What The Hell Was Happening At These M-MSU Games In The ’40s?
Apparently, in the 1940s, people could just run onto the field at halftime and start fights. How else would you explain these videos?
1941: The First Halftime Brawl
This game between the University of Michigan and what was then Michigan Agricultural College was tied 7-7 at half time when fans from both sides streamed onto the field and began what is described as a 'brawl' by the guy who posted this video online, a self-described UM Football historian who goes by Dr. Sap.
But the whole thing seems weirdly organized and allowed. No one seems to be stopping the people from running around on the field and tackling each other.
I can find no historical reference to a 'brawl' happening at this game, nor the next footage I'm about to show you from the following year.
One might think that if there was a real brawl at this game, it would made the news, but I can locate no account of it. But these guys look like they're fighting for real.
1942: The 'Brawl' Takes Place INTO the MSU Band
This video is actually a little weirder, as this time, the group of students takes to the field again, and the 'brawl' seems to run directly into the MSU band.
Again, this whole event seems to be organized, as you can definitely see the students stream onto the field in kind of a conga line formation or even like they're playing a game of 'crack the whip'.
In this video, the students rolling around on the ground are broken up by Michigan cheerleaders, who seem to be the only ones who are interested in restoring order.
I have searched several newspaper accounts of these games and no one references a brawl taking place at half time, so I'm still under the belief that this was some sort of either student prank or an allowed exercise that everyone seemed to be okay with.
Either way, it's kind of odd, especially considering that if anyone made even the slightest attempt to get onto the field at halftime today, security would shut you down. Don't ask me how I know.
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