Saturday, November 18, 2006

One more story about Bo

One final story about Bo Schembechler.
When he had that 1976 operation, cards and mail from well-wishers poured into the U-M athletic department office at 1000 S. State Street. And the mail was channeled and divided at the building switchboard, an old fashioned kind of board, with giant cables that were plugged into the various phone outlets. It was so 1940s.
Often, I was the one who schlepped upstairs from SID to retrieve that day’s mail to be opened by the SID secretary, Pat, Will Perry’s wife. However, one day, a letter came to the department and all it con¬tained was a cut-out photo of Bo and a stamp. That’s all; nothing else; no physical address; no nothing. Just a thumbnail-sized picture glued to an envelope.
When Bo returned, he was asked about that unusual letter. He laughed.
“That was from Alex (Agase, the head coach at Purdue and lifelong friend when the two coached together),” Bo explained. “I saw it, opened it up and called him. Asked him why he sent it that way.
“’Because I wanted to see just how big a son of a bitch you were in that state,’ he told me. ‘Anyone THAT important can get their mail just be looking at who he is.’”
And he was that important.

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