Those Who Stay Will be Champions

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
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The following is in inspirational story about former University of Michigan football coach Bo Shembechler.  Being the loyal Buckeye fan that I am, I hate having to admit that this is a good story (I’m simply amazed that anything good comes out of that cesspool of a state. 🙂 ), but truth is truth.  I find this story very timely, given this week:

In the spring of 1969, Shembechler took over a down-and-out football squad.  Ohio State had dominated Michigan in recent years, and something had to be done.  The previously unknown coach (the day after his hire, newspapers ran the headline, “Bo Who?”) started spring practice with 150 players.  He worked them so hard and so intensely, that by the beginning of the 1969 season he was down to around 75 players.  Even starters were walking off the team.

It was at this time that Shembechler put up a sign in the Michigan locker room that stands to this day:

THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS

Who knew that it would prove so propetic.

A little background about the Ohio State-Michigan football game:   Every year, the two teams play for the last game of the regular season.  It is one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports.  It is so heated that either team can have a losing season, but as long as they win the OSU-Michigan game, fans consider the season a success.  Conversely, if either team went undefeated the previous games, won a BCS bowl, but lost the OSU-Michigan game, fans consider the season a wash.  It’s that serious.

Going into the 1969 game, OSU was considered the most dominant D1 football team of all time.  They were coming off a 1968 national title, were undefeated in 1969 going into the game, and they had outscored their opponents by quite a wide margin.  They had more returning all-americans than you could count.  They were the #1 team in the country and were a shoe in for a second title.  Michigan was average.

Well, you can probably predict what I’m about to say.  Michigan upset OSU, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

Those who stay will be champions.

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