CHICAGO -- Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan caused a stir this past spring when he announced that he and some Wolverines teammates had bought a pig and named it Dr. Hamlet III. The blogosphere, naturally, went nuts over this revelation.
On Thursday at Big Ten media days, Lewan went whole hog on the details of his short-lived swine time. Getting a pet pig was the brainchild of him and his roommates Erik Gunderson, Michael Schofield, Jack Miller and Graham Glasgow, who are all fellow offensive linemen.
"So we bought a pig," Lewan started off, and if there's a better way to begin a story, I haven't heard it. "Offensive linemen are hogs, and that's how that works."
Where do you find a pig? Craigslist, of course. The linemen pooled their money and spent $250 for a teacup pig. As for the robust name?
"I don't know," he said. "I just wanted my pig to have a Ph.D."
The Wolverines players weren't quite prepared for what they had gotten themselves into, however.
"It was fun for about two weeks," Lewan said. "Then the pig got kind of mean. We weren't neglecting it or anything. We were being sweet to it."
The little porker's sour disposition wasn't totally his fault. The house Lewan and his teammates are renting has a lot of hardwood floors and tile, which does not combine well with a pig's hooves. Lewan said Dr. Hamlet III ended up confined to a small rug area roughly the size of a ballroom round table.
"I thought it was going to be a good deal, but I didn't realize the hooves of a pig struggle so hard with the tile," Lewan said. "It got in the kitchen one time, and it was like watching Bambi on the ice, if you've ever seen that movie. It was so comical."
After about two weeks, the players decided that their pig experience needed to end. Lewan said Gunderson arranged for Dr. Hamlet III to find a more suitable home.
"A living animal can't be confined to a small space like that," he said. "So we decided that the best thing for the pig was to give it away, and now he's a happy pig. We sent it to a farm where it could do pig things."
As for the Wolverines linemen, Lewan said they've given up on the idea of having a pet this year. Not even a dog or a cat?
"Nah," he said. "That's too normal for us."