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Welcome Michigan Football fans. This page contains favorite memories, stories, and items of interest from fans and players. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy bringing them to you. If you have a favorite memory to share or something of interest, pease e-mail me and I will try to place your comments on this page as time permits. Thanks for visiting and Go Blue! Steve

  • Crushing Good Time!
  • Jon Jansen Banner Running
    Well my story is long and winded. They names of the innocent have been changed…etc. I was a 24 year old with a game ticket, camera, and a love for the wolverines. And that’s all I would need for what would turn into the most exciting day in my life. It was a balmy late fall afternoon when the Golden Gophers came to town with their strange new jerseys in 1994. I was only 4 years removed from my first big house visit so while I wasn’t a virgin as far as game days go I still was a newbie as far as pregame tailgating. In fact my friends and I rarely tailgated, but rather just walked around with a bottle of cheap rum. Well that game I had to go to the game alone, no one to “tailgate” with. I was solo. I didn’t care if I was by myself, I still left for the game as early normal, to absorb the atmosphere, and decided to take my new camera along to take some tailgating pics of the cool RV parties (they still amazes me). I figured I would have extra time this game due to lack of rum. I grabbed my camera bag and starting walking from the Golf Course ( UM course, which is still our tailgate for me to this day). One, it is amazing what you see when your sober, and two, what you miss when your drunk. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, we’re never were the stupid drunks, but slightly buzzed fun drunks. Haha. There was so much I never noticed before, the block M ice sculpture by the club house, that was being carved, the radio stations broadcasting, the band. Wow… photo opportunities everywhere I looked!! It was fate was pulling me closer and closer to the big house. And before I knew It was standing in front of the stadium about 10 o’clock with my ticket and camera bag. Now obviously this was way before 9/11. Advertising planes were still providing the annoying hum above the rim of the stadium during the games and you could still usually take a bag into the game without raising much of an eyebrow. So that’s when the idea really first hit me. “Why not take my camera and bag in with me?” I have a long lens that can take shots from my seat in the end zone. “And if I go in this early I could go to lower rows and get really good warm up pics cause no one is in their seats this early” I thought. This is the part of my story where rational thinking takes a back seat to, the “holy shit, what am I doing” part! And off I went. I handed the usher my ticket, and as he ripped the perforation (no scanning yet) I remembered that I had my buddies ticket with me as well as my own. This was a big deal. Cause now in the back of my head I know that I could always get back into the game if I had to leave or take my bag back to the car for any reason. To my seat I went. Nice day by this point. I snap a few pics from the 23rd row. This was ok… but soon I clamored for closer pics. No one was in their seats yet for the most part. Game time was still a good hour and half away. So down I went, all the way to the wall. Not much going on down on the field, just a few TV guys setting up their cords and camera’s. But for me this was sweet! This was bar far the closest I’ve been to the field, so I’m soaking it all in! Then BAM…. That’s when it happened!! “Why not go down on the field for some quick pictures?” I thought. “I’d be quick”, I thought to myself. I had my old college photo ID I could use it as a photographers ID if anyone stopped me. And if I got into too much trouble I did have my buddies unused extra ticket to get back into the game (which at this point is still paramount)!! Ok… so I did still have some rational thinking. As I looked around the ushers were far and few in between, this early. However, they are guarding every staircase to the field like spartys guard that silly statue. I could hear the chickens baulking at me in my head as I start to think that it’s not worth getting in trouble trying to sneak down and even perhaps go to jail for “impersonating a photographer” (It sounded like it could’ve been a law to me). It’s amazing what a scared person will think of not to do it! I realized that I would never be in this position again; alone at a game and with my camera. “Do it…. don’t do it…..Do it… don’t do it”. Ahhhhhhh…… I had a very crazy, daring friend of mine that I thought of at that moment. That moment of fight or flight. “What would Darrell do?” I asked myself. But I already knew the answer!! So I grabbed my courage and walked to the nicest looking usher I could find, flashed my old college ID and walked right pass him like I owned the joint. And then silence…. nothing but silence. There was no “hey get over here” or “let me see that” or “you are not the first stupid fan to try this” or worse “security we got another”! Each step down I expected to hear something, but nothing came. I did it!! I am on the field!! The University of Michigan Football Field!!!! As freaking awesome as this very moment was for me, there still wasn’t nothing going on down on the field. No players, coaches … nothing. So I go into self-preservation mode. “Blend in, damn it!” I thought. So I found the TV crew that I noticed earlier and mingled with them. Just roadies setting up, no one famous. All the while keeping an eye out for the man (ushers, haha). My plan was simple. Take some pictures of the field and maybe hang out till some players come out to warm up and get the hell outta here. I was in full out paranoia mode by this point. Even the ushers at the ticket gate had to know that I was on the field!! My “simple plan” didn’t last long. My paranoia soon turned into a confident (delusional) sense of belonging as the once empty field floor filled up. I could blend in easily now. Surely no one realizes I don’t belong here with all these people. Players filtered onto the field. Along with the TV crews and “real photographers” the turf was a blur of activity. “I could stay here all day”, I told myself. “Just do what all the photographers do” I thought. I mimicked every move they made as game time drew close. I followed them all as they lined up along the Michigan sideline. We all watched as the BANNER was raised at mid-field. As soon as it was up I remember thinking “this is going to be an amazing shot” as we all ran to the center of the field. Now I’m a little competitive so I wanted to be first in line to get the best picture, so I ran fast. I hurried down on a knee and waited for the players to run out. Then, I realized I was alone. As I was focusing on centering myself with the BANNER for a quality picture I didn’t realize that ALL the other photographers ran to the SIDE of the BANNER for their photo opportunity, not the center where it was obvious only the stupid people that are impersonating photographers and have no regards for their safety stand!! Now this is where I kinda get lucky. Due to Walter Smiths injury that day he couldn’t run… only walk. So being it was Walters last game in the Big House, the seniors (only) decided to walk ,not run, out of the tunnel with Walter. What luck!! Great shots and I didn’t die. They all walked right passed me. No thunderous herds trampling me. What a moment! But no time to enjoy it. As the seniors were finishing their walk-by I noticed the rest of the team in the tunnel, chomping at the bit to get there piece of the Banner. I could soon tell they would not be walking. So at that moment I had a choice. Get my ass up and move to the side, where I would be safe from harm and from being noticed by an usher. You might think this was an obvious choice, being how I just was super lucky with the walk-by and got great pictures. Why press my luck right? Well I was 24… and this is where my luck ran out. So there I knelt, bracing for what I hoped was another moment of a lifetime. All by myself. Knowing full well I was gonna be ushered out (sorry for pun), just not hopping on a guerney. Then without warning every freshman, sophomore, and junior came running at me. I know it was the Banner they were longing for, but damn sure didn’t look like it! Make no mistake this wasn’t just a trot or fast paced jog, this was a full force sprint to the finish line. And the only thing in the way was me. The first wave of players could see me so they were able avoid me as they landed from there air assault on the BANNER. Unfortunately the second wave of players didn’t have the luxury of seeing me. So as soon as Jon Ritche, eventual NFL fullback landed and took two steps, I was there. But not for long. He crushed me. Ran right thru me. It was quite a blur. I just remember doing a flip and rolling to the side where I could feel the players running past and avoiding me. The only reason I knew it was Jon is because I snapped a shot off just as he hit me. “Well this is where it ends,” I remember thinking. As I picked myself up off the turf I could just think about what I could say to the police to make sure I got my camera and film back. “Damn, why did I have to press my luck??!!” “Why didn’t I got off the field after the seniors walked under the Banner??” “Is my camera ok?” “Any broken bones?” Believe me, I asked all those questions in the matter of a half a second!! As like most of the day, the Michigan Gods were smiling on me. No one came. Not police, not an usher, not even a doctor. I looked, but no one came. I stood there looking guilty… but there was no judge to convict me. So what did I do then? Kept on pressing my luck! Stayed the whole game and had the time of my life! Now looking back almost 20 years later it surprises me the range of emotions I felt that day. Anxiety, excited, paranoia, exhilaration, and regret (I could’ve seriously hurt a player being in the way). But most of all I felt appreciation. Appreciation to the usher at the top steps that let a scared kid through, so that I would have a story to tell and pictures to show.

    Sincerely Craig

  • Thinking of Bo
  • Bo Schembechler Football
    
    Just a quick note to share that my wife for Christmas one year got me into an auction where she actually
    won an autographed Bo Schembechler football. I encased it in a plastic box and never really appreciated
    this gift until after Bo passed away. It is now one of my most treasured items that I am not sure I will
    ever be able to part with. Bo was an inspiration in my life along with Bob Ufer and I still love with 
    some of the values I learned from him. I was not a Michigan Football player, just a fan. But I modeled
    my life after both Bo and Bob. I live by the credo put forth by Bob, Simplicity, Sincerity, and Enthusiasm.
    
    Steve
    
    

  • Multiple Memories
  • The 1977 game against Texas A&M holds a special place in my heart.
    It was the first of October (my favorite month of them all), and 
    Texas A&M had a running back named George Woodard who was huge 
    and regarded as impossible to stop.  On top of that, I believe 
    Texas A&M was ranked number one in the country (I may be mistaken 
    about that, but I'm pretty sure they were).
    
    Anyway, it was overcast and drizzling.  I remember walking behind 
    these guys from Texas, who were wearing ten-gallon Stetsons, as 
    they were walking toward the student end-zone entrance to the Big 
    House.  They were carrying on about how big their stadium in 
    College Station is, and how small Michigan Stadium is. When they 
    got through the gates and walked into the sunken-stadium, the 
    place was packed; the fans were rockin', and, their swagger hit 
    the floor faster than their jaws. It was beautiful. I knew then 
    that it was going to be a great day for the Maize and Blue.
    
    Just before half-time, the Michigan band was sitting behind the 
    Michigan bench.  I was over there, mugging for the ABC TV cameras 
    and got on TV.  Then the band got up, and began to take the field.  
    It was at that moment that I made a bold and life changing decision.  
    I got in the middle of the herd, and went onto the field.  I stopped 
    at the Michigan bench and picked-up a football and a towel. For the 
    entire second half, I pretended to be a ball boy.
    
    I stood next to Bo and Rick Leach on the sideline.  Rick Leach told 
    me he knew that I wasn't a ball boy, and I should stand next to him
    so no one would bother me!! UNBELIEVABLE…I stood there listening to 
    the play calling; the banter; the hits; etc…It was glorious.  A 
    twelve year-old boy's dream come true.  And of course, there was the 
    storming of the field and the taking down of the goal posts. Since 
    then, as fate would have it, every October 1st has proven to be 
    magical.
    
    Then there is the 1989 Rose Bowl.  Well, like most father-son things,
    this game meant the world to my dad and me.  My oldest brother went to 
    USC, and my second oldest brother went to Michigan. The tough and 
    tainted losses to USC in the various Rose Bowl match-ups of the 1970's 
    drove my father and me nuts.  Well, in 1989, we went to the Rose Bowl 
    game with my oldest brother - the USC grad.  It of course was an 
    amazing game.  I remember after Leroy Hoard scored and Michigan won the
    game, my sixty-five year old father (who had smoked his entire life, 
    and died a couple months later) ran out of the Rose Bowl with the 
    biggest smile I have ever seen.  It was vindication, and it was pure 
    sweetness for two long suffering Michigan fans.  With my father's 
    passing just a couple months later, I sometimes reflect on that 
    spectacular day and the incredible time we had. I was fortunate indeed…
    
    And of course, there is the 1981 Notre Dame game.  I was in eleventh 
    grade, and I played quarterback in high school. I went to the game with
    my good friends and sat in the student end-zone. I remember shouting at
    my friends and the Michigan QB that he had to call an audible…Notre Dame
    had foolishly decided to match a cornerback one-on-one with Anthony Carter,
    and they rolled the safeties up for a blitz.  I screamed for the post 
    pattern, while my friends thought I had lost my mind. At that moment, the
    QB called an audible and AC ran a post-pattern - catching a beautiful 
    touchdown right in front of us!!! I still can't believe it…
    
    Then there are the Ohio State games. I remember being a young boy, and 
    our family watching the 1973 game in Ann Arbor.  At one point, my mom 
    left the family room where we were watching the game, and went into the 
    kitchen because she thought she was bad luck. She hollered and screamed 
    for the Maize and Blue as she listened from the kitchen, doing her best 
    to bring them some extra luck.  It's crazy.  I know.  Somehow though, 
    it adds something to the history of the series for me that I don't quite
    understand but I value.  I guess it underscores how important, emotional,
    and at times, irrational The Ohio State Game is.
    
    I could never sleep the night before the game. It was worse than waiting 
    for Santa on Christmas morning.
    
    At half-time, my friends and I would play a football game or two outside.
    It was all or nothing for an entire year…
    
    Well, this year, I plan on going - come hell or high water. And, if I have
    to bark out an audible or two for Navarre, well then, damn-it, I'm going 
    to do it.
    
    Those are some of my valued memories of Michigan games gone by. I will let
    you go now.
    
    Regards, Glenn 
    
    Glenn, fantastic information. I have many of the same nuances as your
    mother. I never thought to act as a ball boy! What an idea! I can't sleep
    now. I am just waiting for summer to end! Go Blue! - Steve
    


  • MEMORIES OF GOING TO GAMES
  • I have gone to the last 4 Mich-Northwestern games.  When my daughter
    was a freshmen we went to the game in Evanston an Michigan LOST by a
    late fieldgoal.  The next year we went to Ann Arbor and watched
    Michigan kick ass.  The next two games were the same....a butt
    whipping.  My daughter is in law school now in Chicago but we still
    go see the Wolverines play.  I live 45 minutes south of
    Champaign-Urbana and regularly go to see Michigan beat Illinois.
    Yeah...I was sickened to watch UCLA beat Michigan.  Were you the only
    Michigan fan at the UCLA game?
     
    
    I spent half of my life in Michigan.  My medical residency done was
    under the University of Michigan program.  I love the BIG HOUSE.
    People here just don't realize how fantastic a place it is.
    
    Bill Houseworth
    NOTE: Bill, there was thousands of Michigan fans at the UCLA game.
    Unfortunately we all went home tired and exhausted from the heat. It
    didn't help that Michigan lost. So let's remember Michigan stadium
    memories instead.
    (Steve)
    
    



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    This page last updated on June 4th, 2004

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