"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the eleventh canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In this circle of Dante's version, those who would commit fraud are punished. In each of the 10 bolgie (subsections), a different type of sin is punished, be it pimpin', flattering, simony (paying the church for blessing), magic, corrupt politicians, hypocrites, thieves, advisors who would promote fraud, "schismatics" (those that would schism religion), or counterfeiters.
As we reached the edge of the 7th circle, we encountered a cliff so steep, it would be impossible to climb down. The abyss seemed to be an endless drop down into darkness. Naturally, we needed a Geryon. Unfortunately, none was to be found.
"So what now?" I asked Crockett.
"Say something bad about America."
"What?" I inquire.
"Say something bad about America. Anything. I'm not going to do it, I'm Davy Crockett for goodness sake."
"Umm… okay? America smells funny?"
Without a second passing, a great "CAW!" came bellowing from the depths. In a flash of fireworks and with the Star Spangled Banner blaring from nowhere, a giant creature came screaming from the deep.
"Who dares defile the name of America! In the name of Ricky Stanzi and J Leman, this aggression will not stand!" proclaimed the great bird.
Cowering on my side, and pointing at Crockett, I yell, "This guy made me do it! He tricked me! Hey wait, why can you talk normally?"
"ENOUGH! I am the great Hawkeye, devourer of corn, strangely named after only my eye, and defender of patriotism!"
Crockett stepped forward, "That'll be enough Hawkeye. The boy didn't mean any harm. We just need your services. We need a ride to the bottom of this here cliff."
"Well, honorable Davy Crockett, I shall grant your request on one stipulation," said the Hawkeye. "You must sing me my favorite song."
"You've got to be kidding me," I reply as I gather my wits.
"Well, Hawkeye, are we talking the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, or what?" asked Crockett.
"No. Better. I want you to sing Oh! by Girls Generation!"
Crockett and I simultaneously, "You've got to be kidding me."
"No! You will not fly without you singing my favorite song!"
"You obviously didn't see me in Riders of Destiny did you?" asked Crockett.
"There weren't movies in your time Crockett," said the beast.
"Dammit, you've got me there." After a short pause, "Alright, I've got an idea."
In a whirl, John Wayne magically transformed into a 16 year old Korean Girl!
오!Hawkeyes 너무 멋져! 지금은 그들에 대해 노래 것입니다!
After the song was completed, with a tear in his eye, the Hawkeye proclaims, "By Leman, that was beautiful. I shall take you down this cliff. Climb on to my back, and we shall fly like a Ricky Stanzi pass to the endzone!"
With a look of confusion, I ask, "Does this mean we're going to be intercepted and go backwards?"
"Blasphemy! You want a ride or not?!" shouted the Hawkeye.
"Just sayin'. But yes."
Crockett and I climbed aboard. During the flight, I had to ask Crockett just what the hell happened up above. His reply, "you'd be amazed what you learn on the set of Rio Bravo with that slut Angie Dickinson.".
Stunned, I decided to just let things go, finishing the flight in silence.
After landing, we walked down the path, and came up to two cave entrances. To the left, a purple sign reads Chicago; to the right a red sign reads Indiana. "Interesting that Chicago has their own place in hell. They're always the forgotten team," I state.
"Actually, that bolgie is Chicago and Northwestern. Chicago didn't provide enough space to fill the entire realm, so they started putting Northwestern fans in their, too. It really pisses off the Wildcat faithful, being called in Chicago instead of Evanston."
"So this is where fans from opposing schools are kept?"
"Indeed. Each is subjected to a punishment deserving of their respective bases. If you look into the Chicago bolgie, you'll see that Northwestern fans are whipped into pumping gas for eternity. This is punishment for jingling their keys at football games. The Chicago fans are just whipped into submission, as they're just quitters anyway."
"Huh, gas pumpers, huh? I like the irony. It's like rain on a wedding day."
"That's not ironic."
"Nevermind. Anyway, what happens to the Indiana fans?"
"Their heads are turned backwards and they are forced to play basketball without seeing what their doing. They suck horribly and couldn't beat even the lowliest of teams. To complicate it, they're shown clips of the current Hoosiers under Tom Crean. The tears they cry from this freeze right to their face."
"That's so cruel."
"Oh just wait. You see the next two caves, to the left is Illinois. There the fans are subjected to carry lead coats to weigh them down, while being forced to watch the entire history of Illinois football as if Ron Zook had been their coach since the team was started. They're amazingly worse. And to the right, you'll see Penn State's bolgie. There, the Nittany Lion fans are afflicted with a disease that turns them into zombies. They march around hungering for brains."
"I think I'd prefer being a zombie over watching Ron Zook coach a 1920s Illini football team into crap."
"You and me both, son. The next set of bolgies feature Iowa and Purdue. The Hawkeye fans are destined to a life as a stalk of corn. They start as a seedling, grow into a 6 foot tall crop, and then are reaped, feeling the blade tear them into bits, before they return to a seedling."
"As if living in Iowa City isn't boring enough, eh?" I ask as a loud drumming became audible in the distance."
"Purdue on the right here, they've got it about as bad. They spend the after life being dunked into a vat of boiling tar, a victim of their own vats. On top of that, their stupid drum beats in their bolgie, but the demon Purdue Pete has no rhythm, so it's not even a constant beat."
"That's awful, let's move faster."
"That can be done, partner."
"Who's next?" I ask.
"Next is Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Badger fans are placed over a bed of hot coals and forced to jump around."
"The more I hear these, the more I go back to that whole cliché thing we discussed back at the gates to Columbus."
"Noted. But quit interrupting me, boy," Crockett started. "On the left, you can see the Gopher fans crucified to the ground so that people can walk all over them. As you can see, the roof and walls mimic the Metrodome, a place I'm sure all Michigan fans can appreciate."
"Getting walked all over in the Metrodome? Sounds like a familiar Gopher story."
"That it is. The next bolgie coming up is Michigan State's. Before I even tell you what happens there, I'll remind you how cliché everything has been so far, then let you guess. Any ideas?"
"They're subjected to Gerard Butler prance around in a skirt for eternity kicking them into wells, yelling 'this is Sparta?' "
"No, but close! They're made to believe they've been reincarnated into Spartan boys, but as the youngest son, they are to be forever tormented by their stronger, smarter, better looking big brother. And once they've reached a certain age, they're sent to war against the Persians who kill them and start the process over again."
"We've got to get more creative people down here."
"Yeah, you've got to remember, most of the people that run this place are basically the blue hairs from Michigan stadium circa 1927. In life, they were entertained by playing with a stick."
"Indeed. Now, on past the last bolgie."
"Sweet, I'm interested to see how those idiots from Ohio are tormented. Please tell me that they get their nuts busted by continuous kicks to the groins?"
"Actually, the next bolgie belongs to Notre Dame. They may not be a conference member, but to hell with the Irish. The Buckeyes go somewhere else, deeper in hell. We'll get to them later."
"Huh, fair enough. So what happens to the Irish?" I ask.
"Well, you see, they have to plug their head into the ground like emus while their feet are scorched on hot rocks. They're told the strategy of putting their head in the ground is a schematic advantage to lessen the burn. It doesn't really do anything but make them look funny."
Disappointed by such a weak punishment, I reply, "It'd been funnier if punch drunk leprechauns came up and kicked them in the shins at the same time, maybe beat the crap out of them."
"I'll make note and pass that along to Ufer. He's never been much on trusting leprechauns. They look too much like gingers. We're still unclear if gingers have souls, and if they ain't got a soul, then they ain't coming to hell."
"It may suck, but not as bad as Michigan is playing right now. They just lost three straight to Penn State, Illinois, and Purdue. Bad things are happening in your world. Fans are growing restless. We must escape hell quickly, before we lose our chance."
And with that, we quickly made our way toward the final circle of hell.
(Special gif thanks to chunkums)
Action since last rankings:
8-3-10 Illinois gains commitment from Carl Williams. Iowa gains commitment from Torrey Campbell.
8-4-10 Illinois gains commitment from JT Thornton. Michigan State gains commitment from Ed Davis.
8-5-10 Michigan State gains commitment from Darien Harris.
8-7-10 Northwestern gains commitment from Treyvon Green.
Action might slow down now that summer camps are over. The ramp-up to the season and the first couple weeks could bring many commits though.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals rankings have been converted to their "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system (unranked players earn star), and ESPN uses grades out of 100 (unranked is 40 or 45).
|#1 Ohio State - 17 Commits|
|#2 Notre Dame - 16 Commits|
Nothing new for Notre Dame.
|#3 Michigan - 9 Commits|
Michigan might grab FL OL Tony Posada next week, unless South Florida has something to say about it.
|#4 Nebraska - 13 Commits|
No change for the Huskers.
|#5 Michigan State - 13 Commits|
Spartans pick up a couple of commits. I think that's enough to bump them past Indiana.
|#6 Indiana - 21 Commits|
Nothing new for IU.
|#7 Northwestern - 13 Commits|
NU snags Treyvon Green. Rivals hasn't rated him yet.
|#8 Iowa - 12 Commits|
Torrey Campbell picks Iowa, becoming their third-best recruit.
|#9 Minnesota - 13 Commits|
No change for Minnesota.
|#10 Wisconsin - 8 Commits|
Nothing new for the Badgers.
|#11 Penn State - 4 Commits|
PSU still taking it easy.
|#12 Illinois - 13 Commits|
Illinois is pretty close to passing Wisconsin.
|#13 Purdue - 6 Commits|
Boilers still bringing up the rear.
Bad news on the baseball recruiting front this weekend as outfield prospect Zach Fish of Gull Lake High School (Richland, MI) has stepped back from his verbal commitment to the University of Michigan. Fish had previously committed to UM coach Rich Maloney in May to accept a 50% scholarship to the school he had been a fan of since he was a small kid.
Things have changed over the course of the summer. Fish now holds offers from Oklahoma State and Florida Gulf Coast, two solid baseball schools in more baseball-friendly weather states. On top of that, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Louisville are also showing interest. If they get involved with decent scholarship offers, any of those three would probably hold a huge upper hand on Michigan.
U-M is “still in the mix,” Fish noted. He admitted, however, some doubts crept in when a Wolverines coach was talking to the Cincinnati-based Midland Redskins organization for which Fish plays in the summer and did not mention that Fish was a U-M commit.
“You’d think that you would want it reflected on (the Redskins) roster that Zach has committed to your school,” Fish’s father, Duane Fish, said about the U-M coach. “You would think the first thing you would say is, ‘Zach Fish is ours, keep your hands off him.’”
Duane Fish said his son also had second thoughts about playing in a northern climate and concerns about not getting the exposure he might at a southern program.
Zach Fish said the phone call to U-M head coach Rich Maloney was “probably one of the most nerve-racking conversations I’ve had, just because I gave the man my word that I was going to be a Wolverine and I gave him my commitment and he gave me his.”
I'm not sure what to make of a coach not mentioning his commitment. Fish can't sign his letter of intent until the early signing period in November, and therefore, the program isn't allowed to discuss commitments. I'm missing the context here, so maybe there is something deeper to this.
As far as losing exposure, I think that's just talk. Michigan did just have an outfielder go in the first round after being listed as a preseason All-American. I'm sure Fish and his father are well aware of that, but it's definitely something the other schools are trying to sell.
If Michigan isn't able to re-secure the commitment from Fish, it's a pretty big loss for the program. Fish is one of the better position players to come out of Michigan in a few years, and Maloney unloaded the kitchen sink (50% scholarship is reserved for the best of the best).
Fish seemed like a lock to start as a freshman along side Biondi and O'Neill. If Michigan can't re-secure a commit, they do have a few other outfield options, but they'll probably try to secure another commit in this class.
We had over 180 participants in the "Prediction Survey". The results were a bit cheery, at 9-3. Perhaps everyone was a bit geeked up with the "Countdown to Kickoff" starting that day and various other prediction threads and hype videos. Without futher ado, here's the data...
At one point within the predictions thread, another user thought it'd be a good idea to provide a probability or likelyhood for a Michigan victory in each game. The online survey maker I used wouldn't tally the results in any valuable way, so I had to transfer all the data into an excel spreadsheet. I've uploaded the individual game results onto a Google Docs page. The link to that document is here:
Here are the results of the probability survey
Interesting, yet not entirely unexpected, the results came out to an 8-4 finish. What was surprising was the one game that flipped was the Penn State game. I was more expecting Notre Dame, or even perhaps the Michigan State game to be closer. Anyway, thanks for everyone's involvement. We had over 130 participants in the probability survey.