THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Sr'1rTURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3.1966
PAGE SIX THE MICHIGAN DAILY SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3. 1966
Margi for Error
What Might Have Been
I agree. It's a little early in the year for eulogies or lamentations.
But what has probably been lost is not a game or a title. It's
the kind of thing that we'll never really be certain about.S
Jim Detwiler is hobbled now, almost a full year after the
initial damage was done, by the athlete's well known and dreadedt
At this point I believe that it is unlikely that Detwiler,
Michigan's Al-American calibre halfback, will make it back toe
the line-up by opening day, Sept. 17, 1966. Further, it seemst
doubtful that he will play at all in 1966.
And even if he could make it back this season, it is almost certain
that he would not be able to play the brand of ball that we came to
expect in his sophomore year, and it is certain that the great poten-1
tial which he showed in pre-season play last fall would not be
The knee is perhaps the weakest area of the body, and the1
, most vulnerable. What little can be done to strengthen it through
the use of weights, etc., has little meaning when you considerr
this joint's lack of physical insulation, the tremendous pressures
put on it, and the peculiar uni-directional leverage that it has.
In other words, the back who is gunning down the sidelines
fis, consciously or not, asking for trouble. Unfortunately, a blind-
side crusher-or, for that matter, any solid block or tackle made
low from the side-is a normal part of the game of football.
How do you train for it? How do you prevent it?
Well, that's one the philosopher-coaches of all contact sports
have been pondering since Sparta.
Right now Jim Detwiler, formerly nicknamed "The Diesel," is
number one on the list of famous knees at Michigan.
For the Wolverines, what's past has.been forgotten.
Detwiler suits up for all the practices. He does the calisthentics.
He runs a little. He hobbles a little. He goes through the motions of
the non-contact drills .. . for a little. Then he tries to trot away on
the legs-one a strong, hard, piston. The other almost imperceptively
smaller from lack of exercise over a period, draped and pasted in
white at the knee, testy.
It is more than just too bad. The knee-even if improve-
ment is rapid from this point forward-seems through for the
season. The speed just isn't there. The cuts aren't there. The
power isn't there. And, most obvious of all, when Jim finally
stops favoring the leg, it sure doesn't appear to be worth risking
Sure, Mickey Mantle plays a game which is demanding on the
legs with the only thing between his knee bones and the outside world
being a few yards of plastic bandage. That's heart. That's also base-
You just cant play the violent game of the '60s in any way,
shape, or form when you depend on being held upright by cardio-
With Detwiler out, of course, something else crumbles too. It
would've been a dream backfield.
After that great Rose Bowl year of 1964-65, I for one couldn't
wait to see it. Fisher, Ward, Detwiler, and Vidmer.
Last fall it looked like gangbusters, with Vidmer's leg appar-
ently sound, Ward and Fisher more experienced and sharp, and
the Diesel even bigger, shiftier, and, incredibly, faster than the
As the weeks passed it crumbled before my eyes. Detwiler was ac-
tually injured before the opening game at Chapel Hill, and then
Vidmer, for all his talents, became a scared runner-probably shy
because of his own leg injury-and couldn't get the Blue jugger-
naut to jug.
And this year?
With Dick Vidmer more confident it might have been the
best backfield in the Big Ten. Perhaps more.
It had balance. It had a smart passing quarterback. It had a
tough, rugged little breakaway halfback. It had a low-geared,
low-slung power fullback who could churn out the yards up the
middle with regularity and turn the corner strong on occasion.
And it had the guy who could do some of everything.
Big and strong, he could go inside or outside. He was fast enough
to run back kick-offs. And as one of the team's best receivers, he
could've been the extra pair of hands in the backfield that was so
conspicuously and cripplingly absent in 1965. In addition he had been
slated to do the team's place-kicking with a left toe which had plenty
It might have been. It might have . . . but Detwiler has his
troubles just walking around campus. What sort of effort would it
take to play Big Ten football on one leg. In fear.
And so that balance, the wonderful balance that makes for
the kind of flexibility that throws opposing defenses into fits of
frustration, is shattered. The range of effective alternatives is
limited. The defense can concentrate. And that's the name of the
Sure, for all we know there's a junior named Ernie Sharpe who
can put Michigan's Humpty Dumpty together again. Maybe he will.
But, what might have been.
I can't see Jim Detwiler making it back into the starting
alignment this year, especially behind a less than experienced
line. But if he just gets up and does it, I'd appreciate the chance
to be first in line to shake his hand. And walk away amazed.
Light Practice Enlivened by Yearby
By RICK STERN
"Go and get a uniform," yelled
BumpElliott, half in jest and
probably half wishing to Jae
Bill Yearby ambled gamely on-
to the Wolverine practice field
yesterday, but he wore gray plaid
slacks and a sport shirt rather
than a football suit.
A group of blue and red jer-
seyed Wolverines made a mock
charge on Yearby as he was greet-
ed warmly by the coaches and
The New York Jets broke their
training camp Thursday so Year-
by has a few days off. The Jets
paid him $230,000, a thousand dol-
lars a pound, to sign a contract
Yearby was unusually talkative
yesterday. Usually he is reticent
with reporters. "The practices are
really much easier in the pros
than in college. There's not as
much contact work and we don't
Yearby did acknowledge that he'
was glad to have signed his con-
tract before the NFL-AFL merger
which will protect teams from
paying out large sums to green
rookies. Now each player can be
drafted by only one team.
The Wolverine workout yester-
day was light, emphasizing block-
ing and defense in preparation for
this afternoon's full-scale scrim-
mage in Michigan Stadium,
The scrimmage begins at 1:30
p.m., but is closed to the general
Elliott said he plans to go with
a starting backfield of quarter-
back Dick Vidmer, halfbacks Carl
Ward and Jim Detwiler, and full-
back Dave Fisher. He indicated,
however, that junior halfback
Ernie Sharp will be a frequent
stand-in for Detwiler who under-
went knee surgery last winter.
Missing from practice yesterday
were Dave Porter, who remains
out of action after losing several
teeth, and Ken Wright, who has
undertermined knee injury the
team physicians said it wasn't
Week of Conditioning
Elliott summed up the past week
of practice. "Mainly it's been a
week of conditioning. Most of the
players have made good progress,
though a few have missed practice
due to injuries. The heat makes
things a little tougher-the boys
are tired-but it's better than the
rain we've had in previous years."
Observers have felt that the
'team has been worked harder
than last year for a corresponding
period. Elliott disagreed with this.
"It's really no different from last
year. We're priming for an alert,
sharp squad as we always do."
IElliott said he hoped that to-
day's scrimmage "will give us an
overall feel of what we are cap-
able of doing. We will make some
judgments on the basis of what we
see in the scrimmage."-
Back to class?
Go with class!
Just the ticket for campus traffic, crowded
parking lots or just plain fun. And, instead of
walking her to class, you can ride her to class!
Hondas are more fun than a barrel of coeds.
See all the Honda models (there's one just
right for you) at
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Returning Students Note
WE MOVED IN ,MAY
Wv L Pet.
Baltimore 83 51 .619
Detroit 74 61 .548
Minnesota 73 63 .537
Chicago 72 66 .522
Cleveland 70 67 .511
California 68 67 .54
New York 61 75 .449
washington 62 77 .446
Kansas City 60 77 .438
scrimmage. But the games are
rougher, much rougher.
"There isn't much spirit by
comparison in the pros either.'
Most of the guys play for the'
money and treat it as a job."
Concerning his weight, Yearby
said, "I have to get it up to about
2-35. Right now, I'm at 226. In
Chicago for the All Star game, I
was at 218."
Yearby lamented the All Star
experience. "I learned a lot but I
ended up three weeks behind when
I got to training camp. On the
whole, playing in the All Star
game hurt me."
Questioned about the 38-0 shel-
lacking which the Packers handed
the All Stars, he said "we 'scrim-
maged the Bears a week or so be-
fore the game and did well. After
that, we might have been abit
ed of a
Oakland 23, Miami 14
Chicago 22, St. Louis 20
Dallas 28, Minnesota 24
Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh (i
of which has not been dis-
Fullback Fisher complain-
knot in his right knee, but
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SERVING U OF M STUDENTS SINCE 1883
Detroit 4-7, Cleveland 2-5 (2nd game
Chicago 9, Baltimore 8 (11 inn)
Kansas City 5, Boston 1
Minnesota 8, New York 5
Washington 6, California 5
Washington at California
Boston at Kansas City (2)
New York at Minnesota
Baltimore at Chicago
Detroit at Cleveland
W L Pct. GB
Pittsburgh 79 56 .587 -
San Francisco 78 57 .578 1
Los Angeles 76 57 .573 2
Philadelphia 73 64 .534 7
St. Louis 69 66 .512 10
Cincinnati 68 67 .502 11
Atlanta 65 69 .485 13!/2
Houston 61 75 .450 18 f
New York 59 77 .432 201f
Chicago 47 87 .448 31,
Philadiphia 6, New York 0
Atlanta 6-2, Houston 5-1
Pittsburgh 7, Chicago 3
Los Angeles 6, Cincinnati 1
St. Louis 6, San Francisco 5 (12 inn)
Philadelphia at New York (n)
Houston at Atlanta 2 (t-n)
Chicago at Pittsburgh
Los Angeles at Cincinnati (n)
San Francisco at St. Louis
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