Photoshop Phriday: Harry Newman
Somehow it was not until a few weeks ago that I learned about Harry Newman, who was a consistent MVP for Michigan football in the early 1930s. While I had long known about other players of the era like Benny Friedman and Bennie Oosterbaan, I had never heard of Harry Newman. This is especially surprising when you consider his accomplishments, which include leading Michigan to a 24-1-2 record over three years from 1930-32. With Coach Harry Kipke at the helm Newman was Michigan’s quarterback and also saw time as a running back, a place kicker, punt returner, and safety. In the 1932 season Newman was on the field for 91% of the total minutes Michigan played!
Newman, who grew up in Detroit, met Benny Friedman at a summer camp where he was a counselor. Friedman’s mentoring and coaching would help bring Newman to Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to three straight Big Ten titles. In his final season Newman won the Douglas Fairbanks Award as the MVP in college football (the Heisman trophy did not come along until 1935). Further following in Friedman’s footsteps, Newman signed with the New York Giants (to replace Friedman who was no longer their quarterback). In 1933 he led the Giants to the first ever NFL title game, which they lost to the Chicago Bears. Legend has it that after games Newman would throw banh mi sandwiches into crowds of adoring fans, a practice later capitalized on by sports teams around the country.