alternate headline: man does job
Let me start off by saying, I’m not that old. I’m 24 (it feels really old compared to 2 years ago when I was graduating). Some of you might read the title and think “Get Off My Lawn” but that’s not what I’m going for. The more and more I’ve thought about the Notre Dame game this year, the more upset I get. I’ve got tickets, I’m going, I’ll love it… but it won’t feel like Michigan Football. I don’t care at all if we have a Fullback, or play a 4-3, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is the Game-day Experience. Yes, this will be the first night game, yes everyone else has night games, and yes, Prime Time exposure, etc. etc. this really seems like a net positive. But part of me thinks that with the whole thing we’ve sold out. I’m a 3rd Generation Michigan Grad, and I love that when I went to games from 2005-2009, it started just like when my mom and dad when to games in the late 70s, and when my grandparents went in the late 40s/early 50s. The Marching Band formed their block M,
the Fanfare M, they played the Victors, the team came out the Tunnel, and they looked like this:
- is that Henne? Devin? Leach?
- is that Arthur Walker, Paul Seymour, Jon Jansen, Jake Long, or Lewan?
Their seats looked like this:
Now, I can’t help but feel that we’re all of a sudden every other team in college football. We’ve got skyboxes (granted, the construction ended up looking great, and I’ve taken the tour, and they’re amazing). We’ve got Lights. We’ve got Special K and we’ve got (allegedly) Maize alternate/throwbacky/cash-grab Jerseys.
So, all the things that I (we?) have claimed to hate throughout the past few seasons we now embody.
Michigan will Take the Field and it will be OMG MAIZE JERZEYS! I CAN BUY JERZEYS?
After Michigan takes the field “I Got a Feelin’“ I know what Special K will play (I feel like every time they went to commercial in this game the damn Black Eyed Peas song played, I know that the movie has AC/DC) - Dunno if embedding is working, but Iowa 2009, when Iowa took the field: (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsHF31w8-sU&feature=related)
The Fatcats in their Skyboxes will see the numbers, the ratings, the jersey sales and think that this was successful. And what’s next? Our old scoreboards looked like this
Will our new ones look like this?
Again, I’m excited for the night game, I’m going, I’ll love it, and I hope Denard gets 503 yards and we beat ND 77-0 (with at least 1 Mike Martin Pick 6). But part of me really likes that we’re (we were?) different. I hope to really enjoy the Night Game, but come November, on a Gray Saturday afternoon I’ll bundle up, trudge through snow and slush to my seat which looks like this
to see Michigan play in The Game, hoping the sun peeks through the clouds, and our team will look like this:
And the band will play the Victors and it’ll just feel… right
The Jim Tressel years at Ohio State, from a Michigan fan's perspective, as told through all Rolling Stones U.S. studio album titles (though the albums are not in chronological order)*:
*-warning: some reaches are shoulder-separating in nature
England's Newest Hitmaker: OK, Ohio's. Only variation here. With the Ohio State football fortunes reeling in January 2001, head coach John Cooper is finally fired after 13 seasons of disappointments, great expectations and ultimately false promise. Enter Jim Tressel.
Beggars Banquet: The night of his hiring, he attends an OSU basketball game and promises the crowd they'll all be proud of their Buckeyes in the classroom, in the tattoo parlors and, most especially, at the auto dealerships. Or something like that.
Between the Buttons: Woody Hayes' trademark game-day fashion statement was short-sleeve shirts — no matter the month, no matter the weather. Tressel decides his will be a sweatervest.
Emotional Rescue: Tressel comes through with a huge upset win in Ann Arbor in his first game against Michigan in 2001. It is Ohio State's first win at Michigan in 14 years, and denies Michigan a Big Ten championship and BCS berth. Buckeye Nation rejoices.
A Bigger Bang: What could Tressel do for an encore? Only go 14-0 and win the national championship.
Out of Our Heads: The 2002 Michigan at Ohio State football game. UM fans escape with their lives, some barely, after the worst treatment ever accorded visiting fans at a Big Ten football game. Before and after, thousands of piss-drunk wrist-draggers unleash waves of vandalism, violence and urine along the Olentangy, as Columbus police pepper-spray the unruly mobs. Oddly, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce does not brag about this day in its brochures.
Bridges to Babylon: Even before the title game against Miami, Tressel's star player — freshman running back Maurice Clarett — starts coming unhinged. Then in the off-season it comes out that Clarett was on the take from boosters, for thousands of dollars, as OSU would later reveal. Tressel pleads ignorance throughout. In retrospect, this is where he began selling his soul, as he'd done at Youngstown State. Clarett gets suspended, then eventually kicked out of school, after which he tries to sell out the school and AD, but Tressel's teflon is brand new and works magnificently. Nothing to see here, move along.
Sticky Fingers: In an October 2003 night game at Wisconsin, after the whistle blows on a non-descript play, OSU linebacker Robert Reynolds just can't seem to pry his Spock death-grip off the throat of Badgers QB Jim Sorgi, injuring his trachea, rendering him unable to speak and struggling to breathe. Sorgi can't play the rest of the way but Wisconsin wins anyway.
Their Satanic Majesties Request: The entire Michigan team and its entourage, without any advance notice, are detained entrance at the gates of Ohio Stadium before the 2004 game. The buses empty, while security personnel and bomb- and drug-sniffing dogs look slowly and intently for Osama Bin Laden, as Michigan's young team is left surrounded by the venomous wrist-draggers.
Undercover: Less than a month after coming out of nowhere on the OSU roster to beat Michigan in that 2004 game, QB Troy Smith is found to have taken money from a booster. He is suspended for the bowl game, and Tressel (who claimed to know nothing about it) doesn't start him early in 2005.
Goat's Head Soup: In the 2006 #1 vs #2 showdown game, Michigan trails only 35-31 when eventual Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith runs out of bounds near midfield, far short of a first down on a 3rd-and-long. But Michigan's Shawn Crable plays the goat, hitting Smith in the head as he goes out of bound — either hard enough to warrant a penalty or not, depending on your maize-and-blue glasses. that puts Michigan in the soup after the 15-yard walkoff. OSU wins 42-39.
Black and Blue: Michigan's senior offensive stars, QB Chad Henne and RB Mike Hart, are black and blue and barely able to play in the 2007 Big Ten title showdown at Ann Arbor. Ohio State cruises to a 14-3 win, Lloyd Carr's final game at the Big House. But for the second straight season, the Buckeyes are beaten black and blue by an SEC team in the BCS title game, last year Florida, this year LSU.
Let it Bleed: Tressel's Buckeyes pulverize Rich Rodriguez's Wolverines in 2008 and 2010, and even though in 2009 the Wolverines play over their heads, they still turn it over five times in a 21-10 loss. After the win in 2010, Tressel's winning streak vs Michigan increases to 7, and his record against the Wolverines improves to 9-1.
December's Children: In the last month of 2010, the FBI tips off Ohio State (conveniently, eight months later and only a couple weeks after the football season) that five Ohio State players have sold trinkets and other items in exchange for tattoos at a notorious Columbus tattoo parlor. With the lobbying help of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, the five players are allowed to still play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas, and will instead serve five-game suspensions to start 2011.
12x5: Against Arkansas, 12 points total are scored by the Tat Five, and Ohio State wins the Sugar Bowl, 31-26.
Dirty Work: In March 2011, Yahoo.com learns that an internal audit of emails by Ohio State lawyers — as part of their self-examination to satisfy NCAA investigators — has revealed that Jim Tressel knew of the Tat Five incident back in April 2010, yet did not inform anyone at the university, then lied in September and again in December about having been aware the whole time. This deceit thus allows the Tat FIve to play every game in 2010.
Some Girls: Before Yahoo can post its report, Ohio State beats them to the punch by conducting the Worst. Bad Announcement. Press Conference. Ever. Bar. None. In an incomprehensibly incompetent display of contrition, accountability, honesty, intelligence, PR savvy and masculinity — the likes of which might never be seen again — OSU president Gordon Gee, AD Gene Smith and Tressel put on tutus and slippers, assume first position, stare into the mirrors and dance around everything.
It's Only Rock and Roll: The media can't let this go now— they all are salivating at the chance to uncover what these bozos at the press conference were clearly trying to gloss over. Investigations are rockin' and rollin' come April. And we like it. Even the (news desk of the) Columbus Dispatch gets into the FOI game. Tressel is found to have lied at the news conference when it is learned he forwarded the April 2010 tipoff email about the Tat Five to QB Terrelle Pryor's 'handler' back in Pennsylvania.
Tattoo You: And you, and you, and you, and you. In May 2011, Sports Illustrated sends to Columbus a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, an expert in college sports corruption. He discovers, among other things, that many more OSU football players, going back many more years, have been trading trinkets and even loads of their football equipment at two local tattoo parlors, in exchange for tattoos and even pot.
Voodoo Lounge: The current tattoo parlor du jour is described by SI sources to be a favorite hangout of many Ohio State football players, where they go to lounge around, play video games and who knows what-all.
Exile on Main St.: The damning SI article is the tipping point. Ohio State cuts Tressel loose.
Steel Wheels: With a suspended driver's license, Terrelle Pryor drives to the team meeting at which Tressel informs his charges he has resigned. It is the fourth or fifth known loaner car, or bargain car, Pryor has driven while in Columbus, the worst kept secret in town. Many other Ohio State players and their families have been getting ridiculously good deals at a couple of local car dealerships for years, as former OSU WR Ray Small bragged in the days before Tressel's canning. And OSU compliance doesn't know anything about it, only they do because the salesman in question says he has spoken with OSU's head of compliance in great detail about it all on the phone some 50 times.
Aftermath: Tressel's name is mud, permanently. And in something only Dickens could dream up, a Luke Fickell is the new head football coach at Ohio State. Well, interim head coach.
Now: As the NCAA investigators recomb Columbus, sure to find more, the Michigan fanbase can repair its heart of stone. Ten years of pain and 19 nervous breakdowns later, we have got our Satisfaction. He couldn't hear the NCAA knocking, but no sympathy for this devil. Best of all, they'll never make a saint of him.
A few weeks ago I had reported that Stanford commit DT Aziz Shittu would potentially take an official visit to Michigan this fall. Shittu, who is a five star prospect and ranked 12th in the country overall by Rivals, says he's now considering opening his recruitment up completely.
When asked what had changed with his recruitment Shittu said, "I haven't talked to [the coaches] about it so it's not official, but I want to enjoy the process," he said. "I'm thinking about opening everything up." So he hasn't officially decommitted from the Cardinal yet, but by the sounds of it he might be back on the market soon.
Shittu currently boasts 21 scholarship offers that includes Stanford, Michigan, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, and USC to name a few. If he does reopen his recruitment that would likely mean he would take summer visits. "I'm not sure yet where I want to visit, but I'm going to get out there. I'd like to make it out to Michigan," said Shittu. "I like [Michigan's] tradition and the style of play they want to do."
His commitment to Stanford tells you a lot about the quality of person that he is, and his 3.8 GPA gives you an idea how much he values academics. Whether he decommits from Stanford officially or not, it's safe to say that his recruitment is far from over.
LA Nike OL vs DL: Aziz Shittu:
From: The Ohio State Univeristy Office of Public Relations
Section 1: Recognizing an Emergency Situation
Recognizing a crisis is not always easy, but you can follow these simple guidelines to identify whether or not you are part of a crisis situation:
1. Are you, students, university employees or university property in immediate physical danger? If so, you are involved in a physical emergency. Contact local emergency dispatchers and university administrators. Refer to Section 2A.
2. Are you, students, university employees or university property involved in a situation that may have legal ramifications? If so, you are involved in a legal emergency. Contact emergency services if necessary, and contact the university legal department right away. Refer to Section 2B.
3. Are you, students, university employees or university property involved in a situation that may potentially reflect positively or negatively on any OSU properties or entities in the press, public, or with academic or athletic associations with which the university is involved? If so, the situation should be treated as a "Communications Emergency", and no action should be taken until confering with the PR department. Refer to Section 2C.
Section 2C: "Communications Emergencies"
As a state funded institution in the modern era, it is important to recognize that there is no such thing as "private communication," and any situation that deviates even slightly from your ordinary, daily tasks may constitute an "emergency." Emergencies may be positive, such as a large university donation, a success story with a student, or a faculty group that recieves praise for their efforts. Emergencies may also be negative, such as a student-athlete involved in illegal or immoral activities, a professor carrying on an improper relationship with a student, or a rash of poor attendance at lectures.
NOTE: All Legal and Physical Emergencies are also Communications Emergencies, but many situations may constitute a Communications Emergency that do not statisfy the other crteria.
In all Communications Emegencies, it is important to bring all relevant information to the attention of your supervisors and the university PR department right away. Remember that their job is to protect the interests of the university. That includes you. It is in your best interest to be as forthcoming as possible at all times. Furthermore, remember that no information is secret in the modern day, and sharing it with the PR department will ensure simple, easy information dispensation that either/both minimizes negative concepts and/or maximizes the positive.
NEVER ATTEMPT TO CONCEAL INFORMATION THAT
What conclusions can we draw from this snippet?
1. Tressel, Gee and the entire athletic department are illiterate.
2. It'll take months to clean up the mess in the PR offices.
Huge thanks to MGoUser "Mich Fan From Brooklyn" [Endi Mitchell] for attending this camp, shooting the video, taking notes, and conducting interviews. He did an awesome job. Here's what Endi captured from the Future Phenom Showcase that took place in Brooklyn, New York this past weekend:
Wayne Morgan won fastest man award, while LB Devaughn Cholette took home MVP for the camp.
Notes on Wayne:
- Listed at 5'10", 187 lbs.
- Hampered by a hamstring injury from earlier in the week
- 40 yard dash was hand timed. Wayne's two times were 4.43 and 4.35 respectively [featured in the video below].
- 20 yard shuttle times were 4.22 and 4.09 seconds.
- Endi thought Wayne was very aggressive. He went against the taller, lengthy receivers and showed great press ability. He allowed very little separation, and showed the speed to stay with all of the receivers there. He looked like the most athletic player on the field.
- Morgan worked at both corner and safety and looked even more impressive at safety. He closed on routes and was always in position to make a play. It seemed like the quarterbacks didn't want to throw his way, and when they did it was overthrown.
- Wayne is very confident, very vocal with his fellow defenders and even more so towards the receivers. He seemed to have a short memory when he made a mistake, he came back and corrected it the next time.
Feeling a little philosophical this morning, my friends. I've been thinking all day about all of this whole mess over there in Columbus, and how the meltdown is deserved and how it will affect the Brady Hoke era. But then I got to thinking about life, and young men, and the choices I make.
And I got to thinking about Terrelle Pryor. I remember sitting in bed sick as a dog on National Signing Day, waiting for the first victory in the rivalry by Rich Rodgriguez, only to be blown off by an eighteen-ish year old kid several hours away from me. And even then, as I sat hoping he would choose a block M hat somehwere, I began to dislike him.
But throughout all of this, he is just a young man, making choices. We've recently seen in our own camp how the choices of a young man can and will crush his dreams, and you can all speculate about who I am referring to. But these choices affect us only until their position is filled by another athlete. But for the student-- the kid-- it will affect much more.
Ten, twenty years from now, Terrelle Pryor (and probably each of the rest of his Tat-gate posse) will wake up. He will scramble out of bed, perhaps a bit slowly as a result of a few, or even several, years in the National Football League. I will not speculate on the quality of his home, or perhaps who might be lying beside him in that bed. But he will wake up and have to pee.
And so Terrelle will go into the bathroom, a pale shadow of the athlete he once was. He will turn on the light, and look in the mirror. He'll stare into his own eyes, at peace with the choices he's made. He will be able to sleep at night, and he'll have made peace with himself, and the media, and the fans of the school that he may not have graduated from, but he played football at. He'll be okay with the tremendous scrutiny he suffered as he moved onto the world of professional sports, and all of the decisions both smart and poor he will have made with the resulting payoff. He will have moved on with his life.
But then, he'll see them.
Right there, as he reaches for the toothbrush, he'll see those damn tattoos. No matter where he goes in life, and no matter what he does with his God-given talents, those tattoos will follow him to the farthest reaches of the earth. Those permanently inked stains of skin, up to and including that iconic Block "O" that symbolizes the very school he painfully severed ties with (and perhaps later sold down the river in a tantalizing ESPN the Magazine tell-all), will be there looking back at him. When he gets married, they will be beneath his suit. When he cradles his firstborn son, they will be there in the pictures. When he reaches out in forgiveness or humility, they will be there. They will remain as permanent and all-encompassing stamps of his life.
And no matter where he goes, or what he does for the rest of his days on the great green Earth, he will be defined by them.
Life is about decisions, kids. And decisions are about the rest of your life.