The 2006 Wolverines, under Coach Carr, at the 12/31/06 Pep Rally the day before the Rose Bowl.
The 2008 Wolverines, under Coach Rod, on 8/30/08 doing the inaugural Victors Walk on the way to the stadium.
The initial Victors Walk was a huge success as fans lined the path to The Big House. However, I noticed that Coach Rod relaxed the dress code. Whereas Coach Carr often made his players wear a coat and tie (see top picture), Coach Rod allowed his players to dress casual. I think the relaxation of the dress protocol is too lenient. Although the players looked fine in their team issued casual duds, I liked that under Coach Carr the players would sport more professional attire. It gave the team an air of discipline and orderliness.
Coach Carr's practice of requiring the players to wear a coat and tie was a continuation of the policy set by Coach Schembechler. In his book, Bo's Lasting Lessons: The legendary coach teaches the timeless fundamentals of leadership, Coach Schembechler recounted what he told the players about dressing up. At page 70, Bo wrote, "When we travel, we represent the University of Michigan and Michigan Football. That's why all of you have been issued a tailored blue suit coat with a Michigan patch on the breast pocket and a maize-and-blue tie, with dark pants." Bo recounted that a player inquired, "Why do we need to wear a coat and a tie just to get on a bus?" Bo wrote that he responded, "I'll tell you why. For one thing, you're going to act better, and you're going to feel better about yourself, when you're dressed properly. You have less chance of acting like a fool, and doing something you'll regret later, when you dress properly. If you're a sloppy-looking guy, then you're probably going to act that way, too. But if you're a class act, then you've got to dress like one and you've got to act like one. That's just part of the discipline of a good program."
Is it a coincidence that the 2008 Wolverines looked like they lacked discipline as they continually failed to execute versus Utah? Maybe the Wolverines should go to a coat-and-tie for the next Victors Walk. Go Blue!