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November 19, 1981 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-11-19

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SPORTS

t'

11

The Michigan Daily.

ANN ARBOR'S
OLD FASHIONED
TOY STORE
HUGE SELECTION of

''

Thursday, November 19, 1981

Page 9

FORMER GRID GREA T LEADS STOR YBOOK LIFE
Harmon remains All-American

Games Stuffed Animals -"Smurfs"

By CHUCK JAFFE
Tom Harmon was the typical All-
American boy.
He came from a small town outside of
Gary, Ind., and put himself in the
record books as Michigan's all-time
leading scorer and sole Heisman
Trophy winner. After graduation, he
enlisted in the Army Air Force, where
he had a distinguished career during
World War II. Then he played two
years of pro football, made a iovie and
married a Hollywood starlet, and star-
ted on a long and distinguished broad-
casting career that bas culminated in
ownership 4f his own broadcasting
company.
"I DON'T REGRET one moment of
my life," the 62-year-old Harmon said.
"I've been lucky to have known some
outstanding people, and have been able

/I

"The Friendly Students Store"
CAMPUs Bike &TOy~

514 W. William St.
662-0035
Mon. & Fri. 9:30-7:00
Tues.-Thurs. 9:30-6
Sot. 9:30-5:30

to do the things I wanted to do."
But while it may appear as though it
was easy for Harmon, it wasn't. He had
to work harm to earn his All-American
status, and even his tuition.
"The attitude of my day was not so
much the dollar, as the pride," Harmon
said. "I believe that athletes who play
a varsity sport deserve scholarships,
but I had to work-in a steel mill to earn
my tuition. Of course, my tuition was
about $150 a gemester."
THAT IS NOT the only difference
between Michigan football in the 1940's
and the sport today.
"We played football the way it should,
be played," said Harmon, who perfor-
rped at safety, in addition to running,
assing, punting, and kicking the foot-
ball. "The platoon system has harmed
r-ootball more than it has helped it. I'm
delighted I played when I did."
Harmon was a first-round draft
choice of the Chicago Bears in 1941, but
e elected to go into broadcasting. Six
onths later, he enlisted to fight in
World War II, during which he was
awarded the .Silver. Saar.; and Purple
Heart medals of honor; When he retur-
ned from the service,,Harmon joined

Sports Information Photo
FORMER MICHIGAN All-American Tom Harmon shows some of his Heisman Trophy winning form as he follows a
block during a 1940 Michigan football game. Harmon is now the owner of 98 Sports Productions, a, broadcasting com-
pany in Los Angeles.

the Los Angeles Rams, who had traded
for him a few months earlier.
"IT IT WEREN'T for the war, I don't
think I would have ever played pro
football," Harmon said. "I played pro
football for one rfsson - to pay off the
debts I accumulated when I was in the
service."
Harmon also made a movie to help
pay his debts, and that was when he
met the woman he would later marry,
Elyse Knox.
When Harmon's two-year contract
expired, he refused what would have
been the biggest contract in the NFL
history -to return to broadcasting.
"I had made up .my mind that I was
not going to play pro football," Harmon
said. "I was successful with the Rams,

but I was a square peg in a round hole.
In their system I really couldn't play up
to my full potential. The T-formation
was not my cup of tea."
Harmon then joined' KIAV radio in
Los Angeles and started his long and
distinguished broadcasting career. His
credits include 10 Olympic Games and
dozens of other major sporting events.
Now he is the main producer, and oc-
casional commentator for, 98 Sports
Productions, his own broadcasting com-
pany.
"My field for the last two or three
years has been producing," Harmon
acknowledged. "I'm just doing the
things that I want to- dog now. I'm
producing films that can put back into
sports what I've gotten out of'it."

Harmon is still getting a great deal
out of athletics. In addition to
producing sports, films and events,
Harmon is an avid golfer, which he
claims helps keep him in shape.
"I still weigh what I weighed when I
played at Michigan," Harmon said.
"I'm still 200 pounds, but it's just not in
the same condition anymore."
That he's not in the same condition as
he was during his playing days is un-
derstandable, because Tom Harmon
has undergone quite a few changes.
Now he's an All-American man.

.

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