Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bring Back the Wolverine Helmet Decals

Back in the day (i.e., the Bo/Mo era), Michigan had a tradition of awarding a Wolverine decal for a player's helmet in recognition of the player making a significant play. The picture at right is, of course, Desmond Howard striking the Heisman pose after scoring a touchdown on a 93-yard punt return in the Ohio State game. Take notice of the number of decals that he amassed on his helmet during his Heisman Trophy winning season of 1991. However, if you take at look at a picture of Charles Woodson after he scored his touchdown on a 78-yard punt return in the Ohio State game during his Heisman Trophy winning season of 1997 you will notice that his helmet is sans decals. That is because when Coach Carr took over as Head Coach of the Wolverines he ended the tradition of awarding decals.

At the time Coach Carr ended the tradition, I believe he cited the need for team unity and the desire not to put individual accomplishments ahead of team goals. Admirable goals to be sure but I thought the decals looked cool. Now I know that does not sound like a very persuasive argument so I'll go back to my trump card. If it was good enough for Bo it should be good enough for Lloyd. I remember when Coach Carr got hit with that argument at the time he blew right past it with the rejoinder that he would coach the team as he saw fit.

Players are up for individual awards and honors all the time. The University and even Coach Carr himself often promote the candidacy of specific players for individual awards and/or honors. That being the case, I do not think it would hurt team morale if the coaching staff rewarded a player who made an exceptional contribution by awarding that player a decal for the player's helmet as was done under Bo and Mo. In fact, the decals are a source of pride to the players and they would make an extra effort on behalf of the team so they could earn a decal. Besides, they look cool. Go Blue!

14 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Kenny said...

I'm on the other side of the fence for this one. I think they looked bad to begin with and there's no reason to bring them back. I don't think the players need extra motivation in the form a decal to give more effort and if they do then they shouldn't be playing.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

kenny I'm 0-2 with you recently as I was on the wrong side of the early enrollee issue as well. As always, you make a good point. If they are playing for a sticker on their helmet maybe Michigan isn't the place for them. As I said in the post, I was just trying to come up with a better reason to bring back the decals than "they look cool" which is my true motivation. However, it appears you disagree with the premise that the decals looked good. I think Coach Carr would certainly agree with you Kenny that there is no need to bring the decals back.

For those of you like me who want to read me more of Kenny's wit and wisdom click on the link for Westsider Rider in my Michigan blog's listing on my mainpage. That is Kenny's excellent blog. And Kenny, keep reading, I'm determined to post something you CAN agree with before the season starts. I promise. Go Blue!

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

that should have read "who want to read more of Kenny's wit and wisdom" not read me more.

 
At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

The stickers look like buckeyes awarded to the University of Cheaters who Cheat for individual achievement.

They're not Michigan. Leave that crap to Ohio State and whatever flavor-of-the-month wants to pollute its helmets.

 
At 10:06 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

Uh, I think that puts Ben in the "no" column along with Kenny. Thanks for the comment Ben.

 
At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, bring back a hallowed Michigan tradition. After, Bo helped invent it at OSU and Michigan was one of the first to introduce it. Any pics of what the decal actually was?

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

A picture of the original decal can be found here: http://www.helmethut.com/College/Michigan/moorhead.html
This site has great pictures of the game helmet worn by 1970 starting quarterback Don Moorehead. Go Blue!

 
At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helmet decals are not just a Michigan tradition, but a college football tradition. It's one of the great things that separate the college game from the pros. I think the decals make the M helmet even more intimidating myself. I'd like to see them back. To get around the team vs. individual issue, coaching staff could issue EVERY player a decal for a victory, a good week of practice, etc. or each member of the special teams could get a decal for a great special teams play, etc.

 
At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring back the Michigan helmet decals!

They are not Buckeyes, they are Wolverines.

Michigan's helmets look naked without them.

Damn Lloyd Carr for ever taking them off!

Unfortunately, UM is unlikely to see them come back under the Rodriguez era, unfortunately as he is also patently against them.

Even Bo protege Don Nehlen put flintlock gun helmet awards on the new Michigan-like West Virginia helmets between 1980-2000. Rodriguez shows up and no more helmet awards.

I do think Michigan will change to matching dark navy blue chin guards however, and it'd be about damn time.

 
At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am for the no's. There is no "I" in TEAM that is what I love about college football. It is about the team as pros is about the individual. If you are playing for a decal you do not belong on this team or at the BIG HOUSE

GO BLUE !!!!!!!!

 
At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with thos who are aginst them. The think i love about college football is it is about the team not the individual There is no "I" in TEAM. If you are playing for decals you do not belong on this team or in the BIG House

Go blue

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger smorpus said...

I for one am definitely FOR the helmet stickers; but unlike the "Don Morehead" example, I like the one found here http://mvictors.com/?cat=12&paged=2
which shows the helmet sticker I grew accustomed to in the late 70's into the 80's under Coach MO.

 
At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep the helmet stickers with that team in Ohio, obviously Michigan doesn't need them. Go Blue!!

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recognition stickers were first started by Bo at Miami, Oh. It was & is a Bo tradition. All others followed Bo.

 

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