Sunday, November 19, 2006

Meechigan Football - Mrs.618

The past couple of days have been very somber for not just University of Michigan football fans, university staff and faculty, sports writers and family of Bo Shembechler, but for us " old time townies" as well. I say this as someone who grew up with Maize & Blue blood in her veins.

I am not much of a football fan per say, but growing up 6 blocks from the stadium, Saturdays in the fall always meant football...For one reason or another you may not have been attending the games, but you still planned your life around the. I can honestly say there was never a time in my life that U of M football and Shembeckler weren't synonymous. On nice fall days while jumping in the leaves I never needed to have the radio on as I could always tell who was winning by the cheers and jeers wafting down from "The Big House."

I also learned one of my favorite pass time in those Saturdays, one that I still enjoy today, that is people watching. An hour or so before the game my folks would put the lawn chairs out on the front porch and we would watch all the people passing by, some just enjoying a fall day spent at the game others a bit tipsy and rambunctious, some begging to park in our front yard. ( Something my father forbade)

I did how ever pass up the one opportunity I had ever had to meet the man; it was after his wife Millie had taken ill, but was still doing the everyday normal things a wife and mother do, and that was her grocery shopping. As I was walking into the store I saw the coach and he realized he had been reconized... I could tell that he was preoccupied and did not need the hassle of yet another fan, when he looked up and our eyes met I simply nodded and waved , he smiled an appreciative smile and returned the wave. He was a man with a big heart, one that brought many people joy.

While Meechigan may not have one the game today, I think Bo would have been proud of them, it was a well played game in this amateurs opinion, they got out there, they played hard, and they took the loss with the grace and dignity, that real men are taught. I think both Woody Hayes and Bo Shembechler would be proud of their respective teams today.

So Coach I raise my glass to you, in thanks for the legacy you have left us, not only a great athletic program at the university, the boys you turned into men, but for all those who's life's you have touched
both on and off the field. And most of all thanks for all the great memories you created for us.

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