Well, since this is kind of my own blog I thought I would share something exciting, challenging, and at times stupid... I am training to run a MARATHON!
I have been training for the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 19th since the beginning of June. Training is going well, and I am getting ready to run 15 miles this weekend. I have been building from 8 miles, and have run a half - marathon, etc... I have been running for the past two years on and off but I have never ran more than a 15.5 mile race in 2007. So I am getting anxious to get my training up to the 20 miles I need in order to be able to run the 26.2 in October!
This morning I was running before work and it was 70 degrees and humid over here on the west side... As I was running I was thinking (as you tend to have a lot of time) about the upcoming training camps - regardless of level - that will be opening in a matter of days. I was thinking holy crap! I can't believe I used to have to wear full pads in this heat and humidity from 2nd grade through college! I am not a small guy (6'2" 210 - have lost just over 40 lbs. since Feb.) so I amout there for a while, and I know I can force my self through it... what I am trying to say is that the game of football to me is much more than x's and o's... it is about life! If you can make it through the camps and the conditioning then can do anything you set your mind to.
I think about the game of football daily, sometimes just remembering the fellas... There are a lot of games that I barely can recall - and this was not that long ago (graduated from college in 2000) - but i remember everything that I did with my boys! The sweating, the pain, the throwing up, the parties, and this is what i miss the most.
I guess what I am trying to communicate is that if I can run a marathon (I hope) and sweat my ass off for a goal (and put up with the aches and pains)... think about the team at M right now... they have been busting their collective asses off and becoming more than just a TEAM, they are becoming a close knit group of FRIENDS (brothers if you will) and proving to themselves what kind of preople they are.
So whenever some critic, fan, etc. worries about or blasts the team for not having a QB, or being young on the line - DO NOT FORGET THAT THERE IS A LOT MORE BEHIND THEM THAN WHAT WE SEE ON THE SURFACE - THEY WILL BE SUCCESFUL IN WAYS WE CANNOT SEE... I believe that this is what will win games this year for the team.
I just think that these are the things that get over looked by the x's and o's the recruiting, the analysis, etc... I leave you with these thoughts:
"Enthusiasm is the force upon which all momentum is created!"
"Anything worthwhile is never easy!"
Let’s get our stereotypes straight here. I am pleased to present the first comprehensive guide (for any Buckeyes that happened by, that was tongue-in-cheek) to our view of rival fans, I stress *our view*, which I will happily update with any of your valid suggestions.
Ohio State fan – Mullet. Buckstache. Balding early in life. Significant other always wears too much make-up. Either is, was, will be, or already has two truck drivers in the family. Would never switch off Buckeye football to watch NASCAR, but the thought has occurred to him. Gets a little too into Ultimate Fighting. Would trade nine losses to clearly inferior teams for a win in The Game. Has man-crush on Jim Tressel, never told anyone that. Once wrote a threatening letter to John Cooper. Checks Ebay for redneck Buckeye memorabilia, can’t afford most of it. Is confused that he likes Florida the place so much, but hates Florida the team so much. Treats Big-10 vs. SEC with the same level of vehemence as if someone spit on his kid. Thinks foreplay is throwing a beer bottle at an opposing fan before the team comes down the tunnel.
Michigan State fan – Says “Brah” a lot. Despite admiring the “hotties” at State, has an actual track record that looks a lot more like an Ann Arbor selection. Drank a LOT. Drinks a LOT. Thinks about beating the Wolverines approximately 300 days a year. Views all other football events as vaguely enjoyable background noise to a possible problem with alcohol. Values “cool” over “successful.” Eats brats over hot dogs. Works for someone with a Michigan degree. Has secrets – secretly wishes he went to Michigan, secretly wishes he loved actual basketball achievements as much as he would love hypothetical football achievements, and secretly reads Michigan blogs and is currently nodding and saying “me, me, me. I’m getting so tore up tonight brah.”
Notre Dame fan – Actually makes Michigan fans say with sincerity, “man is he arrogant.” Gets an inordinate amount of satisfaction from events that happened prior to his birth, even more than Michigan fan. Seems smugly entitled. Thoroughly detached from reality. Did not attend Notre Dame. Believes in make-believe things like Leprechauns, going 11-2, and God. Can rattle off a coaching hire wish-list just a hair faster than he genuflects at the mention of Lou Holtz. Spits after someone says “Gerry Faust” or “Bob Davie.” Golfs a lot, calls it “duffing.” Erroneously thinks Knute Rockne tapped the “Play Like A Champion” sign on the way out to games. Secretly knows South Bend is a dump. Isn’t grinning as much at the Charlie Weis fat jokes anymore. Would vote for W for a 3rd term. Thinks Ty Willingham is the devil.
USC fan – Is boinking a song-girl right now. Born on 3rd base, thinks he hit a double and reached on an error (is right.) Didn't get into film school because he wouldn't play "politics". Looks like Ken. Drives a convertible. Used daddy’s money to buy daddy out. Wakes up everyday and pisses excellence. Owns Ebay. Doesn’t even really care about college football, but believes anything worth doing is worth doing right. Didn’t hear the USC fight song enough, so uses it as his ringtone. Never had a single zit. Employs Michigan grads because they’re not stuck up like Ivy-Leaguers. Never actually been to Compton, but tells stories like he has. Knows people want to hate him, but he’s just so damn charismatically *charming* that they can’t help but be won over by his sheer perfection. Sometimes in quiet reflection, feels great remorse for the troubles of the less fortunate… then buys a small toy factory and turns it into a parking garage to get his head right.
WVU fan - Loyal, um, to a fault. Teeth, several. Either is, was, will be, or has people in the family who work in the food service industries. Prefaces trips to the hospital by saying "hold my beer and check this out." Mistrusts gummint. Actually looks down on Ohio (!). Reads, er, has someone read all the contract language prior to installing software because *your mark is your bond! If it is written, you agree to it in perpetuity!* Aspires to resemble the mascot. Has an extensive collection of John Denver eight tracks that make him misty eyed. Went on the intertubes and bought an eight track of John Denver live IN DENVER! Kind of wishes Rocky Top were the fight song. Is preparing for the crushing disappointment the Bill Stewart era will be, but still plans to defend "my boy."
Just to play fair:
Michigan fan – Not arrogant, just better than everyone else. Believes the world would be better if he were in charge. Drives a BMW. Has a professional degree or certification. In football, perfection is almost good enough. Thinks individuality is wearing a road jersey to a home game as he jangles his car keys with 110,000 of his closest friends, just after doing the wave. Secretly knows The Big House isn’t anything but big. Gets an inordinate amount of satisfaction from events that happened prior to his birth. Likes hearing the opinions of others, no matter how wrong-headed, ignorant, ridiculous and simpering they might be. Honestly believes he could call plays better than the offensive coordinator. Is vaguely aware that Michigan has a basketball program. Checks Ebay for Michigan memorabilia, can afford most of it. Has at least tried to watch soccer, just because it’s the world's game and wants to be cultural. Revels in nostalgia of all kinds.
Toledo Blade article - http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080730/SPORTS11/807300433
Hoke thinks UT can hang with Michigan
DETROIT - When the University of Toledo plays Michigan this fall at the Big House, perhaps it will look back at a recent near-miss by one of its conference brethren.
Ball State nearly took down the Wolverines in Ann Arbor in 2006, playing with a chance to tie the game on the UM 7-yard line with fewer than three minutes to play. UM came away with the 34-26 win.
Cardinals coach Brady Hoke said he thinks UT can perform just as well as his squad did at Michigan Stadium. The Rockets travel there Oct. 11 for the first time.
"When we played Michigan they were the No. 2 rated team in the country," Hoke said. "I don't think they'll be No. 2 this year. I think Toledo will do great. I have a lot of respect for the way [UT coach] Tom [Amstutz] runs his program."
Thanks for the great insight, Brady. Exactly why do you think "Toledo will do great"? Is it because you have a lot of respect for the way the Toledo program is run? Do you not respect the way Michigan's program is run?
UTAH: Announced ABC Regional Coverage 330
MIAMI OH: Announced ESPN or ESPN 2 National Coverage Noon
@Notre Dame: Annoucned NBC National Coverage 330
@Wisconsin : Estimate ABC Regional coverage 330; No 330 game for the Big -10 has been announced. However Illinois at PSU is at 8. So the othre options for ABC are MSU @ IND and Minny @ OSU. So we probably get the regional nod here
Illinois: Announced ABC 330 Regional Coverage
Toledo: Estimate National Coverage Big Ten Network Noon: ABC will probably go with Purdue at OSU for the 330 Regional Coverage. While PSU @ Wisco is a night game. So we're relegated to the BTN or ESPN2
@Penn State: Annoucned ESPN or ESPN2 430 National Coverage
MSU : Estimate 330 ABC Regional Coveage. All other Big 10 games have been annoucned with no 330 game. So by process of elimination. Things could change if MSU and Umich are combined 0-12
Purdue: Estimate NOOn ESPN National coverage; This is the hardest to estimate. There's no OSU game. So the other options for ABC are Wisco @ MSU, and Iowa @ Illinois. Depending on Purdue's record and assuming they aren't undefeated I think they go with Iowa @ Illinois. Leaving us on ESPN or ESPN2.
@MINNESOTA: Estimate Noon or One BTN Natiional Coverage. Minnesota will be horrible. However the Central Time zone problem as well as that this is probably the least marketable Big Ten game of the week. This also might be one of those ESPN Classic games
Northwestern: Estimate Noon I'm geussing ESPN2 Or the BTN. No way this gets ABC coverage I'm thinking this is 3rd or 4th choice. So The deuce or BTN.
OSU: Estimate ABC National Coverage. Pretty easy. Only question is whether its a 330 or Noon game. I'll assume we have a couple losses and make it a Noon. Allowing ABC to make it a doubleheader with MSU @ PSU
There are a lot of stories this morning about an article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed about the trend of soaring recruiting budgets throughout all of college sports. I figured some of you might be interested in reading it and examining the data yourselves.
Nearly half of the nation's largest athletics programs have doubled or tripled their recruitment spending over the past decade, as their pursuit of elite athletes intensifies and becomes more national in scope.
Forty-eight percent of NCAA Division I athletics departments at least doubled their recruiting budgets from 1997 to 2007, according to a Chronicle analysis of financial data reported to the U.S. Department of Education. Of the 300 Division I institutions for which data were available, 21 each spent more than $1-million chasing talented players in the 2007 academic year.
On the whole, the 65 biggest spenders shelled out a total of more than $61-million in 2007, an 86-percent increase from 10 years before. That amount does not include salaries for recruiting coordinators or construction and operating costs of the gleaming multimillion-dollar facilities that help lure prospects.
Rising travel costs account for much of the increase. But the budget growth also reflects a widespread shift in how and where coaches recruit, compared with a decade ago.
Driven by geographic constraints or a desire to bolster the competitiveness of their teams — or both — many more coaches now look far beyond homegrown talent, sometimes even crossing continents to court top prospects. For now, the increased price of recruiting is one that many administrators say they can tolerate. But the high-stakes chase for elite athletes can test even the most generous budgets.[/quote]
Budget-wise, Notre Dame comes in at #2 for the 2006-2007 season in terms of overall recruiting budget for their entire athletic department. Ohio State comes in at #10. Unsurprisingly, SEC recruiting budgets far outpace the rest of I-A.
With their recent verbal commit of the massive 6' 8" OT from Iowa, MSU and dantonio are putting together one hell of a recruiting class. With some research, MSU has (according to Rivals):
- (3) four star OT's
- (2) four star RB's
- (1) four star QB
- (1) four star WR
- (1) four star OLB
Yes, ratings this early really don't mean much, but come-on, "Little Brother" is going through puberty and looking to take a couple of swings at ol' "Big Brother" for pushing him around for the past few years.
This rivarly is really going to start to get interesting ......finally.