"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Hey all, wanted to post about this much earlier in the week, but I've been hella busy and haven't had the chance to log on, sit down, and give this proper treatment until now.
As many late-night Friday MGoPosters know, last Friday night, IUandUofM offered up an extra ticket to the ND game on Saturday, per here: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/free-notre-dame-ticket-someone-who-otherwise-could-not-go#comment-635907 . I lucked out, became the chosen one, promptly packed my things, got in my car at 1:45 AM, and drove 12.5 hours from North Carolina to South Bend.
By the way, IUandUofM should be pos-banged for all eternity for his generosity in offering up the extra ticket. A big thanks to him. It was fun to watch the game with a fellow MGoBlogger.
Here are some thoughts about my experience and some pics of my travels....
(The West Virginia sign....a bit blurry as it was taken while driving... I was on a schedule so I didn't get the chance to find RR's holler while in WV.)
A couple nice pics of the sunrise in Ohio:
(The following one was striking to me because it was 9/11...the telephone poles are reminiscent of the twin towers, and the sunrise reminds us of the endurance of hope.)
Once I got to South Bend, I must say I was extremely impressed with the way ND does parking. They are very, very quick and efficient. I was impressed with ND overall. While they razzed visiting fans, of course, they were hospitable, classy, and helpful. The campus is very nice as well.
As for the game itself, we were seated in the south end zone, with a bunch of other Michigan fans/alums. We were fairly high up, but the view of the game was great. This offered a much different perspective than you get on TV, and viewing the game from this angle really gave me an accurate sense of just how much RR stretches the field.... watching it on TV, from the side-to-side vantage point, you don't get much of a sense of this.
Also, in person, I got a much better sense of the fakes on the zone read. Denard's fakes are much more convincing in person than on TV. This was one of my beefs with the zone read last year....that on reads where the QB handed off, they didn't follow through with the rest of the play like Pat White often did at WVU. Denard is definitely doing that this year, which is great to see.
As for the 87 yard run, it was awesome to see that live!! The crowd in our section went nuts for that. Obviously this was a great game to be at.
Here are some pics from during the game:
The Band making an outline of the shape of the US at halftime:
Obviously the second half was awesome. The game was epic overall, probably the best sporting event I've ever been at. What amazed me was that between the penalties, the huge defensive mistakes....like we were finding every way possible to lose the game, and still won it. In the middle of the fourth quarter, the sun finally came out as well, and, the sun finally shined on us in South Bend. When the game ended, the people in our section went absolutely nuts!!
...Touchdown Jesus approves!!
On the way out, it was one of the coolest things ever as all the M fans poured out of the stadium, singing The Victors, and chanting "It's great!!...To be....A MICHIGAN WOLVERINE!!" filling ND stadium with our triumphant cheers. It's hard to describe in words, but, anyone that was there knows how awesome it was. It was awesome to, finally, have something to be *that* excited about relative to M football!!
After the game, we went around the stadium and found where the players exit to go to the buses. We met some of the coaching staff and many of the players.
- Barwis' voice is even more gravel-filled in real life than on YouTube. His wolves must have already been on the bus though, as I didn't see them.
- GERG is a very good looking man. (No homo) His hair is so shiny he could have his own Pantene Pro-V commercial
- I shook Devin's hand and his hands are very large. Should bode well for him holding onto the ball.
- I'm now much faster from the dilithium residue that remains on my hand after high-fiving Denard
- Tate signed a couple autographs, and seemed to be in good spirits, positive, and upbeat. Take it for what it's worth as it's an isolated incident, but, I think it bodes well for him staying and being an asset to the team. He seemed to have a good attitude and I took that as a positive.
- Vincent Smith is *tiny*. Wow. I think 5'8" may be generous. I'm thinking more like 5'7". Now that I've seen him in person, I find what he does on the field that much more amazing.
- Big Will is huge (obvsly)
- Also high fived Odoms, Kovacs, Molk, Schilling, Mouton, and many others. Wasn't able to get to Roh or Martin, but saw them.
Overall, it was an awesome time. Once again, a big thanks to IUandUofM for the opportunity to go.... If there's anything I forgot or left out, hopefully he'll chime in in the comments.
Two of Michigan's offensive line targets, who happen to be teammates, will be on hand for an unofficial visit this weekend at the UMass game. 2011 Chris Bryant (6'5", 330 lbs.), and 2012 recruit Jordan Diamond (6'6", 290 lbs), both of Simeon High School in Chicago will be there. I caught up with Jordan to ask about the visit, first film of Jordan at the Michigan Showcase, then the questions.
TOM: What made you decide to visit for this game?
JORDAN: I just wanted to see one of my favorite college teams play, and see what it's like to be in the Big House live.
TOM: What are you hoping to get out of this visit?
JORDAN: I want to see the tradition, I want to learn more about the offense, and hopefully talk to some of the players.
TOM: Who's coming with you?
JORDAN: My Mom, Aunt, and Chris (Bryant).
TOM: Is this your family's first time up to Michigan? What are they hoping to experience or see?
JORDAN: It's the first time for my Aunt, but it's the second time for my Mom. They're hoping for a good game, they want to meet the coaches. They want to sit in the Big House, and see that. I know they're excited about this trip.
TOM: You said Chris will be there too. Is his decision going to affect yours, and do you think he's going to make a decision this weekend?
JORDAN: It's going to affect me a little, but I'm going to make my decision based on me. If I feel like it could be my second home, then great. But, Chris is going to make his own decision. I don't think it will be this weekend, but you never know.
Jordan is also considering Arizona, LSU, Oregon, Ohio State, Illinois, Minnesota, MSU, and Stanford.
[Ed: BUMPED SO HARD]
Earlier this week, BlockM made a video request for a spoof on the trailer for The Happening, implying that Denard is, in fact, The Happening. I saw the thread and thought, I have a lot of free time this week and that sounds fun, chores be damned. I am by no means a professional video editor, but I've done something like this once before and figured I'd take a shot. Here's my shot:
(WATCH IN HIGH QUALITY! AND FULL SCREEN!)
Hope you all enjoy it. And I hope this is close to what you had in mind, BlockM. Some notes:
1. I made the video unlisted on YouTube to try to avoid it getting taken down for copyright issues. You can only reach it through a link, so here's the link:
2. If you think there should be any changes, let me know. The video is easily altered.
3. Mods: I wasn't sure whether to put this on the Board or in the Diaries, but I didn't want it to get buried on the board and be missed by anyone who wanted to see it, e.g. the person who requested it be made. Feel free to move it if you must.
4. GO BLUE!!!
ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved today (Sept. 16) the request for permanent lighting at Michigan Stadium. The athletic department will have the lights installed prior to the playing of the Big Chill at the Big House, an outdoor hockey game between Michigan and Michigan State, on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010.
“The addition of permanent lights will improve the quality of viewing experience for our fans,” said Athletic Director Dave Brandon. “We take great pride in having the best game day experience in college football and this will further enhance that position.
“Short term there will be a cost savings on the rental fee associated with bringing in lights for the Big Chill and long-term it eliminates the need for lights to be brought in every time we play a 3:30 p.m. football game,” added Brandon.
The permanent lights will allow the Michigan Athletic Department to have the lights already in place for 3:30 p.m. games. It will eliminate the need for shutting down lanes of traffic on Main Street to utilize rented cranes to hoist lights unto the facility and gets rid of the generator along the concourse, thus improving the foot traffic and parking issues in and around the stadium.
In addition, the lights will allow the football team to practice at the Big House in the late afternoons and early evenings during the months of October and November. They can also practice at the venue in preparation for road night games.
The total cost of the project is $1.8 million. Funding will be provided from Athletic Department resources.
Michigan will play its first-ever night game at the Big House against Notre Dame on Sept. 10, 2011. The Wolverines have never played a prime-time game at home in the history of the program. All 33 previous night games have been played on the road or at a neutral site.
I'm feeling a little shy about two wallpaper diary posts in one day, but got some encouragement from some experienced members so here goes.
Like many big-time college football programs, our beloved Wolverines have paid an FCS "cupcake" (UMass) lots of money ($550,000) to sacrifice themselves on the altar of massive gate receipts. The problem is that this season there have been more than a few upsets by FCS teams over their benevolent hosts and there was "the game which shall not be named" a few years ago at the Big House. I couldn't bring myself to make fun of UMass as directly as I have with previous opponents so this week's image can be interpreted as a good-natured dig at both teams.
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
There is also a Game 1 Wallpaper that I didn't have enough points to post. It's here for the downloading if you're already feeling nostalgic about the Connecticut game. The Husky puppy piddling in fear tested well with wives, girlfriends and small children. The Art. The Art. The Art!.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
A while ago I did some analysis to further Bud Elliot's look at defensive size and defensive performance, which I found interesting, but incomplete. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough mgopoints at the time to post it, but now I do! So here you go, if anyone still cares.