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November 18, 1966 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-11-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.






Gridde Ps

Computers for football?
"Augh, it would take all the
fun out of it," decided Michigan
quarterback Dick Vidmer when as-
sistant frosh coach (and former
player) Jerry Mader approached
him on the Diag one day.
Michigan football coaches didn't
share Vidmer's first reaction and
1. started exploiting IBM anyway.
Through data processing, the Wol-
verines get the play-by-play de-
fense of their next week's oppon-
ent which makes scouting im-
measurably easier.
For example, Michigan has
taken all of Ohio State's defen-
sive plays in their last few games
and arranged them in various
ways to give them a clear picture
of OSU defense patterns and ten-
For backfield coach Hank Fon-
de, who is responsible for scout-
ing, the time saved by data proc-
essing amounts to hours.
Nothing Different
Grinned Fonde, "We're not do-
ing anything different, were just
condensing into a few hours what
used to take days. Now we have
more time to practice more ef-r



This is the IBM print out from an actual game played this season, sorted by formation. The IBM cards can also be sorted by down and
distance; down and vertical field position; down and defense; and hash and defense. The columns signify (left to right) sequence of
plays as run in the game, down, yards to go for a first down, hash mark, vertical field position, offensive formation, offensive play, de-
fensive formation, yards lost or gained, and game code reference. Good luck!

-Daily-Thomas R. Copi
fectively because we have a bet- "smash 3" and a "bendback," but compiles the data from every play.
ter idea of what needs empha- who could feed a computer. He relays it to a very devoted
sis." Industrial Engineering student keypunch girl, Denine Tarras,
The idea for using data proc- Jim Bilbie first started workingw.a
essing was incepted last spring on the project but the compli- who spends her Sundays in the
by Fonde and Prof. Y. F. Al- cated football jargon flummox- University's Computer Center mu-
len, chairman emeritus of the In- ed him. Enter duex ex machina tilating IBM cards. And on Mon-
dustrial Engineering Department, Prof. Clyde Johnson, who propos- day, Mader or Bilbie rummage
but almost stagnated because a ed to Mader (an industrial en- through math students' drab pen-
certain type of person was need- gineering grad student) that he tilled labels to find a blue box
ed-someone who not only could work with Bilbie just as Mader magic-markered "football."
tell the difference between a was suggesting the idea to Bilbie IBM cardsare extracted and
himself. placed in a metallic mud-colored
hts and insults From there the project ran card sorter, devoid of "M Go
smoothly and paid dividends for
the participants. Mader is writ-
ing his masters thesis on comput-
ers and football mand using the re-
sults as experimental proof. Bil-r
bie is using the program as forU
credit for his industrial engineer-,

Blue" stickers or anything except time. It's frustrating enough
fingerprints. From there they are now."
printed and handed over to the By frustrating he means that
coaches. the technical process has its
Not Computerized quirks. There's a good possibility

The football side has no prob- l "I'd like to get it down so that
lems at all. Fonde, with a de- the coaches would only look at
gree in aeronautical engineering, game films to see what the play-
deciphered the "print out" infor- ers looked like. Everything else


It's not exactly "computer"
football. But "data processing" as
Prof. Johnson accurately calls it,
is, in a sense more practical. Says
Mader, "In a computer, the whole,
operation is done in one step.
You couldn't find a mistake till
the end, and if the thing were
wrong, you'd have wasted a lot of

of a keypunching error or two,
or the machine might decide to
be finicky. Once someone jammed
a card without telling anyone and
when Mader went to sort his plays,
the mechanical monster chopped
them all in half. Frustrating.
Frightening better expresses the
coaches' view. They've become
pretty dependent on the hulky
machines and a minor problem
could induce paroxysms of fear.
Last Monday night a coach called
me at 11, worried about why he
couldn't find the information,",
chuckled Mader. "I just told him
whose desk it was on."
Translation Problem
The biggest problem all through
the project has been reconciling
football language to IBM lan-
guage. Mason went a long way
towards minimizinghthe communi-
cations problem with a blackboard
lecture for all industrial engineer-
ing people involved. But even with
fairly well-defined terms there are,
still problems.
"For example," interjected Bil-
bie, "they'll give us a three wordj

mation immediately.
Expanded Use
So far only the offense is us-
ing data processing, but the In-
dustrial Engineering Department
sees no reason why the use of
machines couldn't be expanded.-

The Industrial Engineering De-
Fonde cites one reason, that "the rm u' i1nd e ronle-
opponents' offensive set-ups would partment's small and controlled
be harder to plot because there research approach, and the un-
are 32 formations and quite a derstandable cautiousness of the
few more complicated plays." football staff make automation
But Mader says that ys mevolutionary instead of radical.
ButMadr sys hatprogram-
ming the offense "could easily But who knows how soon Bump
be done," and also sees the fa- Elliott may be replaced by a jolly
cility of using computers to stand-, pink "brain" with maize and blue
ardize scouting and football terms. eyes.

could be done by machine. But
right now, I'd like to figure out
a way to get rid of the keypunch-
ing process."
Computerization isn't really in
demand for Michigan football.


WithCoach Cutler
Recently there has been a lot of student unrest about Vice-
president Cutler's supposedly unwarranted display of authoritarian
leadership. Many malcontents sneer that Dr. Cutler is power-hungry
and wants to be president of the University. I'm not close to such
happenings, but if he really is trying to extend his control, I don't
think it's the presidency he's after.
Most likely, Cutler really wants to be athletic director. If he
got the job, naturally his first step would be to assume the duties
of head football coach rather than let someone -else run this
important post.
This could lead to some problems. Like what happens during
halftime of a big game .. .
Dismally Coach Cutl.er leads the team into the locker room and
addresses the players. "We're behind 7-0, children. We've got to be
better the second half. What's wrong with all of you anyway?"
One player stands up and shouts, "First of all we don't like
being called children. Can't you remember you're not talking to the
student body any more. And besides, no wonder we're losing. Who
ever heard of a one man coaching staff?"
"I'm sorry about that," the coach replies. "But this job is too
important to share with anyone. That's not the issue anyway.
Why aren't the plays working?"
At this point the quarterback complains, "I'll tell you why. All
we ever use is a power sweep. And why do you have to call all the
plays. After all, I'm the quarterback. You don't even let me hold
a huddle."
Of course not," Cutler answers. "If you had a huddle, people
might not realize I'm in charge. Besides, I don't support any of those
radical meetings. Sure, you call it a huddle. Who knows what you do,
Besides, I thing the problem is a poor attitude."
""No wonder," groans a big lineman. "Here we are playing a
home game, and there's not one person watching us. That's your
fault, coach."
"I must agree with you," Cutler sighs. "I guess it was a mis-
take to ban sit-ins in Michigan Stadium. But you're wrong about
nobody being here. There are thousands of photographers along
the sidelines."
"Yeah and I can bet where they came from," bellowed a voice
from the back row.
At this point a messenger runs into the room and yells, "Coach
Cutler, Coach Cutler, the Wolverine Spirit Club is in a rage! They
claim you never mentioned anything about changing team strategy
at the last pep rally. They are threatening to burn all their season
tickets. What should I tellthem?"
"Don't worry about it Bumpy. We don't have to report to
Cutler now turns his attention back to the team, and says,
"Well, half time is almost over. Do you have any real complaints?"
Shouts one "You didn't give the pros our statistics. Now none
of us can get drafted."
"There, there, I know what's in your interest better than you
do," Coach Cutler replies. "Anything else?"
"You always make us eat spinach at training table just because
you like it," cries a hefty fullback.
"It's good for you," the coach roars. "Well, this it. Time for
the second half. Look, forget' about tradition the. Rose Bowl,
winning for the Gipper and that stuff. I want you to go out there
and win for me. And remember one more thing., . we can't do
anything without teamwork."
* .

ing project.
Standard Schedule
The weekly job starts when of- MILT BRUHN, who twice led
fensive end coach George Mans Wisconsin to. the Rose Bowl, re-


signed as the Badgers' head coach
yesterday after three straight los-
ing seasons. He will stay on for
tomorrow's season finale against
Minnesota. No successor has been
A west coast fixture could be
taking in some new scenery too.
The AssociatedePress reports that
the Los Angeles Dodgers' base-
stealing shortstop and captain
MAURY WILLS is going to be
traded. The wire service says team
owner Walter O'Malley is quite
irked because Wills left the team's
Japan tour in the face of O'Mal-
ley's denial of permission and, sec-
ond, because Wills relaxed and
appeared in nightclubs in Hono-
lulu instead of returning directly
to Los Angeles to have his ailing
knee treated.
NEILL DUGGAN is another
Californian in the dog house. The
Hancock College cross - country
champ was ticketed for running a
red light while jogging across the
street in sweat clothes. He will
appear in Santa Maria city court
next week.
Today's Ralph Nader award goes
to land speed king ART ARFONS.
His car flipped over while whip-

ping through the Bonneville Salt
Flats at 580 mph. His doctor said
he wasn't as bad off as an average
driver in a rear ender, When Ar-
fons was asked about trying again,
he replied, "Well, I've got a new
engine at home."
The post season Bowls game sit-
uation is beginning to take shape.
The Dallas News said yesterday
that GEORGIA will oppose' the
Southwest Conference representa-
tive in the Dec. 31 Cotton Bowl
game. So what happens to un-
defeated Georgia Tech which
plays the Bulldogs next week?
And a Los Angeles Times report
claims that the professional chain-






term like 'I pro right' and then
say something like 'right I pro.'
An IBM machine can't interpret FROW
it and neither can I."
Detroit 123, New York 108
Baltimore 120, Chicago 102


pions11ip matening the. National
and American football leagues-
modestely called the Super Bowl
-will be played in LA's Memorial
Coliseum on Jan. 15.


* L


Alice Lloyd
Friday, November 18th


the slacks
you KNOW
YJ never need
f. iron ing,
f Todd's has just
f taken inventory and
f o u n d that they
have over 4000 pair
of these Ivy Trim-
CutNs available in
stock NOW.


A graduate of Harvard College and Law School, JOHN NOONAN holds
advanced degrees from Cambridge and the Catholic University of America.
After some years in private legal practice and work for the federal govern-
ment, Dr. Noonan returned to Notre Dame University as Professor of Law,


I -


.,m :

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