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Saturday, October 18, 2014


Today is one of those rare days each year that the Michigan Football team WON'T WIN a football game. (That's because of the bye week.) Seems like every few years, they've notched another thousand wins somehow, maybe against Racine, or Stevens Institute, or Albion, and next thing you know it, they've got a big case of brag-about-our-pumped-up-record-itis. They act like all of their historic "wins" were not only relevant and meaningful, but 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. There are no records available for DAC football, presumably because there weren't many seasons after this one. (The DAC later sent two divers to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.)

All Michigan fans everywhere should be proud of this magnificent triumph. 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" (meaning west of Detroit).

The proto-wolverines did not carry their Coach off the field because they did not have a Coach. The forward pass was illegal, so the Offense was dominated by use of the "flying wedge" (a play that was later outlawed). Field Goals were worth five points. Players did not wear uniforms, and there is no statistical record of the contest.

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. This is one of "those games" that they use to inflate their "all-time wins" total.

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