Wolverines dedicate Big Ten title game to Tate Myre, all victims of Oxford tragedy

‘We wanted to play for 42 and all those that tragically lost their lives that day and everyone in the community’

The Michigan football patches honoring Oxford High School shooting victims. (Michigan Football/@UMichFootball)

Even though the Michigan Wolverines made it to the mountaintop of the Big Ten, champions for the first time in 17 years, they made it clear Saturday night some things are bigger than football.

Post-game their thoughts were with the Oxford community and those who lose their lives this week.

“Aidan came to me and said he wanted to dedicate this game to Tate Myre,” Jim Harbaugh said shortly after the Wolverines defeated Iowa 42-3 Saturday night. “I said, ‘Yes, let’s do that.’ That was huge.”

Harbaugh said he took the idea to Warde Manuel and the Michigan athletic director handled the rest. Saturday the Myre family joined the players on the field for the coin toss. Tate’s family members were honorary captains of the game. They wore shirts that read: Oxford Strong.

The Wolverines wore a patch on their jerseys with the initials TM as well as the number 42 which was 16-year-old Myre’s football number. There were also four hearts for those who tragically died inside their high school Tuesday afternoon.

Harbaugh said he had talked with the Oxford High School football coach, Zach Line, this week.

“Tate was a warrior,” Harbaugh said. “Football player, wrestler, best athlete in school. The best athlete in school could have easily made it out, been the first one out, but while people were running away from fire, he was running into it. He was a hero.”

An online petition has been launched to rename Oxford High School’s football stadium after Tate Myre.

“We wanted to play for 42 and all those that tragically lost their lives that day and everyone in the community,” Offensive lineman Andrew Vastardis said. “It’s up to God man. To score 42 points?? It gave me chills when I noticed that.”

When the players noticed the final score on the scoreboard inside Lucas Oil Stadium, they knew it was a sign. “God works in mysterious ways,” Aidan Hutchinson said.

Asked by a reporter if the patches would stay on the jerseys for the remainder of the season, Hutchinson and Harbaugh looked at each other and decided right then and there that they would be.

“It’s a community that needs all of our prayer, Harbaugh said. “We wanted to offer that up. We wanted to offer our prayers to a community that desperately needs it.”

Complete coverage: Oxford High School Shooting

About the Author:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.