"Hail! to the victors valiant,
Hail! to the conquering heroes,
Hail! Hail! to Michigan, the champions of the West...."
It is to be a swan song.
The postgame celebrants in the American Legion Hall a block from Michigan Stadium are hardly collegiate. They are men and women of middle years and working-class apparel. They are loud, even boisterous, and in a singing mood. THE SONG comes to them from a venerable jukebox in the cavernous barroom. Recorded by Jan Garber and his orchestra, it is A-1 on the old box.
Two men, both probably in their late 50s, one wearing a raincoat, the other a mackinaw, are watching the USC- UCLA game on one of the television sets above the bar. The telecast followed by about half an hour the end of the Ohio State-Michigan game. These men raced to the hall as quickly as they could in order to get good field position at the bar, for it is assumed the USC- UCLA winner will be Michigan's opponent in the Rose Bowl. The two grizzled viewers do, however, deplore Michigan's inability to gain more than a tie from the Buckeye game. They are inclined to place the blame for this oversight on Franklin, considered by most of the experts to be, with Griffin, the star of the game. Mackinaw and Raincoat do not see it that way. Franklin, they agree, should not be playing quarterback for the simple reason that he is black and, in their view, blacks never make good quarterbacks.
"You don't see any of them in the NFL," says Mackinaw.
"That's right," says Raincoat. "No spooks there."
UCLA's quarterbacks, though indisputably white, are having notably less success with USC than Franklin had with the Buckeyes. The two viewers are quick to observe that one of the frustrated signal-callers is Mark Harmon, son of the immortal Tommy, the Michigan football hero of more than three decades ago.
"Saw Tommy play right here many, many times," says Mackinaw, as, with consummate timing, A-1 is played on the jukebox. "Now there was a football player. Don't see his kind anymore."
"How come," inquires Raincoat, "he let his kid go to school out West?"
"Just look," replies Mackinaw, gesturing toward the screen. "It's obvious. He wasn't good enough to play here."
"Hail! Hail! to Michigan...."