Vol. LXXX, No. I Ann Arbor, Michigan--Wednesday, August 27, 1969
By JIM FORRESTER
Associate Sports Editor
EVERY YEAR, like mythology's Phoenix,
football teams die of old age or go down
Every spring they rise again and in the
fall they wing forth to fulfill the purpose
in their lives.
Last season's Michigan grid corps start-
ed as if the entire season would be an in-
ferno, a ten week death with no respite.
California's Golden Bears growled ,into
town and clawed what looked to be an at
least mediocre team to pieces by a 21-7
count. The offensive and defensive lines
crumbled allowing the Bears to push the
Wolverines into the paths of least resist-
ance like so much rain water.
The great Ron Johnson was able to
stagger for only 48 yards and Denny Brown,
completed but nine of 31 passes, many of
which were' dropped. The entire perform-
ance sickened the crowd and prompted a
Daily reporter to write, "Maybe the team
should go down to play Duke Saturday and
MANY WHO saw the clash that day felt
California would be the team to sneak
into the nation's top ten, but as the weeks
passed their power began to wane and the
Blue began to go.
In swelering Durham, the Wolverines
wolloped the Blue Devils, 31-10 and set the
pattern for their play for the rest of the
First, Ron Johnson ran. He didn't stop
that day until he had collected 205 yards
and two touchdowns. Then Denny Brown
passed and he didn't stop until he had
completed 13 of 24 tosses, one for a six-
pointer. This was the offense for the sea-
son - Johnson runs punctuated by Brown
The Wolverine style of defense was set
in this game, also. It consisted of letting
the other team get close to scoring about
every other time they got the ball and then
stopping them inside the twenty. The first
time Duke handled the pigskin they drove
to the Blue 19 before being stopped.
THE OFFENSE and defense Michigan
displayed against Duke. with all their
potential for self-destruction, carried the
Wolverines to an enight game w i n n i n g
streak in which they scored 256 points to
their opponents 84.
The next week they handled Navy with
the same power that crumpled Duke, put-
ting 31 markers on the board to but nine
for the Midshipmen.
Johnson again keyed the Michigan of-
fense as he rumbled for 121 yards and two
more tallies, one from in close and the
other on a 39 yard jaunt. The rushing of-
fense received 50 yards of beefing up as
fullback Garvie Craw had a fine day.
Denny Brown added most of the remaining
punch with 128 yards of completed aerials.
But the star of the afternoon was de-
fensive back George Hoey. The little
speedster scorched the Middies with three
long returns two punts and one inter-
THE WOLVERINES were down 3-0 at the
beginning of the second quarter when
Hoey took off with a punt he most likely
should have made a fair catch.
"A more experienced play would never
have run it back," moaned Navy Coach Bill
Elias after the game. Hoey's "inexperience"
carried him 63 yards to the Middie six.
The run was what the Wolverines needed
to get them going. As then Sports Editor
Dave Weir put it, "Navy never quite re-
Football swamis made predictions foT a
Michigan loss to Navy on the basis that
they would be looking to the next Satur-
day's clash with the almost ultimate evil
- Michigan State.
But for the first time in many a year
the men in blue took the challenge from
East Lansing as "just another game." This
was the attitude of Captain Johnson (first
black captain of a Michigan grid crew)
worked to instill in his teammates.
There were no posters in the locker-
room crying, "Hate State" 'or "Grind the
Green and White." The practice of having
the second team wear green jersies in
scrimmage was dropped.
AS A RESULT the Wolverines dropped
State for the first tmie in four long
years, 28-14. Again the keys to- the scoring
were the legs of Ron Johnson and the arm
:f Denny Brown. Johnson trampled the
Spartans for 152 yards in only 19 carries
-one for a 38 yard touchdown.
Brown's arm and tight end Jim Man-
dich's hands. though. were the margin of
victory. State opened the fourth quarter ;
with a score and a two point conversion
to take a 14-13 lead. The MSU jinx looked
as if it would still hold fast.
But about five minutes later Brown
launched a 53 yard scoring bomb to Man-
dich that put the Blue ahead to stay.
Garvie Craw added an insurance score on
a 25 yard draw play, one of the few draws
Michigan was to run all year.
And hopeful fans began muttering
about the Rose Bowl.
See VETERAN, page two
w -D- .ay -Andy S:k
Rudy Tomjanovich: Michigan's cage hope
Th e a thle tic
By JOEL BLOCK
SOMETHING VERY WRONG has happened to college
I know this when tw million dollars is spent on less
than a thousand participnt. ininteollegiate sports
and only $200,000 budgeted for the athletic activities of
the rest of the 30,000 on mpus.l
I know this w\'ln a fct bl ('o'ch can tell a player
how to cut hs hair' aAd >ha'e Is fce, or even where to
live, what time to go to bed a d what political rallies to
stay awvaWy from.
I know this when high school athletic stars are ca-
joled, coerced, and bribed by coaches and professional
recruiters to sign their names to a "letter of intent ," the
colleaiate equivalent of the professional contract.
'"'HAT HAS HAPPENED is that college athletics has be-
come part of the great capitalist mainstream and
consequently has been forced to follow many of the prac-
tices and techniques of capitalism.
For example, decisions must be made at the top by a
select professional few, instead of by t h e participants
themselves. This is necessary for efficiency and economy.
Image projection is important, thus entailing the
deployment of sophisticated public relations depart-
ments. Because of the importance of the athletic "coin-
pany's' image, tight reigns must be placed on the per-
formers so they don't get out of line.
jiF THE SPECTATORS want to see hard-hitting bone-
crushing football, then it will be played that way and
bones indeed will be crushed. Spectators also pay to see
winning teams, not losing ones, so huge sums of money
are invested in procuring the best high school talent and
giving them the best possible equipment and coaching.
In short, you might say the only difference between
the operation of a collegiate football team and a profes-
sional one is that the pros admit they're in it for the
money while collegians don't.
College football doesn't have to be the money-dom-
inated enterprise it is today. About 85 years ago a group
of men represented Michigan in the football wars.
j'HE GRIDIRON HEROES of the 1880's weren't lured to
Michigan with full scholarships and living expenses:
they cane to Michigan not to learn how to play football
but rather for more academic reasons.
Now I don't want to sound like a senile alumnus
calling for a return to the "Good Old Days." The 1880's
Dally- Jiy cwa.idv
Ron Johpson: Does Michigan have an offense left?
. :: . w. -;r3:;.