Vince Dimaggio, was the older brother of that “other Dimaggio. He was no Hall-of-Famer, but Vince Dimaggio managed to hang around the Majors for 10 seasons, and in all but two of them he hit 12 or more home runs. Playing for the Phillies, he hit his fourth grand slam of the season on September 1, 1945.
You didn’t have to be a real serious football fan to know about the University of Michigan Wolverines. This is a team that started playing the game in 1879. They crushed Stanford in the first Rose Bowl in 1902. They won 42 conference championships and 11 national championships!
They also had some great players who didn’t play pro ball, including the MVP of their 1934 team who turned down offers from the Packers and Lions in favor of attending Yale Law School. His name was Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States. (He played in the East-West All Star, but contrary to popular belief, was not an All American.)
And let’s not forget The Big House, which is what everybody calls Michigan Stadium, the official name of the biggest stadium in the United States.
On September 1, 2007 a bunch of kids from a place in Boone, NC called Appalachian State University, came to Ann Arbor to play a football game with the Michigan Wolverines. Apparently the kids from Appalachian State, or as the school refers to itself, “App State”, hadn’t done their research.
They didn’t know that when an unknown Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) team that usually plays in a stadium that seats about 16,000 goes in front of 110,000 maize and blue clad screaming fans at The Big House, to play a team that’s ranked #5 in the country; They’re supposed to get slaughtered. (OK, some football wonks might have known that App State had a kick-ass program, for a second tier school, but nobody else did.)
Nobody told the kids from App State, that after the team who’s favored to win the Big 10 Championship scores first (66 yards on 6 plays), you’re just supposed to just roll over and die.
Maybe they were thinking that all those nice people who packed the stadium to see them get crushed, might actually want to see something that resembled a game. So the Mountaineers came back and answered with a 68 yard touch down pass of their owbn. And they answered again after trailing Michigan at the end of the first quarter, 14-7. Actually Appalachian State answered answered three times in the second quarter, and was leading the Wolverines 28-14 when Michigan cut the lead to 11 with a field goal, 23 seconds before the end of the first half.
Two minutes into the third quarter, Michigan was back on the board with another field goal, only to see App State push the lead back to 11 with a field goal four and a half minutes later. As the third quarter ended, Michigan scored on a four yard run, and could have cut the Mountaineers lead to three, had their two point conversion not failed.
With 4:36 remaining in the game, Michigan finally took a one point lead on a 55 yard touchdown run. (Another Michigan two point attempt failed.) After receiving the kick off, App State was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage. After five plays the Wolverines attempted a 43 yard failed goal that was blocked. The Mountaineers took possession with 1:37 left in the game. With only 26 only left to play, App State kicked a 24-yard field goal and led 34-32.
After receiving the kickoff, the Wolverines completed a 46 yard pass. In the final six seconds Michigan was set up to win it, except Appalachian State blocked their 37 yard field goal attempt. App State beat Michigan 34-32.
And that folks, is why they play the game.