no wonder we hired Hunter Lochmann
Some things should never be changed:
This is one of them
We think we can’t stop it but we shouldn’t stop trying. We think that the countless voices across the blogosphere and fan forums can’t change the powers-that-be up in higher places that sit in lofty Chicago penthouses or Ann Arbor and Columbus mansions, drinking hundred-dollar scotch while tinkering with some of our most revered traditions. We think we can’t, we probably can’t. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
While it may be true that some “traditions” seem trivial or mundane and some “don’t seem to work,” there are some that should NEVER be touched. Touching the “M Club” banner, dotting the Script ‘I’, with Winged helmets, Carmen Ohio and The Victors are a few examples – playing Ohio State the last game at the end of November is another. The useless traditions fade away as fast as the wishbone offense and Nike jerseys - the enduring, valued traditions, that endure the tests of time and the changing ways around them. These traditions are the ones that stay, and those who stay, will be champions.
There are those, even amongst Michigan and Ohio State camps would prefer to move The Game earlier in the year, or at the least – have conformed to the idea. This is a dangerous way of thinking.
Like Ramzy posted on Bucknuts, stating far more eloquently than I ever could: "What is a big deal is corrupting the tradition of college football, which is its most prized and unique asset.....it’s the steady destruction of what keeps college football from just being slower, smaller professional football. Without tradition, that’s all college football is."
But these individuals don’t care – so they try to change it. At best, they make excuses and reasons. At worst, theybelittle our traditions, tell us we are out-dated, and want to determine (what is and what was) right and wrong for past, current, and future generations of Michigan and Ohio State fans – all because they think that their logic and their ideas trumps everything (and this idea doesn't even have logic behind it). And they think we're arrogant?
We hold on to our traditions. We respect our traditions. We remember Mercury Hayes in 1993, we remember Timmy B in 95, and we remember Griese off the bench in 96, to say nothing of matchups in the last decade....does anyone honestly think those games would be just as significant played in October, or knowing that we would perhaps face them again in a Big Ten title game? Hell no!
I remember the pure, unadulterated ecstasy that accompanied the feeling of watching the boys put up 13 unanswered in the Shoe in 1996, to see Cooper's face on the sideline. I remember what it feels like to spoil your mortal enemy’s entire season in just a few, precious hours on late November afternoon.
At the same time, I also remember the feeling in 2004, 2005, and 2006, seeing rows of scarlet-clad fans rush the field in jubilation. Would the pangs of sadness have been as intense had it been played October? Would The Game lose any significance if there was always the possiblity of the season being defined as The GameS? The answer seems obvious.
It’s when we remember these moments and show respect to the ones who played and coached, we respect the generations before us, something that has existed long before us and (hopefully) will exist after us.
Coach Schiano sums it up best:"When Delany, Brandon, Smith, and the other nominal powers-that-be decide, for good reasons or bad, to move the Game, they are not just changing the schedule. They are changing our memories, changing the sights and sounds in our minds. Not destroying them. But lessening them, cheapening them."
So what do we think in the face of such disregard of something so sacred? We fight! And we fight the arrogant attitude of the Big Ten, Delaney, Gee, Smith, and even Dave Brandon and anyone who thinks that they know better than the ones who have come before us. We fight even if we know we cannot win. We battle back to defend the traditions others believe are insignificant, out-dated, irrelevant and close-minded.
I also hate that term: close-minded. They attack our values by saying we’re close-minded. Close-minded? We're close minded because we want our history to have a voice? We're close-minded because we believe that those traditions are part of what connect us with those before and those who will come after? We’re close-minded because we want the countless generations who have come before us and have experienced the same as us to shape our reality? We’re close-minded because we want our children and grandchildren to experience the same thrills and agonies that we have? We're close-minded because we think The Game, which has been played as, proved to be and become the Greatest Rivalry in All of Sports for generations should not be changed?
That makes us close minded, when they are the ones who want to close the book on a hundred years of history, forget everyone before us, and ruin everything we have known as good in our little scope of time known as the "BCS era" because they think they have something new and better? Who's close-minded?
We're not close minded - THEY are!
--NoNon (I don't want to beat a dead horse but these are the feelings that I have)
Hi. My name is Brian, and I am 28. For 20 of those years, I have been a Michigan fan, and until last week, I thought I had it pretty good. There was smugness in my fandom, superiority, feelings that often would cross over into (yes) Arrogance. I looked down at fans of other teams, in other sports, in other leagues.
Where does your team play? Citizen's Bank Park? That's nice. My team's stadium not only doesn't have a name, we also don't even have ads inside. At all. Oh, you're Jets fan? That's great, but why do you only play the Giants once every seven years? Why can't the NFL see how great a rivalry that could be? Sure, the Mets are cool, but they are 100 years younger than my Wolverines.
For twenty years, I thought we were special. We loved a college team, made up of our classmates, at a place we actually had a connection to. The kids that loved pro teams the most were just throwing their money at a corporation, an office building somewhere that didn’t really care as long as people still paid. Ours was a two-way street, where the team and the school remembered us, the past, and why these things mattered.
I could handle the increase in TV money, the championship games, the BCS. These were unwelcome, certainly, but those things couldn’t touch what it meant to be a Michigan fan. “All we want is to win a lot of games, beat OSU, and get to the Rose Bowl. Everything after that is gravy”.
Coach Shiano is right when he says we are about to lose our memories. However, it is even worse than that. We are about to lose our identities. The greatest day in sports (even the Old Firm matches in Glasgow are spread out over two different days) is going to be taken out back, shot, and fed to ABC, for the sum of less than a million dollars.
My first child will be born this fall, a few weeks before the game. It sounds petty, but I couldn’t wait to dress him or her up in a tiny block M shirt, and watch the game from the couch, knowing we would do this every year at the same time until I died. If we can’t count on the game, what can we count on?
[Ed: Bump for truth.]
"Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were." (Marcel Proust)
We all begin these stories with two simple words: "I remember." That is how mine begins too.
I remember my dad turning off the TV, too agitated to even watch, even when we won.
I remember how the game often fell on my birthday, and the common result: one friend or the other's present to me were two tickets to see the event. What better gift?
I remember the first time I saw it in person, 1985, or at least the first time I remember seeing it in person. It wasn't a particularly nice day (when is it nice in November?), and a distinct chill settled over the stadium when Cris Carter caught a leaping touchdown to bring that team within three. Far too much time on the clock. The sky looming gray, threatening. The lights were on, casting an unusual glow on the field. And on 2nd and 7, trapped deep in our own end, a young Jim Harbaugh faded back into the pocket, looked left, and stepped firmly into Michigan History (at 8:11 in the clip below):
What I remember most about that play: the sudden roar of the crowd as the ball landed in Kolesar's hands; the entire stadium standing up to see what happened (blocking my own view, mostly). What I could see: on the side of the field where I was, Harbaugh laying on the ground, a referee huddling over him to make sure he wasn't hurt. Yes ref, he's OK. He just won The goddamned Game.
I remember too the next time I saw the Game in person, Earle Bruce's last. The bitter disappointment of losing, but the small secret pleasure of seeing a beleaguered coach, just fired from a job he loved, carried off the field by his team.
I remember God's seeming reply to Bruce's firing. And thus He spake: "So you don't want to go .500 against Michigan, huh? How about 2-10-1?". I remember irony.
I remember many years of living on the west coast, with The Game being one of the few games I knew I'd be able to watch, one of my few connections to my past, my roots. And who can forget: Shawn Springs slipping, Charles Woodson intercepting/receiving/punt-returning. And yes, I remember Timmy.
When we talk about the Game, that is all we talk about: our memories. This is why the current plans to tinker offend. It is as if someone is reaching into your mind and altering those memories that you hold so dear. As a movie plot, maybe. As something for our collective football hive mind, not so much.
We all remember so much about that one day in November. As Proust points out, our memories may not reflect reality. I know, for example, that somewhere in my mind, Crable didn't get flagged for a late hit, and we won that damn game. But, good or bad, they are our memories, and as fans, they are what we cherish about this silly but beautiful pastime.
When Delany, Brandon, Smith, and the other nominal powers-that-be decide, for good reasons or bad, to move the Game, they are not just changing the schedule. They are changing our memories, changing the sights and sounds in our minds. Not destroying them. But lessening them, cheapening them.
And this is why we write letters, post diaries, join facebook groups. A vain attempt to protect our brains, our memories. Our maize and blue blood telling us to strike out at this agent; it seems harmful, it smells foul. And perhaps, also, as one last vain attempt to ensure that for our next generation of fans, these same sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible memories will one day be theirs, too.
I know too much on this topic has already been said. But as I woke this morning, this is what was in me. I imagine it is in many of you too. So if I offend for yet another post on said topic, well, sorry about that. Perhaps I shouldn't apologize, though. As Disraeli said, "Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth."
This is the home of the U Conn visitors list. I'll update the list as I talk to more players. As always you can get more updates from me on my Twitter Page.
- Demetrius Hart - The visit is back on, according to his mom.
- Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix - He's coming with Demetrius.
- AJ Jordan - Trotwood wide receiver. Wisconsin may lead right now, so it's good to get him on campus.
- Anthony Zettel - He said he thinks he's coming, so it's not 100%. If he does it will be unofficially. Either way it will be good to have him on campus for a game..
- Avery Walls - Safety out of Georgia has been to Michigan twice, and rumors are that Michigan leads.
- Daren Kitchen - Defensive back from Louisiana might not be coming.
- Jake Fisher - Michigan commit will be there.
- Delonte Hollowell - Michigan commit.
- Brennen Beyer - Michigan commit.
- Coy Brown - running back from Indiana
- Brian Blackburn - Instate quarterback.
- Terry Richardson - Cass Tech DB.
- Chris Wormley - Ohio defensive end.
- Matt Godin - Instate defensive tackle from Detroit Catholic Central will be there. He's best friends with Danny O'Brien, and they'll be traveling together. They're both very high on Michigan.
- Danny O'Brien - Instate defensive tackle, big time prospect. 6-foot-3, 278-pound defensive tackle from Flint Powers. He has Michigan and Tennessee as his top two so far. He still wants to look at some other schools, though, so that's an early list. Says he was a Michigan fan when he was really young, and he has started to really like them this summer. Talking with Coach Rodriguez and seeing the facilities has brought his interest up.
- Tyler Alt: Tyler is a Defensive/Offensive Lineman from Greensbug Central Catholic in Pennsylvania. I've been emailing back and forth with his dad, and they will be in for the first game. Michigan is recruiting Tyler as a guard/center, or DE/DT. As a sophomore Alt was All State honorable mention, and listed by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette as one of the top 10 sophomores in western PA. He plays OT and DE now in high school, but at 6-foot-3, 260-pounds he'd be better suited as mentioned before on the interior of either line. Here's a look at his sophomore film. His dad said he is very interested in Michigan.
- Nick Patti (Still coming even if D. Hart doesn't) - 2012 QB, teammate of Demetrius Hart will be up with his Dad, and potentially with his trainer Tom Shaw. Shaw trains a ton of football players in Florida, including Florida State commit Karlos Williams. Nick told me that Shaw will play a big role in his decision, and he considers Tom to be an uncle. Getting him on campus could be a good thing for a few reasons.
- Hunter and Cam Stanley - 2012 offensive linemen from Toledo, Ohio. They're twins! The 6-foot-4, 260-pound linemen are both very high on Michigan. They camped at Michigan's four-day camp, and jointly took home the offensive line MVP award (they do everything together!). Hunter actually ran his best 40 time at Michigan's camp with a 4.75. Michigan is in their top three along with Notre Dame and Northwestern. They both want to make their decision relatively early, and as you can tell by their list they think they fit best in a spread offense.
- .....AND TWINS!! (I had to)
- Kaleb Ringer - 2012 linebacker from Clayton, Ohio. His uncle is Javon Ringer, former MSU star running back. He told me his family affiliations won't play into anything, and he's actually a Michigan fan (FWIW). He currently holds verbal offers from Cincinnati and Iowa, which is a good sign of his talent level. He and his teammate Jeremy Campbell (DL) will be there. Campbell is listed at 5'11-6'0, weighing in at around 250-pounds. Ringer says that Campbell can squat 750 pounds, which seems like a lot to me. [Ed: me too.]
- Royce Jenkins-Stone - 2012 Cass Tech linebacker will be there. He loves Michigan.
- Chase Deback - 2012 instate offensive lineman from Charlotte, Michigan. Says he's a fan of Michigan State, but will put his fandom to the side for his recruitment. He wants to go wherever he feels is the best place for him. Being a fan of MSU growing up won't play into it. It's often hard for 16-17 year olds to distinguish the difference, though.
- Nathan Ricketts - 2012 instate linebacker. Shameless plug here. Ricketts is a 6-foot-2 linebacker with some good speed from Holland, Michigan.
Personally, I hope that Michigan and tOSU never meet each other in the Big Ten Conference Championship Game. So, it's obvious that I am opposed to the basic philosophy for putting the two schools in different divisions. As soon as I read what Brandon said, I thought ... "but I don't ever want to see tOSU in the title game any way.
If Michigan and OSU are playing each other every year, then one of the teams will have already beaten the other during the regular season. That seems to me like a lose/lose situation. I want to play OSU once a year - that's it! If Michigan beats OSU during the regular season, then we're supposed to beat them again - what have we proven? Simply, we've further glutted ourselves ... but haven't really proven ourselves. If we go into the game after having lost to OSU, if we win it ... well, that doesn't automatically put us into the nat'l championship game, because we obviously have (at least) one regular season loss. Considering this, I'm not sure what the advantage is for UM fans wanting to see both schools in this matchup.
Secondly, it seems like there is the assumption that this game will be just like the one played during the regular season. It won't be anyting like it. It's going to be played in a climate controled stadium - on neutral turf. That right there rips the vast majority of the heart out of the game. Watch any conference championship game, and it's obviously lacking the college atmosphere - the atmosphere that we all love. True, it's a celebration - and a must win situation. But, the heart and feel of college football is not in the air. To think that UM-OSU in the championship game is the same rivalry over again - can't possibly be the same, because much of the heart of the game is ripped from it.
All that to say, even though I love the Wolverines dearly and can't stand the school to the South, I have no desire what so ever to see this matchup, and cannot fathom why any Michigan fan would want to see it - other than the more empty feeling of joy that would come from a victory. But, it will have no meat to it - and we all know it.
Hey everybody. In light of the recent debate regarding the Big Ten conference alignment and chaos ensuing, I thought people might feel a little more positive if they saw the impotant and unique dialogue going on amongst the Athletic Directors on this monumental decision
You have entered Big Ten Conference Alignment Talk Google Wave
JDandCoke: "I'd like to thank you all for being here. I know emotions are running high regarding what decisions we make here and I just ask that everyone remain calm and collected regardless of the decisions made."
LarryMo&Me: "Glad to be here Jim! Go Nittany Lions!"
OSuper: "I think David and I are in agreement that this needs to be kept a time honored part of our conference and NCAA football."
SwedishChef: "We need to put Purdue in the Conference Game of the Year..."
BarryAndTheHendersons: "Sounds great, as long as Iowa isn't in the conference"
MadnessThisIsBarta: "Your mom's a conference."
IceCreamWithMyPi: "I really do not understand what the big deal is if UM and OSU are in different divisions of the conference. Jeez... any Northwestern Humanities student could prove this"
Jo-ElofKrypton: "I truly don't understand how this complex system known as the internet works. I mean Goodness Gracious - This IM is sponsored by CocaCola. It's the real thing. Coke."
SpartyCuzIGotta: "UM Sux"
SpartyCuzIGotta: "I'm sorry. That was Gary from Bath who's helping me today."
HeartOfGlass: "Anyone have the phone number for Georgia State?"
ADBrandon: "Mark you need to stop having "AD for a Day" contests"
SpartyCuzIGotta: "How else are we going to sell FAU tickets?"
MadnessThisIsBarta: "I have a point of great importance. When are we getting rid of the commies?"
JDandCoke: "The commies?"
Jo-ElofKrypton: "Sweet Mother's Maple Syrup, the internet is amazing! I just sent an "electronic letter." Feel like feeling fit? Living a Healthy Lifestyle? Contact Stephanie Oakes: Fitness and Health Expert."
LarryMo&Me: "Hey why isn't Reagan still president? He's not too old"
MadnessThisIsBarta: "Wisconsin! All red? Shared border with socialist Canada? Need I continue?!"
SwedishChef: "Seriously. Nobody even knows who I am."
BarryAndTheHendersons: "Iowa's only contributions in life are corn and being identifiable to sixth graders because their state's the shape of poo."
OSuper: "I think David and I are in agreement that this needs to be kept a time honored part of our conference and NCAA football."
IceCreamWithMyPi: "You see the sheer odds of a UM/OSU rematch are mathematically clear and astoundingly obvious. Not to mention taking each other out of conference contention would be honorable. Homer once wrote “The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for."
SpartyCuzIGotta: "I love the Simpsons."
Jo-ElofKrypton: "We couldn't get wireless internet up here for years until we agreed to exclusive sponsorship. I'd been downloading our season schedules on dial-up until last week! - This IM is sponsored by Randy's Fishmarket Restaurant. Located in Naples, FL, Randy's Fishmarket Restaurant is a fresh laid back seafood restaurant with the focus on the freshest highest quality seafood from the Gulf. Stop by today."
OrangeYouGlad: "I really don't know what the big stink is. Juice Williams is going to destroy whoever they have to play next year in the championship."
JDandCoke: "I'd like to refocus this conversation to the topic at hand."
MadnessThisIsBarta: "Hey Delaney - if you don't like the convo, you and your french poodle Wisconsin can Geeeeet Out. Amurrica. Love it or leave it."
BarryAndTheHendersons: "Look at my dog LOL"
HeartOfGlass: "BRB Hoosiers is on."
*HeartOfGlass has left the chat*
OrangeYouGlad: "One of my aides just told me Williams isn't eligibile anymore?"
ADBrandon: "We need to retain the unique nature of this time-honored tradition in a way that respects not only the schools involved but the conference."
IceCreamWithMyPi: "Utilizing a very simple formulative theorem that takes into account the multiple variables and unique independent exponential y-identities"
MadnessThisIsBarta: "What do 2008 Wisconsin and the French have in common? They both snatched defeat from the grips of victory. LOLOLOLOLOL"
Jo-ElofKrypton: "No seriously guys have you checked out this Internet? You can watch videos and stuff. I don't know if I'm supposed to tell you about this but there's recruiting sites on here where you can find out about players all over the country! Donna's Family Daycare offers a fun and loving environment for your children. Our daycare currently has children between 18 months and 10 years old and is happy to meet you and your family for consultations on our services."
OSuper: "The complex nature of this conference and the unique way in which UM and OSU have helped each other into the annals of sports history must be retained."
SpartyCuzIGotta: "You said annal."
OrangeYouGlad: "BRB coaching search."
SwedishChef: "There are more pictures of Wilford Brimley and Dave Brandon on Google images than there are of me! DO SOMETHING DELANEY"
ADBrandon: "That's probably because I have amazing hair."
TortoiseAndTheHair: "Now wait a damn minute here."
ADBrandon: "Greg please see your way out the e-door."
TortoiseAndTheHair: " "
*TortoiseAndTheHair has left the chat*
*ReturnOfTheMack has entered the chat*
Jo-ElofKrypton: "So what are we doing guys? The Roller Skating Place in Orillia, Ontario, Canada, is THE place to skate in Canada. Roller Skating since 1980! Call 705-326-1444 for more information on group rates and theme nights!"
*OSuper has left the chat*
ReturnOfTheMack: "Anyone seen Gene Smith?"
JDandCoke: "Gentleman if we can get back to the matter at hand."
*ReturnOfTheMack has left the chat*
IceCreamWithMyPi: "The lamen must merely utilize a bifractal exponent set that uses ñ(x^2) as the imaginary character factor that, when plotted with a t-base"
OrangeYouGlad: "Okay so Lane Kiffen said he'd happily take over our program. He seems to think this is the place he wants to retire as coach... Thoughts?"
*OSuper has entered the chat*
LarryMo&Me: "It is such a beautiful day! "
Jo-ElofKrypton: "HOLY COW. THERE'S LADIES WITH NO CLOTHING ON MY SCREEN! ON THE INTERNET! Snake River Brewing offers the best in-house stout and food in all of Wyoming. Stop in today, just five blocks off W Broadway near S Jackson St. Snake River Brewery and Restaurant."
*Jo-ElofKrypton has left the chat*
*HeartOfGlass has entered the chat*
BarryAndTheHendersons: "Corn Huskers? More like Corn BUSKERS..."
IceCreamWithMyPi: "As an aside, the term busker is a chiefly British slang term for a street musician who panders for money utilizing musical talents. Anyways, where was I?"
*GoldenDomeofHeaven has entered the chat*
GoldenDomeofHeaven: "LOL psyche LOL
*GoldenDomeofHeaven has left the chat*
HeartOfGlass: "Hey, how good is Brother Rice? They're free for Week 2 in 2013."
SpartyCuzIGotta: "WHO YOU CALLING BROTHER?"
MadnessThisIsBarta: "Barry? More like Hairy... BALD SLAM!"
JDandCoke: "Alright you two ENOUGH! Go to your separate divisions!"
*BarryAndTheHendersons has left the chat*
*MadnessThisIsBarta has left the chat*
OSuper: "Now as I was saying... OSU has a proud tradition of strong performances that will continue regardless of the alignment."
*TimeoutsAreForUrMom has entered the chat*
*OSuper has left the chat*
TimeoutsAreForUrMom: "Anyone seen Smith?"
SwedishChef: "Campus security tased me as I walked into my own office because they didn't know I was the athletic director."
SpartyCuzIGotta: "At least it wasn't pepper gas."
TimeoutsAreForUrMom: "Seriously. Someone said he was in here."
*Jo-ElofKrypton has entered the chat*
OrangeYouGlad: "Why do you keep changing your chat icon Mark?"
*TimeoutsAreForUrMom has left the chat*
SpartyCuzIGotta: "It's called brand identity and tradition. Duh."
ADBrandon: "Mark you've got to be kidding me. Maybe you should just take pictures of your athletes when they come out of the slammer instead of that fancy photography tricks. That'll sell."
LarryMo&Me: "Best Day Ever! "
OrangeYouGlad: "LOL BURN!"
IceCreamWithMyPi: "Tangibly humorous and topically anecdotal. I assuredly laughed aloud when I read that attempt at belittlement."
SpartyCuzIGotta: "Yeah well App State."
Jo-ElofKrypton: "The internet is unseemly. I ripped that router right out of the wall and will be writing a letter to the manufacturer of this god forsake "Internet" and demand they refund all of our money and fix this tarnished product. At least with dial-up these things never happened. BTW, what was this meeting about? Did we decide on Nebraska?"
*OSuper has entered the chat*
OSuper: "Internet's acting up."
SpartyCuzIGotta: "Hey where's the Rose Bowl at this year?"
IceCreamWithMyPi: "Back to my equation: Using the aforementioned principles and accepted terms of analysis creates a Pythagorically proveable set of data that, when deployed with the groundbreaking Italian "Badduccí Formula," which many still debate utilizes a unique, albeit problematic, (.3ó-2) expectation"
*UrbanDevelopment has entered the chat*
UrbanDevelopment: "Where is Gene Smith? I talked to Les and Gene and apparently he took all three of our trophies."
*OSuper has left the chat*
LarryMo&Me: "Former UM AD Bill Muttin says Hi! "
*SwedishChef has entered the chat*
ADBrandon: "Listen it sounds like I'm screwed whatever we do. Some kid on a message board seemed really pissed off and spent an hour writing up an entry about how aful I am. Nowadays that's everything."
*BarryAndTheHendersons has entered the chat*
HeartOfGlass: "Hey Hofstra football isn't picking up. They're good, right?"
*UrbanDevelopment has left the chat*
IceCreamWithMyPi: "Notes that such a rematch not only retains a limited and negligible probability but also, when paired with the ratio set paired along the x-axis of national interest/ratings, provides a polynomially diverse result."
JDandCoke: "In English Jim?"
*OSuper has entered the chat*
IceCreamWithMyPi: "An OSU/UM rematch is unlikely but will make for good tv."
OSuper: "Are they gone?"
ADBrandon: "What did I get myself into?"
SpartyCuzIGotta: "That's what she said."