Friday, June 15, 2012

Legends Patch Nominees: Gerald Ford

Since Desmond Howard became the first Michigan player to receive a Legends Patch, there has been much debate surrounding which players deserve the award as well.  In an effort to settle some of the debate, we will be breaking down a former Michigan football player that we believe should be analyzed as a nominee for a Legends Patch.  This does not mean our writers believe they should be formally nominated in some way, but only that their credentials should be reviewed. If you have an opinion please comment or contact our writers via Twitter.

Nominee: Gerald Ford
Ford played center and linebacker at Michigan.  During his tenure, Michigan won national championships in 1932 and 1933.  Not only did he play for two national championship teams, but he also was an avid leader for the Wolverines.  He once brought assistant coach Bennie Oosterbaan to tears during a game because of his hard work.  His most iconic moment at Michigan was when he threatened to quit the team before their game against Georgia Tech because of Georgia Tech's racist policies.  His play and leadership at Michigan was exceptional, but he is most well-known for becoming President of the United States in 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon.  Not only is he the only Michigan alum to ever become President, but he is the only individual in history from the Big Ten to be President.  His number #48 jersey was officially retired in 1994 for his contributions, but the Athletic Department has now opted to un-retire its jerseys and consider them for Legends Patches.

Does Gerald Ford Deserve A Legends Patch?

Thomas Beindit - No
I say Ford doesn't deserve a Legends Patch because of my belief that Ford's jersey should not be un-retired.  If the jersey is un-retired, then his credentials are undeniable, but I believe Ford's distinction to the school and football team is so unique that no player should be allowed to wear his jersey.  Not only did he contribute significantly on the football field, but he had amazing contributions off the field during and after his time at Michigan.  Obviously, becoming President speaks for itself, but his actions in situations such as the game with Georgia Tech shows how big of an impact he actually made to the school and his teammates.  Because of these impressive contributions, I just don't believe any player should be asked to replicate these accomplishments.  Along with this, the NCAA does not allow centers to wear #48 anymore, so the jersey will have to be worn by a defensive player.  Ford played defense, but he is most well-known for being a center.  Not only will the school have to un-retire his number, which seems like a downgrade, at least in my opinion, but they will also use it for someone who will probably not even come close to Ford's contributions on and off the field and for a player who doesn't play Ford's primary position.  It just makes no sense on so many levels.  If you'd like to hear more of my comments, read my earlier post on the topic here.

Kyle Curtiss - No
I'm going to stick with my opinion that when it comes to Legend Patches--the work done on the field needs to say more about that player than what he's done off the field. Yes, Ford had some nice accomplishments on the field, and we all are aware of his stance vs Georgia Tech, but let's be honest here. He is more well known for becoming the President of the United State than for being a football player. I believe that's also the only reason his number 48 is retired, and I also think it should stay that way. So in the end, no. Keep his jersey retired, and everyone else's for that matter, and don't make it a Legends Patch journey. Please.

Tyler Fenwick -  Yes
I believe Gerald Ford is one of the most deserving members of a Legends Patch for a number of reasons. You could make a case that no single man has represented the University of Michigan in a more classy manner than Ford. From standing up to racism to leading our country in the White House, Ford has always bean an exceptional character. Plus, he already had a retired jersey (which is being un-retired), so that alone gives me the impression that he deserves such recognition. And that is still without touching on the football field. Gerald Ford helped lead his team to back-to-back national titles while playing at two positions. That is unheard of in today's game. For me, the answer was blatantly clear to give the nod for Gerald Ford deserving a Legends Patch.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with  their thoughts,

1 comment:

  1. I say honor Ford in another way.
    He was a tremendous MICHIGAN MAN, but the legends patch belongs longs to someone who made a difference on the field, a player that made a name at his position. (i.e. Charles Woodson)

    Not sure why they decided to remove the retired jerseys but can we have a ring of honor or something to keep their memories.