February 25, 2017 Rest in Peace Harrison “Boss” Weeks!

Michigan Football Team 1902 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Team Captain Harrison “Boss” Weeks shown here with the undefeated Michigan team of 1902. Weeks is in the middle row, holding the ball, with Fielding Yost to his immediate left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today’s post celebrates the memory of Harrison “Boss” Weeks who went to rest in peace on this day in 1906 at the age of twenty-six. Apparently, he died of complications from typhoid fever or diphtheria which was very sad. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Harrison Samuel “Boss” Weeks was born on April 3, 1879 at Fort McIntosh, Texas, His father was a military officer so young Harrison saw a lot of Texas and New Mexico growing up. When Harrison’s father left the military, the Weeks family returned to dad’s hometown – Allegan, Michigan.

Harrison S. Weeks came to Ann Arbor in 1899 to earn a college degree and play football for the Michigan Wolverines, just like some of his brothers. As it turned out, he accomplished both tasks successfully.

Weeks played enough as a freshman and sophomore to earn letters as a back-up quarterback in 1899 and 1900. He played on Gustave Ferbert’s last team (1899) and Bif Lea’s only team (1900). Michigan went 15-4-1 during that time, but the best was yet to come.

Harrison S. "Boss" Weeks 1901 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Boss Weeks with the real “Boss” of MIchigan Football in 1901 – Fielding Yost. Apparently, Weeks understood everything Yost told him to do, especially “Hurry Up” when on offense! Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Harrison Weeks came back in 1901 to play for his third coach in three seasons. Fielding Harris Yost arrived in Ann Arbor and was eager to make a name for himself. Harrison Weeks, and some other talented football players, helped the energetic Yost do just that!

Harrison Weeks became the undisputed “boss” of the first two Yost teams that took college football by storm. He led Michigan to two perfect seasons from 1901 to 1902. Even more amazing was the fact that Michigan outscored their opponents by a margin of 1,194 to 12 during that span. It was, and still is, the most dominant two-year run of football ever! Boss Weeks led the “Point-a-Minute” teams that could not be stopped. He helped Michigan win two straight conference titles, two consecutive national championships and the first Rose Bowl in history.

As good as he was, Boss Weeks would not be the subject of today’s post if he wasn’t associated with some Michigan important “football firsts.” Here are the ones that I found:

·         Member of the first team, and only, team coached by Langdon “Bif” Lea in 1900.

·         Member of the first Fielding Yost team at Michigan in 1901.

·         First quarterback to lead Michigan to eleven wins in 1901 (11-0-0)

·         First quarterback to lead Michigan to a national championship in 1901.

·         First Michigan quarterback to lead the offense to over 100 points in a single game (128-0 vs Buffalo) on October 26, 1901. (Note he did it two more times in 1902 against Michigan Agricultural College 119-0 and Iowa 109-0).

·         First Michigan quarterback to lead the offense to over 500 points (550) in 1901 and over 600 points (644) in 1902.

·         First quarterback to lead Michigan to victory in the first Rose Bowl in January 1902.

·         First Michigan quarterback to lead Michigan to a perfect record (22-0-0) over two years of football.

So, today is a good day to remember a true Michigan football great named Harrison “Boss” Weeks. Harrison S. Weeks was the “Gold Standard” for Michigan quarterbacks – period! He was a great player and a great leader which made him a legendary Wolverine player. I don’t think a quarterback will ever lead Michigan the way he did in 1901 and 1902.

Thanks to Boss Weeks for setting a very high standard for Michigan quarterbacks! May he always rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boss_Weeks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1902_Michigan_Wolverines_football_team

 

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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