"The Team, The Team, The Team" is the University of Michigan's mantra, hammering home the Wolverines' lauded focus on group achievement. In University of Michigan Where Have You Gone? narrator Mary Kane takes a look at the real team players, investigating charismatic stars as well as people often overlooked in favor of trophy winners, admiring the individual triumphs and amazing feats of teamwork that bolstered this respected football program. With tales of 50 Wolverines, University of Michigan Where Have You Gone? provides a welcome acknowledgement of the winning contributions of both unsung heroes and star athletes.
The numbers appear to be incongruous. The University of Michigan has won more football games than any other Division I-A school, yet the program has only produced three Heisman Trophy winners and precious few winners of other individual awards. The numbers are understandable, however. The focus of Michigan football has always been on the team rather than the individual.
"The Team, The Team, The Team" has for decades been one of the program’s best known mantras. No one player, not even someone worthy of the Heisman, is considered greater than anyone else. Team goals come first. Still, the storied history of the Michigan football program is composed mostly of the exploits of its players. While that history might start with the likes of Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard, and Charles Woodson, it does not end there. For every Heisman Trophy winner, there are hundreds of other players who helped to make the Michigan winged helmet the most recognized symbol in college football.
University of Michigan Where Have You Gone? offers a look at 50 of those other players. Some had a singular moment that would forever define their careers. Others played an exceptional game, in many cases against the Wolverines’ biggest rivals. Still others are remembered for a marvelous season. All of them helped Michigan become, as the words to the school’s fight song suggest "The leaders and best" and "the champions of the West."