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uferfan

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:41 PM (permalink)
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Ok, here's a bit of research to help you:
 
- The Quarterback (#24) is Jim Van Pelt; who played from 1955-1957. He was the only quarterback to wear this number in the decade.
- The receiver (#87) is, in fact, Ron Kramer. He played with Van Pelt for two of those seasons: 1955 and 1956; so we're down to two possible seasons.
- There were only three games that Michigan played at home in those years where the opposing team wore gold helmets: 1955 against Army, and 1956 against UCLA and Army.
 
I'm going to venture a guess to say that the film is against UCLA in 1956. The reasons are as follows:
- Van Pelt did not throw a pass in either Army game in 1955 or 1956, but he can clearly be seen throwing a pass in this game - here is a link to the box scores for the Michigan games, showing no passes thrown by Van Pelt against Army in either 1955 or 1956): http://www.umich.edu/~bhlumrec/athdept/fbstats/
- The attendance for the UCLA game was 70,159 and for the Army game was 93,402. The capacity of Michigan Stadium in 1956 was 101,001. If you look at the video at 0:45, the end zone seats are clearly empty. The Army game was only 7,500 short of capacity; while the UCLA game was over 30,000 short of capacity. Given the large amount of empty seats, it is more likely this is the UCLA game.
- Lastly, Army's helmets during this time period had black numbers on them. It does not appear that the opposing team helmets had these numbers. UCLA's numbers were solid gold with no markings.
 
All signs point to this footage being of the September 29, 1956 game against UCLA; which Michigan won 42-13. 
 
Hope this helps!

<message edited by uferfan on Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:50 PM>
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#2
jsj_297

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Thursday, June 19, 2014 9:13 PM (permalink)
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^^ Your quite the detective!!!
 
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:52 PM (permalink)
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I can't open it. I saw the 56 UM - OSU game and went into the Michigan locker room and got EVERY UM player's autograph.

I'd love to see this clip. I believe it was 56 that they made a big deal out of the Army game. It was covered in the new SI and I think Army won.

Can anyone help me to see this clip?
Back when life was good..
 
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TriplePTeam

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Friday, June 20, 2014 10:02 AM (permalink)
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First of all, here are a few alternative links where you can see the video and read more about it: 
 
Our Facebook page: 
http://www.facebook.com/PricelessPhotoPreservation
 
Our Blog:
http://pricelessphotopres...ines-in-action-c-1956/
 
Secondly, I think Uferfan hit the nail on the head. I must admit to a blind spot when it comes to UCLA. I associate them more with the blue uniforms then the gold helmets. That said, his reasoning of which game it is based on attendance is both brilliant and pretty darn flawless. I will be writing an update later today on our Facebook page, giving him complete and utter credit for correctly identifying the game.
 
Next up later this summer: Some film from the 1970 Rose Bowl. I don't want to get your hopes up, though. You only see one partial play and the end of the game. The rest is the band performing, the Festival of Roses Parade and all the tourism sites of Pasadena from 40 years ago. 
 
In case you are curious, we are at 122 South Main Street (inside the Goodyear Building) and we digitize nearly everything analog: Films, home videos, photos, slides, audio recordings, letters and scrapbooks. We are open 10-6 Monday through Friday.  
 
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TriplePTeam

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Friday, June 20, 2014 1:29 PM (permalink)
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The new post, solving the mystery and containing a screen shot of the crucial moment that confirmed Uferfan's suspicions.
 
http://wp.me/p1JDWH-7U
 
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Friday, June 20, 2014 11:18 PM (permalink)
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Thank you for a great clip from the past.

I believe Uferfan also is correct. My only hesitation would be that UCLA back in the '50s seemed to wear their baby blue jerseys both home and away.

The capacity at Michigan Stadium was 97,239 in 1956.

My friend John Herrnstein was the fullback that year and later captain of the 1958 UM team. Can anyone pick him out? My old eyes can't see well enough!

Anyway, THANK YOU!!
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Friday, June 20, 2014 11:49 PM (permalink)
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One item that may be incorrect on Uferfan's hypothesis and that is Minnesota also played at Michigan in 1956. Their helmets were also gold. If you look closely, the gold helmets have a dark stripe down the middle and UCLA did not have any stripes on their helmets.

Just something to consider.
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TriplePTeam

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:04 AM (permalink)
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Hmmm...
 
Something to think about. Here's the Minnesota box score: http://www.umich.edu/~bhl...pt/fbstats/1956min.pdf Attendance is 84,639, which is between Army and UCLA. Would that explain all the empty end zone seats? 
 
Other thoughts: Van Pelt was 4-for-6 passing. And I think we see two incompletions from him. (That said, he was only 1-for-1 vs. UCLA, which also calls into question that game)
 
Weather in both the UCLA and Minnesota box score is described as fair. Looks really sunny in all the footage. Could we be seeing a fourth game that we haven't even considered? 
 
I'm wavering. I may enlist my friend Ken Magee to take a closer look. He has just completed a book on the history of the Little Brown Jug and owns the Michigan collectibles shop on Liberty Street. 
 
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:43 AM (permalink)
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TriplePTeam


Hmmm...

Something to think about. Here's the Minnesota box score: http://www.umich.edu/~bhl...pt/fbstats/1956min.pdf Attendance is 84,639, which is between Army and UCLA. Would that explain all the empty end zone seats? 

Other thoughts: Van Pelt was 4-for-6 passing. And I think we see two incompletions from him. (That said, he was only 1-for-1 vs. UCLA, which also calls into question that game)

Weather in both the UCLA and Minnesota box score is described as fair. Looks really sunny in all the footage. Could we be seeing a fourth game that we haven't even considered? 

I'm wavering. I may enlist my friend Ken Magee to take a closer look. He has just completed a book on the history of the Little Brown Jug and owns the Michigan collectibles shop on Liberty Street. 

 
I think the key may be the stripe down the helmet.  UCLA, to the best of my knowledge, NEVER had a stripe down the middle of the helmet or anywhere for that matter.  I think if you put it on pause, you will see the stripe.
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uferfan

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Saturday, June 21, 2014 8:06 PM (permalink)
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Wow- I could be wrong. The mystery may continue!
 
The best I could do was find a 1957 Sports Illustrated cover that shows a Minnesota player with a white helmet and a stripe. However, he is wearing a home uniform. They may have had a different color helmet on the road:
 
https://images.search.yah...att_001&hspart=att
 
In any event, I'd be curious to know.  I'm sure Mr. Magee would help solve this piece!
Every day you get up for work, just remember that we are all Dave Brandon's hoes.
 
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Saturday, June 21, 2014 9:58 PM (permalink)
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uferfan


Wow- I could be wrong. The mystery may continue!

The best I could do was find a 1957 Sports Illustrated cover that shows a Minnesota player with a white helmet and a stripe. However, he is wearing a home uniform. They may have had a different color helmet on the road:

https://images.search.yah...att_001&hspart=att

In any event, I'd be curious to know.  I'm sure Mr. Magee would help solve this piece!

 
uferfan - Back then colleges (pros, too) only had one helmet for every game.
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jsj_297

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Sunday, June 22, 2014 9:08 AM (permalink)
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Googled 1956 Army football uniforms and got this. Somebody was saying something about a stripe down the helmets? Looks like Army had one back then. Hope this helps? (im not good at detective work)
 
 
 
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Sunday, June 29, 2014 3:46 PM (permalink)
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TripleT - Anything new on the mystery?
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TriplePTeam

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Monday, June 30, 2014 10:45 AM (permalink)
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Quite a bit actually. It was busy here last week. Otherwise, I would have posted this sooner.
 
We could be back to the original Army-Michigan theory. 
 
My friend Dave Boim (son of former U-M pitcher and legendary Ann Arbor gym teacher Irving "Pro" Boim) is convinced that it is Army-Michigan for several sound reasons.
 
When it comes to UCLA, Dave points out that the key to the team's appearance is not their gold helmets, but the font style of their numbers. "1956 UCLA used Clarendon font numbering not block numbering introduced by their Coach (Sanders). Film indicates M's opponents numbering was block numbering." 
http://www.bruinsnation.c...ill-wear-block-numbers
 
He points out the c. 1956 Minnesota helmets were completely different from what we see on the film, according to this site: http://www.mghelmets.com/minnesota-gophers.html. For one thing, they have numbers on the side of the helmet, which the film does not show.
 
Lastly, he found this photo of Pete Dawkins in action for Army c. 1956 and believes his uniform is a complete match.
http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th...d=1.9&rs=0&p=0
 
The biggest obstacles for him? The stats (Van Pelt didn't make any pass attempts according to the box scores) and the empty seats in the end zone for a nearly sold out game. 
 
"I'm guessing hand written stats just weren't that accurate back then. Good point on the attendance, but the game was still thousands short of a sell out and you would expect end zone seats are more likely to be unoccupied. The only other possibility is that the year is not correct."
 
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jsj_297

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Monday, June 30, 2014 11:32 AM (permalink)
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Sounds like a real possibility on the year being wrong.
 
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Monday, June 30, 2014 7:41 PM (permalink)
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Something still sounds wrong.  Like jsj_297, I would uess the year is wrong.
 
FYI, I think they kept VERY good stats back then.
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jsj_297

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Tuesday, July 01, 2014 7:35 AM (permalink)
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^^ hey UMW, what year was the first um game u attended?
 
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UMWingedHelmet

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Tuesday, July 01, 2014 7:50 AM (permalink)
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1955 against Northwestern. It was Band Day and for a kid it looked filled to capacity but according to the stats there were only 67,000 plus. I'm guessing UM didn't count all the high school band members who seemed to take up every square inch when they were on the field before the game.
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TriplePTeam

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Re:Here's a treat: Color c. 1956 Michigan football game film Wednesday, July 02, 2014 4:12 PM (permalink)
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The question of whether it's a different year might be a dead end. Just a reminder; This is at the beginning of a film that starts in 1956, according to the writing on the box. Nonetheless, I looked up the box score of the 1955 Army-Michigan game. And it shows no pass attempts by Van Pelt, just one catch by Kramer and a near-capacity crowd of 97,239. 
 
 
 
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