Today, it comes across as ridiculous. Archaic. Punitive. Even masochistic.
The University of Michigan from 1972-74 rolled up a football record of 30-2-1. Never once during three seasons of preposterous success did the Wolverines play in a single bowl game.
Now add to that era of unrelenting torture in Ann Arbor a final dash of cruelty:
Had two of three field-goal bids by an ex-Vietnam soldier, Mike Lantry, have been even inches tighter, the Wolverines would not have lost a single regular-season game for three consecutive seasons.
But no. These moments for Michigan, and for Lantry, were sports scripts not of sweetness, but savagery.