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Friday, October 25, 2013


Autumn in Michigan is a beautiful season, with tree colors and falling leaves and cool crisp temperatures in the bug-free air. The only pests are all of those Michigan fans who come home from the beach every year yakking it up about their "all-time wins record", many of them claiming several million victories since the Pleistocene Era.

Well at least they all count for one. Because it was on this day in 1890 that the proto-Wolverines clashed on the gridiron with the mighty Albion Britons, scraping together a 16-0 win. That score probably means four touchdowns with one missed extra point. Back then, TDs were four points, and point-after-kicks were two points. Much like today.

The football field may have been 80 yards long, or perhaps 110 yards, the historical record is unclear on this point. The infamous "Flying Wedge" was the prime offensive play, before being outlawed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. There was no forward passing, and neither team had a Head Coach. Doubtful about any popcorn.

When you hear all that jibber-jabber about the "all-time wins" numbers for UM, remember games like this one, along with hundreds more that were played before the NCAA began tracking football in 1937. With no standard rules in place for the shape and size of the ball, with field dimensions left up to local decision, and tackling below the waist having just been legalized, these so-called "games" are barely a blip on the historical record. But to chUMp nation, they are the quintessential definition of Michigan Football. Hoo-Hah!

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