Posted: Jul 1, 2012 at 4:57 AM [Jul 1, 2012]
A seldom-reported sidebar item of last season's successful U-M football season is the notoriety of the new, huge scoreboards in the Big House.
During construction last summer, the first clue to their immense size were the six supporting large white poles for each of the two boards.
These poles were comparable in size to the River Rouge industrial smoke stacks that are visible from I-94 and intimated that they were going to support a scoreboard that would have a display approximately equal in the square-footage to an aircraft carrier flight deck.
(As an aside: my son serves on the USS George H.W. Bush nuclear-powered aircraft carrier during his tour in the U.S. Navy. I have seen the over-whelming size of a flight deck.)
But did anyone think of the unintended consequences of scoreboards this size?
Thanks to no impediments of reality of even logic, former copy editor at the Ann Arbor News, Jack Gillard, on first impression predicted what those consequences might be.
MID-MICHIGAN: (Birch Run exit on U.S. 23 north, 60-miles north of the Michigan Stadium, man pumping gas into his car at a service station and staring intently southward.) Maw: "Paw, what's takin' so long for you to pump that gas?" Paw: "It's O.K. Maw, Michigan just scored and Ohio State has a minute, 10 seconds before the half. I want to see what happens. Just like watchin' on TV."
(Standish, 120-miles north of the Michigan Stadium, man sitting on his roof with tray holding chips, dip and several cans of beer.) Paw: "Hey, Maw, Michigan just scored!" Maw: "That's nice, Paw, but I was just wondering, how are you going to get down off the roof after your drink all that beer?" Paw: "Carefully, Maw, carefully." (Subsequent story in the Saginaw News:) Junius "Paw" Smechengrabber of 314 Sawdust Street, suffered a broken leg as a consequence of watching the Michigan-Ohio State football game Saturday when he fell off his roof.
UPPER PENINSULA: (High atop the Porcupine Mountains) Several voices: "Michigan just scored, eh? Are we still in the State of Michigan, eh? No, I think Wisconsin annexed us, eh? What time do the Packers play tomorrow, eh? Some scoreboard, eh?"
COMMERCIAL AIRLINER NEAR THE ARTIC CIRCLE, EN ROUTE FROM EUROPE: Pilot: "This is Delta Tango Cha-cha-cha 409. Mayday, mayday. All our navigational instruments and radar are out. Do you copy, Detroit Metro?" Air traffic controller: "Roger, Delta Tango Cha-cha-cha. Will guide you in." Pilot: "Hold on Metro. I can see the Michigan scoreboards. Will home in on that!"