DELTA CHI WINS SHEEPSKIN ON THE HOOF
Submitted by Keith Hellems, ’62
During the fundraising campaign I had the pleasure of talking to Henry Winchester ’51 on multiple occasions. He entered the fraternity during the early days when they had just come back on campus in 1948. While talking to him and later when he did his DX biography, he mentioned the delivery of a live lamb to the Michigan DX from the Ohio State DX to pay a wager the two chapters had made on the 1950 football game. In the 1950’s thru the 1970’s, it was not uncommon to wager a “sheep skin” on the outcome of a football game. This particular game became one of the more famous in the history of the rivalry.
From Wikipedia, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan%E2%80%93Ohio_State_football_rivalry) is this short excerpt:
One of the more famous games in the rivalry is the 1950 contest, colloquially known as the Snow Bowl. Eighth-ranked Ohio State, coached by Wes Fesler, was scheduled to host the game on November 25 in Columbus amidst one of the worst blizzards on Ohio record. The Buckeyes, who led the Big Ten, were granted the option to cancel the game against Michigan, which would have, by default, given the Buckeyes the Big Ten title outright. Ohio State refused, and the game was set to be played. Amid howling snow and wind, in a famous example of a “field position” game, the teams exchanged 45 punts, often on first down in hopes that the other team would fumble the ball near or into their own end zone. Ohio State’s Vic Janowicz, who would claim the Heisman Trophy that year, punted 21 times for 685 yards and also kicked a field goal in the first quarter for the Buckeyes’ only points. Michigan capitalized on two blocked punts, booting one out of the back of the end zone for a safety and recovering another one in the end zone for a touchdown just before halftime. Despite failing to gain a single first down or complete a single forward pass, Michigan gained a 9–3 victory, securing the Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl berth. Heavy criticism of Fesler’s play calling led to his resignation and the hiring of Woody Hayes as his successor.
For more detail, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Bowl_(1950).
Henry sent a copy of the newspaper article about the sheep delivery published in the Ann Arbor paper December 10, 1950. It is included below for your perusal.
Henry was a great alumnus, serving as a continued supporter of the chapter. During the new house campaign, he donated $8,500 over 4 years.
If anyone has additional information on this article or topics of interest let me know. We would like to publish items of interest to our Michigan Delta Chi brothers.
Contact Keith Hellems ’62 OR Frank Morrey at:
3928 Rust Hill Place
Fairfax, VA 22030