Life and Times

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's been a surreal day. I'm not going to say anything that hasn't been said already, but I'm going to anyways. Bo Schembechler was, besides my Dad and Grandpa, my main role model growing up. Quite simply, he was a man who believed in living a certain way...and instead of just talking about what he believed in, as many do in today's world, he actually lived his beliefs. He was loyal. He had integrity. He demanded nothing but the best from himself, which allowed him to do the same with others...not just as a football coach, but in all areas of his life. Many stories have come out today from people that didn't play football here in Ann Arbor who had their lives touched by Bo...people who had only met him briefly, and then seen him again years later, to have him remember something personal about their brief encounter. He would remember specific details about these encounters such as someone's hometown or their family...and ask about them. Aside from showing his meticulous attention to detail, these stories also exhibit the geniune interest he took in the well-being of others.

As an example, Free Press columnist Chris McCosky wrote a nice piece about an encounter he had with Bo:

http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061117/SPORTS08/611170461/1004

Sure, he wasn't perfect...he could be a mean son of a gun at times...but he was a guy who pushed people to accomplish feats that they might not have originally thought they were capable of...a true coach in every sense of the word. Honest, loyal, disciplined, hard-working, LOVING. Those are a few of the many attributes that describe the old coach. Speaking personally, he is the main reason I developed such a love for this University as a kid...a love that has only grown with time as I have been fortunate enough to spend time here. The integrity with which he ran the program here can't be questioned. Neither can the results. And most importantly, neither can the simple fact that he touched many, many, many lives simply by sticking to a standard of excellence in all aspects of his life and never wavering.

And let's get another thing straight...Bo wouldn't want to watch the game with anyone else other than Woody Hayes!!! If ever there were some higher forces at work surrounding a sporting event, this would have to be the one. I'll be leaving for Columbus in 4 hours and, like other Michigan fans all around the globe, have felt Bo's spirit in me all day long...AND LORD KNOWS EVERY SINGLE MICHIGAN MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IS GOING TO NEED IT TOMMORROW IN COLUMBUS!!! BO WOULD WANT US TO REPRESENT MICHIGAN IN A MANNER WORTY OF BEING CALLED "LEADERS AND BEST" TOMMORROW! FROM EACH AND EVERY PLAYER STRAPPING ON THAT WINGED HELMET TO EVERY SINGLE FAN MAKING THE TRIP DOWN!!! WEAR YOUR MAIZE AND BLUE WITH PRIDE AROUND COLUMBUS!!! HANDLE YOURSELF WITH DIGNITY AND CLASS!!! AND HELP US BRING HOME A VICTORY THAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST VICTORY SINCE NOVEMBER 22ND, 1969!!! GO BLUE!

"The team, the team, the TEAM!!!"
--Bo

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