As a good follow up to discussions in this thread: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/michigan-man-jason-avant-acting-partpeter-king-article-nfl-standards where Peter King quotes Jason Avant on behavior in NFL locker rooms, Jason wrote his own article for Peter's site the MMQB:
I wonder if Michigan Football has more of an "orientation" for freshmen now than they did back when Jason started, but this is an interesting read none the less:
I began playing football my sophomore year of high school in Chicago. I got pretty good pretty quickly, and by senior year I was the top recruit in the state of Illinois. That’s when I noticed people started treating me differently. One day I was just a regular person. Now I was kind of given this position of power. Students, staff members and teachers looked at me in a different way. They kind of winked at my mistakes, instead of trying to correct me. That’s part of the problem: too much empowerment without proving we’ve earned it. A lot of players aren’t used to being held accountable. The other part is of the problem is a lack of education about diversity and tolerance.
I think back to my freshman year at Michigan, and what it’s like at pretty much any college program. In high school you’re with kids from the same town who are a lot like you. In college all of the sudden your locker room is filled with guys from every background—a guy from inner-city Bronx, another one from the backwoods of Iowa, a guy whose parents were nourishing, a guy with gang issues, a guy who is very religious. You put us all in the locker room and expect us to get along with each other. Yet there’s no orientation, and barely any discussion of it. That’s why a lot of times you see the black kids sitting on one end of the lunch room and the white kids on the other.
Yes, Ray Guy is finally, after a 23-year wait, elected to the NFL Hall Of Fame. Guy was, without a doubt, the greatest punter in NFL History.
If you're old enough, like me, to have watched those Raiders teams of the 70's and 80's, you'll know what I mean when I say this: Guy was as instrumental as any player on those great Raiders teams in the success that franchise had in that era. He was so skilled in so many aspects of the game that, even though he was obviously a full-time punter, he was also athletic enough to be the Raider's 3rd-string QB during part of his career.
But back to punting skills---Guy had them all:
Hang time? check!
Net Yards per Punt? check!
Coffin Corner? check!
Tackling ability? check!
IMO, it's about time that this man was enschrined. He should have been inducted a couple decades ago.
Just a heads up, a lot of these texts are really really vulgar, and some have fairly explicit images (although mostly censored), so you've been warned.
My thoughts on it:
- Honestly, they both come off as total meatheads , particularly Incognito (as these texts more or less chronicle their constant efforts to get laid).
- They seemed to be really good buddies.
- Nothing that I read really sounded like bullying to me. There was a lot of joking around, and giving eachother a hard time, but nothing seemed meanspirited, and even the harsher jokes had lighthearted responses.
- Those last few pages made me really feel bad for Incognito.
This is incredible.
Talk about the gamble of a lifetime.
Quasi-interesting article where a guy did some "big data" analysis of the effects of the higher elevation in Mile High Stadium. What's more interesting is that he linked to all of the play by play data from the NFL for 2002 through 2012 (wk 12). For someone with a lot of time on their hands you could do some interesting queries on relative impact of Michigan players versus other schools in the NFL, or whatever questions you can think of. The play description would require some parsing along with some joining with a db of names and schools, but it presents interesting possibilities. I know MGoBlog breaks down Michigan's play by play, but is there a free resource like this for all of college football? (STATS and Sports Network have this data for a license fee.)
It's been a bad year for Michigan Men's ACLs, both for those wearing the maize and blue and those playing on Sundays. It looks like Jake Long tore his ACL in the Rams' game yesterday, and he likely won't be ready for the start of the 2014 season. This makes it that much more likely the Rams will look for a tackle with one of their first round picks ... maybe Taylor Lewan and Jake will be teammates?
This is on top of other NFL Wolverines suffering ACL tears this season -- Stevie Brown of the Giants and Jonas Mouton of the Chargers.
Get well soon, Jake!