The missing quarter- playing what if…the Wolverines and the Broncos

For the first time in Michigan Stadium history a game was ended early due to weather.

For those not in attendance, this might be surprising. But for those of us at the game who saw the lighting and experienced the storm which persisted well into the evening we understand that the right call was made.

The decision was welcomed by the coaches, both to prevent injuries and as motivational fodder for their respective teams.

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M Football 2011-Broncos Busted In Storm Shortened Opener- M 34-Western Michigan 10

By Andy Andersen

Brady Hoke’s debut as the Head Football Coach of the Michigan Wolverines was twice interrupted by thunderstorms and heavy rains.  There were also some uncooperative Western Michigan Broncos when the game was on, at least  in the first half.

During the second lightening delay, the  threat of strong winds, hail, much lightening, and cloudbursts, extended the game delay until 7:30 PM.  Before that, the game was cancelled at 1:27 of the third quarter, at 7:10PM.  How about 137 degrees F on the field at the start of the game?

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A football game had never been cancelled previously in Wolverine history.  It was unbearably hot on the field, and stands, for most of the game, until the rains came.  The score at the time of cancellation was 34 to 10, and became the final.  There is no question that cancelation was the appropriate thing to do, for team and fans.

The Broncos were a tough nut to crack in the first half.  They led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.  It seemed that maybe Michigan’s defense was as inept as last year’s defense.  In the end that did not prove to be true.

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Brady Hoke – Last Stand of the Michigan Man?

I grew up with Saturdays being “days of holy obligation.” When I played football in high school I wore a Michigan t-shirt to counter the bad karma of our very Buckeye-looking uniforms. On a recruiting trip to Michigan I made my case for how Bo needed a 5′ 8″ linebacker with above average speed to play football for him. When I attended the University of Michigan I did my best to spread the Wolverine gospel to my classmates. I followed Moeller, initially scoffed at Lloyd’s appointment but happily celebrated in Pasadena as the Wolverines led by Charles Woodson won the National Championship (KMA coaches poll!!)

When Lloyd retired, I understood that the line of Michigan Men coaching the Wolverines was probably over and that the Michigan Football program was fundamentally changing.

I questioned whether I was fan of Michigan Football or Michigan Football as defined by Bo Schembechler.

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2011 Michigan Wolverine Football Schedule

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Sat., Sep. 3vs Western MichiganAnn Arbor, MIW, 34-10
Sat., Sep. 10vs Notre DameAnn Arbor, MIW, 35-31
Sat., Sep. 17vs Eastern MichiganAnn Arbor, MIW, 31-3
Sat., Sep. 24vs San Diego StateAnn Arbor, MIW, 28-7
Sat., Oct. 1vs MinnesotaAnn Arbor, MIW, 58-0
Sat., Oct. 8at NorthwesternEvanston, IL      W, 42-24
Sat., Oct. 15at Michigan StateEast Lansing, MIL, 28-14
Sat., Oct. 29vs Purdue (Homecoming)Ann Arbor, MIW, 36-14
Sat., Nov. 5at IowaIowa City, IAL, 24-16
Sat., Nov. 12 at IllinoisChampaign, ILW, 31-14
Sat., Nov. 19vs NebraskaAnn Arbor, MIW, 45-17
Sat., Nov. 26vs Ohio StateAnn Arbor, MIW, 40-34

 

2012 Sugar Bowl vs Virginia Tech W, 23-20 (OT)

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2008 Michigan Football Book Review- War as They Knew it

Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press has written an outstanding book about the competition and complicated relationship between Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler.  So much has been written about these two that you might think there aren’t too many more tales to tell about these titans of college football but this book manages to entertain.

This book is unique in that Rosenberg takes time to place the men in the context of their times.  Their experiences on the football season are told in parallel with massive cultural changes engulfing the nation during the late 1960s and early 1970s.  And there is plenty of football as 10 year conflict between the two coaches plays out.

There are disappointing revelations about each program.  Drug use was rampant on both teams and Woody Hayes had a penchant for tantrums that sometimes resulted in physical abuse well before the incident that ends his career.

Woody comes off as a tragically flawed figure who reveled in his role as teacher, author, and builder of men even as he was unable to control his own temper.  Bo loved playing the media even though he trained as a broadcaster prior to his coaching career.

As a Michigan fan I learned more about Woody Hayes than Bo Schembechler while reading this book.  His rise and eventual fall was earily reminscent of another infamous coach, Bobby Knight.  In both cases, taleanted coaches evolved into bullies because people in their respective institutions refused to reign in their meglomania until it was too late.

It was particularly sad to read how Woody Hayes had lost the respect and became a figure of ridicule among his later teams.

I recommend this book for fans on both sides of UM/Ohio State rivalry.  Even people who aren’t rabid sports fans would enjoy it as a character study of two men who believed that the discipline of football was a tool to prepare their players for life just as the culture around them glorified individualism

Podcast with Author Michael Rosenberg