I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
This is a great article from the Boston Herald about Zoltan's work with Boston Children's Hospital. It's a great read and there is a brief video interview with Zoltan and his, umm, Space Empress.
"All she knew Tuesday night was that her daughter had been in the hospital nearly a week and needed a boost. In truth, both of them needed one. And it came in the form of the smiling, cheery, 6-foot-4, Romanian"
Zoltan already won the Ron Burton Community Service Award earlier this year from the Patriots organization and will receive the "Champion's Award" from Boston Children's. Pat's owner Robert Kraft recently gave him probably the highest praise possible for one of his players:
"In the 18 years since we established the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, perhaps no player has accomplished more in the community in such a short amount of time.”"
We can all be really proud of Zoltan and the way that he conducts himself. I'm sure he will continue to do great things in the community with the foundation that he has recently started along with Tim North. He is truly a Michigan Man and I'm so happy that he is making a difference.
"As of press time, eight of the 12 draft picks remained alive. Although they have largely stuck together, the group has steadily fractured. With dehydration and hysteria setting in, Thomas Welch severely beat and nearly killed Zoltan Mesko with the butt end of the flashlight for eating the last sand cake".....
The writers at The Onion were misinformed, the Space Emperor of Space can not in fact be beaten for he does not truly exist in this dimension, his likeness merely occupies a body for the purpose of world domination.
Just look at how many times Zoltan is mentioned here. The Boston media is already amazed at how much of a wave a fifth-round punter has made. If they only knew...
Not only that, but another article says that the Space Emperor is guaranteed a spot on the roster. But the most amazing part of the article (and arguably the most important moment in the history of the written word):
“It’s kind of weird to be known as a punter. Yeah, I have a weird name that’s easily recognizable or recallable. I’m just being myself, doing my thing. It’s just the fans kind of took to it. It wasn’t my doing in any way, shape or form. I was being myself. It kind of just happened on its own. I’m very thankful it happened because I’m accepting of all things that come my way.”
--Mesko, on his cult following in Michigan and (soon to be) New England. Mesko has been given a number of nicknames, and he says “The Space Emperor of Space” is his favorite.
Rich Garven of The Worcester Telegram recognizes the awesomeness that is Zoltan the Great.
Lastly, this was featured in today’s Sports section of The Boston Globe. I fear for the author’s life, for he has committed the egregious sin of referring to the Space Emperor by His last name. I don’t even want to know what the gods demand for his atonement. Sheesh, no wonder print journalism is dying.
Nice story in the Daily on Zoltan.
I was down in New Orleans this weekend for the sugar bowl because my sister cheers for Cincinnati and thought everyone would enjoy to hear as I was wondering down the French Quarter I saw none other than the Space Emperor himself in his Michigan jump suite. I later found out at the game he was named to a team for the charity work he does but I thought I'd share that I saw Zoltan downn in the Big Easy as he grabbed another accomplishment.
1994, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Each of these was a bitter pill to take, ruining an afternoon and often more. But I don't recall a loss in which Michigan brought less to the game and came away with real reason for optimism. Yes, I realize how awful it is to look at a loss to the Ohio State University and sift amongst the rubble for a moral victory, but that is a realistic approach when your only conference win is against a team better known for basketball, lead by a bubble gum-throwing coach.
So, may I present some thoughts from grim Saturday and the hind-sighted look at the season:
- Against an admittedly Tressell-led team, the previously pourous defense allowed two offensive touchdowns. I recognize that the Sweatervest had faith in his defense and with good reason, but the Wolverine defense made Pryor look like an athlete attempting to play QB. We, as fans,
-Vincent Smith is going to be a great back in this offense.
-Roy Roundtree seems to have good hands and awareness, if not breakaway speed.
-I, you, and all the good people who love the light side of the force are REALLY going to miss Brandon Graham. 14 defensive points allowed. Nearly turned back the Buckeyes from the goal-line singlehandedly. Was absolutely unblockable all year.
-& the Space Emperor.
- Obviously the five turnovers. That's unacceptable in any game, even with a freshman QB. But remember, the 2-1 TD to INT ratio for the remainder of the year was the anomaly. We knew going into the season that starting a freshman QB would lead to big errors. For much of the year, we were lucky. Against Notre Dame, it did not hurt us, and it enabled the team to tie up Michigan State. The daring decisions didn't come back to bite us. But the bad game yesterday notwithstanding, there was obvious improvement from the beginning of the season to the end.
- The secondary severely limited any ability to blitz. This makes me think about the third and goal, in which the Michigan defense allowed a screen pass for a TD. Before the play, I was hoping for a three man rush or a two man rush with a two man spy, forcing Pryor to throw in to a limited field with coverage. Obviously, that's not what was called, and that provided the touchdown that eventually sealed itl
-The offensive line did little to open up holes in the Buckeye defensive front. However, I don't recall a game since Tim Biakabutuka in which the Michigan O-line ran roughshod over the Buckeyes. If you watch the National Championship game in 1997, the future All-Pros on that line struggled to move the Buckeyes. This is nothing really new. (Correction, the 2003 game was also an exception, Chris Perry rushed for 154 yards against one of the best rush defenses. But I believe that was the first game in 10 years in which Michigan truly owned the run game.)
I spent Sunday evening watching the Eagles and Bears with an Ohio State alum who is working on a PhD from Drexel (i.e., not a "Git-R-Dun" type). His take from the game was essentially, "if you keep Forcier from throwing the ball without discernment, that team will be good." He also didn't realize that Molk, our starting center was injured since PSU.
Excuses are not good. But realism is not only looking at the negatives, but also assessing the reasons why those negatives took place. When the Boston Celtics lost in the playoffs this past June, it was not "an excuse" to recognize the fact that Kevin Garnett was not on the court. If you attempt to assess your place as a team, you must take all factors into account. First, the starting center on this Wolverines team has not played since a few plays in the Penn State game. Centers don't get acclaim, just as DT's such as Ndomakon Suh don't win the Heisman Trophy. But when they aren't playing, they make a big difference. I think it's fair to say with Molk present, the Offensive Line is able to open up holes better, and probably pass protect better down the stretch of the schedule. Second, the best running back on the team did not play in the Ohio State game. Brandon Minor's injury kept him out of the game. We all wanted to see Minor Rage one last time, one more time at home, but the football fates are cruel in ways we could only have dreamt about five years ago.
I hope this game gave you renewed hope for the big picture in the way that I received it. The game of ball is glorious. The Wolverines will begin to have stability in the defensive coaches for the first time in nearly five years. The Michigan team will return a starting quarterback for the first time since 2007. This is an off-season in which the team needs its fans. Stay true, those who stay true will watch champions.