A Century of Going Blue

A photo-rich book chronicling U-M football is a rush of excitement for Wolverines fans


Published:

Who could have guessed that such a colorful game as football would look so vibrant in black and white?

That’s the impression one gets flipping through Michelle O’Brien’s coffee-table volume Historic Photos of University of Michigan Football (Turner Publishing Co., $39.95), which covers a century of maize-and-blue gridiron action. From 1879, when the school’s football program started (the game then was a mix of rugby and football) until 1979, when Bo Schembechler’s reign was in full flower, the game is brought to life in nearly 200 photos. You can almost imagine you’re at The Big House on a chilly autumn Saturday afternoon. O’Brien chronicles the several fields where the game was played — the current stadium opened in 1927 — as well as fabled coaches such as Fielding Yost and Fritz Crisler and top-notch players like Pete Elliott, Dan Dierdorf, and Tom Harmon. There’s even a 1932 shot of Gerald Ford, who would eventually sprint all the way to the White House. Culled from the archives of U-M’s Bentley Historical Library, the photographs also capture the intensity of the fans, the thrill of the Rose Bowl battles (including the first Tournament of Roses in 1902, when Michigan crushed Stanford), as well as the marching band and the cheerleaders, which remained an all-male squad until 1974. The Ohio State Buckeyes are undoubtedly the Wolverines’ all-time time biggest rivals, but nothing gets Big Ten fans in Michigan more worked up than the annual clash between U-M and their foes in East Lansing. It happens this month when the Michigan State Spartans tussle with the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Oct. 25.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Way It Was

Better Made Snack Foods, 1971

Do Good

The Greater Detroit Philanthropy Awards are back with eight new recipients

AFP Interview Series: Nominee Tracy Utech

With over 20 years of experience, Utech and her team have championed funds that have seen benefit outside of Wayne State’s campus.

AFP Interview Series: Nominee Karen Smithbauer

A career as a preschool teacher and battle with breast cancer, ground Smithbauer's philanthropic efforts

An Hour with ... Faith Duede

Founder, Rocky Horror Preservation Society
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  5. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  6. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  7. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  8. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  9. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission