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Monday, October 18, 2010

MZone Time Machine: September 16, 1978

Knowing my love of all things Michigan, a friend recently gave me some old game programs from his youth.  Among them was the program for Michigan's season opener against Illinois on September 16, 1978.


*  1978 was Bo's 10th year at the helm of the Wolverines and that November would be the last time Bo and Woody would face off against one another in "The Ten Year War."
* Bo's record at Michigan entering 1978 was 83-13-3, a winning percentage of .867.
* 1978 marked the senior campaign of Michigan QB Rick Leach who would finish 3rd in the Heisman Trophy balloting behind winner and future Detroit Lion, RB Billy Sims, and runner-up, Penn State QB Chuck Fusina.  In 4th place was future 1979 Heisman Trophy winner, USC RB Charles "Phantom Touchdown" White.
* Michigan would finish the 1978 season 10-2, losing to USC in the Rose Bowl, with said-Phantom Touchdown being the difference.
* Michigan finished 7-1 in the Big 10, tied for 1st, with their lone league setback being a 24-15 loss to MSU who shared the league title with U-M but, due to probation, was unable to go to a bowl game.
* Michigan was ranked #5 in both the final AP and UPI polls marking the 10th consecutive year Bo's teams finished the season ranked in the top 10.


Check out Bo's assistant coaches in '78:

* The defensive coordinator was Bill McCartney, architect of Bo's 1980 defense known as McCartney's Monsters which didn't allow a touchdown in the last 5 1/2 games and delivered Bo his first Rose Bowl victory against Washington. McCartney went on to coach at Colorado wear he won a share of the National Title in 1990.
* The offensive backs coach was future West Virginia head coach Don Nehlen, who was rumored to have advised Rich Rodriguez to take the Michigan job when it was offered to him.
* The defensive backs coach was Jack Harbaugh, father of former Michigan All-American QB and current Standford head coach, Jim Harbaugh.


In the days before one could go to MDen.com and choose from thousands of Michigan-themed items, the ad shown below was only one of two in the entire 76 page program hawking Michigan merchandise (the other for The Wolverine Bucket, a winged helmet-shaped ice bucket).

My favorite item is the "University of Michigan Patron's Pass" for $25 which, according to the ad, "allows you and a guest to attend every Michigan Varsity Athletic Even (*Note exceptions) during the 1978-79 Season."

And just what were those exceptions you ask?  Well...

"NOT GOOD FOR football, basketball, hockey or Big 10 or NCAA Championship Events...All other Men and Women's events are included!"

No football, basketball or hockey?  Uh, just how much were women's tennis matches and men's track and field events in '78?

And apparently if you were a guy and wanted to model Michigan gear in '78, there was some kind of law that you had to have a pretty damn good sized mustache.

The most numerous ads in the program were for cars, with six auto ads in this program. Gotta love the one below. So just what "sporty features you'd pay extra for in many other cars" came standard with the '79 Oldsmobile Starfire?  Well, they list 8 of them below with #2 being the one that I'm sure sealed the deal for many a car buyer in the days of disco: AM radio.

"Alright, alright, alright."

ED. NOTE:  Might make this a regular feature here on the MZone.  So if you have any old programs with something you find amusing in them, please send us a jpeg of the cover and jpegs of the funny from inside.


srudoff said...

Man if McCartney had come back to Michigan after Colorado, he would have gotten book end half championships!

justthinking said...

Somewhere in my pile of stuff is that same Michigan program with Leach's signature on it.

That was his Senior year in which he threw 3 picks against MSU in a loss at home. Threw any Heisman chance out the window that day as well (sound familiar?).

It took me a full year in my then 10 year-old heart to forgive him, as all the little Sparty's in my school were relentless bastards the rest of the year.

I forgave Denard as soon as I saw him smile in the presser after the MSU game, "too excited, too excited".

What a difference 32 years makes.

I rode in an elevator at my hotel with a younger MI couple after the Iowa game Saturday night. The wife was just spewing #$%@ all the way up, as her husband just stood there quietly. I thought to myself, "maybe it's a good thing my wife doesn't like sports - poor guy".

One the way down the next morning, I rode with an elderly couple who were very classily dressed to the nines at 6:30 am. We both agreed that there is plenty of promise for the future, albeit a bit painful right now.

"Keep wearing the colors," the old man said to me as we left the front desk area (I had my Michigan sweatshirt and cap on). "Always have - even the last two years - and always will," I replied back.

Guess it's not all the wealthy "blue hairs" who are causing all the noise these days.

Still on the bandwagon - still All In. Still think we can win out if we can run on all cylinders at the same time.

Does it suck right now, yeah. Sucks worse for the kids though.

I will say this: After 25% of the people left at the start of the 4th quarter Saturday, it was louder at the end of the game with 75% capacity than it was during the first three quarters with everyone there (especially after people saw that Iowa was having trouble communicating at the line of scrimmage).

Hopefully those that left who own season tickets will drop them and we can get some real fans in the stadium who like to raise the roof in their place. They missed a hell of a fourth quarter - mistakes and all.

25,000 people quit on the team, but the team didn't quit on anybody.

....end of rant.

Mikoyan said...

The only time I have ever left a sporting event was during a Michigan State-Eastern game. Michigan State was ahead 42-0 (or something like that) and it was the beginning of the third quarter. Didn't look like Eastern was coming back, so we left. I would never think of leaving a Michigan game especially with this offense. As I saw the people leaving, I was thinking to myself, "You people are going to miss an awesome comeback" and they almost did.

bigGexpress said...

Wait a minute! Did tUOS copy the buckstash from this add much like they copied the script ohio from our band?

Yost said...

I didn't want to bring it up, big...

GoBlueBob said...

BigG... Remember this was thirty some years ago. Most people moved on from then.

WV plizered... kind of what I felt like last Saturday at the end of the Iowa game.

susieandrew said...

What's scary about the staff is that Mike Gittleson was the S&C coach back then! And he looked exactly the same as he did 30 years later when LC retired!!!

susieandrew said...

Also, I would totally buy that Go Blue scarf and hat. And tumbler. And umbrella.