Michigan Football: That Famous Banner — Long May It Wave
College football fans, especially loyal alumni, love the particular traditions that distinguish their alma mater from other institutions.
Michigan is exceptional in those “particular traditions.” The case can easily be made that collectively the great Michigan traditions top all others. The great band entrance and the traditional pregame program never changes but never grows old. The winged helmet absolutely speaks for itself; so does the playing of “The Victors,” and so does the Big House.
While winning, or during the times that losing takes place, the Michigan fandom has always shown constant appreciation for what Ann Arbor has.
According to selected on-site historical sources, the banner tradition started during the term of Bump Elliot in 1962. Students made it, both undergrads and grads. Sources state that the first effort was a simple Block M on a six-foot piece of fabric. Now the banner is a full forty feet long. Hockey Coach Al Renfrew and his wife have been credited for getting the banner effort going.
The banner has been stolen a couple of times and assaulted by the forces of Dr. StrangeHayes in 1973, a game that may have been the nastiest in the long Ohio State/Michigan series.It is a simple act running out of a tunnel to a sideline. It is equally simple to jump about a foot and touch the banner. It has become, and will remain, a great honor to be associated with this tradition.
It is refreshing to see this Michigan tradition stand the test of time. Like everything magnificent about the program, the basis of Michigan’s core essence remains strong and constant. That is a great comfort.
The hope here is that what is best about the Michigan tradition is never eliminated or metamorphosed. Some guys once said, “Let it be.”
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
Go Blue — Wear Maize!