My good friend and Barnes buddy Stick commandeers an email network of disgruntled misfits who try to amuse ourselves with observations on the sorry world scene and also music. The YouTubes have been hot and heavy lately. So, as I sat in the stands prior to today’s Wolverines’ game, I knew there was something he should see. Even though he’s from the Lone Star State, he never caught the football bug that’s so common down there, maybe because his Austin College ‘roos aren’t such great shakes on the gridiron (1-9 this season) and his sport was tennis. Like lots of Californians, he wonders what the hell I’m doing in the Midwest, so close to Canada to boot. Since I love it here, I have to share reasons why. Football and my U are a big part, so here’s what I wrote:
You’re sendin’ lots of YouTubes lately. I thought that was my job. But hey, the more the merrier, especially if they’re good. As I sat in the stands before today’s game, I thought you oughta see what me and 110,000 of my closest friends see at the Big House every football Saturday. They hired that one-time stutterer who happened to graduate from U of M in ’55 after starting out as a pre-med major to voice over the hype video. Let me tell you, nothing like hearing Darth Vader tell you how great your University is to get you believing it. They’ve been doing this for over 7 years, right after the national anthem and before the players stream on the field, and I never tire of seeing it. The idea was Harbaugh’s, something he came up with in the summer before his first season (1).
Go Blue (which JEJ never says)! Yeah, here’s the video(2). It’s not the current one, as Bo and deposed president Dr. Schlissel are in it. You’d think the athletic department would just put this on their web page for all to see.
They tinker with it all the time, bringing in great plays by current players to balance out the ancients. They even brought in our new energetic football-loving President Santa (for real). Last name Ono. Oh No! One change that still irks me is when they purged all mention of Bo once he became controversial for the Dr. Anderson affair (3), which ended up costing the U $490 mill (4). Crumbs from that $17.3 bill endowment (5).
I don’t know if my U is “the best University in the world” like JEJ says, but it’s pretty damned good, just like our football team, and I’ll never tire of having Darth Vader tell me about it.
- Snyder M. Watch this: U-M football intro with James Earl Jones. Detroit Free Press 9/15/15. https://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/wolverines/2015/09/15/michigan-football-james-earl-jones/72342938/
2. Michigan Wolverines from Diehard Sport. James Earl Jone hype video. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1764585847120001&ref=sharin
3. Ike B. down the hole, Bo. WordPress 9/12/21. https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/09/12/down-the-hole-bo/
4. Fitzgerald R. University finalizes settlement in Anderson cases. The University Record 9/16/22. https://record.umich.edu/articles/university-finalizes-settlement-in-anderson-cases/
5. Jordan D. University’s endowment saw modest growth in FY ’22. The University Record 10/20/22. https://record.umich.edu/articles/universitys-endowment-saw-modest-growth-in-fy-22/#:~:text=The%20university’s%20endowment%20climbed%20%24325,among%20college%20and%20university%20endowments.