Today is a great day to wish “Happy Birthday” to a Wolverine lineman named Michael Dames. According to the 1987 Michigan Football Media Guide, Michael Dames was born on this day in 1966. He attended Miami Beach High School in Miami, Florida. By the time Michael graduated in 1984, he was a high school All-American guard who was heavily recruited by many top schools. Fortunately, he decided to attend Michigan and play football for Coach Bo Schembechler.
(Note-Michael Dames (#76) blocks Buckeye Chris Spielman (#36) in 1987. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
Future Michigan Man Michael Dames arrived in Ann Arbor in 1984. He was listed on the 1984 Michigan Football Roster as an “Offensive Guard.” However, he did not see any action during his freshman year and burned his red-shirt.
Michael did not start any games in 1985, but he played often enough and well enough to earn his first varsity letter. Michigan finished the season with a final record of 10 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie and a final ranking of #2 in the nation. It was a good year for Michael Dames and Michigan.
Dames returned in 1986 and started Michigan’s first eleven games before he suffered a knee injury. He earned his second varsity letter and helped the Wolverines win a share of the Big Ten Championship. Bo’s footballers ended the season with a final record of 11 wins and 2 losses and went 7-1-0 in the conference. Michael earned All-Big Ten Honorable Mention from the Associated Press writers.
The 1987 season started slowly for Michael Dames because he suffered a rib injury in spring practice. He did get healthy enough to start six games that season. Michigan posed a final record of 8-4-0. The Wolverines slipped to fourth place in the conference with a record of 5 wins and 3 losses.
Expectations were running high in Ann Arbor in 1988 and Michael Dames was looking forward to his best season. As it turned out, he didn’t start any games, but played some more good football for the Wolverines. Michigan lost the first two games of the season. However, they went undefeated for the last ten games. The Maize and Blue ended the season at 9-2-1 and won the Big Ten Championship with a record of 7-0-1.
So, Michael Dames finished his Wolverine football career with four varsity letters and two championship rings. His final season probably didn’t turn out the way he envisioned it. Fortunately, he finished what he started at Michigan and left Ann Arbor with his head held high!
Today is a good day to remember the contributions of Michigan Man Michael Dames to Wolverine Football. Michael is another important part of the “long Maize and Blue line” that has produced the winningest program in college football history. Happy Birthday Michael Dames – I hope you have a great day today! Go Blue!
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