John Stewart shares a story about his dad, Bob Stewart, playing for Ohio Wesleyan in the first football game at Michigan's "Big House” on Oct. 1, 1927. The re-dedication of the Michigan Football Stadium this past Saturday prompted the memory.
This past Saturday was a very nostalgic time for my family and me with the re-dedication of the Michigan Football Stadium in Ann Arbor. My father, Bob Stewart, was privileged to play for Ohio Wesleyan against the University of Michigan in the first football game that was played in “The Big House” on Oct. 1, 1927.
The football team for Ohio Wesleyan University took the train to Ann Arbor for this dedication game in the “Big House” against the University of Michigan. The starting fullback for Ohio Wesleyan University was Bob Stewart. He had played on an undefeated high school football team in Coshocton, Ohio, and was timed in the 100-yard dash at 10.2 seconds.
When Ohio Wesleyan got the ball on offense, they handed the football off to their fullback, Bob Stewart. He ran up the middle and got knocked down. Later, in that game, the U-M team broke my father's nose. Bob Stewart leaned down to the ground, picked up a little mud, and put it into his nostrils to stop the bleeding. Stewart finished the game, but the University of Michigan had won their opening game in the “Big House” 33-0.
A few years later, my Dad moved to Wyandotte, Mich. In 1934, Bob Stewart started to attend the Wyandotte Kiwanis Club every Tuesday noon. This was the beginning of an international, perfect-attendance record for a service club, set by my father, which was 65 years and six months (same club, same time and same day).
On Sept. 18, 2010, my Dad would have celebrated his 101st birthday. He would have loved to have been there for the re-dedication of “The Big House” Sept. 4, 2010.