Meet Michigan's Meanest Man (Bo) [and the players who kept him on his toes]
Currently, the fourth most popular article at "The Vault" on SI.com is a piece on Bo and the Michigan Football program from 1970 entitled "Meet Michigan's Meanest Man." The article captures how Bo was tough but was beloved. The article takes note of the role that safety Jim Betts and offensive tackle Dan Dierdorf played as they "tried to keep everyone loose with a running string of gags." In particular, the article highlights the amusing antics of Betts who is also referred to in the piece as the team's best athlete. The funny anecdotes are meant to show that despite Coach Schembechler's all-business reputation, that he let the players have fun and the team was incredibly devoted to him. As Dierdorf explained, "As Bo says, he runs a tough football program. Run and run and run. The track team doesn't run as much as we do. And their coach isn't as mean, either. But this team has a sense of humor. Practice is serious but there is always time for a laugh."
Tough coach. Lots of running. Still time for a laugh. No wonder the 2008 Spring Practice was giving me a sense of deja vu. Go Blue!
*Note: Photo of Bo's pranksters Jim Betts (top left) and Dan Dierdorf (bottom left) with Coach Rich Rodriguez on 2/5/08.