So, in the seeming never-ending fight for truth, justice, and quashing Jim Harbaugh's attacks on sanity, a group of individuals (maybe only one person, for all we know) dropped some R magnets on the football field at the Little House in Paramus and wrote some stuff on the sidewalks to discourage Jim Harbaugh from ever showing his face in New Jersey. Ever.
I'm pretty sure Coach Nutjob is absolutely distraught over this turn of events. We'll come back to John Harbaugh's cross-to-bear later.
So, the perps in the Paramus Catholic vandalism case issued the message to Harbaugh claiming to be members of the "Order of the Bulls Blood", some secret student organization. So secret that I never heard of it, and so I logically wondered if it was real. But how to find out; it's not as if they'd be listed under Student Organizations on the Rutgers website. But I do have two Rutgers degrees; I is smart and figured out that the best source of information here would be the person who maintains all things Rutgers, the University Archivist Thomas Frusciano. And he was happy to reply:
One of my colleagues sent me the link to the story about the Harbaugh camp at Paramus Catholic, the Rutgers students, and the "Order of the Bulls Blood." And he sent the link with the subject: "God, this group won't die....
This group won't die? You mean....there is an Order of the Bulls Blood? We-e-e-ll, maybe. He continues:
This has come up time after time and as far as we have been able to determine, its a hoax! I believe that a former Rutgers student, Christopher Thieme, created the myth and even wrote an entry in Wikipedia, claiming it as a "secret society" at Rutgers.
I don't know about you, but if it's in Wikipedia, well.....
Yeah, well about that Wikipedia entry, Frusciano continues:
The name has surfaced from time to time but Wikipedia has since removed the entry but folks still refer to it. I would love to speak to one of the Rutgers fans who went to Paramus Catholic and claimed the name.
So, it's not in Wikipedia! That pretty much settles it for me.
But about the creator/writer of the myth and Wiki post:
According to Thieme, one of the Bulls' members was former Congressman William Hughes of South Jersey. Well, Hughes donated his papers to Special Collections and University Archives many years ago and on one of his visits to the library, I asked him about the Order of the Bulls Blood. He never heard of it, laughed about it, and even commented that since it's a secret organization, he assumed that if he was a member, he wouldn't tell me!
But now back to Chris Thieme:
Chris was a student at Rutgers in the 1990s but I'm not sure if he ever graduated. He served a jail sentence for beating a woman with a pool cue and then was arrested recently on charges of hiring a hit man to kill a woman, who's bank account he was going to drain. The "hit man" led Chris to a place in Caldwell, where the F.B.I. waited to arrest him. The story from nj.com this past January tells the story.
So, that's all I know about the "Order of the Bulls Blood".
And as Paul Harvey used to say, "and now you know...the rest of the story".
But wait! There's more.
It wasn't just bloggers and miscellaneous fans who took up arms against the vandals. There were those in high places who apparently found evil in the hearts of the perps:
History has documented many "secret orders" that have brought our country great shame.— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) June 9, 2016
Glass houses....throwing stones. Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy.
There is a history on many college campuses of "secret societies", including Rutgers and Michigan. In the case of Rutgers, there were efforts to curb some of them as far back as 1917. One that remained, Cap & Skull, went public and mainstream and is now an honor society (boring). Paul Robeson was a member.
Michigan has what is now called Order of Angell (after a former University president) but for almost a hundred years, it was called Michigauma. It changed its name following protests over the groups structure, organization, make up (gender and racial), and rituals. Among its members were former president Gerald Ford and former UM football coach Bo Schembechler. And a friend of mine. And here's what he told me about Michigan's "secret society":
The organization that Coach Harbaugh [my friend wasn't sure but he thought so], President Ford, myself and other notable characters belonged to then, and what it has evolved into today have some fundamental differences. We worked in secret for the betterment of Michigan and what it stands for. There was public fanfare and yes, we had a special meeting room at the top of the Michigan Union. The Secret Service was Not allowed in at the direction of the President himself. We worked closely with Mott's Children's Hospital and still do today.
Doesn't sound very sinister. In fact, it sounds pretty benign and helpful. He continued:
In my year, the Captain(s) of every men's varsity sports team, ROTC, campus newspaper and student government were all part of the group. (No women members back then). One of the things I still do is donate my Michigan-Ohio St football tickets to a family that has a child at the Mott's Children's Hospital.
Hmmm. Honestly, I wish we had something like that at Rutgers: bring together student leaders, connect them even more to the University, and do some good for the community.
Well, meanwhile, back at the ranch, those n'er-do-wells, the Order of Bulls Blood have decided that their actions weren't all serious and in fact were just a harmless prank. They issued this missive to Harbaugh:
The Mr. Harbaugh,
Hope all is well.
After the events that took place yesterday,
None of which we expected.
You showed nothing but
Kindness and courtesy to us students.
You are highly respected amongst our peers, and
Obviously, we hold nothing but
Utmost respect for you and the.
The 2016-2017 Class
The Order of Bulls Blood
We R Back
Seriously, guys? In the first message you cryptically told the guy Go F*** Yourself. Now you're saying Thank You? Or actually THANYK YOU. Look, either you think the guys a menace and a jerk or you don't. And 24 hours shouldn't change that.
Order of Bulls Blood?
Sounds more like Bull S**t.