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Friday, October 18, 2013


We always hear Michigan fans chirping about how many "all-time wins" their football team has racked up over the centuries. They act like all of their historic "wins" were relevant and meaningful, if not impressive.

It was on this date in 1890 that UM scored a major football triumph over the Detroit Athletic Club, by a score of 38-0. It was the DAC's third year of existence, a year after John Lodge starred on their Cricket team (prior to having the road named after him). The DAC later sent two divers to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. There are no records available for DAC football, presumably because there weren't many seasons after this one.

All Michigan fans everywhere should be proud of this magnificent triumph, and should be prepared to crow about it to anyone who won't spray them with a can of mace. This game established them as the best team from Ann Arbor, and their series with the DAC cemented their status as "champions of the west", since the UM campus is located west of Detroit. (Now we know what they mean by that!)

The proto-wolverines did not carry their Coach off the field because they did not have a Coach. There was no passing, and the Offense was dominated by use of the "flying wedge", a play that was later outlawed. Players did not wear uniforms, and there is no statistical record of the game. It sounds a lot more like playing a pickup game at the park on a Sunday afternoon, but not so much like a college football game.

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