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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Players Mental Toughness with Bo Schembechler

The following few posts are from my next book “  Players Mental Toughness with  Bo Schembechler.”




Was it a tidal wave, a giant tsunami, a nuclear explosion or earthquake when announced, in 1968, by the media, that Glenn Edward “Bo” Schembechler was named as the head football coach at the University of Michigan by first year athletic director Don Canham. And that Chalmers W. “Bump” was not expelled from the University but was being transferred (booted) from head football coach to assistant athletic director. Was it true? I can’t believe what I just heard; it obviously must be a mistake. How could this have happened to the beloved Bump Elliott? This couldn’t possibly set well with Bump. I’ll wager that his team, his recruits and his Michigan friends were not happy or thrilled with this news.

And, all this was going on within the tumultuous uprisings of the 1960s. There was the pill; Detroit and Watts race riots; the Vietnam War; the Black Panthers; gay and lesbian rights; ban the bomb; and political assassinations  etc. going on campuses throughout the United States and especially at the University of Michigan. That infamous announcement in late December 1968, still resonates and has implications even today (Michigan football continues to set NCAA attendance records).

For those of you not cognizant, the well-respected Bump Elliot was a Michigan football legend. Bump first lettered in football, baseball and basketball at Big Ten rival Purdue University. He left Purdue, before graduating, to serve (called up in 1944) his country. Bump became a Marine Lieut.(saw duty in China) and after his service; instead of going back to Purdue to finish his studies, he enrolled at the University of Michigan, and joined his brother Pete in the Michigan football backfield. He was coached by Mr. Fritz Crisler. Only this time, this handsome Marine became nationally known as one of the “Mad Magicians” in the Wolverine backfield. He was a spark plug that propelled the Wolverines to a big nine title in 1947, and also to a Rose Bowl victory, January 1, 1948, over the USC Trojans 49-0. On top of that, he received individual honors as he was named All-American (1947) By the American Football Coaches Association. This Marine Lieut. excelled on the gridiron, just ask the Trojans.

11 years later, after initially coaching football at other colleges, coach Elliott was named the Wolverine football head coach in 1959 by athletic director, Fritz Crisler, his former head coach another Michigan football legend. And in 1964, the Mad Magician coached his Wolverine squad to a Big Ten title and to a Rose Bowl victory over Oregon University on January 1, 1965. His overall head coaching record (wins-losses-ties) at the University of Michigan was 51-42-3 for a .547 winning percentage. Do not lose sight of the fact or for that matter forget that Bump recruited such players as Jim Mandich, All-American end in 1969; Tom Curtis, All-American defensive back in 1969; Henry Hill, All-American guard 1970; Dan Dierdorf, All-American tackle 1970; Billy Taylor, All-American halfback, 1971; Reggie McKenzie, All-American guard 1971; Thom Darden, All-American defensive back 1971; Mike Taylor, All-American linebacker 1971; Mike Keller, All-American linebacker 1971; Jim Brandstatter, all Big Ten tackle 1971; Jim Betts, defensive back 1970; Frank  Gusich, defensive back 1971; Bruce Elliott, academic All-American and defensive back 1971 and numerous other notables.



After the 1968 football season, Coach Elliott was removed by A.D. Don Canham, in spite of  leading his  Wolverines to an 8- 2 record. However, in that final game of his last Michigan coaching assignment, 43 year old (born 1/30/25 in Detroit), Bump’s Wolverines were pitted against none other than Woody Hayes’ Ohio State Buckeyes. In that game, the halftime score was 14-14 with the outcome in doubt. However, at the games end, the final score left no suspense, as the numbers were Ohio State 50-Michigan 14. Before you ask, how did that happen, there’s more to the story? To make that embarrassment worse or to rub Michigan’s face in the mud, Coach Woody Hayes went for a two-point conversion on Ohio State’s last touchdown in the closing minutes of the game. When sportswriters wondered and asked “Woody, why did you go for two points on your last touchdown?” Woody’s reply was direct, clear and to the point, “because I couldn’t go for three.” That reply tells you and suggests all you need to know about head coach Woody Hayes’ competitive nature. Aside from Woody’s competitiveness spirit, someone said “Woody just poured gasoline on that rivalry.” And the match was lit and the flame became hotter and hotter.

During Coach Elliott’s reign, Michigan’s football attendance was poor by Michigan standards. In fact, their average attendance was roughly 67,000 which was substandard due to the size of their Stadium. Did Bump deserve to be fired by first year A.D. Don Canham? You be the judge. Just ask, how long or how much time could pass before Coach Elliott, who viewed his removal as a slap in the face, work under/or in concert with Don Canham? Well, how about from 1969-70, when Bump left being assistant A.D. after one year to become the athletic director at another Big Ten school, the University of Iowa, of course a Michigan rival.

Not only did A.D. Don Canham, not hesitate to remove All-American Bump  Elliott, as football coach, he made a second decision quickly and hired a young, fiery and spirited Bo Schembechler (an Ohioan, no less) to replace the Mad Magician. This quick decision, the story goes, that it took Canham just a 15 minute conversation between him and Bo Schembechler at a restaurant no less, to offer Bo the prestigious Michigan head coach position. You might not be surprised that it took Bo less than 15 minutes to accept the offer. Just how much can you eat (if not in an eating contest) and/or to discuss the business of the day within just 15 minutes? A fly on the wall could tell who did the majority of the talking. Who do you think did the majority of the talking? What exactly was Mr. Canham seeking from this unknown young man? How did Canham envision Michigan football?


To be continued.


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