Like me, you were probably weaned on the odd and mildly creepy similarities between the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. To wit: Lincoln’s assassin did the deed in a theater and hid in a warehouse; Kennedy’s killer shot from a warehouse and hid in a theater. Lincoln had an aide named Kennedy; Kennedy had an aide named Lincoln. JFK was shtupping Marilyn Monroe; Marilyn Manson once had carnal knowledge of a woman named Lincoln (or something like that).
Other Mansons are equally stunned
The 50th anniversary of JFK’s death got me thinking about other parallels in history, and in particular, those related to Michigan Football (though it might have had more to do with the empty bottle of Bullitt 95 Rye in my trash can than anything on the History Channel last night). Last week, Civil War generals were on my mind. This week, it’s the Soviets and their bolloxed up Race to the Moon….
Spooky, isn’t it?
#3 Sergey “Bo” Korolyov’s Dodgy Heart
In 1965, no one was more important to the Soviet space program than Sergey Korolyov. Although his title was merely “Chief Designer” to hide his real importance and role (out of fear that the U.S. would target him for espionage, defection or assassination) he was, in fact, the visionary powering the early successes against NASA. He was the principle force behind the USSR’s ICBM, Sputnik, Vostok, Voshkod and Soyuz designs, and had a major role in the planning and execution of the first manned mission into space and the first spacewalk.
Unfortunately, his ticker’s sell-by date was January 1966. Korolyov’s first heart attack, in 1960, led to additional cardiovascular, intestinal and endocrinal problems over the years and a warning from his doctors that he needed to “slow down”. In a response that would have made many a Michigan Football coach proud, he simply responded, “To hell with Necro Dread.”
Unfortunately for the Soviets, their succession planning was about as successful as Fitz-up-the-middle when Korolyov’s bravado wrote one too many checks that his body couldn’t cash. For, waiting in the wings, was….
#2 Vasily “I’ll-Make-You-Forget-Whatshisname” Mishin
Upon Sergey Korolyov’s death, Vasily Mishin – by all accounts, a competent engineer – succeeded to the title of “Chief Designer.” But much like Lloyd’s final few and Rich Rodriguez’s three years, or even Brady’s tenure so far, it turned out that Mishin was no Korolyov. He lacked Korolyov’s political authority and found himself mired in competition from others within the Soviet program. Meanwhile,
OSU MSU the Americans were quickly recovering from the disaster of John Cooper John L Smith the Apollo 1 fire and setting their sights on the B1G Championship Moon.
The final setback came during The Horror: four consecutive N-1 rocket launches ended in disaster, permanently ending the Soviets’ hope for a moon landing. In 1974, Mishin was finally relieved of his duties as Chief Designer by no other than
Dave Brandon Leonid Brezhnev when it became clear that new program leadership was needed. By then, the U.S. had successfully landed and returned six manned missions to the Moon and three more entered and returned from lunar orbit (Apollo 8, 10 and 13). While the Soviets would later launch Low Earth Orbit programs including two space stations (Salyut and Mir) the lustre was gone.
Of course, that didn’t mean the Soviets weren’t above “borrowing” a few ideas from the U.S….
#1 The Buran “Any-Similarities-Are-Purely-Coincidental” Shuttle
The Soviet-U.S. shuttle doppelganger
By the 1980s, the U.S. Space Shuttle program was the shiny new toy among the world’s rocket scientists. Much like Michigan’s dabbling in dual-threat quarterbacks, the read-option, inverted veers and slot ninjas, the Soviets deigned to have their own. After a decade’s worth of development (advanced in no small measure by a little espionage) the USSR had its Buran shuttle. Like the U.S. orbiter, it rode into space on the back of a really big booster, landed like a glider, and was carried on the back of a massive jumbo jet between pit stops on Planet Earth.
One, unmanned mission into space was all it got. By the time it flew, the nature of the military and civilian missions it was designed to support had changed so that it no longer served a viable purpose, the USSR was preparing for its date with the ash heap of history, and the Buran was carted off to a museum. Meanwhile, U.S. was taking a fresh look at
manball less complex vehicles that were more reliable.
Fortunately, Russia had a ready-made supply of 1960s-vintage Soyuz capsules with which it was ready to compete on the world stage. No word yet on how it fares against eight- or nine-in-the-box defenses.
A low pressure system is crossing through Wisconsin and Lake Superior, bringing along a warm front we'll experience today, and a cold front following we'll get later tonight and Sunday. We'll see some sunshine and some clouds, but be dry. And temperatures will rise throughout the day, but it'll be a windy one! Hold on to your hats, grab the sweatshirt, and get ready to beat Big Red!
The main rain event looks to stay to the north and we remain dry - seeing some virga likely (rain that evaporates before reaching the ground) and just a few clouds. We're starting off the day chilly - remaining in the upper 30s for sunrise, but with SW winds at 10-15mph, gusts near 20mph (small branches move, loose papers blow about) you can factor in a wind chill in the upper 20s! Tie down those tents! Temperatures will continue to go up, reaching 50 degrees around lunch, and we'll continue to have some clouds and sun. Winds remain out of the SW in the low 20s, with gusts around 30mph (you can hear the wind whistling, lighter garbage cans tip over) as we head into the afternoon.
55 degrees for 3:30! Some clouds will hang out for the start of the game, but we'll still have some sun too. Keeping a SW wind at about 20mph, and gusts are still possible up around 25mph (still a good breeze, and this is when it's hard to use an umbrella, small trees sway).
Keeping partly sunny skies for the middle of the game, and the wind! Temperature will hardly drop yet, maybe a degree or two. Winds remain out of the SW at 20mph, with gusts near 25mph. The good news is, the gusts are starting to fall a little bit heading further towards the end of the game.
Walking out of the Big House -with a win!- hanging on to 50 degrees and partly cloudy skies. Winds have gone down a little, but they're definitely not gone! Staying out of the SW at about 18mph with gusts in the low 20s (moderate waves could be seen on the water). As colder air filters in behind the cold front, expect temps to fall and the winds to shift - but remain pretty breezy. Late night brings Ann Arbor westerly winds 15-20mph, and so although it will be about 45 degrees, it'll feel like 35 instead. Staying out til close? 40 degrees with a wind chill of 30, and winds are now more of a WNW at 15-20mph. Cloud cover has gone down more, and we'll be seeing mostly stars with just a few clouds. Definitely not a night to lose the sweatshirt! Go Blue!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for NBC/ABC in Traverse City, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
As of 6:30pm, I have the results of the survey.
*Caveat: Last nighta t about 7:30 I fixed a typo, and it wiped out about the first 100 entries. Sorry!
Question 1: Please rate your opinion regarding Brady Hoke
Question 2: Please rate your opinion regarding Al Borges
Questions 3-9: How much of a negative influence have the following things had on this season?
Question 10: What should happen at the end of the season?
last nebraska miniprogram until 2018 at least, which is too bad. i have enjoyed them being on the schedule and their fans are very hospitable.
At several times this season things have gotten pretty heated, and it seemed to reach a peak after the MSU game. Personally, I am of the opinion that Hoke is an excellent coach, and that Borges is an above average OC. Regarding the blocking, I know we are very inexperienced in the middle, but I'm not enough of a coach to know what is really ailing our line. Here is where I turn to you. Lately I have noticed some people who are completely outraged about the staff, but I have a feeling that such people comprise a vocal minority. I put together a Google Form to determine how the majority of MgoBlog readers actually feel about the season and the coaching staff. Please take the time to complete this, and I'll report back with the results.
Edit: No embed.
THE MICHIGAN HAT
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You've had enough time to wallow in the misery of last Saturday. Wear your colors and move on... or go buy an Alabama hat so your life can be easier. Go Blue!
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every week here at MGoBlog and on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out the Friday Fun, my weekly single panel comic based on trending Michigan events, available on Twitter and the home page every Friday.