Michigan fans suck. We're annoying and we don't care. All of our fans are old and stupid. We are all frontrunning, fairweather fans who know nothing about the game. The Big House is the quietest stadium on God's lovely earth.
I was reading the Maize N Brew recap (http://www.maizenbrew.com/2008/11/9/657410/a-trip-to-austin-puts-mich) of a Texas game and it reminded me about Michigan fans' depressive nature regarding our own game experiences. Time and time again, I've heard Michigan fans complain about, well, Michigan fans. And, honestly, I used to be the same way, constantly bitching about Big House noise.
But then, I started to get around the Big Ten (and a couple of bowl games, as well), started paying attention to teams from other parts of the country, started meeting other fans, and came to a very, very odd conclusion: compared to just about everyone else, Michigan fans are good. Seriously, we're all so self-conscious about it, but we're not that bad. Sure, some old people suck and god knows the "Fire RichRod" contigency annoys the bejesus out of me, but really, every fan base has a group of spoiled, annoying old people that never get up (see: Brian's Auburn post).
Now, before you start hyperventilating, I think we can all recognize that Michigan is a big time college football program, and, as such, will have a superior game day atmosphere and fan base excitement level than most teams right off the bat. Anyone that has been to Northwestern's high school stadium or Indiana's We're at 50% Capacity?! That's a New Record! Field, can say that Michigan is automatically in the top 25 of all college footballdom in terms of game day hype and fanbase loyalty/excitement/etc.
So of that 10 percent, which fanbase would you classify as superior to ours? Rank it how you'd like (go ahead and do it in the comments section right now!). You can emphasize crowd noise, stadium wow-factor, tailgating experience, general nuttiness, tradition, fan friendliness/intimidating meanness, etc.
As far as DEFINITELY 100% better than us, my list is probably this, give or take (in no order):
-Oregon (they are SO loud)
-Tennessee (?? Maybe?)
Not all of those are home runs. Oregon seriously lacks tradition. Bama fans are delusional. VT's tailgating is supposedly decentralized and lacking. I couldn't think of a reason to keep Tenn. off the list, yet, I kind of feel like they shouldn't be on there. But I think combining everything, those schools have a case to be better than us.
You may notice that Wisconsin is not on there. That is because Wisconsin fans don't show up until halfway through the game in both hockey and football. West Virginia? A little too Middle-of-nowhere-kind-of-irrelevant-program-y. I really thought about putting Oklahoma/Nebraska on there... but... I dunno, didn't feel right. Also, Notre Dame? I've heard they are exceedingly friendly to a creepy fault... plus... the whole paranoid attention whore thing...
So that puts us about 10th. If you really wanna be negative about it, how about 15th? That puts us ahead of 114 other schools in D-IA alone. Trips to Penn State and Ohio State (as well as interacting with Gator fans last year) showed me that other fans are just as easily taken out of the game as we are (I know it's not the best thing to watch, but check the #1-#2 OSU game and hear how quickly the crowd lost its edge during our first drive... this happened every time we started moving the ball until the very end of the game). Penn State seemed louder than us, but I have a friend on the cheerleading squad who swears on his life that Penn State was not louder than we were during, say, Wisconsin earlier this year. And that's with a stadium built straight up into the sky.
During this season that I have nicknamed "Michigan Hate 2008," let everyone else hate on us. Don't start hating yourself: we have an amazing tradition, a passionate/if somewhat crazed fan base, we're friendly to all non-OSU/non-MSU fans (and intimidatingly awful to those two), we have no creepy redneck racist undertones (see: Penn State), our stadium is impressive, in short, we're really not that bad. Well, at least our fans aren't.
Would love a little help from the Mgoblog cyberspace on the QB situation in 2009 and beyond. My best guess would be the following depth chart :
1) Threet 3 years of eligibility
2) Sheridan 2 years left
3) Forcier 4 years left
4) Beaver 4 years left
5) Feagin 3 years left
6) Cone 2 years left
I would think we would red shirt one of the 2 freshman and likely shift Feagin back to slot receiver or DB. One of the 2 freshman would provide the change of pace/limited offense QB in a 2 QB offense (the role Feagin played, quite well I might add, this week). We may pull a Buckeye, and mid-way through the season go with the dual threat QB.
Would we then put recruiting a QB on the backburner for the 2010 (no need to stockpile so many QBs). How many QBs do we really want at the same time? Can we have so many scholarships tied up in QBs (I guess we can not provide a 5th year to Cone/Sheridan in 2010 and Threet in 2011). Can we do that, not give a 5th year to a QB, how does that work? It seems like the spread can create a few more injuries (even though a previous article argued there were fewer hits..), so I think having 3 QBs who can play each year is good (including 1 change of pace guy or a younger QB who is fast but needs to learn the offense). Does anyone think we will have a transfer this year?
On an unrelated note, am I allowed to think big on 2009 as we get both PSU and OSU at home!!!?
So we won. Wasn't the prettiest victory, but we won. In a year like this, I'll gladly take it. But one thing became painfully obvious during yesterday's game-- the hardest thing to deal with this year is not that the streak is over. It's not that the 8th loss is looming like that 'men's health exam' I'll soon be needing for the first time in my life. It's not that on New Year's Day I'll have to be sitting at some family member's house wishing it was ME yelling at my team for sucking it up in beautiful weather. It's not even Stevie Brown. Clearly, the worst part about this 2-7, and now 3-7 season is...
Pam Ward. Or as I'll refer to hereafter as PAM FREAKIN' WARD.
Yes, the worst part about being this bad is that PAM FREAKIN' WARD calls your game. I'm not positive here,
but from what I can remember not since 2005 have we had to endure the
utter pain and humiliation of having this CLUELESS talking zombie
rattle off for approximately four quarters. She is SOOO bad it makes
me want to write Paul Maguire a letter and invite him back to the Big
House!! It's like they took some homeless guy off the street in downtown Cairo, gave him a microphone and a bad photocopy of the 1996 Sega Madden instruction book and put him on national TV! You can say what you want about breaking down gender barriers, but for the love of American football, I can throw my grandmother in front of the TV and she'll at least have something to say for the next three hours! Pam Ward is like third rate dental work-- when you can't get anything else you're forced to take her or suffer. And dammit we love our Wolverines, so we swallowed our pride and took what ESPN forced upon us. I mean really, where do we start?
1. How many times does the average
TV viewer need to be told WHAT COLORS THE TEAMS ARE WEARING??? If, by
the fourth quarter you don't realize that the Wolverines are wearing
white and the Gophers are wearing maroon, then you probably want to
look into specialized TV broadcasting for the visually impaired.....
How many times did we need to hear about the 'HOOK and LATERAL' play
that Purdue used to ice the game last week? Well, the first six or
seven would have been fine for me, but PAM FREAKIN' WARD made sure to point it out at least 45 to 48 times depending on whether or not you had turned down the TV volume to single digit levels by the fourth quarter.
3. It's a shame Eric Decker couldn't play (hats off to Trent, of course) after paid her so much money to SAY THE GUY'S NAME EVERY SIX SECONDS for THREE HOURS. I think there were more overall shots of Decker's sunflower seed exploits than actual field-of-play coverage, and I'm sure the camera men were just following the lead of PAM FREAKIN' WARD.
4. You would think that if someone were going to put you in front of a national TV audience, you'd at least be willing to do a little homework on the teams so you don't come off like a total insult to the game. Especially if you're trying to justify the whole gender barrier/bias thing. PAM FREAKIN' WARD must have been too busy on Friday watching Days of Our Lives or the WNBA to actually take a glance at our roster. I think I heard her call Calvin Bell's name a few times here and there. Tackle by David Harris. Touchdown run by Marquise Walker. Of course I'm just making these up, but she deserves it. Try announcing Martavious... try learning that McGuffie is white and on the sideline. Sheesh.
5. Please, could you spend a little more time describing the action ON THE FIELD than READING THE SCOREBOARD?? If I wanted to hear the score every 2nd down, I'd just look up to the top of the screen. All she really does is rattle off stats and numbers that are ALREADY AVAILABLE to the viewer. And why??? Because she obviously, and regrettably, has NOTHING TO ADD. NOTHING TO OFFER. Nothing about when she was quarterback at Purdue in 1961. Nothing about when she was coach at Jersey City State. Nothing even remotely to offer other than what the above-average football watching American can gather on his or her own. Nothing.
So we're stuck with this... at least until we start winning big and Brad Nessler and the rest start getting sent back to Ann Arbor. Hell, I'll even be satisfied with CHRIS FREAKIN' SPIELMAN at this point. One thing I kept thinking about on Saturday-- could you imagine what it's like to be stuck with this poop all the time??? How utterly toxic it must be for Northwestern fans to be told that their team is wearing purple 376 times a week?? How maniacally unfair it must be for Hoosier fans to be told it is 3rd and 11 because the line of scrimmage is eleven yards up the field?? Damn, at that point bring on the Big 10 network!
Long story short-- let's hope our boys turn it around next year, if only for more adequate playcalling!!!! I mean REALLY, ESPN--
AMERICA DESERVES BETTER THAN PAM FREAKIN' WARD.
That is all. God Bless America. GO BLUE.
Justin Feagin, change-up QB. From all indications, Feagin isn't ready to be a full time quarterback in the FBS. He has some issues with mechanics that can be seen on high school game film and college practice film. He also seems to lack some arm strength, and Rich Rodriguez has hinted that he also lacks the ability to make the right reads in the passing game. That being said, Feagin obviously held some potential to play quarterback in college. High school film indicates that he has the ability to make some plays with his arm, which means he can be a threat to throw the ball. This threat seemed to be enough to keep Minnesota's defense off balance when Feagin played QB. Even though he never threw the ball, you could tell that Minnesota's defense was just a little bit hesitant to come up in run support when he had the ball. This could serve the team well as this season - and, potentially, future seasons - goes on. I liked the way that the coaching staff sprinkled Feagin throughout the game. They didn't give him a series or two. They put him in for a play or two at a time. No matter who the starter is in future weeks - Threet or Sheridan - Feagin should continue to see occasional action at QB.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB
DEFENSIVE PLAYER WHO SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB
Brandon Harrison, SS/LB. At least for now, Rodriguez and Scott Shafer decided to do away with the 3-3-5. After the Purdue nightmare, they decided to go back to a four-man front. They should never have veered from that set, but that's neither here nor there. For much of Saturday's game, Michigan employed a 4-2-5 against Minnesota's spread offense. The Wolverines limited Minnesota to six points (two field goals) and 188 total yards. Brandon Harrison played closer to the line than usual and came up with some key plays, especially a sack of Minnesota QB Adam Weber. This should continue for Northwestern and possibly Ohio State. Thompson is a decent run stopper, but he's ineffective on pass plays, whether he's covering or blitzing. If the team wanted to stick to a 4-3 this year, they should have kept Thompson at MIKE and moved Ezeh to SAM. But they didn't. Now Thompson has been effectively benched against spread teams (presumably, unless things change this week). Harrison is adept at run support and also has excellent speed to chase plays down from behind. Unless Michigan encounters power run formations in which Thompson would hold up better than the 205-pound Harrison, the SS should stay near the line and Michael Williams or Charles Stewart should play deep. This was a nice adjustment by Shafer.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB
This was the best defensive game of the season. The entire team tackled well and maintained their responsibilities.
It has been forever since I last posted anything, including even a comment. While I am still a regular follower of MGoBlog, as well as the new WLA, I've basically been a casual onlooker on the blog scene the whole season. As some of you may (or may not) recall, I was a regular commentator and contributor late last season, as well as over the Winter during the coaching search. In fact, I commiserated with many fellow U-M Law alumi, and basically wasted like 1,000 potential billable hours spending endless hours on MGoBlog tracking the coaching search and waiting for Brian to start a new thread that we could comment on. In any event, today I decided to google my MGoBlog handle and read through my old posts during December of last year. A time, I might add I originally referred to as a "shit storm", but later termed "a diarrhea hurricane." I thought some of you might might enjoy a sampling of some of my posts/comments during that time. My favorite is a "memo" I wrote to all of you summarizing the general malaise and paranoia of everyone following the coaching search on MGoBlog. For those that don't remember, "Spicy BM" was a nickname attributed to Bill Martin at a time (I generally analogized him to a bowel movement). As some of you may also remember, I was a Les Miles fan, and believed he would "crawl through glass" to come back to U-M. I also openly pined for Rich Rodriguez. In any case, after re-reading the threads from that time, there is NO FUCKING WAY I can handle another coaching search any time in the near future. The coaching search makes a 3-7 mark look like the 1997 season. LOL. In any case, hope you enjoy the sampling of some of my old posts (current labeling in bold).
ON THE GROBE MAFIA:
Success! I brought my laptop and am at a Starbucks. GJ delayed (fucking AUSAs).
I've decided to give Grobe a pass -- like the Gambino LCN. He gets freedom from bad commentary from me, but he will be required to win a MNC within 3 years of his hiring at Michigan. Sorry, those are the rules. As a former gov't lawyer who proscuted organized crime cases, I don't give a fuck what the Grobe mafia says about it. 3 years and a national championship. If half of what you guys says about Grobe is true that's not asking to much.
Christ, I'm halfway on the Grobe bandwagon.
DCBlue | 12.06.07 - 1:02 pm | #
I think gsimmons85 is Jim Grobe's handle. He's sitting in his office in Winston-Salem typing away.
DCBlue | 12.06.07 - 1:11 pm | #
ON BILL MARTIN, Generally (Sidenote: Can you fucking believe we thought PSU's Bradley even had a chance? LOL)
How great would it be if BM's "process" included having his AD staff run unsubtantiated rumors of potential candidates up the MGoBlog flagpole? Brady Hoke. Nope can't hire him. Urban Meyer, definate possibility. T. Bradley, definately not.
DCBlue | 12.06.07 - 1:13 pm | #
On "Premium" message boards:
I can't imagine paying money for this rumor mongering. "Premium" message board? Unless they furnish coke and hookers, that's ridiculous.
DCBlue | 12.06.07 - 2:00 pm | #
Bill Martin, revisited:
As much as I want to believe that spicy BM's "process" is just like "Fortitude South" in WWII (the plan to deceive the Germans into thinking that the main attack would come in the Pas-de-Calais and the low countries to the east), I just don't buy it. I think Saturdy and Sunday was a huge clusterfuck, probably brought on a little from both sides and now BM is racing for a plan B to save face/his ass.
I mean Jesus, he's not planning the fucking Normandy landings, he's hiring a football coach. This CIA/KGB stuff would be funny if it wasn't so ridiculous.
DCBlue | 12.06.07 - 3:14 pm | #
The "Memo" summarizing the MGoBlog threads at the time:
TO: Blog Fags
FROM: DC BLUE
RE: MICHIGAN COACHING SEARCH
CLIENT CODE: Spicy BM
After extensive research, and in an attempt to save all of us the trouble of following new threads, please feel free to print out the following cheat sheet that gives a synopis of every MGoBlog discussion.
1. Les Miles = Crawl through glass.
2. Spicy BM = fucked things up
3. Malfunctioning Blackberry/Sailing
4. KING GROBE
5. Oh my god we're fucked.
6. What a shit storm/diarrhea hurricane.
7. Relax, it will all work out.
8. Fuck you, this is Michigan.
9. Who is the hot coordinator
10. Martin said no coordinators.
12. Mike Debord
13. Urban Meyer/Sean Peyton/Rich Rodriguez.
15. I need a drink
16. You guys are the greatest
18. We need a profiles in heroism [insert name]
19. Michigan Student provides bi-polar anaylsis.
20. We're like ND
21. No we're not
22. THIS IS MICHIGAN
23. Clean house
24. Pat Forde/Drew Sharp = douche
25. I trust Bill Martin.
26. Fuck that, we're fucked.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Finally, isn't this the truth:
Maybe Harbaugh does warrant a look. sigh.
Whoever it is, we'll all be bitching after the first three and out next year.
DCBlue | 12.07.07 - 11:16 am | #
Thought I would try to steal Brian's thunder or save him some time this week as the end of the Iowa-Penn St. game was a disaster from a clock management perspective for Penn St.
After getting hosed on a pass interfernce penalty Penn St. fans see there season and dreams start slipping away. When Iowa completees a pass for a 1st down at the Penn St 30 to get them in FG range, no one in Blue and White can breathe. So here we have it 3rd and 6 from the Penn St 29 55 seconds left up 2 pts and Penn St has all 3 time outs. The clock continues to tick and tick and tick Iowa surprisingly throws a pass and gets the 1st down against a soft zone coverage(ru fucking kidding me) Penn St. sits back and continues to allow Iowaz to position the ball so they can attempt a FG leaving 1 second left. That crafty Paterno saves his timeouts for the ever effective freeze of the kicker, doesn't work again and PSU's season flames out and visions of Mario Manningham go dancing thru their heads.
SOMEONE WAKE UP JOEPA AND TELL HIM TO USE HIS FUCKING TIMEOUTS TO SAVE SOME TIME FOR HIS OFFENSE. HE KINDA HAS 1 OF THE TOP KICK RETURNERS IN THE COUNTRY THESE COACHES CONTINUE TO AMAZE AT THEIR IDIOCY. THEY ARE ALREADY IN SCORING POSITION WITH A MINUTE TO GO THE CLOCK IS NO LONGER YOUR FRIEND IT IS YOUR ENEMY. IF THEY TRY AND BLEED THE CLOCK AND YOU STOPE THEM YOU GET THE BALL WITH 45 SECONDS AND 2 TIME OUTS. IF THEY GET IT, THEY GET IT THE CLOCK IS OF NO ISSUE. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE