I did not make this headline up
As a recent graduate that is less than 4 months removed from living on East U, I thought I would share my recent impressions of Rentschler Field. I went for work (there was a product fair in the club area), and couldn't help but compare it to the Big House the entire time I was there.
My (kind of random) thoughts:
1. It's in East Hartford, which is almost 30 minutes from Storrs. Understandable that UConn students aren't as into football.
2. It's in a weird area; across the street on one side there's a huge Cabelas and a large pharmaceutical? company headquarters. Another side is a neighborhood, and the two other sides are undeveloped. It wasn't a gameday, but it doesn't seem like the area is a catalyst for a rowdy football environment.
3. There are some grass fields around it that provide (relatively) ample room for tailgating.
4. Driving up to it, it's incredible unintimidating. It reminds me a lot of IU's stadium if that does anything for you. One of the endzones is open except for the scoreboard, there's space in between the grandstands on the sidelines and endzones. This makes me wonder how loud it can even get.
5. The first 20 or so rows are sunken like the Big House, but it doesn't have the size to compensate. This makes it look even smaller from the outside. The pressbox/club building is easily the biggest (and best) part, I give it a B for exterior aesthetics.
6. I didn't get a chance to take a tour, but the field looked mowed and didn't have any lines on it. I would then assume that it's real grass.
7. Aside from the IU comparison, it kind of reminded me of the high school stadium in the Friday Night Lights movie. Tony Drake and the other Texas players should feel right at home.
Overall, it's a nice looking stadium, but it really looks like an oversized Texas HS stadium or small soccer stadium overseas. I wonder if the players will have a hard time getting up for the game considering what they're used to.
For the record, I'm ok, with the game being scheduled out here as it's not too far from NYC, and there are a ton of alumni out here.
“SHUT UP YOU BIG FAT SLOB.”
This is the fourth entry of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert , a design project that will enable MgoBlog readers to vote for upcoming designs in the brand spankin’ new MGoBlogStore. To reach the store, click here. To read more about exactly what MGoShirt Alert is and will be about, click here.
CLICK HERE FOR PRODUCT DETAIL
Alright, enough of you guys already-- take your big fat Charlie Weis shirt and be happy! So yesterday's shirt, clearly not a hit. No problem-- I take criticism well and you can all rest better knowing that I didn't go home and cut off my ear last night and send it off in a box. (Speaking of which, Brodie-- keep an eye on your mailbox j/k). Honestly, everyone's got the right to say what they feel around here, and I'm cool with that. I did switch up my running order today, because it just felt like something on the lighter side was in order. So maybe I'll run today's original shirt tomorrow, haven't decided yet.
So, time to vote! What do you guys think?
|pollcode.com free polls|
|What do you think of MgoShirt #4?|
|Five Stars Four Stars Three Stars Two Stars One Star|
***** Five Stars: Charlie Weis-- 734 lbs. GET IN MY BELLY!
**** Four Stars: No, he can't weigh more than 650...
*** Three Stars: Are you kidding me? Half a ton, no more.
** Two Stars: Leave him alone, he's a svelt 425!
* One Star: Actually, he's a comparable to my own 300 lbs.
I've also tried to keep all shirts as a single side tee, just to keep costs down. There are some two-sided shirts in the mix, including tomorrow's, but as I said, most of the shirts will be one front image, maize ink on a blue background. If there was a back side to today's shirt, I'd probably just have it say "SHUT UP YOU BIG FAT IRISH SLOB."
One of the things that keeps coming up is the idea of "MGoBlog" listed somewhere on the shirt. The big reservation here is that Brian has pretty much his entire life invested in this site, and although he hasn't personally said it, the potential fear is that of one of us goons might drag his blog's good name through the mud after one too many cases of beer and/or a run-in with a.) hardcore drugs, b.) various farm animals, or c.) a damn Buckeye co-ed fatter than Weis. BUT I will say that yes, an MGoBlog shirt is among my designs. As is Tacopants. And Barwis. Twice.
So enough is enough...place your votes, ladies and gentlemen, and feel free to love to hate below! See you tomorrow for another exciting round of – MGoShirt Alert!!
Hawking wares in some other guy's stall is just kind of rude, and it detracts from what he's doing, which it shouldn't. After all, I'm no graphic artist, and I'll bet most of you aren't, either.
My designs so far are below. The first one is new, and I think my favorite of the three. It's slightly less Michigan branded (but only slightly) and identifies much more strongly with the blog. The other two are more heavily Michigan branded, but little to no blog connection (easily modified to include it). What say you?
Post your own! Post comments or suggestions! Keep voting for Six Zero's designs!
“WE NOW RETURN TO... CLASSIC LITERARY QUOTES with LLOYD CARR”
This is the third entry of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert , a design project that will enable MgoBlog readers to vote for upcoming designs in the brand spankin’ new MGoBlogStore. To reach the store, click here. To read more about exactly what MGoShirt Alert is and will be about, click here.
For our next entry, I am proud to recall the words of Rudyard Kipling. The son of a transplanted British architect teaching in Bombay, ol' Rud traveled the world before settling down in Vermont, of all places. He did pass through current-day Big Ten country in 1889, although there is no record of him stopping in Ann Arbor for an American football match.
Either way, some hundred years later his work caught the eye of one Lloyd H. Carr, with this particular line becoming something of a catch phrase for the defense. I'm sure there's plenty of John Spyteks and Zach Kaufmans out there that still hear this line in their sleep. And dream of killing quarterbacks.
For the eyes, they are part of a logo set I designed over a year ago, and actually just submitted it for consideration in another minor league hockey contest. I struggled with the idea of giving this one out because it has personal value to me-- it's currently my desktop wallpaper as I type this-- but it just seemed to best match the attitude and swagger of this shirt. I played around with a tackling sled in its place, but it didn't have the same effect.
So, time to vote! What do you guys think?
|pollcode.com free polls|
|What do you think of MgoShirt #3?|
|Five Stars Four Stars Three Stars Two Stars One Star|
***** Five Stars: KILL! KILL! KILL! I AM CONSUMED BY RAW ANIMAL
PREDATORY INSTINCTS! BLOODLUST!! GO BLUE!!!
**** Four Stars: Looks great! I am suddenly dying for a very rare steak.
*** Three Stars: That's a nice shirt, although I'm worried about my cholesterol.
** Two Stars: It's okay, but I'm just not that hungry.
* One Star: Anyone have any broccoli?
Yesterday some of you asked if I have a portfolio, and YES, I have two in fact-- one for branding and design, and another for hand-drawn illustration. Now, are they currently online?? No. I've built a personal Flash site, and it's pretty much ready to go... but I've since decided to link my branding work out to an independent Six Zero Branding site, and have opted to wait and launch them together. Sorry... I am involved with a few hockey design sites such as Puckdrawn and Icethetics if anyone cares. Place your votes, ladies and gentlemen, and feel free to add any comments below! For tomorrow's shirt I'll be digging deep into the archives for an old take on a new phrase. See you then for another exciting round of – MGoShirt Alert!!
Now, onto the title. As far as I can tell, every person on this blog (including me) expects that Denard will play this year, with most assuming a Percy Harvin type role except that he would also pass from time to time. Some brave souls ("Denard is fast!") project him as giving Tate full competition as the starter (for the record, I don't think that will happen).
But is there a chance he would redshirt? I think there is a chance, based on the following:
1- Denard = raw
2- Remember that many schools did not recruit him as a QB, including spread offense schools-see #1 above.
3- Tate by all accounts and based upon limited video, is far more polished a QB and has far more command currently of the offense. That is a serious head start on PT.
4- We have one year of Jason Forcier to utilize. While there is no future for Jason, and I don't claim he will challenge to start, there is every reason to believe that he can be at minimum, competent in a backup role if needed.
5- Is it possible that Sherideath can be competent (nothing more) this year? I think that is quite possible.
So, putting these assumptions together, what we have is one promising Freshman QB (Tate) that is likely to start, two veteran QB's that can be competent, and one raw freshman (Denard) that needs much work on throwing motion and other fundamentals.
What this spells to me is a QB situation that is FAR above where we were last year. If we have three QB's that can be competent, that beats the zero we had last year by approximately 3-0. So following this logic, would Rodriguez then conclude that a Denard Robinson, with a redshirt year of practice under his belt, is A-far more likely to be a factor next year and in future, and B- not needed at QB due to the assumptions above? Oh, and a reminder: Pat White redshirted.
This is not necessarily the future I am predicting, but I think it is a future that is possible. What do you think?
So here is my attempt to be more analytical about the 2009 season. I am, like everyone else here, very excited to see what this year will bring for the Wolverines. I am fully behind Rich Rod and his staff and believe that they will turn the ship around. Looking at the roster gives me hope as well. It seems to me that most positions will see an upgrade through better players, more experience, and fewer nagging injuries. To really have a breakthrough season though, we will need to see several players step their game up.
Here are the top five players I expect to have a season shaping impact:
- Brandon Graham - An obvious choice when considering impact players, Graham has already reached this level of play. He is probably the only bonafied star on the team (not counting Space Emperors) and will be the player opposing offenses must account for. He plays a position that can cover for our biggest apparent weakness (safeties) by putting consistent pressure on the quarterback, allowing less time for pass plays to develop. The team will feed off of his drive-killing sacks and forced turnovers. His impact alone possibly accounts for an extra win or two.
- Tate Forcier - Again, this is an obvious choice. (Really, I'm not trying to bore you.) Watching the quarterback play last year was mostly depressing, but I really enjoyed the moments where Threet managed to get free for a surprising run. With Tate we can reasonably expect this to occur much more often which will have a huge positive impact on our offensive efficiency. I am not really expecting much more than natural talent shining through here, at least at first, but that should be enough to keep defenses guessing a whole lot more then last year. The fact that he understands the offense from High School and the spring will certainly help speed his development. So even taking into account freshman jitters, Tate should make a huge impact and account for another one or two game improvement in the win column.
- Jonas Mouton - I have been stoked about this guy's potential since his recruitment, and especially since he move to linebacker. These days, with spread offenses of all sorts getting fast little buggers the ball with enough space to run around fools, every defense needs quick linebackers that can cover someone. My memories of the last decade of Michigan Football are littered with big plays for opponents that stem from the short passing game. As a superior athlete and a converted safety, Mouton may be just the defensive answer we have been missing.
- Brandon Minor - So the fumbles and injuries are in the past right? After the way Minor finished the 2008 season, I believe so and that he may have more of an impact than any other single player on the roster. Minor should punish defenders with his hard hitting running style, while grinding out the tough first downs. He might be most effective with carries focused towards the middle of the line, maybe even lining up at fullback. Opposing defenses would be forced to pick their poison, either bringing extra defenders into the box or allowing Minor to gut them up the middle. With all of the hype about "Spread n' Shred," Minor could be the perfect counter. Not to mention this is his last go-round to impress pro scouts.
- Zoltan Mesko - Really? A Punter? Arguably no other player has the chance to impact each and every game as much as Our Venerable Space Emperor (of Space). Without his ability to put footballs into orbit, last year could have been much uglier for the Maize and Blue. Heck, if half of the turnovers on our end were instead booming Zoltan bombs, our defense would have appeared light years better and we probably would have won at least another game or two. I expect that he will average career highs across all punting statistics (except number kicked, hopefully) and suprise many when he fakes several for first downs (and at least one touchdown, you heard it here first!)
Five others I considered:
- Greg Mathews: Probably the most important player for Tate's development, Mathews has already established his ability to run crisp routes and catch tough passes. Will he be the steady target a freshman QB needs?
- Donovan Warren: I still believe that Warren has the tools to be a shutdown corner at this level. Maybe not a Woodson, but possibly a Ty Law sort.
- Martavious Odoms: We all saw how rediculously open Odoms got last year. Now he has someone that can actually hit him, even while scrambling.
- Mike Martin: Can be the disruptive force in the middle to take some of the focus away from Graham. Can have a large impact by consistently blowing up the opponents backfield.
- Steve Shilling: After a second year with Barwis and a third starting on the O-line, Shilling is ready to shine. The move to the interior of the line could help Brandon Minor by allowing him to truck some safeties instead of linebackers.