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January 09, 1977 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-01-09

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

Editor: Stephen Hersh Ass

sociate Editors: Ann Marie Lipinski, Elaine Fletcher

page five-books

Number 14

January 9, 1977


DidBo'sboysbowt, o
did the best team win?

They pursed their lips and shook
their heads as they walked through
the Pasadena dusk toward the cars
and buses that would take them
back to their hotels.
It was a long walk, and they
were already tired. Most had been
up since before dawn to watch a
two and a half hour parade. Many
hadn't eaten since noon, and the
only things that they wanted were
a few drinks, dinner, a few more
drinks and good night.
Their 2,000-mile trip suddenly
seemed foolish, pointless and
(wince) really a waste of money.
Their team had lost again.
They had come so far, just to
sit in the famed Rose Bowl and
Bill Stieg is the Daily's Sports editor.

watch their Wolverines show the
west coast team how the game was
played. Instead,'they sat and fid-
geted for three hours as Michi-
gan sputtered, stalled, and in the
final pressurized minutes, seemed
to spring crazily apart like an over-
worked Rube Goldberg contrap-
But it wasn't just this one game
that upset the fans so. This kind
=of thing happened every single
year, they whined. Michigan would
always go stomping through the
season like an uncontrollable beast
until it came up against a beast
just as strong but a little trickier
in that inevitably disappointing
final game.
Michigan would then try a few
tricks, too, but end up looking like
a four-year-old with a whiffle ball
trying to imitate Sandy Koufax.
And the Wolverines would lose,
and the fans would get angry be-

cause they think mighty Michigan
should do better, and the coach
would point out that the game was
close and his system was still best,
and the following September stu-
dents would once again camp out,
waiting in line for days to get a
good seat to watch the same rou-
tine again.
None of this made much sense
to the aggrieved Michigan fans as
they searched the night for a ride
Back up in the press box on the
rim of the darkened stadium sat
some more angry people. They, too,
were shaking their heads - and
hitting the typewriter keys a lit-
tle harder than usual. But they
were smiling the slight grin of
someone who took a stand, then
backed down, only to be proved
right, after all.
These midwest writers had long
criticized Michigan's lack of finesse

hurt the Wolverines in a close con-
test. But coach Bo Schembechler
assured the writers (and through
them, the fans) that his team could
pass when it had to. And everyone
believed him.
But come the game, Michigan
couldn't pass when it had to, and
those -who listened to Bo felt at
once embarrassed for believing him
and vindicated for their original
All the frustration of the past
eight years of season-ending fail-
ure welled up in the reporters (they
like to see the team they cover
win), as well as a new-found con-
fidence in their football knowledge.
They couldn't wait to nail Bo to
the wall for his conservative tac-
tics. Why, they - wanted to know,
didn't he develop a passing attack
so he could 'win the big games?
Did he really think his team could
run through Southern Cal as it
went through Wake Forest and
Northwestern? How long did he
think he could fool people?'

Michigan running back Rob Lytle gives USC linebacker Eric Williams a bear hug.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..>:::>:.:.":::;:.:.,..****. .. specifically, in its passing game
- and said this deficiency would
It as'tNirvana, u
there was lots of Coors
His eyes were the color of the sand and the sea
And the more he talked to me, he more he reached me
But I couldn't let go of L.A.:
City of the fallen angels
-- Joni Mitchell '.*

They didn't get their chance.
Oh, Schembechler didn't avoid the
press as he had after some past
losses. In fact, he arrived at the
crowded interview room a trifle
early, while winning coach John
Robinson was still up before the
cameras and microphones, smiling
and laughing.
and drained, stood in the door-
way, watching Robinson. The USC
coach finished quickly and stepped
off the platform to greet Schem-
bechler. They smiled, shook hands,
and then Schembechler faced the
audience. He had barely answered
the first question when an insist-
ent voice caught everyone's atten-
"Hey Bo," called a man in the
third row. "I don't have a question
for you, but I just had to tell you
that I think your men played a
helluva game out there today and
you've done a great job with the
team and I felt privileged to be
able to see Michigan play."
Schembechler grinned and said,
"Well, thank you very much. You're
not from the press, are you?"
"No, sir, I'm just a fan."
'.That's what I thought. hank
Somehow, that took the wind
out of the reporters' sails. Schem-
bechler took a couple questions
and gave long, wide-reaching an-
swers that touched briefly on al-
most every aspect of the game, in-
cluding passing. Satisfied that he
had covered everything, he excused
Schembechler could have gone

Y FRIENDS AND I sighed and surveyed our surroundings. Sixty-
five degrees and some sun wasn't exactly Nirvana, but it was
close enough when compared to the frosty Winter Wonderland we
had just left.
Yes, we had joined 4,000-odd classmates, alumni and fellow
Wolverine fans flying far from Angell Hall on the University's one
and only Official Rose Bowl Tour. Guaranteed lodging .. . guranteed
game and parade tickets and transportation .. , and, if you believe
Bob Ufer and his ilk, a guaranteed national football championship
for Michigan.
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? We felt the
hotel management had. designed our room as an experimental
mock-up to aid in answering that question. Wall to wall beds greet
ed me, my two friends and an unexpected new friend someone'had
decided we had to meet. A charming brick wall and a breathtaking
view of a neighboring section of our hotel sealed the scenario.
Not all our tour compatriots felt so cramped, but many en-
countered a few similar surprises. Many color televisions produced
only shades of black and white. The showers featured hot and cold<
running water-alternatingly.
See BEER, Page 4

into more detail, but most of the
writers had enough to work with.
They had their story and hustled
back to the press box to start typ-
ing: "Bo's stubborn, he won't pass,
he blew another big game ... when
will he learn?"
But not once in all of that fren-
zied analysis, questioning and criti-
cizing did it occur to'the Michigan
fans and reporters that maybe -
just maybe - the other team was
simply too good for the Wolverines;
that perhaps Michigan's showing
was admirable; that to come 'with-
in one pass of tying USC was a
remarkable feat, something to be
proud of.
But such resignation to defeat
- no matter how hard-fought the
game - doesn't sit well with the
spoiled Michiganders who feel that
any loss is a gross distortion of
the natural scheme of things. How
can anyone be better than Michi-
There's some kind of undercur-
rernt that supports the view that
TSC was too much to handle in
this year's Rose Bowl. There was
something about the way the Mich-
imapn coaches would talk about the
Trojans that suggested trouble.
Thev'd shake their heads slightly
and sound a bit in awe and more
than a bit envious of the Southern
Cal team. Pro teams had their eyes
on no less than 15 of the USC
But Bo and his assistants cer-
tainly weren't going to send the
wek before the game oohing and
ahhine over the Trojans. Away
from the microphones and note-
books, however, they conceded a
definite edge in personnel. Michi-
gan would have to play a great
game to win.
Most telling'of all, though, was
the behavior of the players after
the gram'e. Tbhere, were no grim
fares, no slowly shaking heads, no
ma,1+eririg, cursing~ or kicking. They
,'mTpd for the TV cameras, spoke
slowly and clearly for reporters,
and nolitely thanked the well-
wi ,hers gathered around. No one
ran away or hung his head.
They were proud of their per-
formance - a lot prouder, it seem-
ed, than their fans. They took the
loss as well as can be expected, and
seemed to hold the afternoon's
events - indeed, the whole sea-
son and football itself - in proper
Still, Detroit sportswriter Joe
Falls felt betrayed by Schemibech-
ler: "He put an entire nation to
sleen, and did indeed embarrass
everyone connected with - his
Schembechler felt otherwise:
"These kids played hard and gave
everything 'they had. You can't
fault the way we tried ... Southern
Cal is a great, great team. They're
the best in the country."
These two statements are flat-
ly contradictory. One of them is

A proud-and rightfully so-Trojan fan.

The Pageant:Foats.ike'abutter


WITH THE DAWN of every new
year, Pasadena, California be-
comes the nation's sixth largest
city - but only for a few short
hours. Nearly 1.4 million people,
or more than twice the popula-
tion of Boston, line the streets of
this quiet suburb just to watch a
parade pass by.
Of course the parade's founders
never had such grandiose visions
in mind when they originated the
annual event 86 years ago. In 1890
a few members of Pasadena's Val-
ley Hunt Club (a group of locals
that gathered each week for a fox
chase) decorated their buggies, pa-
raded them around, and took a few
pictures to show friends back east
that they could celebrate New
Year's in the sun. Maybe, they rea-
soned, they could even sell some
land to their Eastern chums.
But the parade quickly became
a yearly event, and an excellent
tourist attraction. In fact it grew

chariot races after Fielding Yost's
Michigan team so thoroughly over-
whelmed Stanford that the game
had to be called after only three
quarters. But chariot races went
out of vogue and the Association
returned football to the Pasadena
scene in 1916.
Consisting of prominent Pasa-
dena area residents, the Tourna-
ment of Roses Association still di-
rects and produces the parade and
The typical Association member
is a well-heeled Southern Califor-
nia Republican attorney - a USC
grad who may still be donating
money to Rabbi Korff for the
Nixon defense fund. When an As-
sociation member tells a colleague
a funny joke or story, an appropri-
ate response is, "I haven't laughed
so hard since Roosevelt died."
Their favorite USC football play-
er is Marvin Powell, the 6-5, 265-
pound tackle from Fayetteville,
North Carolina, whose own hero is
William F. Buckley.

Camping out for parade pomp and circumstance.

sion begins to increase in Septem-
ber, with the start of the football
seannon.nd the selection of the

ishing touches.
Keeping things under . control
alonn with the nolice are snme

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