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How Could I Have Fueled the Rocket!?!?
Posted By: URmyBoyBlue
7/17/2008
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The year was 1989 and I was working as the Bell Man at the Holiday Inn “The Holidome” on Jackson Road, Ann Arbor. It was a big deal when we heard the Notre Dame football team was going to stay there for the Big Game. This was before I went to The U, before I stood on South U and saw the real hatred between these two teams and their fans, but I was still expecting the worst about the enemy coming to town. Everyone stayed there - they took over! I got a real laugh when the Mascot checked in – in his normal clothes he looked like a real leprechaun. Everyone was really nice and well behaved. Always stopping to sign autographs and say, “hello.” It was obvious that Coach Holtz made a strong impression on his players. The nicest by far, though, was Jeff Alm, which I always told to people and really thought about when I heard he passed away.

I was looking for Tony Rice, the Heisman candidate Quarterback, but it was hard to find particular players because they traveled and moved throughout the hotel in one huge pack. I gave up, but tried to stay close to witness the dealings of such a program. When it was time for Friday dinner, I offered to help out with the banquet staff. I was walking around the banquet room, filling water (or something) and couldn’t help notice this very animated player holding everyone’s attention with stories and jokes. This was Rocket, Raghib Ismail. I wasn’t real familiar with him, but he was funny. He asked me if the hotel had any juice that he could have with his dinner? I went into the kitchen and, as I was pulling out a glass of orange juice from the refrigerator, the chef caught me and told me and told me, “Nooooo! If one gets it, they will all want it and then there won’t be any for breakfast.” I agreed, but snuck it out to him anyways. I was 16 at the time and wanted to be friends with these guys bad! Sure enough, they all wanted OJ and the hotel ran out that night, forced to run to the local grocery store for a breakfast substitute. After Lou Holtz gave his pep talk (where they all laid on the floor in a dark room), Rocket came out and made a point of thanking me, again. He was a really nice guy, I thought.

The next night, sitting in the hotel TV area, watching Rocket run back two kick-offs for touchdowns; I couldn’t help but think I made a big mistake giving him that juice…
Fighting Back.
"Serious" Lou Holtz
We are in this!!!
The Boys in Blue
 
 
 

The Rocket.


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Welcome to urMIsports! We are dedicated to capturing everything the Fans want to remember about Michigan sports. What's important to us are the stories we all talk about when we get together, the photos you have in UR photo albums that should be part of this great history, the interview questions that aren't being asked of UR heroes.

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