Peppers at 10, which seems low.
John U Bacon
Hello Mgoblog Community! The U of M Club of Indianapolis would like to invite all alumni in the Indianapolis area to our Annual Holiday Reception where John U Bacon will be our keynote speaker! Details for the event are below. Our apologies in advance if the links do not work (this is our first time posting to the Board) but we will try to get any issues corrected. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and we will respond as soon as possible. Go Blue!
Annual Holiday Reception:
Private Reception at the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral Theater
When: Thursday, December 10 from 6:00-10:00PM
Where: Scottish Rite Cathedral, 650 N. Meridian, Indianapolis, IN
Details: The University of Michigan Club of Indianapolis invites you to hear our keynote speaker, New York Times Bestselling Author John U. Bacon, discuss his latest book, Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football. The Club has books available to purchase that John has agreed to sign at the event. We ask that you please purchase books through the Club (via the registration link below), as a portion of the proceeds benefits our local scholarship fund.
·6PM - Arrive/Guided Tour of the Scottish Rite
·6:30 - 7PM-Cocktails (Complimentary beer and champagne, cash bar)
·7PM - Dinner (Buffet with 2 entree selections, TBD) and Keynote Speaker John U. Bacon!
Registration: TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE HERE! We have some fantastic door prizes and giveaways lined up, including gift baskets to local restaurants, a one night stay at the Ann Arbor Bed and Breakfast, and more!
Saturday, Michigan Man par excellence John U. Bacon kicked off the promotional whirlwind for his new book, Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football at the Diag bar in Chicago at an event sponsored by the U of M Club of Greater Chicago.
To a standing-room-only crowd ranging from alumni to former Bacon students (like myself) to such luminaries as Will Hagerup and Carl Grapentine, the voice of the Michigan Marching Band and Michigan Stadium, Bacon explained the breakneck pace at which he completed his latest work on "this Michigan of ours." Though some (ahem, Buckeyes) are taking issue with the subtitle of the book (particularly, the part about Rise, Fall, and Return), Bacon's main thesis is that this book is not about wins and losses--it's about Michigan reclaiming itself from within.
This "Return," then, is one of values and traditions. While the losses the program has experienced since 2006 were certainly concerning, Bacon emphasizes that students, fans, and alumni were more concerned with the bigger picture around those losses: the rapid erosion of what made Michigan special, largely through the attitude and actions of former Athletic Director Dave Brandon. As a result, Bacon starts the story not with Dave Brandon, but Charles Baird, who pioneered the role of Athletic Director, building the foundation for Yost, Crisler, and Canham. As Bacon explained, this is a story of how Michigan built an unparalleled legacy and tradition for over a century, based on selling not a product or a game, but Michigan. By treating ticketholders, alumni, letterwiners, students, and fans with respect and a relatively remarkable degree of restraint and transparency, the Athletic Department built mountains of trust--and a waitlist for football tickets to show for it. When Dave Brandon eroded that trust, challenging the status quo at nearly every juncture for reasons that seemed petty or misguided, if not simply greedy, Michigan's core constituencies appealed to that same tradition and trust to unseat Brandon.
What makes this book so interesting, from portions I've torn through since I got my hands on it yesterday, is that this is clearly not a narrative about one big moment. While some may point to the Noodle, the Shane Morris incident, or the "quit drinking and go to bed" emails as points of rupture, these are just isolated examples that point to the fundamental reason Dave Brandon failed at Michigan: the slow accumulation of similarly small, seemingly innocuous changes and/or actions that in one way or another systematically ticked off yet another constituency within the Michigan family, from former M lettermen to Olympic sports coaches to alumni organizations to donors to the ordinary fan trying to bring their kid to a Michigan game. Ignoring many of the benchmarks of leadership Bacon highlighted in Bo's Lasting Lessons, Brandon found new and infinitely infuriating ways to turn every corner of the University against him, perhaps none more important than the Board of Regents, on which he had previously served with distinction. As a litany of miscues, it's truly breathtaking, and some in the crowd were only too eager to share yet more from their own experiences.
At the same time, Bacon was clear to point out that while we can all point to countless examples of Brandon's mismanagement and misdirected ego, he was also capable of going the extra mile for student-athletes and others within the department. Bacon emphasized Will Hagerup's story, with Hagerup in attendance, as a particularly poignant example to this end. It's clear Brandon cares deeply about Michigan, and often went out of his way to go the extra mile for those he considered his core constituencies.
Yet just as Lloyd Carr's true motivations were somewhat obscured in Three and Out, Bacon's book on Rich Rodriguez's tenure at Michigan, I think there's a similar complexity here about Dave Brandon. Just as Carr did with 3&O, Brandon declined Bacon's request for comment--even though, as Bacon explained yesterday, he was offered a nearly endless timeline to answer a series of questions (via email, which we know is a medium Brandon knows how to use) at the conclusion of the project. We're left, then, with a picture of a man whose actions usually didn't measure up to the better angels of his nature, inexplicably working to destroy a legacy Brandon was raised to uphold from the moment he committed to Michigan at the foot of Bo's hospital bed in January 1970. We're left with the frustration that Brandon knew better, yet seldom acted as if he did.
Which brings us to Jim Hackett and Harbaugh, which Bacon explained was a result of yet more small and seemingly innocuous events and coincidences that culminated in the perfect storm for Michigan to hire the right interim AD, and in turn to the right coach. And it was all made possible because Michigan's alumni, students, letterwinners, student-athletes, and coaches rallied around each other to reclaim what they knew to be Michigan, something which was far too important to let die away.
The event at the Diag was wonderful, as is the norm for the UMCGC, with lively discussion and questions (including one from Carl Grapentine himself, which, as Bacon commented, was "ear chocolate" for those of us who love Carl's dulcet tones), and a line out the door for signed books. For many of us who studied with Mr. Bacon at Michigan (as I did--a Baked Potato extended to my fellow Bacon alums!), it was just like being in that auditorium at Angell Hall.
For those in the Ann Arbor area, there will be a similar event on Tuesday, September 1st, at Rackham Auditorium at 7PM. There's room for a thousand people--tell your friends, bring the kids, and buy a book!
I was looking for an old Tom Harmon book(Pilot's Also Pray) on Amazon and found this...
Over the past week during a vacation I re-read "Bo's Lasting Lessons" I hadn't read it in probably 5+ years. If you haven't read it I think I wouldn't be alone in reccomending it. If you have read it, but like me its been years I hope this will encourage you to pick it back up.
I was struck by how certain names that are very relevant today were picked out of a distinguished crowd by Bo almost a decade ago. Below are a couple short clips that stood out:
"Today Brad bates is the athletic director at Miami of Ohio- and they love him, there, too. They love him! He's done a marvelous job, and I'm sure you'l be hearing his name wherever a big job opens up. I would not be surprised if he becomes Michiagan's athletic director down the road. If he doesn't, it'll be our loss."
"Years later, Jimmy told me he leared a lot from that meeting, that you can have a tremendous impact as a leader just by taking a little time. Your people have to know that their value to you and your organization is not determined just by what they do, but by who they are. I cant make it any clearer than that."
"Jim ended up being twice as good, in my book, as the Golden Arm- Harbaugh was the Big Ten MVP his senior year, beating the other guy by a mile- and Jim's teammates liked him. Maybe Harbaugh didn't have half the arm of the Golden Boy, but he had twice the brains and ten times the heart. Give me those specs, anyday."
(Jerry's words in response to a question from Jim Harbaugh "what kind of team will we have next year') "Jim, come back in twenty years, and I'll tell you. Only then will we know how you and your classmates turned out. Did you get good jobs? Are you hardworking and honest? Were you good husbands and fathers? Did you contribute to your community? Did you make the world a better place?"
I couldn't believe how well this book held up in the quick changing sports landscape. It shows how much character Bo saw in these individuals and how much they learned and valued their time at Michigan. (I know cool story bro).
I know nothing - NOTHING - about Gregg Henson's credibility. Nor do I know anything about Bacon's sources, although I do know that he wasn't on Brian's ad hoc "certified source" list in the Mailbag post from earlier this week. But during Bacon's regular segment on WTKA this morning, he slipped in a detail that didn't get a lot of hype and didn't seem to get mentioned in the Henson thread below.
Go listen for yourself. Download today's Bacon segment on the WTKA website. The whole thing is worth a listen, but the back third is what you REALLY need to hear.
At around 10:35, Webb discusses how various players have spoken out for or against Michigan in "many different facets." Webb asks if there are new factions emerging between players for and against the current football regieme, or if those factions never left and have always been there.
Bacon answers - this part is paraphrase - that there aren't any factions at all. Pretty much all former lettermen are against the Athletic Department, but NOT Brady Hoke. Bacon says it's not like Rich Rodriguez, were there were people for and against him. Bacon then says - quote - "If you want to find one group that is most uniformally opposed to the current direction of the department, it's the lettermen. I mean, they've got to be 95 to 99 percent negative right now."
Webb counters that Billy Taylor defended the department; Bacon defers gracefully and says "give the reverend his due." Bacon then says that many more would come out but "can't for political reasons."
But here's the kicker. Go to 14:00, right after Bacon's phone goes off. Bacon says that there are "two approaches," but not pro and con. The two approaches are "do you speak up or do you not speak up," meaning against the athletic department. Then Bacon says - again, quoting at 14:31 - "But they [the former players] don't get a vote. They're not on the board. They're not, you know, in the president's ear in the normal way. They are writing him a letter, obviously, and they - many - I think hundreds have signed it. What it does tell Schlissel is this. I can't imagine president schl taking action based solely on the lettermen's letter. But I can see him thinking if he decides to make a decision, 'Well, one problem I will not have is obstruction from the lettermen. They're not going to defend the current direction.'"
This does not confirm that the letter Henson presented is the actual letter. But if what Henson is saying is true as it pertains to Harbaugh...
Take for granted, take it with a grain of salt, or don't take it at all.
Thought this was a pretty interesting read, makes some vaild points on why students are frustrated and not showing up and why the game day experience should be more for what the fan pays. What are your thoughts?