The Wolverine

August 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  from our readers der how the athletes in the "other" sports feel, trying to compete with the hoopla about Michigan's football and basketball teams. This "look at the future" getting all the publicity must be a sore point for the gymnasts, when the present is what their lives are about. Alice Herber Punta Gorda, Fla. Your thoughts are duly noted, Alice, and certainly shared by some. There's always a bit of a tough call between the sports you mention —- which along with hockey enjoy the largest following at Michigan —- and the ultra-high achievers in Olympic sports. We certainly do honor and recognize the efforts of the gymnastics team, reemphasized in this issue of our magazine. Shuffling Through Summer Dear The Wolverine: As the radio and TV advertising writers like to start out, "It's that time of year again!" There is usually no Wolverine football news between the NFL Draft and the start of August practices. Nothing happens but small group drills and freshmen moving to Ann Arbor. We fans are hoping that everyone on the team is behaving himself. Here is my contribution to filling this time period with something interesting. One of the wonderful aspects of being a Wolverine football fan is appreciating our team's uniquely beautiful uniform, featuring jerseys and pants mostly uncluttered by stripes and other decoration, and the distinctive, universally recognized helmet design. As each new decade generally brings changes to uniform styles, the tradition of U-M's uniform remains a classy constant. Anyone with taste other than in their mouth would observe MSU's special black and gold suits and conclude that ostentatious is now spelled S-P-A-R-T-A-N-E-S-QU-E. In the early '70s, as Bo Schembechler was reestablishing Michigan as a winning program, football players everywhere began switching to wearing white shoes. They seemed to be infatuated with the notion that white shoes made them look faster. Remember the Atlanta Falcons' WR/KR Billy "White Shoes" Johnson? Bucking the trend, Bo's boys stood tall with John Unitas and stuck with black shoes. Wolverine speedsters like Butch Woolfolk, Anthony Carter and Desmond Howard apparently didn't feel the need to look fast. Old school black shoes were an accepted part of "the Michigan look" until about 10 years ago when football cleats started to feature new radical construction and lightweight materials. A two-tone color scheme was often utilized to accentuate the shoes' cutting edge, high-performance appearance. Shoe companies that provide U-M with equipment hope that having the Wolverines seen wearing their finest models

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