The origins of ‘Go Blue!’

The 1950 Michigan hockey squad may have been the first Wolverines ever to hear “Go Blue” from a crowd of fans. View a larger version of the photo. (Photo courtesy of Copper Country Hockey History)

History does not paint a clear, definite picture of how “Go Blue” became the rallying cry of University of Michigan Wolverines. U-M alum Bob Neir says the term was coined in the 1950s, when he and his friend and fellow Wolverine Paul Fromm attended a varsity hockey game. Neir recalled Fromm standing up and shouting “Go Blue!” At first, the other hockey game guests looked and laughed, but then eventually joined in chanting the now legendary two-word phrase of pride. But in another version of history, in a 1998 letter to Michigan Today, Ann Arbor native Margaret “Peg” Detlor Dungan wrote that Fromm first said “Go Blue” at the home football opener against Michigan State in the fall of 1950. In another 1998 letter to Michigan Today, Charles J. Moss of Midland claimed to have invented and introduced the “Go Blue” cheer at a U-M baseball game in the spring of 1947. He says the cheer was picked up at Michigan football games the following fall, and thus was history made.

— Adapted from “Rhapsodies in Blue,” by James Tobin. To read more, go to


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