Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
Okay-- so it's not exactly a secret that I'm a professional designer by trade. One of my specialties/interests is in branding and uniform design, about which I occasionally throw in my two cents around here.
With that being said, I've recently taken part in a design contest that may actually result in a legitimate application of my work if things go well. The only reason I'm letting you all know is that it pertains to your own AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. Since a lot of you are Red Wings fans, I'm assuming this might be of interest to you.
This whole thing actually takes place at another blog, Puckdrawn.com, which deals primarily in hockey jersey design and aesthetics. Basically the premise for this particular contest is to design an alternate look for the Griffins, and eventually the best work will be shown to the team's management as consideration for an actual on-ice jersey or uniform design.
I contributed three designs: the red, featuring my original Griffin mark on a Rbk Edge template; the white, featuring my alternate-as-main mark on the same template; and a 3rd, an idea of actually honoring Gordie Howe with a jersey designed in his own likeness (I wanted something REALLY different for the last).
In the past some of you have expressed interest in seeing more of my work. Well, you can all check it out here:
I'm happy with the logo. The uniforms are different, and you can argue that they're WAY too "Reebok," BUT keep in mind that one of the many people that would have to sign off on something like this is a Reebok guy, so I thought I'd play it up and do the best with their template.
So I welcome you all to check 'em out and let me know what you think, if only because I'm not a part of the local fan base. I'm really good about taking criticism, and welcome any and all comments. Wish me luck!
Oh, and no-- I never did finish the alternate Wolverine head from way back when.
With last year being Rich Rodriguez' first year with the blue and maize you cant really blame him or be mad about the dismal record of 3-9 with no bowl elegibility. after all, new coach and new place do not combine to be a good combination. with his steller recruiting, getting 4 and 5 star prospects such as Tate Forcier and Je'Ron Stokes, i do not think it will be long before you see michigan back at the top of the rankings. and lets face it, we were ganna have a bad year anyway with offensive starters Henne, Hart, Manningham, and the #1 pick Jake Long gone, along with linebacker Shawn Crable (even though he esentially costs us the 2006 OSU game with that late hit AND blocked th wrong guy on the field goal that made us lose to Appalachian State).
I think that Rich Rodriguez is a nice fit though. although we dont really have a dual threat QB he can obvioulsy get one and even if we dont Tate Forcier will be a good starter next year (assuming Nick Sheridan starts this year)
thats assuming of course.
from the things ive read today it looks like Forcier will be starting though.
guess well have to wait and see.
The 2010 recruiting class is even better than the 09 one
im thinking this year wil be the .500+ year and NEXT year well all get what we wanted.
The Rose Bowl or the National Championship.
and Maybe even finally beating OSU.
and yes Tate Forcier is a dual threat but hes more Pro style than dual threat
-The Young Blue and Maize Fan
The NBA draft and all the trades surrounding it got me thinking about some "what-if" questions. If Beilein could draft a starting five to play in his system, who would be pick? I was trying to figure out which Michigan players he would take from the last ten years, which all-time Michigan players he would take, and which players he would take given his choice of any player ever.
Over the last ten years, I was thinking DeShawn Sims, LaVell Blanchard, Manny Harris, Daniel Horton, and Dion Harris. That team might be a bit small, but it can shoot. I had trouble thinking of a big man from recent Michigan history who could shoot at all. I am not in love with these picks, but it hasn't been a spectacular last ten years, either. I feel like we should be able to find a better shooting point guard, but none came to mind. I feel like Beilein would love someone versatile like Bernard Robinson, Jr., too, but I think LaVell was a better outside shooter and I didn't want to bump a guard for him because you need some ball-handling.
Picking the all-time, all-Beilein Michigan squad was fairly tough. I came up with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Glen Rice, Louis Bullock, and Rumeal Robinson. I figure Beilein would love the versatility of Webber and Rose. Rice seemed like a no-brainer. I had trouble picking the guards, to be honest, and had to go back to some stats on Bullock and Robinson. Any thoughts/upgrades here would be appreciated, particularly given my dearth of knowledge about some of the older players. I thought about Cazzie Russell, but have never seen footage of him actually playing and don't really know his style. He played before they implemented the 3 point line, too, so that makes things tough to project just from the numbers. I had trouble coming up with the best Michigan big man, too. I think Rudy Tomjanovich warrants a mention, but I don't know if he was really a shooter. Juwan Howard's ability to play multiple positions might pique the Coach's interest, but I don't know if he is a good enough shooter to crack the top five.
The all-time squad is what really intrigued me. I certainly have a bias towards more recent players, but there are a lot of stellar options here. I was thinking Steve Nash at the point, Kobe at the 2, Bird at the 3, and Nowitzki at the 4. I think there are plenty of sweet-shooting options at the point, but Nash has to be amongst the best. I am a Bulls fan and love MJ, but I think Kobe might be a little better shooter. You can certainly make a case for Reggie Miller or Ray Allen as pure shooters, too, but I think Kobe gives you a better defender. Bird and Nowitzki seem like perfect players for a Beilein system. The center was a tough call. I think you could definitely move Nowitzki to the 5 and add Jordan, Ray Allen, or Reggie Miller to the mix. Of course Magic Johnson has famously filled in at center before, but I don't know if he is the pure outside shooter you want. When thinking about the best all-time shooting big men, Arvydas Sabonis came to mind. You obviously couldn't go wrong with an all-time great here like Wilt, Russell, Hakeem, Kareem, or Shaq, but I am hard-pressed to come up with a better outside shooter at the 5 than Sabonis.
So, this summer, the local paper (Cincinnati Enquirer) will be following the recruitment of several local high school football players including 2010 DE Jibreel Black who, as Brian noted this week, has M in his current top 5.
Anyway, the writer kicks things off by writing an article touching on the impact of the hour to hour and sometimes minute to minute changes in a recruit's ranking by internet recruiting sites.
Interestingly, the article quotes a variety of sources including O$U/PSU patsy Bill Kurelic, the HS coach of 2010 QB Andrew Hendrix who just committed to ND over O$U this week, and Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly. I thought Kelly's comments at the end of the article were particularly interesting as I would guess they would mirror RR's sentiments on recruiting, at least to a certain degree, since a) Kelly also runs a run-heavy spread option and b) probably looks to fill roles rather than recruiting only 4 stars and higher.
I realize that, being Michigan, we are a little more used to getting our fair share of high profile, 4* or greater recruits, but maybe sometimes the staff sees something these "gurus" don't. Andy Staples at CNN/SI published an article a few months ago looking at the correlation of HS Rivals rankings and the 32 picks in Don Banks' mock NFL draft and found that the average Rivals ranking for those 32 players was 3.59 stars.
Well anyway, let's hope that all of this is crap, RR finds the right mix of role players and superstars so that in a couple of years the Wolverine Angel of Deathbacker descends upon a small cowtown in central Ohio and takes all of Columbus' firstborn leaving only plague and pestilence. Oh wait, they already have those. Have a good weekend.
Terrible time of year for sports so I felt like making some predictions about the big ten programs for the next five years.
Ohio State- Pryor never develops as a true passer; overall talent will make them average 9-10 wins a year. They will also lose two more bcs games. Come 2013 they will have become stale, just as we did towards the end of Lloyds career.
Penn State- they will remain Penn State, a big ten title 2 disappointing season, 2 good seasons.
Michigan state- I think they finally got someone who wants to stay in EL and can make them legit in dantonio. He’s really surprised me with recruiting, but until they can land players from across the country they are between 7-6 and 9-4 every year.
Illinois- Ron Zook will keep them loaded with talent and disappointment on the field. Great recruiter, not a great coach.
Wisconsin- Bielema is gone after this season when they go 5-7. If he’s able to make it to next season they’ll go 3-9. Hopefully they get it right with the next coach and can rebound.
Iowa- Ferentz is the best coach in the country. Nobody develops talent like he can, if he was at a major program it would be scary. They’ll make it to a bcs game in the next 5 years.
Northwestern – they should be pretty good under Fitzgerald. Averaging 8 wins a year.
Minnesota- why did they ever fire glen mason, he had them ranked regularly. Won’t be the case under Brewster, I don’t like him changing his offense after they had success with it last year. 2 bowls over the next 5 years
Purdue- they’ll really miss Joe tiller, could be a long time till they play in another bowl game.
Indiana- kicked their best player since randel el off the team. Should be a mid-tear MAC school for the foreseeable future.
Notre Dame- I don’t care what anyone thinks about how good they should be this year. Shamu will be gone after this season and Urban Meyer will take his “dream job”. Having the two pioneers of the spread offense coaching will make this a game that will affect the national title race every year.
Michigan- had to save the best for last; we shock the world and finish 11-2 this year. A national title, two rose bowls and two Jan. 1st bowl games over the next 5 years.
There is a pretty in depth breakdown of the UM team by position by Pete Fiutak on CFN. http://cfn.scout.com/2/872378.html
For whatever reason he seems to have tremendous confidence in our safeties, as he deems them the strength of our defense. he speaks of vlad emilien like hes already an all-american and brandon smith like he is about 27 minutes from becoming one. he also completely forgets about justin turner, and claims that there is zero depth behind booboo and warren.
other than those huge errors, the remainder of his analysis is relatively decent, and overall pretty positive. A lot of it is stuff we already know (Tate Forcier is the "player to watch" in 2009.) But he also makes an interesting point that Mark Ortmann is the key to Michigans success in 2009. and while that is a bit of an exageration, it is somewhat true. ortmann, or dorrestein depending on who wins the position at LT, could be either the achilles heal or the finishing piece to an otherwise solid o-line.
in case you dont actually feel like going through the article (it is somewhat long), here is the rating (1-10) that he assigns each position group:
qb - 6.5
rb - 8
wr - 7
OL - 7.5
DL - 6.5
LB - 7
DB - 7
Special Teams - 7
I personally think he was a bit generous with the QBs. I want to say that hes underrating our LBs and DBs, but... our DBs did really underperform last yr (Warren in particular) and there are a lot of question marks, in my mind, at safety. and as for our LBs, i think stevie brown will be pretty solid, but who knows for sure. and ezeh could revert back to his freshman yr glory, or he could continue down his road to bust. i think everyone is expecting good things from mouton though