Brief history of the "Go Blue" banner
The pre-game tradition of the Michigan players racing out of the tunnel and leaping into the air to touch the "Go Blue: M Club Supports You" banner while the Marching Band plays "The Victors" is one of the most recognizable game day traditions at University of Michigan football games. The tradition dates back to 1962 when Bump Elliott was the Head Coach of the Wolverines. Although the graduate "M" club made the permanent banner, it was the undergraduate "M" club that started the tradition with a simple yellow block "M" on a six-foot wide strip of fabric. On the Friday practice before Michigan's 1962 Homecoming game against Illinois, the "M" club assembled all the non-football letterwinners to form two lines as the players ran off the field towards the locker rooms in Yost Field House. The club was given permission by Coach Elliott to form the the flag tunnel before the game the next day, and the rest is history. As an interesting aside, the "Go Blue" banner measures approximately 40 feet long x 4 feet wide and has been stolen twice during its forty-plus year history. It was also "attacked" by the Ohio State football team in 1973. Go Blue!
*Note: Much of the historical information contained in this post came from an article in the M Letterwinners Club's Winter 2003 newsletter (.pdf format).
Labels: Go Blue Banner