Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Michigan Football: The U-M sideline was a "lighter" atmosphere under Bennie Oosterbaan

As of July 1, 2011, affiliates and guests of the University of Michigan were banned from smoking on campus.

Times were a bit different back when Bennie Oosterbaan roamed the sidelines as Michigan's head football coach from 1948 to 1958.

In Oosterbaan's first season succeeding Fritz Crisler on the sideline (Crisler had led Michigan to a 10-0 record, earning his first and Michigan's 9th national championship 1947, but did not dare seek a repeat), he lead Michigan to a 9-0 record to win the first U-M national championship of the "modern era," which started in 1948.

Oosterbaan was a former U-M captain who played wide receiver in his gridiron days (1925-27; by Big Ten rule, freshmen weren't allowed to compete back then). More than 80 years later, Oosterbaan, who passed in 1990, remains only one of two Michigan men in the football program's history to be named All-American three times, an honor that eluded legends like tight end/linebacker Ron Kramer, halfback/returner and Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon, and wide receiver/returner and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard.

Only Oosterbaan and another guy you might have heard of, wide receiver Anthony Carter (1979-1982), have been so honored.

HIGHLIGHT: Anthony Carter vs. Indiana, 1979. This is the catch that helped establish the legacy of the #1 jersey as something special in the Michigan tradition.

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