The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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40 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2016 M ichigan head coach Jim Har- baugh isn't fooling around when it comes to upholding the program's "leaders and best" mantra. His first three honorary captains of the year were former Chicago Bulls great Mi- chael Jordan, whose Jumpman gear is worn by the Wolverines; followed by U-M alum Rich Eisen, a NFL Net- work host and nationally syndicated radio personality (formerly at ESPN); and former Michigan quarterback and current New England Patriots great Tom Brady. Jordan was on the sidelines for the coin flip prior to the Sept. 3 opener with Hawai'i and addressed the team the night before the game. "Michael Jordan was fantastic with the team," Harbaugh said. "He spent 45 minutes and really connected with them, really told them things they can take away and apply to their own game. Advice, tips … it was real. "[Freshman] running back Chris Evans asked the first question, 'What was it like to play in your first college game?' Michael talked about it, said he wanted to do everything right and not make any mistakes, didn't want to screw anything up. That's how he ap- proached his very first college game. He said trust your training, the prac- tice you've had … that will carry for you." Evans trusted his on the way to 112 yards and two touchdowns in a 63-3 win over Hawai'i. "It warmed my heart when he talked about every single day try- ing to be better than the day before," Harbaugh said of Jordan. "He talked about pressure moments, what he leaned on, what he thought was ef- fective in those moments. He talked about being a great teammate … said, 'You can't do anything without your teammates.' "It's the same things they've been hearing. They were listening a lot bet- ter to Michael Jordan than me, I had the feeling. But it was good … they couldn't get enough. It was great, a real honor to have him sharing our sideline." Michigan's players felt the same. "I've been star-struck maybe one other time in my life other than when Jordan came here," U-M fifth-year senior offensive lineman Kyle Kalis said. "I was like a little girl. I was screaming at [fifth-year senior line- man] Erik [Magnuson]. We were both jumping up and down. "We're in amazing positions where we're blessed to be able to meet peo- ple like that. Not a lot of people can say they met Michael Jordan. I can. I'm just lucky, super lucky. I think about it all the time." Redshirt sophomore tight end Ian Bunting was equally impressed. "I can't speak for anyone else, but that's huge for me," Bunting said. "I'm from the Chicago area — and pretty much everyone my age or 10 years older than me, that was our idol growing up. Meeting MJ was sweet. My dad was a team doctor with the Bulls when MJ was playing, so he would always talk about him. "It was cool to see him … arguably the best athlete of all time." Eisen, Michigan's second honorary captain, addressed the team before the Sept. 10 game with Central Florida. "Thirty years ago I strolled on to this campus as a 17-year-old with big dreams and a fake ID, and not really completely understanding the experi- ence that was about to unfold in front of me," he said. "I chose this school because when I first strolled on cam- pus, I felt it … something about this place that was so special." Eisen, 47, graduated from Michigan in 1990. "I represent the millions of Wolver- ines out there who will be living and dying with you and understanding, though, that win or lose, you do it with grace and honor and dignity," he said. Michigan's star-studded group of honorary captains for the 2016 season have started with basketball legend Michael Jordan (left), NFL Network host and U-M alum Rich Eisen, and leg- endary quarterback Tom Brady (right). PHOTOS BY PER KJELDSEN   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Michigan Calls On The Elite To Serve As Honorary Captains 2016 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent Result/Time (ET) Sept. 3 Hawai'i W, 63-3 Sept. 10 Central Florida W, 51-14 Sept. 17 Colorado W, 45-28 Sep. 24 Penn State 3:30 p.m. Oct. 1 Wisconsin 3:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Rutgers 7 or 8 p.m. Oct. 22 Illinois 3:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Michigan State TBA Nov. 5 Maryland TBA Nov. 12 at Iowa 8:00 p.m. Nov. 19 Indiana TBA Nov. 25 at Ohio State TBA

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