(Bill Rapai) Yeah, pretty much...
FIRST: Yawn. Like, nothing? Michigan had 13 even strength attempts and 3 of those came from home plate. Everything else was from quite a distance. Of those 13 attempts, 5 were on frame. This was Michigan from a few weeks ago. I really can't remember anything worth mentioning.
SECOND: Michigan created 9 even strength attempts. That's not good at all. At least 6 of those came from home plate? Yay. So, when they could look to the net at even strength, it was probably from a decent spot. This is an anomaly and I don't really know what to say about it...thank you for skewing the data? They're going to need more than 9 looks at the net per period.
- THIRD: So, Michigan created 19(6) in this period. Which...does not feel like was what I saw. Ten of those were on frame. I guess 5 were on the power play. That makes a little more sense. Michigan ends with a 42(14) at 33%. 42 is low-ish (overall, not for M this season) and 33% is average for the season. Michigan won 3rd period corsi by 10, mostly because the actual score was 4-0 for the entire period. So, this stat is a little skewed tonight. And honestly, there were 21 combined penalties, so even strength time was very limited.
FIRST: Michigan allowed 20 even strength attempts but only 5 from inside home plate. Of those 20, 14 were on frame. MSU threatened once on a 2v1 and another few times on some bad clears or sloppy passes. JLF had to be sound a few times, but that was mostly in the last 6-7 minutes of the first period. Before that...not a whole lot happened. This looked like a game between #5 and #6 in the Big Ten. Oh, look at that...
SECOND: So, the defense was not good. There were missed clears, DZTOs, and failed passes all around. Oddly, there were somehow only 13 even strength attempts on net for MSU...and only 3(!?!?) came from home plate. This is a weird game. MSU had 2 shorthanded attempts from the slot. Insert shruggie here. Michigan's problem was not as much the sheer volume but the bad DZTOs. Piazza and Dancs combined for a terrible one that resulted in a mini in-zone breakaway that was converted. Ugh. If it's not one thing, its another with this defense.
- THIRD: Michigan allowed only nine even strength attempts in the third period. Four of those nine came from home plate. That's not a great ratio, but the overall total is fantatsic. Over half of MSU's attempts came on special teams. Normally, I stand by these corsi numbers, but tonight's are a little deceiving. Michigan had a bad goaltending gaffe, a really bad SH goal against, an AWFUL DZTO, and a lucky shot from the boards that all went in...and pretty much nothing else. The overall defense has been bad, but it is not accurately reflected in the corsi numbers from tonight. This game is an outlier.
FIRST: I mean, not really. Michigan drew a penalty and barely got their power play set up. It was not inspiring. On the plus side, they did not take a penalty.
SECOND: Penalties for everyone! Michigan had three power play chances, but scored on none of them. They did look threatening on their 2nd and 3rd opportunities, though. Unfortunately, they gave away a shorthanded goal on a 2v0. Lethemon made a few nice saves and the Wolverines still have not scored against MSU at Yost, this season. Michigan also gave away three powerplays to MSU. They also looked threatening but did not score. They did however tally right at the end of one of theirs...so, kinda a power play goal? Sure, but not statistically.
THIRD: Michigan somehow had five (!!) powerplays in the third period. Wow. Apparently, they had their chances. Anyway, they finally scored on the last opportunity to get their first goal against MSU at Yost, this season. Michigan gave MSU two more powerplays in the third. MSU scored on neither of them They did however score another shorthanded goal that was a
shotpass at the net that Nagelvoort just fanned on. In the end, MSU went 0/5 and M went 1/8.
FIRST: Jack LaFontaine started in net and he did not have much to do for a while. As the period progressed, MSU started controlling more and he was forced to make a few tough saves. JLF was up to the task, though. He hasn't started since the PSU series, but it was difficult to tell. After a couple of soft goals last night, it was not a surprise to see JLF in net. Lavigne has played very well, lately, but last night was an excuse to give someone else some playing time. In the end, JLF made 14 saves in the first period.
SECOND: Jack LaFontaine played the first half of the second period before getting injured. He looked good while he was playing. Boka was checked into the post and hit JLF in the process. He skated around, stayed in the game, but ultimately came out at the following whistle. The goal he conceded was a fling from the boards that went through at least two skaters and apparently evaded his vision, as he had no idea the puck was by him. He ended up with 18 saves on 19 shots. Nagelvoort came in to relieve him. He was not put in good situations, as neither goal he allowed was his fault at all. The first was a bad DZTO between Piazza and Dancs where Osburn walked right in a roofed one above Nagelvoort. The second was a 2v0, shorthanded. Nagelvoort has no shot on either.
- THIRD: Nagelvoort actually had a good period...after the first goal. So, he had to be off-balance, but...an attacker was fading away from the net and just half-heartedly flailed a puck at him and he slid right by/over it and it went into the net. No one was in the way. That's about how this game went. He actually looked good after that mess. Stuffed a couple breakaways and was solid, holding his posts a few times. Goaltending wasn't the reason M lost this game. The 4th goal was not great, though.
ODD MAN RUSHES
FIRST: MSU had two OMRs. The first was a 3v2 that ended in nothing really. I don't think the puck ended up anywhere near the net. The second OMR was at the end of a shift for M and Cox beat Calderone down the ice. Calderone did close well and impacted his shot...that JLF saved, anyway.
SECOND: MSU gets a 2v0 breakaway, shorthanded and beats newly-inserted Zach Nagelvoort. 2v0 shortanded is pretty bad.
- THIRD: MSU had 2 semi-breakaways...Nagelvoort stopped both. OMRs were a problem, tonight. Only 1 goal allowed, but 4 breakaways and a threatening 2v1. This hasn't happened in a while. Glad to see these are back, too...
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan State 42, Michigan 41 HOW???? THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Michigan State 43 , Michigan 41
Happy 150th Birthday, Maize & Blue!
Sunday, February 12, marks 150 years of Maize and Blue being the school colors of the University of Michigan. I’m guessing that this will get some press elsewhere, but I thought the story would be of interest to fans and alums, so here it is:
Adoption of Azure Blue and Maize as School Colors:
On February 12, 1867, a committee of the “literary department” gathered in the College Chapel for some important business – the adoption of school colors for The University of Michigan. Established in 1817, the school had for fifty years made no declaration of the school colors.
Our college colors were chosen at a meeting of the literary department held in the chapel on Saturday, February 12, 1867, when Milton Jackson, ’67, Albert H. Pattengill, ’68, and J. Eugene Jackson, ’69, the committee appointed for the purpose, reported a resolution in favor of “azure-blue and maize”, which was adopted. In about ten years the colors came to be styled, as they are now styled, yellow and blue. The original blue was neither light nor very dark, and the yellow was decidedly golden. Never has there been any warrant for the sickly yellow and the faded blue furnished by some of the tradesmen of Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Mvictors quoting The Michigan Book, pub. 1898 LINK
The official word came via resolution:
Your committee, appointed to select emblematic colors for our University, unanimously agree in presenting as their choice, Azure Blue and Maize, and recommend that the following resolution be adopted: 'Resolved, that Azure Blue and Maize be adopted as the emblematic colors of the University of Michigan
Liene Karels (Fall 1996). "Which Maize and Blue?". Michigan Today(courtesy of Wikipedia).
Of note, committee member Albert Pattengill went on to be both a professor of classical and romance languages at Michigan, and to chair the athletic board (precursor to the athletic department) until he died in 1906. History of the University of Michigan, Burke Aaron Hinsdale, page 263, Courtesy of Wikipedia. Maize and Blue have been integral in both academics and athletics from the time of their adoption.
OK, So What Are “Azure Blue” and “Maize”?:
The business of trying to pin down exactly what “Azure Blue and Maize” are, though, took another 45 years. The inspiration from 1867 is generally agreed to be the color of a clear blue sky (which narrows it down to approximately one hundred thousand possible colors, IMO) and “Indian corn” (which is far more specific IMO, but not – apparently – in the pre-Harbaugh athletic department of recent years). So what exactly are “Azure Blue” and “Maize”? The question remained unsettled until 1912. (And color scientists can reasonably argue that it remains unsettled to this day – although the Pantone colors used by the Office of Communication are pretty well-defined.)
In 1912, disheartened by the pastel-ization of maize and blue in official uses, a committee prepared a report for the Regents to achieve an official designation of the particular school colors, underscoring that it would not stand to have our athletic teams wearing baby blue and nursery-room yellow (that’s what 1990s UCLA would be for). History of the University of Michigan, Burke Aaron Hinsdale, page 263, Courtesy of Wikipedia.
The committee report is well worth a read, and can be found HERE. The report concluded:
There appears to be no record that the exact shades of the colors of the University were ever determined. The color blue was made use of officially by the University before the class of 1867 chose the "maize and azure blue" as emblematic of the University. LINK
The report continues on to observe:
In short, the blue color, which is the one longest associated with the University, starting with a shade almost as dark as "navy blue" has gradually weakened until it has the tint known as "baby blue." The maize, likewise, has faded to correspond, and is now an expressionless pale yellow. So delicate have the colors become, that they have not only lost their original character, but are ineffective in decorations, and useless to the Athletic association, which has been forced to employ colors entirely different from those which recent graduates regard the University colors. It is only necessary to see the diversity of the banners which are displayed in the store windows to realize the confusion which exists.
Then, to clarify, the committee references other undefined colors:
Azure blue, as defined by the dictionaries, is lapis lazuli, Prussian blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, the clear blue color of the unclouded sky. Maize is the color of the Indian corn.
Bentley has an example that I believe is circa 1912, although it may have faded over the years:
Current Style (http://vpcomm.umich.edu/brand/style-guide/design-principles/colors ):
Do the current colors hit the mark? We’ve seen this debated on this site before, but I submit that they are pretty close (and great looking). I might want a little more saturation in the maize, and perhaps a smidge darker, but I’m happy with what they came up with.
So Happy Birthday, Maize and Blue! For 150 years we’ve enjoyed the best color combination of any university, anywhere. Well done, Messrs. Jackson, Pattengill and Jackson!!
[Note - Any time someone writes on this site about the school colors, I’m impressed by the collective knowledge on the topic and the passionate views as to what the school’s official colors should be. So if anyone has corrections, etc., please put them in the comments. I’ve provided citations and hyperlinks at points above for the curious.]
(Bill Rapai) The Captain certainly did his part
FIRST: Michigan gets 14 attempts in even strength. Of those 14, 5 came from the home plate area. Both of Michigan's goal also came from even strength. Slaker drove and created the first as he ripped a shot that was deflected behind the net. He got to his rebound and threw it back at Minney who got it lost in his pads before kicking it into his own net. A bad goal to surrender but props to Slaker for putting the pressure on Minney. The second goal was a scramble in front and Shuart poked one into Minney who lost a second puck through himself into his own net. Michigan got deep in the slot/crease as the period progressed and it paid off in this period.
SECOND: Michigan had a productive offensive period. They generated 16 even strength attempts, including 5 from the dangerous area. They also got 10 shots on frame. While most of their attempts were from distance, the did drive most of the play and controlled the puck. It ended up paying off with a couple penalties and that's where Michigan tied the game.
THIRD: Michigan had its best offensive period in the third, registering 18 attempts in even strength and getting 9 of those from in the dangerous area. Lethemon made a couple of game-savers with his team down a goal or else Michigan would have had this put away. The one goal they did generate was a snipe form De Jong (again) from above the circles. Cutler Martin looked to screen and De Jong buried his 4th career goal. Michigan was able to get into the home plate quite often, creating 40% of the attempts from a dangerous spot. That's above their 34% season average and their 30ish% average against State earlier this season.
- In OT, M had a corsi score of 5(2), with a couple nice looks to win the game.
FIRST: Michigan's defense was not as bad as it first seemed, watching the game live. They gave up 13 even strength chances but only 3 from the dangerous area. When in even strength, Michigan did a good job of keep the chances to the perimeter. The even strength goal did come from an unmarked guy (not great) but he was below the dot and Lavigne had position but weirdly moved on the shot. They did have some giveaways and bad clears but overall limited the quality looks.
SECOND: A great defensive 2nd period from the Wolverines. They only allowed three shots on goal, eight even strength attempts, and ONE from the home plate area. That's one of the best defensive periods that Michigan has played during this season. Granted, Michigan had two power plays and MSU did not have any, but minimizing MSU's even strength attempts and keeping them away from the center of the defensive zone is a cornerstone of defensive success. Well done, this period.
THIRD: Michigan, again, only allowed 14 even strength attempts. That's higher than earlier in the game, but still managable. Unfortunately, 7 of those came from the home plate area. That's not a great ratio. The one goal was off a bad giveaway by Luce in the defensive end. He lost the puck in his skates and an attacker centered it to an open man in the slot who tied the game, late in the third. Adam and I debated on twitter if the blame was more on Luce for the DZTO or Boka for not checking the slot attacker. Either way, neither is a good look and it ended up costing Michigan a win. State ended up with 41 attempts and 13 coming from the home plate area. That's about 31% which is slightly lower than Michigan's season average of 33%. In their previous series, State got 28% of their attempts from dangerous areas. So, an blah third period after two much better periods...and then one terrible sequence.
- In OT, M allowed a 6(2) corsi score and a lucky bounce off the pipe and Lavigne's head to get to a shootout.
FIRST: Not great. Michigan did not draw a penalty, but took two penalties. Cutler Martin blasted a Spartan really late after the puck was way gone. Hotaek says that Martin is very fired up for MSU games and plays a bit too physical, wanting to wreck somebody. The second penalty was Appleton stick-handling through all four M skaters before being taken down by the other Martin. That was just lazy defending all around. State ended up getting a 5v3, the puck never left the zone, and a tried Michigan trio was late to harassing the crease-front tap-in. No chance for Lavigne.
SECOND: Michigan's first power play chance was effective but they did not convert. Minney made a couple nice saves to limit their threat. On their 2nd PP, they were able to convert, though, as Nolan De Jong waited and then ripped a shot from just outside the dot that went past a terrific screen in front of Lethemon. Michigan also did NOT take a penalty in the second period. Hooray!
- THIRD/OT: There were no power plays for either team in the third period.
FIRST: Not a great period for Lavigne. He's beaten short side from a wide angle shot...on which he's on the post. While the shooter wasn't marked, Lavigne was seemingly where he needed to be and it still got by him. He also looked a little sloppy in his rebound control and even some positioning. He settled down as the period went along, though. Lavigne ended up with 7 saves.
SECOND: Lavigne had another uneven period. He was tested a lot, facing only 3 shots. He did let one get past him, though. A shot from the boards to his right hit a couple bodies and changed speeds. As the puck finally approached him, he vacated his spot on the right post and an attacker immediately poked the puck between his recently moved skate at the post. Not sure where he was going. Very un-Lavigne-like game, so far.
THIRD: Lavigne had his best period. He faced six shots on frame and the only one he didn't stop was bad turnover deep in the defensive zone that was finished by a one-timer in the slot of an unchecked attacker. He also made 2-3 very good saves and was more consistent with his positioning and puck control. Not a great game, overall, but got better as the game progressed.
- OT: Lavigne stopped one shot and headed one away after it hit the crossbar. He was also 4/5 in the shootout.
ODD MAN RUSHES
FIRST: I did not see Michigan give up an OMR.
SECOND: Another OMR-less period.
- THIRD: MSU had a 2v1 after forcing a turnover at the Michigan blue line. Lavigne made a relatively routine save to squelch that. That's all.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan 53, Michigan State 41
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Michigan 51, Michigan State 43
So, inspired by Seth's scheduling proposal earlier this week, I decided to take a pen and paper and sit down and see if I could, under the current 14-team Big Ten (yes, I'm leaving in Maryland and Rutgers, it's what we got, let's face reality and make the best of it), create a scheduling alignment that allowed every team in the conference to face every other team in the conference, home and away, within four seasons.
It can be done. In short, there would be "floating" divisions that would reset every two years, in two groups of four, and two groups of three. In long, well, keep reading!
The first order of business is that it's necessary to ditch the permanent 7-team divisions. In order to create "fluid" divisions, we need two groups of four, and two groups of three, as stated above, in which each team in a given group would play every other team in that group every season. Those groups are below. I grouped based on proximity and traditional matchups.
|Hate Quad Group|
|East Coast Group|
|Toledo Strip Group|
|Ohio St*||Michigan**||Michigan St***|
The asterisk represents teams that are in the same column in "small" groups, and are each team's permanent crossover opponents. Crossover opponents in "small" groups are for schedule balancing purposes only and may or may not reflect historical "rivalries". Yes, Michigan gets a blah opponent to play every year, in addition to Ohio State and Michigan State, but it's necessary for schedule balancing, and I couldn't think of a better way to do it.
Now, all we have to do is take each team's group and, where necessary, small group crossover opponents, and combine them with those from other divisions to form our 4-year schedules, which I have done tabularly below.
|Hate Quad Group|
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|HQG||at HQG||HQG||at HQG|
|at HQG||HQG||at HQG||HQG|
|HQG||at HQG||HQG||at HQG|
|at ECG1||ECG1||at TSG1||TSG1|
|ECG2||at ECG2||TSG2||at TSG2|
|at ECG3||ECG3||at TSG3||TSG3|
|IG1||at IG1||IG3||at IG3|
|at IG2||IG2||at IG4||IG4|
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|IG||at IG||IG||at IG|
|at IG||IG||at IG||IG|
|IG||at IG||IG||at IG|
|at TSG1||TSG1||at ECG1||ECG1|
|TSG2||at TSG2||ECG2||at ECG2|
|at TSG3||TSG3||at ECG3||ECG3|
|HQG3||at HQG3||HQG1||at HQG1|
|at HQG4||HQG4||at HQG2||HQG2|
|East Coast Group|
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|ECG||at ECG||ECG||at ECG|
|at ECG||ECG||at ECG||ECG|
|HQG1||at HQG1||IG1||at IG1|
|at HQG2||HQG2||at IG2||IG2|
|HQG3||at HQG3||IG3||at IG3|
|at HQG4||HQG4||at IG4||IG4|
|TSGp||at TSGp||TSGp||at TSGp|
|at TSG1||TSG1||at TSG2||TSG2|
|Toledo Strip Group|
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|TSG||at TSG||TSG||at TSG|
|at TSG||TSG||at TSG||TSG|
|IG1||at IG1||HQG1||at HQG1|
|at IG2||IG2||at HQG2||HQG2|
|IG3||at IG3||HQG3||at HQG3|
|at IG4||IG4||at HQG4||HQG4|
|ECGp||at ECGp||ECGp||at ECGp|
|at ECG1||ECG1||at ECG2||ECG2|
This all checks out. For visualization's sake. I've created 4-year schedules for Nebraska, who is in a 4-team group, and Michigan, who is in a 3-team group, to show that the math and rotations do check out. Please note that these are simply lists of opponents and not a chronological order of when the actual games would be played.
(Hate Quad Group)
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|Wisconsin||at Wisconsin||Wisconsin||at Wisconsin|
|at Minnesota||Minnesota||at Minnesota||Minnesota|
|Iowa||at Iowa||Iowa||at Iowa|
|at Rutgers||Rutgers||at Michigan||Michigan|
|Penn St||at Penn St||Michigan St||at Michigan St|
|at Maryland||Maryland||at Ohio St||Ohio St|
|Illinois||at Illinois||Indiana||at Indiana|
|at Northwestern||Northwestern||at Purdue||Purdue|
(Toledo Strip Group)
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|Ohio St||at Ohio St||Ohio St||at Ohio St|
|at Michigan St||Michigan St||at Michigan St||Michigan St|
|Illinois||at Illinois||Wisconsin||at Wisconsin|
|at Northwestern||Northwestern||at Minnesota||Minnesota|
|Indiana||at Indiana||Nebraska||at Nebraska|
|at Purdue||Purdue||at Iowa||Iowa|
|Maryland||at Maryland||Maryland||at Maryland|
|at Penn St||Penn St||at Rutgers||Rutgers|
I won't go through the 4-year schedules for every team, but I think it's clear that this algorithm works. It wouldn't be perfect, and undoubtedly wouldn't satisfy everyone, especially if a strength of schedule discrepancy arose during a conference title run, but at least you're only going four years max between conference opponents.
I'm a big fan of the movie Jackie Brown. It’s one of those flicks I just have to watch whenever I see it on the cable guide. As a matter of fact, it was on Tuesday night and I couldn’t turn it off even though the basketball game had started.
Do you remember that scene where Odell Robbie (Samuel L Jackson) discusses the virtues of his favorite long rifle, the AK-47? While I was piecing this story together, I imagined Odell reciting those lines, only, instead of the AK47, he was talking about this guy running down on kickoffs.
“Dog 99. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to smash every m*****f***** in the wedge, accept no substitute.”
This dude was created to play football. At 6’2” 235lbs with athleticism, strength, speed, and a relentless desire to implode would-be blockers, Dog was someone you kept your eye on on kickoffs. He wore #99. You couldn’t miss him. And he was just as unforgettable off the field, too. He had this booming voice, an ever-present smile, and always with something positive to say. He was tough physically and mentally, and as you’ll read later on, he never EVER stops challenging himself.
Carlitos Bostic grew up just down the road from the Big House, in Ypsilanti. He was widely recruited because he brought speed and athleticism to the outside linebacker position. At the time, we ran a 3-5 and our OLBs were usually taller, stronger guys who could take on tight ends and fight the hook blocks. Lawrence Taylor had just exploded onto the NFL scene, and college coaches wanted a guy like that on the edge of their defense. That’s the kind of player coaches saw in Carlitos.
Just about every school in the Big 10 recruited him, as did West Virginia, a couple SEC teams, and UCLA. Well….UCLA recruited him until Carlitos innocently informed the Bruins coaches that his high school teammate Eric Ball was interested in heading to Westwood. Terry Donahue focused on Ball who ended up having a stellar career in California while Michigan would get their LT.
Before he pledged to Michigan, Carlitos took a trip to Columbus Ohio where he was hosted by Pepper Johnson, Keith Byers, and Rory Graves. The Buckeyes wanted Bostic bad and they pulled out all the stops, including fancy meals at the best restaurants in town. This was a new experience for the young kid from working class Ypsi. He wasn’t exactly accustomed to the fine dining scene. When you’re a teenager being wined and dined on a recruiting trip, you cut loose a little. For Carlitos, that meant an appetizer of shrimp cocktail. Hey, if they’re paying….. /shrug emoji
What the hell, make it two.
The waiter barely had time to put the first one down before Dog dug in. He plowed down a couple shrimp and quickly noticed everyone at the table was sitting there staring at him. Slack jawed and silent, they gazed at this kid from Michigan mowing down his shrimp…..peel and all.
“I have never seen anyone eat like that before” said Graves. “Dog, you GOTTA come to Ohio State. You’re a beast.”
Carlitos was a little embarrassed but he and Coach Earl Bruce shared a laugh about it the next day. The Buckeyes (and Michigan State, for that matter) really made him feel like a priority and gave him non-stop attention. Truth be told, he was pretty close to signing with the Buckeyes. Close. Not close enough, thankfully.
On his Michigan visit, Bo and Coach Moeller were straight to the point and made no bones about wanting Carlitos’ aggressive style of play on the edge of their defense. For his hosts, they paired him up with fullbacks Eddie Garrett and Dan Rice. These two were imposing figures; big, strong, tough guys who were built like brick shithouses. They were the exact kind of football player Carlitos wanted to be. And they also had a hell of a sense of humor.
As much as Ohio State tried, they couldn’t overcome A) proximity to family, B) playing in the Big House for Bo, and C) legendary Outside Linebackers coach Milo Vooletich.
Milo was a special coach and man, God rest his soul. He stood out from all the other coaches. He was tough, direct, and intimidating. He didn't put up with any BS, but he loved his players. If you sat in a meeting room with Coach Milo, you paid attention and did your job. And then you’d get a story. Let me tell you, the man could tell some damn funny stories. I’ll never forget the way he eloquently described the job of a tight end.
“When that son of a bitch is trying to block you, what he’s really trying to do is shit in your yard. The line of scrimmage is the property line and that guy is trying to SHIT. IN. YOUR. YARD. Don’t let him shit in your yard. Push him back. Make him shit in his own goddamn yard.”
That description stuck with me for years and I used it on my OLBs when I coached.
Milo was a coach, mentor, professor, and sometime father figure. You might not have liked the ass chewing you inevitably got, but you knew two things: you probably deserved it, and you weren’t gonna do whatever it was you did, again.
Carlitos’ first game action was, of course, on special teams. He was amped up and ready to bust some heads. When the Kickoff team huddled up, Carlitos couldn’t contain his excitement. He brought enthusiasm to kickoff coverage that hadn’t been seen before. He was jumping up and down, cheering, and chomping at the bit. It was infectious. Soon, others were sharing his enthusiasm to make a play. They set goals as a unit to make the tackle inside the 15 yard line. He and Allen Bishop would have friendly competitions about who would make the bigger play on kick coverage. Bo always emphasized special teams, but Carlitos brought it up a couple notches. When we kicked off, you kept your eye on 99.
Carlitos went on to have a very successful career. Usually, this next section is where I would normally go into greater detail about the player’s career, but this time, I want to focus on what Carlitos did AFTER Michigan. That's not to diminish his career, by any means, but in my opinion, what he did after his 5 years at Michigan is much more impressive.
Upon graduation, he gave the NFL a shot, starting with the Detroit Lions, where he camped with guys like Chris Spielman, his brother Rick, and Benny Blades. Carlitos and Chris would go at it almost every day. You can imagine the chirping that went on, each play, every day, day after day after day. The last time Bostic and Spielman met in The Game, Ohio State came back from 13-0 deficit to beat the Wolverines in the Big House for Earle Bruce’s final game as the Buckeye’s coach. I'm sure Speilman was a gracious winner.
When his shot at the NFL was over, he played for the Toronto Argonauts, spent time in Europe playing for Finland, and then semi-pro for the LA Quakes, where he took part in their "Super Bowl". When his playing career was finally complete, he coached for a season at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut.
Carlitos returned to Ypsilanti and worked as an “In-School Detention Monitor”, while serving as an assistant coach on the Ypsi High School football staff. He enjoyed his work and liked helping kids, but there was something missing. It wasn’t what he dreamed of doing. As a kid, he and his dad would watch football games and war movies and talk about things fathers and sons talk about. Carlitos dreamed about playing football, but he had another dream, too - one that not many were aware of.
One day, a Marine Corp recruiter walked into Ypsilanti High to talk to the students about life in the Corps. Carlitos stood in the back of the room as the Marine gave his presentation. Carlitos listened intently. He heard things like honor, service, challenge, and commitment. The same things that attracted him to Michigan were now striking a familiar chord. After it was over, he stuck around to ask more questions. I imagine he started to get that feeling like he did before his first time down on kickoff. Heart pumping, eyes wide open, and that unforgettable smile on his face. He was sold on what the recruiter said the Marines could offer. Carlitos found his passion again.
He trained for his physical exam and ADSVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) like he was preparing for the NFL draft. He got stronger and a whole lot bigger – up to 275lbs! After completing Officer Candidate School, he went onto The Basic School which, according to ‘Litos, is college for the Marine Corps Officers-in-training. He struggled some because he wasn’t prepared for all the running. At 275lbs, he weighed as much as some of our starting linemen back then. The physical stress affected his ability to handle the mental side and the required disciplinary aspects of military training. Let’s face it, this stuff is hard as hell, and it’s supposed to be. There’s a reason they are a proud FEW. He busted his ass, but it simply wasn’t enough. He didn’t pass. He’d have to repeat the cycle. Disappointed but not discouraged, he got back in line and did it all over again. Another chance was all it took. Dog99 busted through on his second try with flying colors. Outside of football, it was the best experience he ever had.
His initial Military Occupation School was artillery, because of course a guy known for flying down the field and launching himself through enemy lines would be in artillery. From there he worked in Transportation. His first unit participated in “Operation Restore Hope” in Somalia from December 1992 to May 1993. This US-led coalition was there to provide a safe environment for humanitarian operations.
His next unit was with 1/5 – 1st Battallion/5th Marine Regiment based out of Camp Pendleton. Nicknamed “Geronimo”, this battalion has been involved in every conflict the United States has ever been involved in. (cite Wikipedia)
While stationed at Camp Pendleton, he also played for the Marine football team as a player/coach, earing a spot on the Corps All-Star team.
Said Carlitos, “My experience in the Marine Corps training was unbelievably amazing. Learning and performing 'call to fire’ which is spotting and communicating enemy positions or vital targets for either air strikes or heavy artillery support operations. Land navigation training and exercises was an activity I appreciated the most, and a skill I have retained until this day. Discipline and Leadership are the qualities that have benefitted me the most in my career. I truly loved being a part of another team, and that team was focused on mission completion and war fighting skills. I wish I could’ve served in the military first, before my football playing experience. It would’ve been a sure advantage. Oh, and I loved the weapons that I had the chance to train, utilize, and become an expert in using.”
I think everyone who has read these stories of former players gets a sense of how tough it is to play football at Michigan and excel at an elite level. There’s 100-something guys on the team. The majority of them were all-state in high school. A good many were All-American. But to go from 5 years playing football for Bo to the United States Marine Corps as an Officer? I find that to be the most impressive feat of all. There were a few guys I’m aware of that did it: Bob Popowski, Geoff Bissell, and Jim Sinclair, who actually served his time BEFORE walking on at Michigan. These guys were my heroes when it comes to Michigan football players.
Carlitos left the Corps having attained the rank of Captain. It was a vital part of his growth as a man and a person. He says he learned a lot about himself as a leader of young men and women who chose to place their lives on the line to serve our country.
He now works for Aramco Oil & Gas Company in Saudi Arabia as a safety supervisor and project manager. Prior to that, he worked with ITS 1/Gilbaine in Afghanistan and Williams Energy in West Virginia, Texas, and Louisiana.
He has 3 children: a 25 year old daughter who lives in Germany, a 19 year old daughter who runs track and field at Michigan, and a 7th grade son who has a lot of Dog99 in him.
Carlitos added some things at the end of his email that he wanted to share with “anyone who cared to read it”. I want to include it because I have so much respect for him and what he’s done and the experiences he’s had.
- Enjoy and make the most of every day.
- Use wisdom to help you in this journey
- (For any present day athletes reading this) make the most of the opportunities the University of Michigan provides. It is truly an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
- Also, as athletes, take time to meet classmates that aren’t athletes. You’ll be amazed at the interesting students and professors on campus.
- Be passionate regarding your sport and teammates.
- Never finish practice or a game not having given your ALL.
- Cherish the relationships and memories of your time in Ann Arbor.
- Love like every day is your last.
- Take time to realize that quality of life is totally based on how you choose to live it.
- God loves you.
Those Who Stay….
I arrived just into the second period. So, analysis for the first two periods will be short and just numbers-based.
(James Coller) Oh look, he's uncovered in the crease
FIRST: Michigan tallied 27 even strength attempts, including 8 from the home plate area. That's slightly less than a third coming from the dangerous area...which about their average this season. They also generated two goals from even strength. Both of these are welcome continuations from the first couple periods of last night's game. Looks like I missed a good offensive period.
SECOND: Michigan was only able to generate 12 even strength attempts on net, which included 5 from the home plate area. They did score twice from the dangerous area, though. I would like more attempts on net from even strength but there were eight penalties called, so that does limit 5v5 time.
- THIRD: It's like a carbon copy of last night's game. Michigan took 13 attempts on net with 4 coming form the home plate area. And only 2 were remotely near the crease. Pretty much everything was from the perimter. Like last night, Michigan came out with a ton of energy and firepower in the first and just kept fading as the game continued. After OSU tied it at 5, I was just waiting for overtime...or the OSU game-winner. Michigan ended up with 52 (18)...35%. However, that number kept dropping as the game dragged on.
FIRST: Michigan allowed 14 even strength attempts in the first period, including 6 from the home plate area. Ohio State tallied one even strength goal and it also came from inside the dangerous area. Allowing 14 (6) has been a lot better than may of the periods this year, though. Progress?
SECOND: Michigan's defense took a step back in the second period, allowing 18 even strength attempts (8 of which came from the dangerous area). Now, we're pushing close to 50%. That's way too high. Most of OSU's best looks came from the power play, but still...too many attempts are still coming from way too close to the net.
- THIRD: Michigan allowed 16 even strength attempts and 7 from inside the home plate area. OSU's offense was stimulated by their power play, but they still had a too many good looks close to Lavigne (who made multiple bail-out saves). In the end, Michigan allowed 48 even strength attempts with 21 coming from the home plate area. That's 44%. Woof.
FIRST: Michigan drew one power play, took a shot, and scored on it. Hooray! Apparently, Dancs had a sick backhanded pass to Slaker who earned the tally. Michigan did allow two power plays against them and OSU was able to convert on one of them. I've heard it was quite a snipe. OSU's power play is living up to its billing.
SECOND: Michigan got one power play and did not convert. It did not look super threatening, either. They did allow three more power plays and OSU scored on two of them Michigan's penalty has been less than stellar in this series, but OSU has moved the puck well and generated nice looks on both of their special teams goals. If M is going to hang on in the third, they will definitely need ot stay out of the box.
- THIRD: Michigan took another penalty (two actually for a 5v3) and gave up another goal. I talk more about it later. They just took way too many penalties for the quality of their PK (poor, lately anyway) and OSU's PP (very, very good). Michigan did not draw a penalty in the third period. OSU finished 4/7 and Michigan finished 1/2.
FIRST: Hayden Lavigne started in net again and saved 8/10 shots. My fellow colleagues say that neither goal was his fault and that one goal was quite impressive. I really cannot add anything to this.
SECOND: Once again, from what I was able to see, Lavigne played fine, I think. He made 12 more saves and both goals came on the power play, one of which was a slick high-low pass to an unchecked attacker (surprise!) outside the crease.
- THIRD: Two more goals beat Lavigne in the third period. The first was a 3v2 break that was tipped off a great pass. The second was a centering pass from below the goal line to an uncovered guy in the high slot and he one-timed it past Lavigne who...there's no way he saw it. Unmarked guys, man. Not much goalies can do with them. Also, he made about 3-4 crazy saves just to keep Michigan around.
ODD MAN RUSHES
FIRST: I had none, obviously. But, the consensus up here is that there weren't any.
SECOND: I saw one that looked like a semi-breakaway on which the attacker was interfered with and lead to a penalty.
- THIRD: On a 5v3 PK, Slaker tries to go short-handed and gets caught up ice. Easy 3v2 and a great centering pass and tip beat Lavigne. I think that way it...but again, very eggregious. Blah.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan 52, Ohio State 48
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Michigan 56, Ohio State 49