The Wolverine

October 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 48 of 147

"He understands, though, what the Michigan-Notre Dame college football game means. And he is bothered it is going to be going away after Saturday night. "'I strongly disagree with them getting rid of this game,' Tate said. 'For the longest time, Notre Dame-Michigan has been a staple of college football. The fact that they are getting rid of it for whatever reason, I strongly disagree. I wish they would recon- sider. "'That's one of the top five rival- ries you think about nationally. I don't care if you're in Wisconsin, if you're in Florida, what are some of the best matchups? Michigan- Notre Dame is always going to be one.'" John U. Bacon, author and freelance journalist: "The over- riding sentiment in this on-again, off-again relationship has been not cordiality, but mistrust — and that goes back more than a cen- tury, too. "John Kryk, author of the defini- tive book on the series, Natural Enemies, points out that most of the breaks in this series started with Michigan accusing Notre Dame of skullduggery — whether it be dirty play, ineligible players, or simply not being trustworthy. And that's why the Wolverines pulled out of the series after their games in 1901, 1909 and 1943. "It took former Michigan athletic director Don Canham and Notre Dame's Edmund Joyce a solid decade of negotiations to resurrect the rivalry, in 1978. Since then, the two teams have played each other 31 of the last 37 years … "'When one school pulls the plug on the series,' Kryk writes, 'the jilted other [school] stews. Then burns. Once soaked in bitterness it ridicules the other — even for decades on end. And it's happening again. "'The only thing unique about this hiatus is that for the first time the plug- puller wasn't Michigan. It was Notre Dame.'" — John Borton When junior wide receiver Dennis Norfleet, fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner and the Wolverines left Notre Dame Stadium, it sig- nalled the end of a long, storied rivalry. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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