ti Page Eight
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Thursday, February 22, 1973
Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY
By FRANK LONGO
Gold Country. That's what Min-
neapolis, Minnesota is being call-
ed these days; the land of Hia-
watha, Pillsbury bakeries, and
the Golden Gophers basketball
team. But guess which one is
wreaking havoc on the country-
Talk about fans going wild over
basketball! Crisler Arena has
never seen anything like it. At
last Saturday's game between
Minnesota and Indiana, which the
Gophers pulled out 82-75, a crowd
of 17,970, the season's largest,
packed into Williams Arena.
In addition, 4,187 die-hard fans
paid a buck each to sit in the
cold, dark hockey arena next
door and watch the closed circuit
telecast of the game on the 18-
foot and two 12-foot screens plac-
ed at center ice. Less than 3000
showed up to watch the Minne-
sota-Michigan hockey game play-
ed there that afternoon.
WHAT DOES it all mean? Well,
it means that the basketball pro-
gram at Minnesota is at the
point where it is supporting it-
self, although not much else in
the Athletic Department is.
Sounds like the way football
works here. But it also means
that there must be something
extra there to draw all those
fans, something missing at Mich-
In this case, it is at least par-
tially the fans themselves. They
way they go nuts at the games
simply defies description. But
let's try anyway. It is Satur-
day afternoon. The hockey game
began at 2:00, and as the spec-
tators file out (following Minne-
sotas 3-2 win) at about 4:30,
hundreds of fans are already
waiting to be admitted to the
basketball gane, which doesn't
start till eight! They have been
sitting on the floor, reading,
drinking, playing cards, since be-
fore 3:00. You may have gather-
ed by now that the seats for the
most part are on an unreserved
basis, which produces a mob
scene when the doors are finally
SATURDAY NIGHT. Back at
the Stadium at 7:15. The place is
already jammed, wall to wall,
with people. Dodging crowds in
the smoke-filled hallway, Dave
Pederson (Minesota Daily sports
editor) and I finally spot Gate
4A ahead. We enter the arena.
In what better way can I de-
scribe the confusion than by say-
ing that it takes five minutes to
reach the press row, a recessed
table at courtside?
It's 7:22 now and the fans are
growing more restless. The or-
ganized cheering starts, some-
thing a regular Crisler-goer
knows little about. The entire
south end of the building rises
and begins to chant (along with
the cheerleaders): "M-I-N-N-E-
S-O-T-A! YeeaayY GOPHERS!
And around it goes. West,
North, East, and around again.,
Each time louder. Each group
anticipating its turn. When all
four sides finally get up and
shout it together, the noise is,
It's only 7:28, but the fans are
clapping rhythmically, and when
the gold-clad cagers finally leap
up the stairs leading from t h e
dressing room, everyone is on
his feet. When did that last hap-
pen at Crisler?
THE PUBLIC address system
begins to cackle, as the Goph-
ers line up in a double -line,
each man carrying a basketball.
"Keep the ball rollin', keep the
ball rollin' .. ." is playing (loud-
ly) over the P.A. as each player
rolls the ball around his neck,
slowly. The whole group is work-
ing in near-perfect unison, and
the fans are loving every min-
ute of it. The players roll the
balls around their ankles, left,
then right, and now dribble it be-
tween their legs as the two lines
That song is over, and at 7:33
it is time for "Sweet Georgia
Brown." That is what everyone
has been waiting for. The Goph-
ers go through pseudo-layup
drills a-la-Harlem Globetrotters,
with the real show taking place
at center court.
George Schauer, a 6-2 junior
from Cleveland, moves into the
limelight, juggling four basket-
balls! The rest of the group has
reverted to conventional drills,
but all eyes are on George. Now
he is dribbling three basketballs,
across court and back, between
his legs and behind his back, fin-
ally passing off to his teammates
who dribble in for fancy layups.
A true magician of the hard-
And on it goes. The crowd sings
along with the rock tunes that
follow, and of course everyone is
jumping up and down through-
out the game. An elongated
"Brewwww!" accompanies every
Brewer score, a far cry from
the theatre-type applause which
follows most Henry Wilmore
jumpers, or Ernie Johnson "flail-
Why the fans go nuts at Wil-
liams Arena over Minnesota bas-
ketball is hard to define. That
they do is apparent. One thing,
for sure - it makes it a lot more
exciting place to watch a b-ball
game than at Crisler.
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Daily art work by "BAD NEWS" ANDREWS
PICTURED HERE is a re-creation of the historic first scoreboard, as reproduced by the faithful pen
of Bob "Bobo" Andrews. As is plain, this historic -tallyboard has been passed and surpassed in re-
cent years by modern technology and American genius.
DAILY STAFF IDEA
Scoreboard story told
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Prof. Carl Cohen
Chairman, Mich. Civil Liberties Union:
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FOR RESERVATIONS, 662-5189 or 663-2362
The year: 1899. The scene: the
athletic field of the University of
Michigan. The football opponent:
Notre Dame. A frenzied crowd
expecting an exciting tussle was
treated to a unique service, cour-
tesy of the Michigan Daily: the
Designed by Otto Hans, the
business manager, the board in-
formed spectators of all the cru-
cial aspects of the game-down,
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yards, and score.
Unlike today's scoreboards,
which do everything from taking
temperatures to exploding on con-
tact, Hans' simple invention was
a chalk-blackboard affair.
Placed at midfield, the board
was operated by Hans and an
assistant, who took the informa-
tion from the announcements of
the referee. -Previously, all the
fans had to rely upon their ears
to garner the information from
the official who would relay it
after every play.
The invention was hailed as a
clever piece of work. The De-
troit Free Press termed Hans'
board as being "far more suc-
cessful and intelligible than any-
thing of the kind heretofore used
on football fields."
Hans, however, had- another
purpose besides the humanitarian
public one he trumpeted in the
Daily the following week. He
peddled the idea to various foot-
ball committees and companies
at 5 dollars a crack.
Funny as it seems, no one else
considered the idea of informing
the patrons of the football game
of exactly what was going on. As
Hans reported, it certainly was
"progressive and up to date."
The idea spread fairly quickly
to all sports and Hans and the
The present scoreboards which
tower over the North and South
Ends of Michigan Stadium were
installed in 1968. Though electric
and controlled from the press
box, they still rely on the same
basic principle that Hans put for-
ward in 1899. They were, of
course, not constructed by the
Hans moved the Daily still
more into the public service in
1900 when he established the
Daily Sunday edition so that
rabid Michigan football fans
could follow the Saturday exploits
of the Maize and Blue.
So when you saunter into the
Stadium and glance up to check
how much the Maize and Blue is
trouncing the Buckeyes by, re-
member the creative idea of Otto
Hans. And his version didn't even
The Michigan freshman bas-
ketball team closes its season
with a contest tonight with Glen
Oaks Community College in Cris-
ler Arena. The frosh, coached
by Richard "Bird" Carter, sport
a 6-3 record for. the year. Game
time is 7 p.m. so take advantage
of your last chance to see the
team in action.
Tonight is the night. The night
of the annual I.M. Open House.
The numerous and exciting fes-
tivities commence at 6:30 p.m.
and continue until 11:30. There
will be tournaments, exhibitions,
displays and basically, just fun
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