The 8-month off the scale impact of Jim Harbaugh (before he is even coached a friggin’ game) goes well beyond the 90K season tickets sold, the “largest of all time” Nike contract (and it’s subset Jordan Brand), the virtual “daily” national news stories of Harbaugh and Michigan Football, not to mention the unrealistic expectations of a complete turnaround for the Wolverines in 2015 (Yep, I am guilty as charged).
That’s the buzz we hear from the national grid – but from the local/personal grids, we also have our own newspegs. Like the fact my University of Michigan fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, is seeing a rapidly increasing interest of grads from the late 70s/early 80s heading back to Ann Arbor for a Homecoming reunion of the bros from 604 South State Street. Some haven’t been back to campus since they left nearly 40 years ago and they still think kick-off is 1 p.m. (ha) — when “toe meets leather” as Bo used to say. They are coming from all corners – from Dallas, LA, Seattle, New York/New Jersey, Houghton/Hancock to as far reaching places as Johannesburg, South Africa.
We better provide name tags for the pre-game gathering at the Beta House as well as at brother Doug Graham’s Tailgate in the Blue Lot, because it’s been a long-long time since I have seen some of these dudes and proper names would be too difficult to recall. Those name tags will include Spanky, Mongo, Dipper, Dingo, Crawdaddy (that’s me, btw), Loomy, Chud, O-F-O, Fish-Monger, Kunta, Zoid, Toid, Mroz, The Hammies (twins), Pav, Woody, HD, JB, KB, and Salad Head (just to name a few), not to mention Franke-Ass, Bey-Ass, Ber-Ass (“Ass” was often the suffix to everybody’s nickname).
Needless to say, I am looking forward to Michigan Homecoming on October 10 when the Wolverines take on the Northwestern Wildcats. Re-connecting with buds you haven’t seen well into four decades will be a ton of fun as we reflect on THE BEST TIMES of your LIFE – Beta Days in A2. Can’t wait!
(Follow Tom Crawford on Twitter @BlueBellyTom and come visit him during his Wednesday remote broadcasts with Jack Ebling at The Blue Gill Grill in Haslett 3-6 p.m.)