As a lifelong Michigan Wolverines fan, I was very excited heading into the 2007 college football season.
The Wolverines were coming off a 2006 season in which they won their first 11 games and went to the Rose Bowl. Quarterback Chad Henne, runningback Mike Hart, and tackle Jake Long were all returning for their senior seasons in 2007, and the team had lofty expectations.
All of the team's goals, however, were shattered on September 1st, 2007 when Appalachian State roared into the Big House and stunned the Maize and Blue 34-32.
For the past five years, many people, including me, have wondered how Michigan could have possibly lost that game. Well, that question could have finally been answered.
In an interview with Chat Sports, an unnamed Michigan player on the 2007 team stated that several of the team's starters partied the Thursday and Friday before the game and subsequently got high the morning of the Appalachian State game.
The source also states that the team had no real leaders. The leaders from the 2006 team, Lamar Woodley and David Harris, had moved onto the NFL. The new leaders, Chad Henne and Jake Long, were apathetic at best, and when Mike Hart tried to step up and be a leader, his words were met with resentment.
The coaches were no help to the players either. The former player says the coaches hardly game planned for App. State and that they didn't check up on the players Friday night at the hotel.
For this to happen at a major college program, especially one with the rich history of Michigan, is shameful.
Lloyd Carr and the coaching staff should have known better not to underestimate an opponent. This lesson is taught at the youngest levels of the game.
Chad Henne and Jake Long were the obvious leaders of the team and should have stepped up to the plate. They came back to school for their senior seasons to win a national championship, or so they claimed. Words without actions are meaningless, and those two definitely didn't back up their words with their actions off the field.
Finally, we come to the players that actually participated in the pregame partying. Not game planning enough is one thing, but to actually hurt your body and mind before a game is so far beyond arrogance that I'm ashamed they can be called Michigan football players.
If this unnamed player is telling the truth, the loss to Appalachian State hurts even worse now. For the past five years, I've been under the impression that Michigan went out and just laid an egg. To find out how cocky the team was before the game, and the extent they went to express their arrogance, just makes me sick.
September 1st, 2007 was the start of a severe downward spiral for the Michigan football program. Though it was a sad day made even worse by the latest revelations, I have faith in Coach Hoke and the current group of players to not repeat the sins of their predecessors and bring Michigan back to national relevance.
Joey Hnath is a lifelong Michigan Wolverines fan whose first college football memories are of Charles Woodson and the 1997 Wolverines. He has been covering college football since 2011.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Michigan Wolverines
- Chad Henne
- 2007 college football season