FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1966
TIDE MICHIGAN DAILY
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FRIDY, OVEMER 1, 966 UE ICHGAN AIL PA'1~'~TrTU-
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Thrower Off the
By RICK STERN
"Four years ago there was in
South Quad, a series of wars
carried on with explosive de-
vices, during which was blown
up a room betonging to one
Richard E. Vidmer, otherwise.
known throughout the quad-
rangle as 'Detonator Dick.'
"Further, this Richard E. Vid-
mer had, a short time before
the destruction of his own room,
willfully demolished a huge hunk
of the quad using a large car-
bon-dioxide bomb which he had
"Vidmer is possessed of a
quick and articulate wit, yet
at the same time rather strange
in terms of. social adjustment.
Mentally he is a wreck, a con-
firmed hypochondriac with a
disposed tendency toward ultra-
conservative politics, as well as
a firm belief in the ultimate
necessity of nuclear (sic) wea-
pons for the destruction of ene-
mies of the American people.
"Physically, he is the funniest
looking thing which God has
ever permitted to walk the face
of the earth, with a twisted head
and one eye closer to his football
helmet than the other, and with
the strength of a 6,000,000 year
old Czenozoic shrew.
"Vidmer's only real purpose in
life is the achievement and fur-
to praise him too-from football
coach Bump Elliott ("He's been a
fine passer for us, and he's worked
hard to improve himself") to Vid-
mer's own father ("he was a very
persistent little fellow.")
Yet, as is not surprising, to real-
ly get to know Vidmer, you have
to listen to him yourself. And even
then you sort of get the feeling
that underneath, there is some-
thing, indescribeably personal,
that nobody knows or ever will
know about Vidmer. It's probably
this something that turned a
scrawny, nervous country boy into
one of college football's most suc-
"A Peculiar Place"
The western Pennsylvania re-
gion where Vidmer grew up is in
his own words "a peculiar place,
where you have a lot of small
towns within 10-15 miles of each
other, and football is simply the
sport throughout the area."
Vidmer's Dad was a guard at
Villanova 30 years ago, and Dick
began throwing the ball around
at age nine. "We always had balls
around, baseball, footballs, you
name it," he noted.
At age 13, he was a freshman at
Hemphfield area high school,
which is better known for its foot-
ball teams than anything else. "I
was lucky to play at Hempfield be-
cause there were a lot of good foot-
Law school was originally Vid-
mer's goal, but that's changed
"There's a lot of guys on the
team-Clayt Willhite, Bailey, my-
self, who originally were interested
in law school, but are taking an-
other look now. It just doesn't ex-
cite me anymore. Mostly I'm in-
terested in foreign policy and in-
"I really enjoyed Poll. Sci. 160
with Prof. Organski. At first I
wanted to beat on the guy because
he oversimplified things so much.
But after a while I got so excited
that I ran to lectures every time
he had 'em. He's the most dynamic
person that I've met up here."
Vidmer concedes that his grades
improve during the winter semes-
ter when football his over, but says
that "the coaches realize that
we're up here as students and not
just football players.
"When you think about it foot-
ball and school are mutually in-
compatible. That demands that
football could put on a person are
such that you wouldn't have any
time to study at all and vice versa.
In the south, at Alabama and
places like that, you can really
concentrate on football, and be
better prepared because of it.
Nothing but Work
"Its a' hideous thing to have a
game plan to work over, and plays
to memorize and then have all
those doggone mid-terms that hit
you right in the middle of the
What about the general overall
emphasis placed on football at
Michigan? Vidmer thinks, if any-
thing, there's not enough, but he's
"Playing ball at Michigan is a
lot different than playing ball at
another school like, say Arkansas.
People don't live and die with
football up there-its more of a
Saturday excursion. Guys come up
and ask me things 'Do you prac-
tice on Thursday?' or 'Are you
coming to the TG Friday night?'
It's as if they think we just put on
a jock and socks Saturday and go
out an play. But it's a job and the
fact that most people don't ap-
preciate it bothers me a little bit.
"Down in the south, they just
go out of their minds about foot-
ball-they wear cowboy hats and
make up songs about the players.
It may seem anti-intellectual or
asinine but I would like to try
playing ball for people who are
that interested. It would really be
a pleasure. But I guess it's really
better if football is just looked up-
on as part of the general program
of the University."
Vidmer's overall view of the
game itself is also perhaps a bit
reactionary when weighed against
"The Rose Bowl doesn't mean
a damn thing to me. What's im-
portant in determining whether
you win the games or not is not
dangling some big plum, like the
Rose Bowl, in front of a group of
guys. Rather it's the group pride
and the individual pride that you
Desire To Win
"It's just the desire to win the
game, for its own sake, not be-
cause it's Michigan State or Ohio
State. That stuff's myth. When
I'm out in the ball game and it's
down to the nitty gritty, the Rose
Bowl, or Michigan tradition or
anything like that, is 50,000 light
"That's why I just laugh when
people say that they'll probably
be ? down for Northwestern be-
cause of one thing or another. For
me, at least, I want to do well
myself and I want the team to
win, and it doesn't matter who
Vidmer, as quarterback, is in
charge of Michigan's offense
when the Wolverines are driving
down the field. What everyone
wonders, however, is how much of down on the five yard line and such an awesome burden on his course readily and perceptively on
the leadership is actually his and say, Well I'll call F-96 reverse meek, meatless shoulders, feel, the philosophy of Michigan or
how much comes from the coach- buck pass fumble,' yet on the knowing that he will shortly be collegiate football. He is far more
ing staff, other hand, everyone's yelling out there in front of 80,000 reticent and unwilling when the
"Vid calls most of the plays something at you, and you can't people? subject is himself. You ask him,
himself,' says Elliott, "and he hear the coaches, and you won't Misery Is... "What has made you into a great
does a good job." always call exactly the right play. "It's the most miserable time of football player where most kids
Calls Alike Against Illinois, for Example your life. Sometimes I get real your size, no matter how coordi-
Vidmer himself answers this "Like against Illinois last week sleepy. Sometimes I want to nated, just don't make college
question a little differently. "It in the fourth quarter. You could crawl into a hole and hide. You football?" And he just shrugs his
doesn't really matter who is ac- say that the interception was my pretend to be relaxed but you're shoulders and says "I don't know.
tually calling the plays, because fault because I threw a bad ball, not. It's hard to say."
by the time you get into the yet those things are reactions and "And it's bad to be too relaxed. Just Shrugs
game, the coaches and the quar- there's just nothing you can do A sick athlete is always better You ask him if it's true that he's
terback are thinking pretty much about it. than a happy one. Sick athletes a hypochondriac and he shrugs his
alike, anyway. "You have to envy a team like set records. They get so much shoulders again and says, "I don't
"We get a rough idea on Mon- Alabama though, that simply adrenalin built up inside them- really care what they call me. I
day of what we're gonna do, and never loses a close game because selves that they really get lost in have asthma and you get a few
then during the week, things get they'll never make a mistake. Mis- the game, totally." pills for that . . . plus I was on
more and more specific. By Thurs- takes are a function of discipline, Plainly, Dick Vidmer will dis- a little kick about health food for
day, we've narrowed the number and we've lost three or four games
of plays that we'll run from each because of mistakes this year. We
formation and the game plan is haven't eliminated these errors
pretty well settled. but we haven't spent the time that .
"It's fairly complex though and ,Alabama has either."
you get confused sometimes. On What about before the game?
the one hand you don't just get How does the quarterback, with
a while and I think that tainted
my reputation permanently with
Chuck Vetzner. But if somebody
says I eat a lot of pills, It doesn't
really upset me."
Tony Mason will tell you that
Vidmer is a fabulously interesting
persons with "a hundred differ-
ent little quirks and traits that
would make great sports copy."
And Bailey will tell you how deep
he is and about all the cool things
he has done. But if you ask Vid-
mer about it, he just gives a little
laugh and says, "Yea, I guess
that's what they say."
SPORTS NIGHT EDITOR:
MICHIGAN QUARTERBACK DICK VIDMER eyes a receiver
downfield as Michigan State's George Webster bears down on
him. Vidmer currently leads the Big Ten in passing and has as
much to be proud of off the field where he carries a 3.1 overall
average in economics.
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therance of his own popularity,
illustrated by the fact that when
in high school, with miles of
open fields on which to practice,
he happened to choose the
Greensburg high school field,
where he was conveniently visi-
ble to the entire town.
"His tremendous football abil-
ity is best illus'trated by his
blocking prowess, in which he
lays himself flat on the field
and allows the other players to
walk all over him."
-Donald Bailey, Guard-Bard
If Don Bailey were Homer, Dick
Vidmer would be better known
than Odysseus and Achilles com-
The above is Just a sample of
what Bailey has to say about Vid-
mer, and some of the other stuff
is more colorful (but less print-
able) than this.
If you haven't guessed, Bailey
and Vidmer, who attended rival
high schools back in Pennsylvania,
have been best friends and friend-
ly rivals for four years at Mich-
igan. Understandably then, though
Vidmer seems to inspire Bailey to
perpetrate (probably) fallacious
legends, he also inspires the 225
pound guard to praise him gen-
uinely at times.
W "Vid is a tremendously impres-
sive individual, who has excercised
an extreme effect on all members
of the team. He combines, char-
acter, intelligence and athletic
ability to handle himself with
smoothness and confidence on and
off the football field."
Vidmer inspires a lot of people
ball pleayers there when I was.
thtre ... and everybody played all
the time--all winter, all summer."
But Vidmer did other things in
high school besides setting passing;
records. He was president of the
Student Council his senior year
and his grades were good enough
to get him into Harvard.
"Yea, I was accepted at Harvard.
My Dad was real fired up for
Ivy League-you know prestige
and Ivy covered walls ... I visited
Harvard and Princeton and got,
an idea about that, and then I;
visited Purdue and MSU too and I
kinda got the idea that I wanted
a school that played good foot-
ball, but also offered a good aca-
Ivy League football leaves a lot
to be desired-you know Bear
Bryant calls it the 'tennis shoe'
league-and MSU is a little short
on academics. So I came here and
haven't been sorry a minute."
Even With an E
Vidmer is an economics major
with a 3.1 average, which includes
an E in a Chemistry course. In
terms of hours he is a Senior, but
he has another year of football
eligibility so he does not plan to
graduate until next December.
"I could graduate in April, but
by juggling things and keeping my
econ courses down I can still put
in an extra one or two semesters
and mabye get 138 hours or so too.
There's so many things I want to
pick up-especially in political sci-
ence that I might hang around for
another whole year."
I I I I I I
Tuesday, November 22nd-MICHIGAN FROSH Home 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 1st-Tennessee Away 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 3rd-Duty Away 8:00 p.m.
Monday, December 5th-HOUSTON Home 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 7th-Bowling Green Away 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 10th-DAVIDSON Home 1:30 p.m.
Monday, December 12th-BUTLER Home 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 22nd-OHIO UNIVERSITY Home 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 27th-Friday, December 30th-Los Angeles Basketball
Classic at Los Angeles, Calif. (Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Southern
Californna, UCLA, Arizona, Georgia Tech and Arkansas)
Saturd&y, January 7th-NORTHWESTERN Home 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 10th-Wisconsin Away 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 14th-Illinois Away 1:30 p.m.
Saturday. January 21st-MICHIGAN STATE Home 1:30 p.m.
TO GIVE SENIORS ANDt
WITH THE PIONEER
SENTATIVES WILL BE ON CAMPUS
GRADUATES COMPLETE DETAILS ON
AND LEADING MANUFACTURER