Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Pre-Game Speech

Under Coach Schembechler the pre-game speech was given on Thursday night before a game. According to Bo, that would give two nights for what he said to sink into the minds of the players. (1) Rather than give a fiery speech on Friday, Bo and his assistants would go room to room during bed check and pass out hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. (2) During Friday night bed check, Bo would talk to the players about anything BUT the game that was to be played the next day. He had already said what he had wanted to say during his pre-game speech of Thursday night.

Last season, Coach Carr had Coach Schembechler address the Wolverines during the traditional Thursday night pre-game speech before the Ohio State game. Bo did not focus on the chance for a national championship or the fact that the schools were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation entering the game. Rather, Coach Schembechler spoke to the team about his friend Tom Slade (1971 Michigan starting QB who had passed away a few days earlier) and what it meant to be a "Michigan Man." (3) Bo then, as we all know, passed away the next day- the day prior to the playing of the game.
Assuming he sticks to the traditional schedule, Coach Carr will be giving the Ohio State pre-game speech tonight. If the rumors of Coach Carr's impending retirement are true then this will be Coach Carr's final Ohio State game. Coach Carr's pre-game speech tonight will likely not be about "getting to the Rose Bowl" but will rather focus on how the team stayed together despite early adversity this season and that if they can play AS A TEAM on Saturday then good things will happen. At least that is what I imagine Coach Carr's pre-game speech will be like. If nothing else, I know the team will be motivated. Go Blue!
(1) Bo's Lasting Lessons, p. 224-226, by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon, published by Business Plus.
(2) Bo's Lasting Lessons, p. 214, by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon, published by Business Plus.
(3) Bo's Lasting Lessons, p. 299, by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon, published by Business Plus.
*Note: Photo of Coach Bo Schembechler from Bentley Historical Library, U-M.

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