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Wolf
06-20-2008, 01:34 AM
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080618/SPORTS06/806180419/1054/rss19

It was a Monday morning like so many others since Jonathan Datz began working for the district attorney's office in Broomfield, Colo.
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His assignment this April day -- as a deputy DA in a town halfway between Denver and Boulder -- was to follow up on a minor theft, talking to the victim of a car break-in and prepping her for the trial.

But when the victim wasn't home, Datz and other members of his office were stuck killing time with her husband. And in just a few minutes, Datz learned the information he had craved for 10 1/2 years -- and it had nothing to do with criminal justice.

At last, he had confirmation that his quick thinking -- and that of two other student managers -- helped preserve Michigan's undefeated football season in 1997.
'Your heart skips a few beats'

In 1997, the Wolverines were coming off four straight four-loss seasons, the first two under Gary Moeller, the last two under Lloyd Carr. Datz, a senior from Philadelphia majoring in political science, was one of the bevy of managers assigned to handle the menial tasks associated with Michigan football.

"The job of a football manager probably hasn't changed much," said Eddie Magnus, who was a head manager that season. "They help organizing things during the week, the practices, setting up drills, making sure practice runs smoothly, all the way to helping out with travel and doing wakeup on the morning of the game days."

At home games, Datz and Mike Youtan, a senior from southern California, worked the opponents' sideline as ball boys, keeping their mouths shut and staying out of the way.

Until the fifth game.



So he took the plunge and told Carr what Datz and Youtan had observed.

"I absolutely remember that," Carr said recently. "The reason I do remember it is I don't ever remember anybody else offering advice or information during a game.

"Those are all bright guys that get into those positions. But that's the only time I remember one telling me something."

But that still wasn't enough for the coaches to change their signal calling. So later in the quarter, Datz said he ran around the field to repeat the message to Magnus.

The play that finally sold the U-M coaches on the need to adjust came on a third-and-25 with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. That's when U-M tailback Clarence Williams ran a sweep -- an odd call for that down and distance -- and two Wildcats grabbed him behind the line of scrimmage.

At the time, Scott Dreisbach, U-M's backup quarterback, was wearing a headset and signaling the plays. So to confuse the Wildcats, third-stringer Jason Kapsner put on a headset and started signaling, too. (Had the usual backup, Tom Brady, not undergone an appendectomy a few days earlier, he might have been added as well.)

ATXtexanfan
06-22-2008, 06:33 PM
did you say northwestern, did it help?

Texan_Bill
06-23-2008, 03:06 PM
did you say northwestern, did it help?

Mid 90's Northwestern made it to the Rose Bowl and the Citrus Bowl in back to back seasons. I think the same two seasons that they upset Michigan...

ATXtexanfan
06-23-2008, 10:01 PM
your right, can't remember the coach's name. didn't he leave for colorado?

Texan_Bill
06-24-2008, 01:07 PM
your right, can't remember the coach's name. didn't he leave for colorado?

YUP, Gary Barnett left Northwestern in '98 and coached at Colorado from 1999 to 2005.

hookinreds
06-24-2008, 02:54 PM
YUP, Gary Barnett left Northwestern in '98 and coached at Colorado from 1999 to 2005.

Barnett had some gambling issues and a tiff with the AD, picking squares or something like that, but wouldn't suprise me any. Never cared for Barnett anyway.

ATXtexanfan
06-24-2008, 08:34 PM
was he a part of that female kicker fiasco?

hookinreds
06-24-2008, 08:45 PM
was he a part of that female kicker fiasco?

One in the same. Poor guy, just in the wrong place at the wrong time every second of his life.