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Bo Schembechler, RIP


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http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news;_ylt=Aq...t&type=lgns

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RIP, Bo.

there's no way Michigan loses on saturday now.

Sorry to hear when anyone dies but the best team will win tomorrow.

None of these Michigan players ever played for Bo.

That being said I'm sure glad tomorrows game is in Columbus and not Ann Arbor.

GO BUCKS!!!

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Remembering Schembechler

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports

November 17, 2006

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – They decided to bring a stool out for Bo Schembechler, because he was 77 and fresh off a heart procedure and everyone knew that once he got going at Monday’s press conference, once he started regaling everyone with stories of Ohio State and Michigan, of he and Woody, of a bygone era when college football was both more and less important, he was going to keep going.

Bo needed a stool. Bo needed to sit. Bo needed some help.

“I think I’ll stand,” he said, of course.

Bo Schembechler died Friday of a massive heart attack just before he filmed his weekly television show, just at the end of another busy, uncompromising week. If there is any solace to the sadness here, any silver lining to the loss, it is that Bo went out like Bo, fulfilling obligations, refusing to slow down, accepting no stool to sit on.

The winningest coach in University of Michigan history, a giant of an icon here in the Midwest, a legend of the sport, is gone on the eve of the biggest game in a rivalry he helped turn into arguably the best in all of sports.

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Bo and Woody share a laugh on the field

“I just don't see one any bigger than this,” he said.

Monday he was everything Bo Schembechler ever was, charismatic yet uncompromising, charming yet combative. Bo was never one to tell stories about himself, that’s the kind of self promoting he would never stand for. But here on game week he was willing to talk about Woody Hayes, he was willing to stick up for his protégé, Lloyd Carr, he was willing to choose sides and say the things that others couldn’t or wouldn’t and fight for what he always believes is right.

He would laugh one minute and growl the next. He would bash Ohio State for silly gamesmanship one sentence and praise its class the next.

“I hope Bo didn’t say anything to screw this up,” Carr smiled, wondering if old Bo had just given the Buckeyes bulletin board material.

He hadn’t, of course. Schembechler was always tough but always respectful, especially about Ohio State, whose own excellence had driven him to greatness.

He was, as always, a throw back to a time when football was about building character, about accepting challenges instead of money, fame or glory. A window into a day and age that is about gone for good now, and not for the better. It sounds trite until you listened to Schembechler, until you looked into his eyes and saw the truth.

Bo never believed in national championships, never believed there should be or could be anything greater for a Michigan team than beating Ohio State, winning the Big Ten and playing in the Rose Bowl. He never cared to hold the school up for money, to move games to night for television, to play on a weekday, to make kids miss class.

For as unbending as his demands were, for as tough as he could be, for as all-encompassing as his focus was on winning football games for the Maize and Blue, he also always fell back on a realization that this was nothing more than extracurricular pursuit, that academics were the priority, that this wasn’t the pros.

He coached 20 years at Michigan (and five prior to that at his alma mater, Miami of Ohio). His team’s reached 10 Rose Bowls, including three in the final four seasons before he retired in 1989.

That run of success, 235 career victories, is what he will always be remembered for on the field. But Schembechler was always more proud of the kids he turned into men, of the degrees that were hanging on office walls, of the fact that in two decades the NCAA investigators never even bothered to sniff around Ann Arbor.

Bo Schembechler did things his way, without excuse, without debate and his way turned out to be the best way.

He believed in personal integrity and responsibility, of ethics that never wavered, of doing things only one way – the right way – because any other way wasn’t worth doing.

He coached hundreds of players and taught scores of young coaches, but he also, through his powerful position, was a rock who navigated the turbulent 60s and 70s, inspiring a state, a region, a country even, with the reminder that bedrock values still had their place.

He wasn’t just a role model to his players, but to a lot of everyday people who had never been near Ann Arbor.

He was fair to whites and blacks, to men and women, to rich and poor, old and young. Even in his retirement, even as old age and modern challenges could have made him callous and unreasonable, he was still trying to relate to the kids, still trying to live in a bright new day.

Here in his final week, he was just as alive and just as active as ever. He wasn’t going to attend the game because travel was difficult, but he was as engaged in it as ever.

“I'm as excited as you are about this game,” he said. “Because I love to see Ohio State and Michigan come down to the end and, ‘let's play it.’”

The leaders and the best, hails the school fight song.

About one man they could have written it.

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It's so eerie that his death was the day before Ohio State and Michigan. I mean this is the biggest regular season game they've ever had, and Coach Schembechler dies right before it. It gives me an odd feeling. Nonetheless it's sad when anyone passes away, and Bo was definately everything that was U of Michigan. I think the Wolverines will dedicate tomorrow's game to him and come out harder than they have all season.

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It's so eerie that his death was the day before Ohio State and Michigan. I mean this is the biggest regular season game they've ever had, and Coach Schembechler dies right before it. It gives me an odd feeling. Nonetheless it's sad when anyone passes away, and Bo was definately everything that was U of Michigan. I think the Wolverines will dedicate tomorrow's game to him and come out harder than they have all season.

The timing is reminiscent of Bear Bryant dying a month after his last game. While none of the current players took the field for Bo, he was a constant presence in Schembechler Hall and a personal friend to many of the current players. For the players, I can't imagine the emotion of losing such a mentor combined with the biggest football game of their lives.

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Tomorrow will be the first time Bo and Woody can watch the game they created from the same sideline. I hope they enjoy the show. God be with you Bo. GO BUCKS!

I learned so much about this legend yesterday that I did not previously know.

I've only recently begun getting into college football, but I did know of him and his name.

I have to believe, given his health, that A. it's a miracle he lived 77 years, and B. that the anticipation and excitement of this game may have contributed to his passing. It's sad that he did die on the eve of this game, I would like to have thought of him being here to watch it "live". And as a previous poster did say, it truly is eerie. It's eerie to see video of him just 5 days ago on ESPN talking about THIS game, and now he's not here in body to witness it.

Michigan was an underdog all season long. What were they ranked, 14th at the start of the year? Colin Cowherd commented back in August and September that Miami and Michigan, two once very proud and storied schools, both were in regression w/their football programs. He was half right. Miami is a sad joke. Michigan however has rebounded nicely, and even though I root for Notre Dame, and even though Michigan embarrassed the Irish at South Bend, one cannot help but want Michigan to win today, as a fitting tribute to their former, and winningest head coach. Yes, maybe he never won a national championship, but neither did Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, or Ty Cobb, all of whom are legendary even decades after not having played.

Also, my cousin is a Michigan fan, and he's had a really rough few years. He's a Steelers fan and they finally won it all after over a quarter-century wait, so why not pull for the Wolverines today I say? Hail to the Victors!

Bill

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