Thursday, June 30, 2011

Newt Loken passes - M legends are dwindling

Newt Loken, Father of Michigan Men's Gymnastics and longtime leader of the Cheerleaders - the real cheerleaders - the guys in the Maize sweaters* that Dave from the short hallway was in - passed away this week.

A year or so ago I was in line behind Newt at the ACE hardware - he was charming the uninterested cashier to the point she almost enjoyed her job.

The first I'd ever heard of him was when my family used to go to the Go Blue Brunch prior to the homecoming football games in the late 70s - early 80s. Thinking back now, those were so packed with Michigan legends it is hard to believe. Newt was just one of many legends that would speak:

Wally Weber - long time freshman football coach
Bob Ufer - no introduction needed - just in case
Millie Schembechler - Bo's wife
Hazel "Doc" Losh - legendary astronomy professor whose grading system included "A for Athletes, B for Boys and C for Co-Eds"
Don Canham - AD extraordinaire

With Newt's passing there is a definite dearth of Michigan's living legends. Who would you consider M's greatest living legends?

Bob Chappuis
Bump Elliott
Cazzie Russell
Red Berenson
Anthony Carter
Rick Leach
Jerry Hanlon
Don Dufek Sr

Is it sad that I don't consider Lloyd Carr a legend? Not sure if it is because he's retired so recently or because I'm disappointed in his lack of obvious support for his successor. Am I too old to consider Tom Brady, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson or the Fab 5 legends?

I guess it also points to the void in Michigan's "greatness" from the late 40s to the 70s.

*How is it possible that the interwebs do not have easily accessible images of the old maize sweater-ed cheerleaders?

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