Hail! to the Marketers Valiant: The Trouble With Michigan Football

Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor Photograph by Simon Bruty/Getty Images, Photo Illustration by Businessweek.com

My earliest memory of University of Michigan football is from 1969, when I was 12. I sat in front of the family TV, watching teary-eyed tight end Jim Mandich being carried off the field as the Wolverines upset top-ranked Ohio State, the defending national champs. After the game, I went out to my suburban Detroit backyard to play football with my pals, pretending I was tailback Billy Taylor, No. 42.

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