I hope many of you have a chance to read John Kryk’s epic recap of the 1973 Ohio State-Michigan game and the ensuing fallout from the athletic director’s vote in Hail to the Victors 2013. Seth & Brian included an epic shot of the Buckeyes tearing down the coveted M banner before the game.
Fast forward four years later when Ohio State returned to A2 in 1977. Did you know those dastardly Buckeyes tried it again? This time the M letterman holding the banner were ready and defended the precious placard. Compliments of the Dr. Sap archives, here’s audio ol’ Bob Ufer describing the scene:
Perhaps the banner incident fired up Dr. Strangehayes. This was a little over year before Woody’s career ended when he slugged Clemson’s Charlie Bauman in the ‘78 Gator Bowl, but that wasn’t the only time the old man threw a punch on the sidelines. Late in this very 1977 game ABC cameraman Mike Freedman got a little too close to Hayes and the old man decked him right in the chest. I haven’t seen the clip (anyone out there?) but as I understand it, the TV audience saw Woody take the swing but didn’t see much after that. Freedman was jolted but wasn’t seriously injured.
When confronted about the punch in the postgame presser, Hayes didn’t apologize and told reporters, “Go ahead and write it.” As he stormed off he got the in face of a reporter and said, “You have somebody stick it in your face every week and see how you like it.” In the papers Bo defended his mentor by noting his own issues with his temper and admitting he wasn’t crazy about the cameras roaming the sidelines.
Finally, I loved this. The Daily quoted the great AD Don Canham talking about why he felt TV reporters belonged on the sidelines:
“Oh, $600,000, that’s why. When you guys (writers) give us 600 grand, we’ll put your fannies on the bench if you want.”