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|Foreword: What It Means to Be a Wolverine||vii|
|The New Millennium||339|
Posted January 3, 2006
With a foreward by legendary coach Bo Schembechler, 'What it Means to be a Wolverine' features dozens of former University of Michigan football players, relating in their own words, what it was like to have the honor of playing football at Michigan. As pointed out at the beginning, Michigan football is all about tradition. Michigan has not has a losing season since 1967, the longest streak in college football. In fact, they have had only had 14 losing seasons in their 126 year history. They will be playing in their 31st consecutive bowl game. Also the longest streak in college football which would also be about 8 years longer were it not for the Big Ten conferences ridiculous rule that only one team could go to a bowl game up until 1975. Michigan lost only three regular season games from 1970 to 1974 yet only went to one bowl game. The book presents these player reflections by decade beginning with the 1930's and perhaps Michigan's most famous player, former President Gerald Ford. Ford, a center, played on the national champion teams of 1932 & 1933 and was voted team MVP in 1934. Ford tells the story of how a black teammate, Willis Ward, was not permitted to play in a game against Georgia Tech as Tech refused to take the field if he played. This event would shape Ford's lifetime views on civil rights. Ford was offered a chance to play professionally by both Detroit and Green Bay but chose instead to attend Yale Law School. The 1940's is represented by many great Michigan stars including Bob Chappius, the MVP of the 1948 Rose Bowl, and Heisman runner up and Bump Elliott who played on that same 1947 National Champion team with Chappius and would later coach the team from 1959 to 1968. Most local fans remember Bill Freehan as an 11 time all-star catcher for the Detroit Tigers but many may not know that the two-sport star played one year of football at Michigan. Freehan shares his thoughts on that one memorable year before he signed a pro contract with the Tigers in 1961. Jim Brandstatter is still a well known name to Michigan fans. The former offensive lineman was a part of the first spring practice ever run by Schembechler when he took over as coach, the most grueling he ever endured. Brandstatter admits he didn't like Bo at first but soon his commitment paid off with their stunning upset of Ohio State in 1969. Today, Brandstatter continues to do color commentary for Michigan games on radio and hosts a weekly coach's show with Lloyd Carr. Rick Leach is another legend. A four year starter at QB and an All-American. Leach was another two sport star who went onto play pro baseball. Leach's proudest moment came in Michigan's win over Ohio State in 1978 as he tells a hysterical story of how legendary OSU coach Woody Hayes what hitting himself in the head following a Leach TD pass. Jamie Morris held the career record for rushing yardage for several years but it's his never before heard story about Chris Spielman that fans will be interested. Seems Bo was recruiting the linebacker and lit into him when he came to a recruiting meeting dressed in ripped blue jeans and t-shirt. Spielman told Bo that Earle Bruce had no problem with his appearance and he was going to go to Ohio State and not Michigan. Bo responded by saying that Michigan would kick their BUTTS every year and the exchange became quite heated and the two had to be separated. Moving to more recent years, both John Jensen and Lloyd Carr talk about the 1997 National Championship team. This team was picked no better than fifth in the conference by most experts. They talk about how the low expectations and criticism, particularly of QB Brian Griese really galvanized the team and drove them on to an undefeated season. This is just a fantastic book that allows long-time Michigan fans to catch up with so many former great players. Throughout the book you read about players who went to Michigan because of the great tradition, the winged helmets, and the lar
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Posted October 2, 2012
The truth is, we are all wolverines in some aspect of the game. Some are from here, and some of them just really love the maize and the blue. LETS GO BLUE!!! BEAT THE BUCKEYES!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.