"It was a privilege," Gardner said Monday night at the Ufer Quarterback Club Banquet in Ann Arbor. "I don't think people understand how much of a privilege it was to not only be a quarterback at Michigan, but just to be a part of this university whether you're a student-athlete or not," "And I knew that as a sophomore in high school. I knew this was a special place."
The Elliot Mealer muggle thing has sparked a lot of conversation around here, and I have seen both positives and negatives. I can see how "muggles" can be taken as a derogatory term (as it is basically used as one through Rowling's stories). During my time as a student-athlete, we generally announced to the non-athletes who didn't understand that "I'm D-1, you don't know." Right or wrong, morally justifiable or not, this was the attitude taken by myself and several of my peers.
I guess where I am going here is that it is hard to make an argument that a student-athlete knows whats best for an athletic department, notably not many student-athletes have significant (if any) experience on the administrative side.
That being said, how much value should the player's opinion on a coach merit? Unless all the other people that have played for Brady Hoke and spoken out about their love/appreciation/confidence in his abilities as a coach are just doing so because of loyalty, it seems that they are some of the few still in his corner.
Should the opinions of the players factor in when picking a head coach? We have seen coaches fired for "losing the team" (Charlie Weis, who one time held a practice without the seniors to "develop future talent"). Should we write off these opinions as quickly as we condemn them for thinking they know how an athletic department should be run?
This is a pretty funny tweet:
A MICHIGAN MAN SAVORS THE MOMENT MT @McMurphyESPN: Slowest teams in seconds per play this year: Army (31.1) & Michigan (30.9)— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) September 15, 2014
On the other hand, it does raise serious issues. What is with Michigan's tempo? One answer is that Nussmeier and Hoke aren't averse to tempo but are focusing on executing a new offense, and as the team settles in, tempo will become part of Michigan's offensive arsenal.
Another viewpoint is that there must be other teams breaking in new offenses, which have less experienced coaching staffs, as well as less good football players learning these offenses, and they are faster on a per play basis than Michigan (except for Army).
I wasn't able to find the full breakdown of each team, but it's something worth keeping an eye on, especially as it's been a topic of some interest for Brian and the rest of the MGoStaff.
John U. Bacon contributed a great story to the Detroit News regarding Michigan legend Bob Chappuis. Very much a human interest piece, but Chappuis was a very interesting human. Article is here: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120629/OPINION03/206290302/Bob-Chappuis-One-U-M-s-great-ones-from-Greatest-Generation?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|p .
Among the tidbits is the fact that Chappuis's father told Chappuis that he could go to any college he wanted - other than Ohio State. A lot of the article focuses on Chappuis's service in WWII, including a story of him being shot down behind enemy lines in Italy:
he and two crewmates hid in a ditch behind some bushes while Italian soldiers marched by. One of his crewmates pulled out his knife, and motioned for them to attack. Chappuis grabbed his shoulder, pushed him down and whispered, "They've got us outnumbered 10-to-1, and they've got guns. I think you've seen too many Hollywood movies. We are staying put."
I strongly recommend the entire article. A great read for the long slow summer.
Great video of Mike Martin's draft party at Conor O'Neills. A wonderful night for one of my favorite players of the past 10 years. Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QviuR9ZxmpI , which I discovered via http://annarbor.com/sports/um-football/former-michigan-football-star-mike-martin-produces-video-of-draft-party/?cmpid=mlive-@mlive-wolverines .
In addition to the sincere happiness evident in Martin's face, his mom's face, and the shared joy of his friends and family, I'm struck by the similarity of his speaking style to President Obama's. (This is not a plug for or against Pres. Obama - MGoBlog's not the place for that, of course.)
Is there a future in politics after Martin's done feasting on QBs and RBs at the next level?